Special activities / The Trump Master Teacher Award

In Israel, there are wonderful teachers tirelessly doing their jobs, teachers who believe in their students’ abilities and encourage them to maximize their potential. The talent, knowledge, and experience of these excellent teachers are the foundation for any attempt to improve the overall quality of Israeli education. Israel needs these role models to map out a direction and a method, and for that to happen the public must be familiar with their art and better understand what constitutes effective teaching, so that the public’s trust in its teachers will grow.

Since 2012, the Trump Foundation has awarded a NIS 100,000 prize for excellence in teaching to mathematics and science teachers who exemplify excellent teaching in their own careers. The winners are selected by a committee comprised of skilled teachers, experts in teacher training, and senior Education Ministry officials on the basis of the criteria for excellence in teaching delineated by the prize committee.
Since 2019, the Trump Master Teacher Award shifted towards excellence in the teaching of mathematics and the sciences in middle schools.

Trump Award Winners

Trump Master Teacher Award Recipients for 2020

In 2020, the Trump Master Teacher Award was presented to Yifat Schechter, a mathematics teacher at the Rodman Middle School in Kiryat Yam. Honorable mentions were awarded to Orit Avital-Levi, a mathematics teachers at the Sulam Tsor Regional High School in Kibbutz Gesher Haziv and to Dana Avrian, a science teacher at the Borochov Middle School in Givatayim.

The 2020 Award Committee:
Kobi Shvarzbord, Chair, physics teacher at the Leo Baeck High School, Haifa, and recipient of the 2013 Trump Master Teacher Award
Ziwa Alush, a mathematics teacher at the Naomi Shemer High School, Gan Yavneh, and recipient of an honorable mention in the 2019 Trump Master Teacher Award
Ma’ayan Cohen Sabban, a science teacher at the Merhavim Regional High School, and recipient of an honorable mention in the 2019 Trump Master Teacher Award
Magdoleen Hizran, a mathematics teacher at the Sarisa Middle School, Yarka, and recipient of the 2019 Trump Master Teacher Award
Nelly Keller, a mathematics teacher at the Ulpana Segula School, Kiryat Motzkin, and recipient of an honorable mention in the 2014 Trump Master Teacher Award
Yossi Levanon, a biology teacher at the Dror Educational Campus, and recipient of the 2017 Trump Master Teacher Award
Niza Sion, former national mathematics instructor for middle schools at the Ministry of Education
Na’ama Tal, a mathematics teacher at the Derech Avot High School, Efrat, and recipient of an honorable mention in the 2017 Trump Master Teacher Award
Alex Vainberg, a physics teacher at the Naomi Shemer High School, Gan Yavneh, and recipient of the 2016 Trump Master Teacher Award

Trump Master Teacher Award Recipients for 2019

In 2019, Magdoleen Hizran, a mathematics teacher at the Sarisa Middle School in the Druze village of Yarka, was awarded the Trump Master Teacher Award. Magdoleen Hizran is a graduate of the Weizmann Institute of Science and is currently the mathematics department head in her school. She is frequently recording her classroom lessons with a video camera, in order to identify learning challenges among her students and to improve her response and feedback.
Honorable mentions were awarded to Ziwa Alush, a mathematics teacher at the Naomi Shemer High School in Gan Yavneh and to Ma’ayan Cohen Sabban, a science teacher at the Merhavim Regional High School.

The 2019 Award Committee:
Kobi Shvarzbord, Chair, physics teacher at the Leo Baeck High School, Haifa, and recipient of the 2013 Trump Master Teacher Award
Nelly Keller, a mathematics teacher at the Ulpana Segula School, Kiryat Motzkin, and recipient of an honorable mention in the 2014 Trump Master Teacher Award
Yossi Levanon, a biology teacher at the Dror Educational Campus, and recipient of the 2017 Trump Master Teacher Award
Roni Mualem, lecturer in physics and astronomy at the Kibbutzim College of Education, the Levinsky College of Education and the Academic College of Tel Aviv-Yafo
Niza Sion, former national mathematics instructor for middle schools at the Ministry of Education
Na’ama Tal, a mathematics teacher at the Derech Avot High School, Efrat, and recipient of an honorable mention in the 2017 Trump Master Teacher Award
Alex Vainberg, a physics teacher at the Naomi Shemer High School, Gan Yavneh, and recipient of the 2016 Trump Master Teacher Award

 

Trump Master Teacher Award Recipients for 2017


In 2017, the Trump Master Teacher Award was presented to Yossi Levanon, biology teacher at the Dror Educational Campus. Yossi has been a biology teacher for 30 years, leading the development of pedagogy and technology, and is the entrepreneur behind the successful “Biological Good Morning” project”
Honorable mentions were awarded to Michal Sigron, a physics teacher at the Kadima-Mada Kfar Silver School and to Na’ama Tal, a mathematics teacher at the Derech Avot High School in Efrat

