BJE educator receives $25,000 award

A 60-year-old Berkeley resident, Kelman is considered a pioneer in the field of Jewish family education.

She headed a recent fellowship program for 11 Bay Area educators, helped establish a weekend retreat for bereaved families and individuals and developed a family-history project used by sixth-grade students in at least a dozen schools.

"The purpose of Jewish family education is to get parents out of the car and into the school," she said. "And then to get the Judaism out of the school, into the car and back to the home with the family."

Besides carrying on traditions, family education also helps create community and strengthens families during difficult times, she said.

This year's other winners were Rabbi William C. Berk of Phoenix and Zipora Schorr, a day-school educator from Baltimore.