YU Alumnus Awarded Pomegranate Prize

Rabbi Yigal Sklarin ’02YC, ’07R, ’11BR Wins Prestigious Prize for Leading Jewish Educators

Yeshiva University alumnus Rabbi Yigal Sklarin ’02YC, ’07R, ’11BR was recently awarded the prestigious Pomegranate Prize from the Covenant Foundation, which recognizes five passionate and talented emerging leaders in Jewish education who have been working in the field for 10 years or less.

Rabbi Yigal Sklarin (right), recipient of the Pomegranate Prize, with Eli Evans, chairman of the Covenant Foundation

Rabbi Yigal Sklarin (right), recipient of the Pomegranate Prize, with Eli Evans, chairman of the Covenant Foundation

Sklarin earned his BA in history from Yeshiva College, where he received the Max and Sophie Manicoff Award for Excellence in Talmud. He received semicha [rabbinic ordination] from YU-affiliated Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary and was a member of the Wexner Kollel Elyon. He also completed an MA from the Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies, where he is now pursuing a PhD in Modern Jewish History.

“It is very humbling to be in the company of educators who have accomplished so much,” said Sklarin. “I look forward to being part of the cohort at the Covenant Foundation, including the past Covenant awardees and Pomegranate Prize recipients, and learning from the talented field of educators.”

Established in 2011, the annual Pomegranate Prize awards $15,000 to each recipient to invest in educational projects and help them make an impact in their communities and in Jewish education. Members of the cohort are involved in professional development and leadership programs, peer-to-peer gatherings and other educator initiatives, and connect with top educators through events sponsored by the Foundation over a three-year period.

“We know that encouragement in a person’s career can make all the difference in their success,” said James Crown, one of the founders of the Covenant Foundation. “Our goal is to provide the means for those already remarkable educators to further develop their skills and interests, and have the chance to get to know others who, like themselves, are bringing fresh new ideas and abundant energy to the field of Jewish education.”

Sklarin teaches Talmud and Jewish History at The Ramaz Upper School in Manhattan and also serves as director of interdisciplinary studies. He is a guest lecturer throughout the New York metropolitan area and has edited and published numerous books and articles for various publications.

Sklarin expressed his profound gratitude to Yeshiva University, and particularly his teachers and rebbeim, for advising him and serving as spiritual role models during the 16 years he has been affiliated with the school and as he built his career as an educator.

“Yeshiva has been my academic home since 1998, when I entered the Israel program and attended Yeshivat Sha’alvim,” he said. “The personalities that had the biggest educational influence on my life were my teachers and mentors at Yeshiva. Rabbi Herschel Schachter taught me about the breadth of Torah knowledge and how to make connections between different areas in Torah. Rabbi Mordechai Willig and Rabbi Michael Rosensweig were very influential in my growth while in was in the Kollel Elyon. Similarly, Rabbi Norman Lamm was very encouraging as I was deciding to go into the field of education, and Rabbi Jacob J. Schacter has offered continual guidance in my professional and academic life. Lastly, Dean David Berger at Revel has been wonderfully encouraging and understanding, allowing me to balance my job at Ramaz while pursuing my PhD. I am very appreciative of how Yeshiva has nurtured me and been part of my life for so long.”

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