29th Covenant Awards Gala

October 18, 2020
A Virtual Celebration in Honor of Jewish Educators and Jewish Education

About the Celebration

This year our community joins together virtually to honor three extraordinary Jewish educators. While we cannot celebrate face to face, what you will experience is incredibly special and no less heartfelt. Your presence will make the evening complete.

Through the Covenant Awards, the Pomegranate Prize, and the Covenant Grant programs, the Foundation strives to define Jewish education in its broadest possible terms and support imaginative and inspired approaches to Jewish learning. Award recipients and grantees span Jewish denominations, geographic regions, and educational settings.

We are delighted to have the opportunity to celebrate the achievements of three outstanding Jewish educators, and you—an amazing network of teachers, clergy, philanthropists, lay leaders, administrators, and friends. For more information about the Foundation, including Grant application and Award nomination guidelines, please visit our website at www.covenantfn.org.

“By stimulating the hearts and minds of learners of all ages, educators make an essential contribution to Jewish vitality. The Covenant Awards celebrate that contribution by publicly recognizing the work of three outstanding educators each year.” Cheryl R. Finkel, Board Chair of The Covenant Foundation


Sunday, October 18, 2020
1 Cheshvan 5781
7:00 – 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time
Lights, Camera, Action…Zoom!

Richard Saudek


Barbara Goodman Manilow


Lester Crown

Musical Interlude

Oren Kaunfer, Natan Kuchar, Alicia Jo Rabins, & Karina Zilberman

Host For The Evening

Cheryl R. Finkel

Presentation of the 2020 Covenant Awards

Jordan Goodman, Keating Crown, & Steven Crown

The 2020 Covenant Award Recipients
Three short films by Ilana Trachtman

Maxine Segal Handelman
Nominated by Rabbi Michael S. Siegel

Russel M. Neiss
Nominated by Rabbi Charlie Schwartz

Amanda Pogany
Nominated by Dr. Tamara Mann Tweel

Announcement of the
2020 Pomegranate Prize Recipients

Danielle Rudas Goodman

A Special Blessing for All of the
Incredible Jewish Educators in this World

Karina Zilberman

Raising Our Voices

Koolulam and the Covenant Family

Please join us for a concert with Koolulam immediately following the Awards celebration.

The Mime And The Pomegranate

Episode 4: Elevator

Episode 3: Restaurant
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Episode 2: Magician
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Episode 1: Tug of War
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For all that you do

In recognition of all of you, outstanding Jewish educators and Jewish education champions who will be celebrating with your friends and families, a donation is being made to the Marla Bennett (z”l) Fellowship Fund.
Marla Bennett (z”l)

Marla Bennett, z”l, a native of San Diego, graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, in 2000. A friend of this year’s Covenant Award recipients Amanda Pogany and Russel Neiss, Marla was pursuing a master’s degree in Judaic Studies in Jerusalem when she was killed on July 31, 2002, in a terrorist attack at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Inspired by her love of Jewish learning, Israel, and Jewish life, Marla’s friends and family established the Marla Bennett (z”l) Fellowship Fund in 2009. The Marla Bennett Fellowship is given to one U.C. Berkeley student each year. Fellows spend the summer advancing their Jewish learning and developing their relationship with Israel while studying at the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem. During their time abroad, Fellows learn about Marla from her faculty and friends in Israel. Each year, the Fellow completes a short biography, personal statement, and journal entries that are placed into a binder as an ongoing legacy of Marla Bennett. Upon returning to U.C. Berkeley, each fellow plans a day of Jewish learning for the whole community in Marla’s memory.

The Marla Bennett (z”l) Fellowship Fund has enabled Berkeley Hillel to send 11 students to study in Israel in Marla’s memory. In the coming years, Berkeley Hillel hopes to bring together all the Fellows for a day of reflection, celebration, and learning.

Learn more about the Fellowship Fund at berkeleyhillel.org/marlabennett.

  • Berkeley Hillel