The Atlanta Jewish Academy honored five teachers earlier this month who had been at the school more than 30 years, including two who had been there more than 40 years.
The Masquerade Dinner of Honor was attended by a sold-out crowd of more than 300 in the school’s year-old gym, which was “transformed” for the event, said organizer Susan Moray. It was the first time the dinner was held in the gym with a special dedication in memory of Betty Minsk, a longtime AJA volunteer and community activist for whose family the gym is named. Minsk and her husband, Malcolm, donated money for the gym to be built in honor of Malcolm’s parents. Betty died in December.
The early childhood wing of AJA was dedicated in memory of her. She was a longtime teacher, volunteer and major donor, Moray said. Among her contributions to the school, Betty documented and preserved the school’s history in an AJA
flipbook. Her granddaughters gave the d’var Torah at the start of the ceremony.
The dinner of honor also named Leah Summers its first Woman of Valor, recognizing her retirement after 40 years in education, about a third of that time at the school and its predecessor Greenfield Hebrew Academy, Moray said.
“This is the first year we honored teachers who had been at the school a long time.” In the past, the dinner paid tribute to a teacher of the year and a volunteer of the year. This year, Kathy Eisenband and Leanne Kaplan, respectively, earned
Previous dinners of honor were held as part of a golf tournament, but this year those events were separated.
The other teachers honored at the dinner were: Lisa Marks, for 32 years at the school; Robyn Cooper, 34 years; Vicki Flink, 38 years; Penny Eisenstein and Rabbi Daniel Estreicher, both 43 years.