About The Kohelet Prize
The Kohelet Prize was awarded annually to six educators or teams of educators who demonstrated extraordinary accomplishment in one of the six core elements of progressive Jewish education listed below. Winners received a $36,000 unrestricted cash prize for The Kohelet Prizes for Interdisciplinary Integration, Real World Learning, Learning Environment, Differentiated Instruction and Development of Critical and / or Creative Thinking, Risk Taking and Failure (2017-18) and $18,000 for the Kohelet Prize for a New Iteration of Existing Entry (2019).
Entries demonstrated a model that had already been implemented in the classroom. Winners were selected by a panel of judges in the fields of education, psychology and neuroscience, identified by the Kohelet Foundation. Entries were judged on their innovation, replicability, and impact. Strong entries included impact on students, teacher reflections, and examples of student work.
Kohelet Prize Judges
- Judges for the 2016-2017 Kohelet Prize: Steve Lorch, Jamie Field Baker, Rina Hoffman, Barry Kislowicz, Shmuel Mandelman, Rona Novick, Gil Perl, and Rebecca Ruffo-Tepper
- Judges for the 2017-18 Kohelet Prize: Jamie Field Baker, Rina Hoffman, Barry Kislowicz, Ben Kornell, Shmuel Mandelman, Rona Novick, Gil Perl, and Rebecca Ruffo-Tepper
- Judges for the 2018-19 Kohelet Prize: Jamie Field Baker, Rina Hoffman, Barry Kislowicz, Ben Kornell, Rona Novick, Gil Perl, Rebecca Ruffo-Tepper, Bryna Leider and Noam Weissman.
Kohelet Prize Categories
The Kohelet Prize for Interdisciplinary Integration
Awarded for excellence in integrating multiple disciplines in a single multi-week unit. Preference given to units which incorporated Judaic Studies and General Studies and involved multiple faculty members.
The Kohelet Prize for Real-World Learning
Awarded for the creation and implementation of exemplary learning experiences that help students break down the barriers between school and the world around them. Preference given to experiences that demonstrably heightened student motivation for learning and increased ability to apply knowledge in a real-world setting.
The Kohelet Prize for Learning Environment
Awarded for the creation of an innovative physical learning environment that promotes academic, social, emotional or spiritual growth. To qualify, the learning environment must be in use, by students, for a minimum of six months.
The Kohelet Prize for Differentiated Instruction
Awarded for the creation and implementation of innovative and effective means of differentiating instruction for a diverse student body within a single class environment. Preference given to methods and approaches that spanned more than one traditional grade level, can be used in multiple contexts for a variety of subject areas, and which demonstrated the utmost sensitivity to student self-confidence and self-image.
The Kohelet Prize for Development of Critical and / or Creative Thinking
Awarded for excellence in facilitating student success at the upper three echelons of Bloom’s Revised Taxonomy: Analysis, Evaluation, and Creation. Preference given to approaches that are scalable across multiple developmental levels and replicable across multiple disciplines.
The Kohelet Prize for Risk Taking and Failure
Awarded for a failed project or initiative that falls into any of the five categories above. Preference given to failures that resulted in lessons that are applicable and relevant to a broad spectrum of educators across subject areas and grade levels. Awarded in 2016-17 and 2017-18.
The Kohelet Prize for a New Iteration of an Existing Entry
Awarded for the implementation of a project, unit, or learning experience that improves upon a previous entry to the Kohelet Prize. The new entry may be applied to a different age level or subject matter, may significantly widen or narrow the focus of a project, or may take the original idea in a new direction. The new entry was judged on the ingenuity and creativity of the new use. The new entry was also judged based on the criteria of the category into which it was entered - either into the original entry’s category or a different category of the entrant’s choice. The award for this prize was $18,000. Awarded in 2018-19.