Diller Educator Awards Reception

May 18, 2023
5:00 PM - 7:00 PM
Helen Diller Floor at Jewish Community Federation and Endowment Fund
San Francisco
Free to attend


Join Us to Honor the 2023 Award Recipients



The community is invited to honor the outstanding educators receiving the 2023 Diller Educator Award and Diller Prize for Distinguished Lifetime Achievement.

Guest Speaker: Josh Foer, journalist and best-selling author

This year's recipients are:

Quelise Schroeder in the Early Childhood Education category;
Tamar Rabinowitz in the Day School category;
Cantor Doron Shapira in the Congregational and Supplementary category;
Morgan Blum Schneider in the Jewish Communal and Experiential category; and
Janet Harris with the Diller Prize for Distinguished Lifetime Achievement. 

Read our press release to learn more about each of our recipients. 



Interests: Families
Organized By: 
Jewish Community Federation and Endowment Fund
Helen Diller Family Foundation
Event Contact Person: 
Madeleine Simpson
Josh Foer, Journalist and Author
On average, people squander forty days annually compensating for
things they’ve forgotten. Joshua Foer used to be one of those people.
But after just one year of intensive memory training, Foer won the U.S.
Memory Championship and competed internationally. Under the
tutelage of top “mental athletes,” he learned ancient techniques once
employed by Cicero to memorize his speeches and by Medieval scholars
to memorize entire books. Named “One of Ten People Who Could
Change the World” by The New Statesman, Foer found a vital truth we
too often forget: in every way, we are the sum of our memories.
Foer’s unique and acclaimed book, Moonwalking with Einstein,
became a #1 Amazon best-seller just days after publication. Drawing on cutting-edge research, a
surprising cultural history of memory, and venerable tricks of the mentalist’s trade, Moonwalking with
Einstein challenges our understanding of human remembering. Foer’s unlikely
journey from chronically forgetful science journalist to U.S. Memory Champion
explores the vast, hidden impact of memory on every aspect of personal and
professional lives.
In connection with the importance of remembering the past, in 2013 Foer
launched Sefaria, the digital home for the Jewish canon and the platform for
the future of Jewish commentary and publishing. Voted one of the “50 Most
Influential Jewish Leaders” by The Forward, Foer is also the co-founder of
Sukkah City, one of the largest architectural design competitions of the last
twenty years, which attempted to re-imagine 3,000-year old ritual Jewish huts.
In September 2016, wonderlust meets wanderlust in an extraordinary new travel book, Atlas Obscura.
Created by the founders of AtlasObscura.com, the vibrant online destination and community with over 3
million visitors a month, Atlas Obscura is the bucket-list guide to over 700 of the most unusual, curious,
bizarre, and mysterious places on earth.
Janet Harris, Diller Prize for Distinguished Lifetime Achievement
A nationally recognized leader in Early Childhood Jewish Education, for over 45 years, Janet has championed programs that build community, engage families, and foster social justice. “Janet is a courageous, bold, and connected leader who has been working tirelessly to underscore and support young children, their families, and the field of ECE,” wrote her nominator. They said that Janet’s impact extends beyond the field of Early Childhood education, noting that “Janet’s work consistently fans out and impacts every Bay Area Jewish day school, synagogue, and camp and, in turn, the well-being of the entire Jewish community.” Janet has described being a Jewish educator as core to her identity and a true “vocational calling.”
Quelise Schroeder, Master Teacher, APJCC Preschool at Jewish Silicon Valley, Los Gatos
A Bay Area native, Quelise has been a Jewish educator at APJCC Preschool for 19 years. Her investment and connection to Judaism has grown alongside her students. Her nominator wrote that Quelise goes “out of her way to support each young learner, gaining insight into their specific interests and finds ways to elevate their confidence, independence, and uniqueness.” Quelise is known for bringing her creativity into the classroom; she has “created and performed puppet shows with Judaic content for the entire school community. These include plays written for Jewish holidays but also feature well-known stories like The Three Little Pigs or The Paper Bag Princess,” said her nominator. Quelise played an instrumental role in shaping and designing the Master Teacher program at APJCC, which enriches educators through mentorship and professional development workshops.
Tamar Rabinowitz, Dean of Jewish Studies & Hebrew, Jewish Community High School of the Bay, San Francisco
Raised on the outskirts of Cape Town, South Africa, Tamar attended Jewish day school and traces her deep love for Jewish prayer and Torah to early experiences of attending synagogue with her father. At Hebrew University, Tamar received a degree in Jewish History and a graduate degree in Jewish education. Tamar has been in Jewish education for 20 years. She worked and studied in Israel, New Zealand, and Washington D.C. before moving to San Francisco where she is the Dean of Jewish Studies & Hebrew at the Jewish Community High School of the Bay. “Tamar teaches the capacity to appreciate nuance as both an outlook and a skill,” said her nominator. “Her approach resonates powerfully and developmentally with high school students. She uses encouragement, empowerment, and enthusiasm to motivate student growth and learning. She draws relatable examples and inspiring stories from our tradition to inform her teaching.”
Cantor Doron Shapira, Cantor/Educator, Peninsula Sinai Congregation, Foster City
Raised in San Francisco by Israeli parents, Doron grew up with Jewish and Israeli music and culture. For over 40 years, Doron has worked within the Bay Area Jewish community. “What makes Cantor Doron the consummate educator is not only his ability to impart knowledge but, probably more importantly, the example that he sets for meaningful life-long learning,” said a congregant. Another student and congregant described that “if you have had the honor of witnessing him teach, you know his extensive knowledge and passion for Judaism allows him to engage and connect with any age group.”
Morgan Blum Schneider, Director, Jewish Family & Children's Services Holocaust Center, San Francisco
A third-generation Bay Area native, Morgan is driven by values instilled in her by her grandmother—support and invest in family, community, and society. These values have led her to work in the Jewish community for 25 years. “Morgan is deeply passionate about Jewish values and service, which she exemplifies via role modeling when leading workshops and study tours to Europe and Israel, when she helps students recognize and confront antisemitism, and in her own education,” said her nominator. “To Morgan, the most essential element of her work is empowering young people to proactively confront hatred and antisemitism so that we can stop discrimination in its tracks.” Morgan is a member of Congregation Rodef Shalom where she and her family continue their Jewish Studies.