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Local educator, author receives Covenant Award
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Local educator, author receives Covenant Award

Michelle Shapiro-Abraham, left, displays her Covenant Award for Excellence in Jewish Education with Temple Sholom past president Sandra Nussenfeld, who submitted the nomination.
Michelle Shapiro-Abraham, left, displays her Covenant Award for Excellence in Jewish Education with Temple Sholom past president Sandra Nussenfeld, who submitted the nomination.

MICHELLE SHAPIRO Abraham, a member of and former director of education at Temple Sholom of Scotch Plains-Fanwood last month received the Covenant Award for Excellence in Jewish Education during the Jewish Federations of North America’s General Assembly in Washington, DC.

Abraham is now director of program development for the Campaign for Youth Engagement at the Union for Reform Judaism, a consultant for the Foundation for Jewish Camp, and a clinical faculty member of the Executive Master of Arts in Jewish Education Program at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion.

Abraham spent 12 years as the director of education at Temple Sholom, where she developed an innovative approach to family and congregational learning.

Abraham said, “Whether it’s a little girl who is learning to spell with her fingers in sand, or a child who needs us to reimagine Jewish summer camp to meet his interests; whether it’s parents who drifted away from Jewish education and are looking for new approaches to synagogue learning, or teens who left after b’nei mitzva and want to reconnect, we need to not only accept these differences, we need to celebrate them.”

The nomination cited several programs that Abraham created at Temple Sholom, such as the trimester system, the Family Track Program, the open Hebrew curriculum, and the post-Bar/Bat Mitzvah Jewish University program.

Active in her local community, Abraham participates in Temple Sholom’s Mitzvah Day and is the founding chair of the Scotch Plains-Fanwood Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service. 

She is the author of children’s books, including Shavua Tov! (A Good Week) and My Cousin Tamar Lives In Israel, and has also developed such summer programs as URJ’s specialty camps, the Six Points Sports Academy, and Six Points Sci Tech Academy.

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