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Katz Foundation Grants Fund Education Initiative at Five Miami Jewish Day Schools

Students at five Miami Jewish day schools are learning about robotics, recycling and Jewish values and are engaging in creative play, thanks to a new educational grant program honoring the memory and vision of beloved philanthropist and Jewish education advocate Eleanor M. Katz, z”l.

The Eleanor Meyerhoff Katz z”l Teacher Initiative Award provides grants to exceptional Jewish day school teachers to implement new and creative classroom initiatives. It is funded by the Eleanor M. and Herbert D. Katz Foundation and administered by the Center for the Advancement of Jewish Education (CAJE), a subsidiary agency of the Greater Miami Jewish Federation.

Now in its first year, this program has allocated $18,000 to support specific new educational experiences at Hochberg Preparatory School, Hebrew Academy (RASG), Lehrman Community Day School, Temple Beth Am Day School and Mechina High School of South Florida.

According to Valerie Mitrani, CAJE’s Director of Day School Strategies and Initiatives, CAJE received 33 applications from eight Miami Jewish day school. Representatives from CAJE and the Katz Foundation reviewed the applications and based the grants on the merits of teacher requests.

The Eleanor Meyerhoff Katz z”l Teacher Initiative Award program was conceived by Daniel Katz of Davie to pay tribute to his mother, who passed away in February 2014. Eleanor Katz believed strongly in the importance of Jewish day school education, as well as the dedicated teachers who make a difference in students’ lives.

Both she and her late husband, Herbert, were generous benefactors of Jewish causes, and were renowned for their support of Judaic studies programs on major college campuses and in South Florida Jewish schools. Among their many philanthropic achievements, they were instrumental in the founding of the Jewish High School of South Florida, now a division of Scheck Hillel Community School.

Daniel Katz explained that he envisioned the awards program after his wife, Jodi Snyder-Katz, Day School Principal at Hochberg Preparatory School, told him about a teacher at her school who spent personal funds to purchase microscope equipment for a science classroom. Impressed by this act of dedication, Daniel suggested to his four siblings that the family foundation create a program to fund important, unbudgeted, teacher-initiated classroom programs in local Jewish day schools.

“It was the perfect way to honor our mother and her devotion to Jewish education,” Katz said.

Learn more about the teachers and individual Eleanor Meyerhoff Katz z”l Teacher Initiative Awards by clicking here.

The mission of the Center for the Advancement of Jewish Education is to promote quality Jewish learning and identity-building opportunities throughout Miami; strengthen the capacity of Jewish organizations to deliver engaging and enriching educational programs; and serve as a catalyst for connecting Jews of all ages to their rich heritage. CAJE receives support from the Annual Federation/UJA Campaign.

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