The 2017 Award Committee:

Kobi Shvarzbord, Chair, physics teacher at the Leo Baeck High School, Haifa, and recipient of the 2013 Trump Master Teacher Award
Alex Vainberg, a physics teacher at the Naomi Shemer High School, Gan Yavneh, and recipient of the 2016 Trump Master Teacher Award
Guy Ashkenazi, chemistry teacher at the Jerusalem Arts and Sciences High School, and recipient of the 2015 Trump Master Teacher Award
Dr. Tali Devora, mathematics teacher at the Katzneslon High School, Kfar Saba, and recipient of an honorable mention in the 2015 Trump Master Teacher Award
Yaniv Sofen, mathematics teacher at Beni Akiva Yeshiva High School Or Etzion, Mercaz Shapira, and head of municipal mathematics program in Beer-Sheva
Dr. Smadar Levy, physics teacher at Hadarim High School, Hod Ha’Sharon, and recipient of the 2014 Trump Master Teacher Award

The Committee Decision to award the 2017 Trump Master Teacher Award to Yossi Levanon:

“When you enter Yossi Levanon’s classroom you do not see tables, chairs in rows, or a teacher standing next to the blackboard and dictating to the class. You see teaching at the heart of the matter. Through their experience, and discussion with one another, students gain deep insight and understanding of various topics, whether in the curriculum, or via enrichment programs at the forefront of science today. Yossi’s personal and empathetic attitude towards his students enables him to adapt the pace of learning to the needs of every student.
Yossi delivers his lessons in a unique, groundbreaking, innovative and inspiring way. A teacher who watches Yossi’s lesson will see how the class changes during the encounter – from independent scholars, to group learners, to a class in discussion. Yossi leads them to conclude what they have learned, while reaching insights and conclusions in biology. This lesson is not limited to Yossi’s field of instruction but can be adapted to any field of teaching – science, mathematics and other subjects.
Yossi’s influence extends well beyond the boundaries of his classroom and his school, reaching hundreds of science teachers and thousands of students throughout the country, whether through leading the school’s teaching staff, his involvement in the field of biology teaching, or through his membership in the Ministry of Education’s biology committee. Yossi is the founder of a national project “Biological Good Morning” – whereby, thanks to him, students and teachers across the country receive a current topic in scientific research every morning for reading and discussion.
“I set out every year on an adventure with my students,” said Yossi, “knowing where we are starting but not where we will end.” Members of the award committee would be happy to be on such a journey with our students.”
Yossi adapts his teaching methods to be relevant to his students, helps his students develop 21st century skills, and promotes the field of biology education in Israel, while influencing thousands of students. For this, Yossi is awarded the Trump Master Teacher Award 2017.”


 

Trump Master Teacher Award Recipients for 2016


The winner of the 2016 Trump Master Teacher Award is Alex Vainberg, a physics teacher at the Naomi Shemer High School in Gan Yavneh. Alex, who has served as a physics and mathematics teacher for the past 36 years, is also the leader of a teacher community under the auspices of the Weizmann Institute of Science and a mentor for new teachers. An honorable mention was awarded to Dr. Hili Marom, a mathematics teacher at the Nofei Golan High School in Katzrin, and to Gennady Akselrod, a physics teacher at the Emek Harod Multidisciplinary High School and at the Virtual High School.

The 2016 Award Committee:

Guy Ashkenazi, chemistry teacher at the Jerusalem Arts and Sciences High School, and the 2015 Trump Master Teacher Award winner
Tali Devora, mathematics teacher at the Katzneslon High School in Kfar Saba, and recipient of an honorable mention in the 2015 Trump Master Teacher Award
Yaron Lehavi, teacher trainer and developer of physics materials, Weizmann Institute and David Yellin College
Tali Nachlielli, director of the Master’s program in teaching and learning and director of the Delta Program, Levinsky College
Shlomit Amihai, former director-general of the Education Ministry, and chair of Teach First Israel
Gali Shimoni, director of mathematics at the Institute for Excellence Educators Institute, the Israeli Center for Excellence in Teaching
Michal Walter, physics teacher at the Amit Atidim Educational Campus in Or Akiva, and recipient of an honorable mention in the 2015 Trump Master Teacher Award

The Committee Decision to Award the 2016 Trump Master Teacher Award to Alex Vainberg:

