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One of the greatest challenges for teachers today is being able to find funding for projects that allow students to bring ideas to life. For Kamilah Chajin-Faraone, an engineering teacher at David Posnack Jewish Day School in Davie, a small grant allowed her students to move past book learning and take their ideas from the drawing board to real-life applications.
Chajin-Faraone was one of the 2016 recipient of the Eleanor Meyerhoff Katz z”l Teacher Initiative Award, which is given to outstanding teachers in Jewish day schools to stimulate new thinking and fund projects that positively impact student learning. It is funded by the Eleanor M. and Herbert D. Katz Foundation and administered in Broward by Orloff Central Agency for Jewish Education (CAJE). South Florida Jewish Academy also received a 2016 Meyerhoff Katz grant.
Chajin-Faraone used the funding she received to purchase 3D printers, saws, sanders, dremmel tools, a shop vac, organizational furniture, soldering guns, blow torches, and a soldering pen. She also purchased new processing boards, LED lights, stronger wires, heat shrink casing, movable Arduino cameras, and LED strings.
Chajin-Faraone said the tools allowed her students to not just learn about design, but also how to build. It also instilled in them a sense of responsibility because “they know that these machines belong to them and they can only sue them if they are kept clean and working,” she says.
The tools also benefited the school as a whole because the students used them to fix things including projectors, computers, stage lights and even a teacher’s fan!
“My students no longer feel like they are in a high school engineering class,” says Chajin-Faraone. “They feel like they are engineers. They explore, create, and solve problems. This money helps create safe spaces where kids can learn beyond a textbook and take pride in how their work directly affects those around them.”
The application period for this year’s award ends April 28. Awards range from $1,000 to $5,000. General and Judaic studies teachers in Jewish day schools from grades K to 12 are eligible. There are 4 parts to the application process. All parts of the application must be completed on the following Microsoft Word templates and submitted together via email to Rabbi Arnie Samlan at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Center for the Advancement of Jewish Education of Miami and the Orloff Central Agency for Jewish Education of Broward County will review all applications. Final award decisions will be made by the Eleanor M. and Herbert D. Katz Family Foundation which consists of the children and grandchildren of Eleanor Katz.
Orloff CAJE is a non-profit organization that relies on the support of people like you. You can support Jewish education for adults, teens, children and seniors throughout Broward County year round.
5890 South Pine Island Road
Davie, Florida 33328
Main Number: (954) 660-2084
Fax: (954) 660-2071