As we call for nominations for the 2013 Helen Diller Family Awards for Excellence in Jewish Education, we have asked past awardees to reflect on their experience and the impact receiving this award has had on them.
What was inspiring about winning the award?
It was inspiring to feel so valued by the Jewish community. As someone who was not born into a Jewish family and came into the Jewish community of the Bay Area through my own interest and education, it has been inspiring to feel like an integral part of my adopted community.
– Jaclyn Guzman, Kehillah Jewish High School (Day School)
What impact has it had on your life?
It has made me more confident; hold my head a little higher around my colleagues. Again, validation is priceless. When you teach from your heart you just sense you are doing the right thing, but when you receive public accolades for that work, it inspires you to do more and do even better.
– Ariana Estoque, Congregation Emanu-El (Congregation or Community School)
What inspires you most about teaching?
I am most inspired by being able to offer myself to students as a model and resource. I have had students tell me how much it helped them to have me share my struggles and how I have overcome them and being able to be that person in their life is so inspiring. I am always inspired by young people’s thought process and open-mindedness. They inspire me to be my best and to keep my mind open and to remember that I will always be a life-long learner.
– Zephira Derblich-Milea, Love Shouldn’t Hurt, a program of Shalom Bayit (Informal Education)