Award for educators to bear name of beloved teacher

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Avi West, center, was one of the Washington-area Jewish community’s senior educators. (courtesy of The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington)

Family and friends of the late master teacher Avi West wish to perpetuate his legacy by offering an annual grant to Jewish educators in the Washington region.

“It’s Amazing,” his daughter Liron Silbert said speaking on the groups efforts. “And it shows the tremendous impact my dad had on Jewish life and learning in the community.”


The Avi West Jewish Educator Award will be given to one exemplary local Jewish educator who exemplifies “Avi’s character, his love of Jewishness, Israel, and every Jewish individual, and who has had a substantial impact on their students/community,” according to the endowment prospectus.

Colleagues, peers or organizations can nominate a candidate, then the teacher will submit a brief description of how they would use the fund money to impact the community. Finally, a selection group of West family members, Jewish educators and others will choose the awardee.

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“He really wanted to let people from all walks of Earth learn in creative ways. By creating this fund, we’re hoping that educators want to continue that on,” Silbert said.

West died Aug. 4, 2021, at the age of 68, of complications from COVID-19. He served as the director of educational resources for the Bureau of Jewish Education from 1978 to 2013, then as the senior education officer and master teacher for The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington.


The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington is currently gathering donations for the endowment. CEO Gil Preuss said the Federation is honored to help the West family and friends.

“For decades, Avi West, z”l, played a transformative and inspirational role, personally and professionally, as our community’s beloved Master Teacher. We can think of no better way to champion Avi’s legacy than by uplifting our community’s exemplary Jewish educators,” he said.

To learn more about the award, and to donate head to shalomdc.org/avi-west-endowment/

[email protected]

See also: For some, Avi West was the perfect teacher

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