With impressive expertise, Alex works magic in the worlds of mathematics and physics, casting his spell upon his students. Alex believes in his students, setting ambitious goals with them, opening before them the doors to the world of advanced science. With uncompromising professionalism, he challenges his students’ abilities and encourages them to make an effort, to persevere, and to succeed.
His mentorship program allows every student to receive unlimited assistance and all students to take shared responsibility and succeed together. People say that Alex “raises physicists” from an early age. In truth, many students flock to his class, which has over time only grown bigger. Some of his students have already begun achieving international success in the Physics Olympics.
Alex leads a regional teacher community where teachers work together to try to understand where students run into difficulties and how they think. Using sophisticated pedagogical tools, he helps his fellow teachers improve and perfect their teaching methods, thereby contributing to enhanced teacher professionalism and helping a new generation of excellent teachers to learn and advance.
For his belief in each and every student and his commitment to them all, his unparalleled professionalism, and his leadership of the teacher community, we hereby present the 2016 Trump Master Teacher Award to Alex Vainberg.

Trump Master Teacher Award Recipients for 2015

In 2015, Dr. Guy Ashkenazi, a chemistry teacher at the Jerusalem Arts and Sciences High School, was awarded the 2015 Trump Master Teacher Award. In addition to his classroom teaching, Guy is active in a professional community called “The Teacher-Researcher Program,” where he mentors young scientists who combine their academic research with high school teaching and develops learning materials.Honorable mention was awarded to Dr. Tali Devora, a math teacher at the Katzneslon High School in Kfar Saba, and Michal Walter, a physics teacher at the Amit Atidim Educational Campus in Or Akiva.

The 2015 Award Committee:

Karen Tal, Chair, former principal of the Bialik-Rogosin School in Tel Aviv
Yaron Lehavi, teacher trainer and developer of physics materials, Weizmann Institute and David Yellin College
Smadar Levi, physics teacher at Hadarim High School in Hod Hasharon and 2014 Trump Master Teacher Award winner
Tali Nahalieli, director of masters’ program in teaching and learning and director of the Delta Program, Levinsky College
Abir Abad, chemistry teacher and honorable mention in the 2012 Trump Master Teacher Award
Ofer Rimon, director of the Science and Technology Administration, Education Ministry
Kobi Schwartzbord, physics teacher at the Leo Baeck School and 2013 Trump Master Teacher Award winner
Dalit Stauber, former Director General of the Education Ministry
Gali Shimoni, director of math at the Excellence in Teaching Institute, the Israeli Center for Excellence in Teaching

The Committee Decision to Award the 2015 Trump Master Teacher Award to Dr. Guy Ashkenazi

“Guy’s teaching is an art. He plans his lessons with remarkable precision. In his classroom, students are challenged with complex tasks that help them think independently and critically. They are given individual and group assignments that help Guy diagnose every student’s way of thinking and allow him to adapt his teaching to a student’s needs. Step by step, Guy’s students walk in the footsteps of groundbreaking researchers; they recreate experiments and discoveries that changed the world. He arouses his students’ curiosity, teaches them not to take anything for granted, and helps them understand the subject in depth. For his combination of scientific research with classroom teaching, for his uncompromising pedagogical professionalism, for providing a personal attitude that is tolerant and accepting, and for nurturing knowledge and commitment among his students and teaching colleagues, we hereby present the Trump Master Teacher Award to Dr. Guy Ashkenazi.”

Trump Master Teacher Award Recipients for 2014

In 2014, Smadar Levi, a physics teacher at Hadarim High School in Hod Hasharon and instructor of physic teacher community leaders at the Weizmann Institute of Science, was awarded the Trump Master Teacher Award.Honorable mention was awarded to Nelly Keler, a math teacher at the Segula Ulpana for Girls in Kiryat Motzkin, and Dr. Amnon Yosef, a physics and philosophy teacher at the Lehman High School in Dimona.
The 2014 Award Committee:
Karen Tal, Chair, former principal of the Bialik-Rogosin School in Tel Aviv
Dalit Stauber, former Director General of the Education Ministry
Avraham Harkavi, researcher of math instruction, Weizmann Institute of Science
Yaron Lehavi, teacher trainer and developer of physics materials, Weizmann Institute and David Yellin College
Yoni Amir, teacher trainer and developer of math materials, Weizmann Institute and Bar-Ilan University
Abir Abed, chemistry teacher and honorable mention in the 2012 Trump Master Teacher Award
Ofer Rimon, director of the Science and Technology Administration, Education Ministry
Kobi Schwartzbord, physics teacher at the Leo Baeck School and 2013 Trump Master Teacher Award winner
The Committee Decision to Award the 2014 Trump Master Teacher Award to Smadar Levi:
“In Smadar Levi’s classroom, the students think, do, and experience physics. They sit in their chairs, wander up to the board, stand on their desks, and skateboard around the courtyard – all to see if Newton was right.
“Smadar Levi thus arouses her students’ curiosity and excitement, motivates them to think deeply, make an effort, and persevere, and imbues them with a thirst for the truth and the importance of casting doubt.
“Likewise, she also succeeds in assessing the abilities, difficulties, thought-patterns, and progress of each and every student, and can apply the most suitable teaching method to each one of them. For her integration of teaching methods that encourage many students to work hard and succeed, for leading physics teachers in Israel to assume shared responsibility for improving the quality of their teaching, for her combination of scientific and educational research with classroom teaching, and for her uncompromising professionalism, educational excellence, and good-humored manner, we hereby present the Trump Master Teacher Award to Ms. Semadar Levi.”

