Netzach Teacher Receives Excellence Award

Rabbi Yakov Shofnos Presentation at Ministry of Education 21-4-24

Yakov Shofnos, the Guidance Counsellor at Netzach Yisroel Boys Elementary School in Beit Shemesh, has been awarded a Teacher’s Day Excellence Prize by Israel’s Education Minister for supporting students whose relatives are serving in the IDF.

To mark Israel’s Teacher’s Day, 41 educators from around the country were selected to receive a Certificate of Excellence for their contributions to the war effort. Rabbi Yakov Shofnos was one of those chosen because of the support system that he created to support local families with relatives serving in the IDF.

Together with Mrs. Leah Fialkoff, a parent from the school, Rabbi Shofnos has raised money to fund the distribution of weekly care packages to the families of their students whose fathers or brothers are on active service, including gifts for the wives and children. He and his volunteers also offer to babysit, run errands, and provide other support to these families.

Rabbi Shofnos explains: “We created this support system for families in our school community in order to strengthen the home front, so that the soldiers can do what is necessary without worrying about their children, and for the well-being of the children in our school.”

Every year on May 21, the education system celebrates ‘National Teacher’s Day’ by recognizing the contributions of men and women who are engaged in educating Israel’s next generation. This year, in view of the “Iron Swords” war, Teacher’s Day is dedicated both to honoring the teachers who mobilized and joined the war effort, and commemorating teachers who were murdered during the war. The awards recognize 41 teachers who have been helping students who were evacuated from their homes, separated from their friends and displaced from their community, supported hundreds of students who lost family members, and  helped students who have returned from Hamas captivity.

Michael Nachtiler, CEO of the Netzach Educational Network said: “Rabbi Shofnos and his colleagues were selected for this accolade because Netzach Yisroel is a Mamlachti Charedi school in a largely Haredi neighborhood, so their engagement with school families affected by the war really stands out. We are proud of all the teachers and volunteers at the school, and the donors who have made this wonderful project possible over the past 7 months.”

Education Minister Yoav Kish said: “I congratulate the outstanding men and women educators who, in our most difficult hour, rallied to contribute to the war effort and help the education system deal with the difficult challenges it faces as a result of the events of October 7th and the “Iron Swords” war. You inspire us enormously and give us hope for a better future.”

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