Helen Diller Family Award for Excellence in Jewish Education


Established in January 2001, the Helen Diller Family Award for Excellence in Jewish Education recognize and honor educators offering pre-collegiate programs in Jewish education who have made an extraordinary impact on the youth of our community. Categories include early childhood, day school, congregational or community school, and informal education (outside of a classroom). An award of $10,000 will be given to an educator in each category, and each awardee's institution will also receive $2,500. Read personal stories of some of our recipients.

Nomination guidelines, procedures, and forms

Deadline: Monday, March 4, 2019



  • The award is meant to honor classroom teachers and informal educators. Administrators, principals, and those whose primary responsibility is not teaching students do not qualify. Contact hours with students must exceed other institutional responsibilities.
  • Nominees must exemplify excellence in teaching.
  • Nominees must currently be teaching in a program of pre-collegiate Jewish education within the Bay Area.
  • Nominees must have worked in the field of Jewish education for a minimum of three years. They need not be Jewish, but must transmit Jewish knowledge and values. Nominations are encouraged from all religious streams and from all formal and informal institutional frameworks.
  • Nominees in informal education should work outside of a school setting (i.e. JCCs, camps, youth groups, museums, libraries, and other cultural institutions transmitting Jewish identity) and in a position where teaching is the primary job function.
  • Educators can be nominated no more than three years in a row.
  • A nominator may nominate only one person for a Diller Award each year.

Nomination procedure

  • Nominators must be a candidate's current supervisor, school principal or institutional director. The nominator’s statement should describe a nominee's accomplishments and explain why the nominee merits a Diller Award. Nominators may submit the Nominator’s Form by mail or online.
  • The nominator is requested to notify the candidate of his or her nomination and to give the candidate a Nominee's Print Form or direct the nominee to the Nominee’s Online Form. This form requests biographical information, including statements of motivation and purpose.
  • The nominator is also asked to solicit two letters of support for the nominee. Letter of Support Forms should be completed by parents, colleagues, current or former students, or members of the community who have worked directly with the nominee. Nominators should not request both letters from the same group. Letters of support should give concrete examples of a nominee's effectiveness and impact on students inside and outside the classroom. Letters of support may be submitted online.
  • The nominator may submit the application online. A complete application consists of:
  • Nominators are responsible for making sure that the complete application has been submitted by Monday, March 4, 2019.

Selection procedure

  • All applications will be reviewed by the Diller Awards for Excellence in Jewish Education Selection Committee, comprised of educators and lay leaders from the Jewish community who have a long-standing interest and involvement in Jewish education.
  • During the review process, additional information may be requested.
  • A final determination will be made around late May, and award recipients will be honored at a Jewish community event.
  • Please note that eligible applicants will also be placed into a nomination pool for the Grinspoon Award for Excellence in Jewish Education
  • Please address questions to Adam Weisberg or by phone at 415.512.6206.