Trump Master Teacher Award Recipients for 2013

In 2013, Kobi Schwartzbord, a physics teacher at the Leo Baeck High School in Haifa was awarded the Trump Master Teacher Award. At the official ceremony held at the Prime Minister’s Office, the prize was awarded by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Education Minister Rabbi Shai Piron.

Honorable mention was awarded to Iris Kahana, a math teacher at the Sharet School in Netanya, and Danny Ovadia, a physics teacher at the Misgav Upper School and the Virtual High School.

The 2013 Award Committee:

 

Karen Tal, Chair, former principal of the Bialik-Rogosin School in Tel Aviv
Dalit Stauber, former Director General of the Education Ministry
Avraham Harkavi, researcher of math instruction, Weizmann Institute of Science
Yaron Lehavi, teacher trainer and developer of physics materials, Weizmann Institute and David Yellin College
Yoni Amir, teacher trainer and developer of math materials, Weizmann Institute and Bar-Ilan University
Abir Abed, chemistry teacher and honorable mention in the 2012 Trump Master Teacher Award

 

The Committee Decision to Award the 2013 Trump Master Teacher Award to Kobi Schwartzbord:

“In Kobi Schwartzbord’s classroom, the students and their learning are central. They receive individual and group assignments; they experiment together, debate one another, learn from their mistakes, and attain insights, all while dealing with complex, challenging scientific issues. With acceptance and a cheerful demeanor, Kobi Schwartzbord succeeds in understanding the thought-patterns, learning styles, and learning speeds of each and every student, while diagnosing their difficulties and providing individual responses in real time. For integrating personal attention based on the belief that every student can succeed, for adapting teaching methods to his students’ needs and abilities, for creating a class atmosphere that encourages participation and debate, and for uncompromising professionalism and educational excellence, we hereby present the Trump Master Teacher Award to Mr. Kobi Schwartzbord.”

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Trump Master Teacher Award Recipients for 2012

In 2012, Nikolai Schwarz, a physics teacher and the coordinator of the science and engineering track at the ORT Comprehensive High School in Arad, was awarded the Trump Master Teacher Award.

The prize was awarded by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Education Minister Gideon Sa’ar. Honorable mention was awarded to Dr. Abir Abed, a chemistry teacher at the Galilee High School in Nazareth, and Eyal Sinai, a physics teacher at the Rabin Municipal High School 2 in Modi’in. The teachers received a great deal of attention via the prize’s Facebook page, which was filled with hundreds of moving responses and enthusiastic recommendations for the teachers from past and current students.

The 2012 Award Committee:

Karen Tal, Chair, former principal of the Bialik-Rogosin School in Tel Aviv
Michal Beller, Director General of the National Testing and Assessment Authority
Avraham Harkavi, researcher of math instruction, Weizmann Institute of Science
Yaron Lehavi, teacher trainer and developer of physics materials, Weizmann Institute and David Yellin College
Ron Leshem, author and screenwriter
Yoni Amir, teacher trainer and developer of math materials, Weizmann Institute and Bar-Ilan University
Asher Kravitz, physics teacher and author
Ofer Rimon, director of the Science and Technology Administration, Education Ministry
Dalit Stauber, Director General of the Education Ministry

The Committee Decision to Award the 2012 Trump Master Teacher Award to Nikolai Schwartz:

“In Nikolai Schwartz’s classroom, the students and their learning are central. They receive individual and group assignments; they experiment together, debate one another, learn from their mistakes, and attain insights, all while dealing with complex, challenging scientific issues. Nikolai Schwartz prepares his students for breakthrough achievements.

For them, he arranges learning encounters and cooperative educational ventures with engineers working in different industries and with Air Force pilots. And as if that weren’t enough, in recent years Nikolai Schwartz has also served as the head of the Israeli student delegation that achieved impressive results in the International Space Olympics.

For integrating personal attention based on the belief that every student can succeed, for adapting teaching methods to his students’ needs and abilities, for creating a class atmosphere that encourages participation and debate, and for interdisciplinary and multicultural educational initiatives, we hereby present the Trump Master Teacher Award to Mr. Nikolai Schwarz.”