EI Executive Board member and president of the American Federation of Teachers, Edward J McElroy has been honoured as the first recipient of the Yitzhak Rabin Education Leadership Award at a dinner in Washington, D.C.
The award, sponsored by the Yitzhak Rabin Centre, recognises individuals who demonstrate the ideals of Israeli Prime Minister and Nobel Peace Prize winner Yitzhak Rabin, who was assassinated while in office in 1995.
Prior to his election as AFT president in 2004, McElroy served 12 years as AFT secretary-treasurer and 15 years as president of the Rhode Island AFL-CIO. He currently serves as a vice president of the AFL-CIO and as chair of its Department for Professional Employees. McElroy also sits on the board of the National Endowment for Democracy, and is an officer of the Jewish Labor Committee.
At McElroy’s request, proceeds from the award dinner will be used to establish a classroom in the Yitzhak Rabin Center in Tel Aviv, Israel, honouring the late Sandra Feldman who died in 2005. Feldman served as EI Vice president from 1998 and AFT president from 1997-2004.
"This will be a fitting tribute to Sandy, who devoted her life to promoting education, social justice, democracy and tolerance — the same beliefs espoused by Yitzhak Rabin," said McElroy.
Dedicated in November 2005, the Yitzhak Rabin Center works to build and maintain civil and democratic societies through programs focused on education, leadership, responsibility and tolerance.