July 19, 2024
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Rabbi Tully Harcsztark Receives 2017 Covenant Award at Annual Ceremony

(Courtesy of The Covenant Foundation) Rabbi Tully Harcsztark, founding principal of SAR High School in Riverdale, was one of three recipients of The Covenant Foundation’s 2017 Covenant Award, adding his name and stellar achievements to a roster of nationally recognized practitioners making substantive change on the national and local level. This award is among the highest honors in the field of Jewish education.

“We are so inspired by the work of our 2017 Covenant Award honorees,” said Barbara Goodman Manilow, president of the Covenant Foundation board of directors. “Each one is transforming the world of Jewish education with creativity, optimism and dedication to moving the bar forward. It’s a tremendous privilege to support their work and count them amongst an illustrious cohort that has now grown to 78 educators strong.”

The Covenant Foundation is a program of the Crown Family Philanthropies and members of the Crown family presented the three recipients and bestowed the award. Each of the 2017 recipients received $36,000, and each of their institutions $5,000.

Established in 1991 to honor and celebrate those who have made an impact on Jewish life through innovative educational practices and models, the Covenant Award is presented to three educators every year after a rigorous selection process. Recipients have distinguished themselves in myriad realms, including classroom teaching, family education, dance, music, visual arts, adult education, tikkun olam, storytelling, inclusion, work on college campuses, curriculum design, leadership and professional development.

Guided by the leadership of Rabbi Harcsztark, SAR High School has become a national model of Jewish education. At SAR, the integration of general and Judaic Studies reflects Harcsztark’s ideal of education as a “fusion of horizons.” Each activity at SAR, from Israeli dancing to discussions of Midrash mixed with literary theory to exuberant pick-up games of field hockey and soccer are imbued with a climate of deep respect where students, faculty and staff are invited to engage in open and honest intellectual exploration.

Upon accepting the award from Steven Crown, Harcsztark spoke about that integration of theory and practice.

“The Torah that we learn shapes the way we see the world—and the world within which we live shapes the way we understand our Torah,” Harcsztark said. “This is a vibrant and dynamic process that makes all members of our ‘community of learners’ into forgers of Jewish life and culture, responsible for the future of the Jewish people and our own communities.”

 

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