Michelle Shapiro Abraham
Michelle Shapiro Abraham currently serves as Director of Program Development for the Campaign for Youth Engagement at the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ), as well as a consultant for the Foundation for Jewish Camp, and a clinical faculty member in the HUC-JIR Executive Master’s Program in Jewish Education.
Abraham is a 1996 graduate of HUC-JIR’s Rhea Hirsch School of Education (RHSOE) and has worked in the field of Jewish education for over 20 years. Her roles encompass being the author of children’s books and siddurim, a writer of curricula, director of a synagogue school, mentor to educators and youth directors, and creator of summer camping programs, among others. She is the editor of Mishkan T'filah for Children: A Siddur for Families and Schools for grades K-2 and the co-editor of Mishkan T’filah: Journal Edition. Her multi-faceted professional career reflects that Jewish education transcends labels, boundaries, and silos to make lasting impressions and generate short— and long—term rewards.
Prior to joining the URJ, Abraham served as Director of Education at Temple Sholom in Fanwood, NJ for twelve years. There she designed and supervised educational approaches and programming for nearly 140 students in the religious school and for the congregation as a whole. She launched a markedly successful approach to family and congregational learning that engages the entire synagogue in the same topics concurrently, fortifying community and cross-generational ties.
Abraham was one of three visionary educators named as the 2015 recipients of The Covenant Award for excellence in the field. The Foundation stated that “Abraham demonstrates the power of inspired Jewish education to create change and drive impact.” Its chairman lauded Abraham for elevating and inspiring the field “with unwavering devotion, strong leadership, sacred obligation to the future, and dynamic approaches that fuel individual community enrichment, cohesion, and growth”.
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