Metuka Benjamin, Director of Education at Stephen S. Wise Temple and Schools and Milken Community High School, received the American Jewish Distinguished Service Award at HUC-JIR’s Graduation Ceremony in Los Angeles. The convocation took place on Monday, May 14, 2012 at 3 p.m. at the College-Institute’s Jack H. Skirball Campus, 3077 University Avenue.
Born in Tel Aviv, Benjamin became a founder of the Stephen S. Wise Temple educational system in 1964. Under her leadership, the early childhood center, elementary school, religious school, and Milken Community High School have become the largest and most comprehensive Jewish educational system in the country, boasting nearly 1,500 graduates.
A committed Zionist, Benjamin conceived the Tiferet Program, the most in-depth Israel educational experience and program offered to Diaspora Day School students throughout the Jewish world. She is International President of Assaf Harofeh Medical Center in Israel and is involved with the Atidim program as well as the Ayalim program in the Negev.
Benjamin has been named Teacher of the Year by the Bureau of Jewish Education of Greater Los Angeles (now known as Builders of Jewish Education) and received the Milken Family Foundation Educator Award. She has been honored with the Dr. Jaimie Constantiner Award in Jewish Education from Tel Aviv University and received an honorary doctorate from the American Jewish University.
Benjamin graduated from the Columbia University-Jewish Theological Seminary combined program, where she received an M.A. in Education.