Five promising Jewish educators, including Rabbi Lizzi Heydemann of Mishkan
Chicago, are the 2013 recipients of The Covenant Foundation’s Pomegranate Prize
for their exceptionalism as emerging professionals in Jewish educational
settings across the country.
Heydemann received the honor alongside Risa Alyson Cooper, Executive
Director of Shoresh Jewish Environmental Programs in Toronto; Rabbi
Yechiel Hoffman, Director of Youth Learning and Engagement at Temple Beth Am in
Los Angeles; Rabbi Todd Markley, Associate Rabbi at Temple Beth Shalom in
Needham, MA; and Yonatan Rosner, a Judaic Studies teacher and Director of the T’fillah
Kehillah Institute at New Community Jewish High School in West Hills, CA.
Rabbi Lizzi Heydemann (center) and fellow Pomegranate Prize recipients with Eli Evans (right) Chariman of the Board of The Covenant Foundation.
“We know that encouragement early on in a person’s career can make all
the difference in their success,” said Keating Crown, a member of the
Foundation’s founding family, as he introduced the Pomegranate Award recipients
to Jewish lay, communal and educational leaders gathered at the Foundation’s
annual award ceremony on Oct. 28.
“Our goal with this Prize is to provide the means for these already
remarkable educators to further develop their skills and interests, and have
the chance to get to know others who, like themselves, are bringing fresh new
ideas and abundant energy to the field of Jewish education,” he said.
The Pomegranate Prize was established in 2011, taking its place next to
The Covenant Award, which since 1991 has honored three exemplary Jewish
educators each year for their records of innovation and impact across Jewish
education settings. The Pomegranate Prize, recognizing passionate, emerging
leaders in Jewish education, goes to those in the field for 10 years or less.
Jordan Goodman of the Crown family, the recipients will have the opportunity to
connect with thought leaders and extraordinary educators from across the
spectrum of Jewish life through events sponsored by the Foundation over a three-year
period, and five new educators will join the cohort each year.
The Covenant Foundation is creating a growing network of Pomegranate
Prize recipients and providing a laboratory and platform for them as they
immerse themselves in foundation-supported professional development and
leadership programs, peer-to-peer gatherings, mentorships and other educator
initiatives. Each recipient receives a $15,000 fund to fuel educational
projects and their development as change agents in their communities and in
The Pomegranate Prize, and the resources dedicated to the recipients,
is an investment in the future of Jewish education, said Harlene Winnick
Appelman, Executive Director of The Covenant Foundation.
passion can spark the interest of a generation and encourage positive social
growth. The Pomegranate Prize is a unique and powerful tool to
support that passion, not only by identifying new levels of excellence and by
encouraging specific innovations, but also by creating a community of
problem-solvers, building theskills of individuals, and mobilizing new talent.”
Heydemannis the founder of Mishkan Chicago, a spiritual
community that seeks to reclaim Judaism’s inspiration, warmth, and transformative
essence. She was the first Revson Rabbinic Fellow at IKAR in Los
Angeles, where she was involved as a congregant, musician and rabbi. She is a
2013 ROI Fellow, a 2012 Rabbinic Fellow of CLAL’s Rabbis Without Borders, and
is on the 2012 Double Chai in the Chi list of 36 young influential Jews under
36 issued by JUF’s YLD and Oy!Chicago.
Heydemann grew up in Chicago,
graduated from Stanford University and was ordained by the Ziegler School of
Rabbinic Studies. Her interest in creating spiritual experiences that integrate
the spirit, body and mind, and that meld music and harmony with intellectual
rigor, led to her found Mishkan Chicago in 2011.