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START Alumni Honored at 2022 Pomegranate Prize Event in Chicago

This article was originally published by The Covenant Foundation on October 31, 2022

Image Description: 2022 Pomegranate Prize recipients with Covenant Board member Deborah S. Meyer. From left: Rabbi Tzvi Hametz, Lisa Sheps, Liana Wertman, Yoshi Silverstein, Jonathan Shmidt Chapman, and Deborah S. Meyer. (The Covenant Foundation)


Five emerging Jewish educators received the 2022 Pomegranate Prize at a ceremony hosted by The Covenant Foundation in Chicago. The recipients join a cohort of 55 outstanding future leaders in the field of Jewish education.


The two START Alumni are Jonathan Shmidt Chapman, Founder and Theater Artist, The K'ilu Company, and Yoshi Silverstein, Founder and Executive Director of Mitsui Collective, Shaker Heights, OH.


The Pomegranate Prize is designed to honor emerging leaders who have been in the field of Jewish education for up to 10 years. Over a three-year period, each cohort has multiple opportunities to connect with thought leaders and extraordinary educators from across the spectrum of Jewish life. The Covenant Foundation aims to nurture Pomegranate Prize recipients in an intentional way and empower them to take risks and make a difference in the field of Jewish education.


Jonathan Shmidt Chapman is a theater artist and the founder of The K'ilu Company, creating projects that activate Jewish early childhood education through theater and imaginative play. He is the creator of K'ilu Kits (interactive audio adventures that bring Jewish holiday stories to life) and Play-Along Parsha (a resource for 3 to 6-year-olds and their families to engage creatively with the weekly Torah portion). He is also the founding project director of Aggadah Adventures at Congregation Beit Simchat Torah. Jonathan was a part of the inaugural cohort of the Mandel Institute's Jewish Education Leadership Program and is a recipient of The Jewish Education Project's Young Pioneers Award, a Glean Network START Fellow, and an International Asylum Arts Fellow. He currently serves on the theater faculty at Northwestern University.


Yoshi Silverstein is the founder and Executive Director of Mitsui Collective, which builds resilient community through embodied Jewish practice and somatic antiracism. Selected as a 2021 "Grist 50 Fixer" building a more just and equitable future, Yoshi's work seeks to nourish body and soul through meaning-making, purposeful connection, and creative expression. A Chinese Ashkenazi American Jew, Yoshi is also an active advocate and educated in the Jews of Color community. Formerly Director of the JOFEE Fellowship at Hazon, he is a Senior Schusterman Fellow, sits on the Board of Directors for Repair the World, and is an alumnus of Selah, the Dorot Fellowship, and the Jewish Pedagogies Fellowship with M2: The Institute for Experiential Jewish Education.


Learn more about our START Alumni and START program announcements.