Bronfman Youth Fellowships Awarded for Program’s 29th Year
Outstanding High School Students from Diverse Jewish Backgrounds Selected for Immersive Israel Study Program and Lifelong Fellowship
May 2015 - The Bronfman Fellowships has selected its 29th cohort of high school students, among them a Celtic fiddler; a Model UN competitor whose involvement has taken him to Qatar; an award winning sculptural artist; and a budding scientist whose microscopic images of neurons are used by science labs across the country.
The 26 Fellows, chosen from hundreds of applicants across North America, will participate in a transformative five-week program of study and travel in Israel, followed by a rigorous year of programming centered around pluralism, social responsibility and Jewish texts. The new class of Fellows will join a vibrant alumni network that includes some of today’s most inspiring Jewish writers, thinkers and leaders.
The program was founded by Edgar M. Bronfman, z”l, formerly CEO of the Seagram Company Ltd. and a visionary Jewish philanthropist. Mr. Bronfman passed away in December 2013.
“Edgar Bronfman placed enormous faith in young people’s ability to see the world not just as it is, but as it ought to be,” said Rabbi Mishael Zion, co-director of the Fellowships. “He believed that young people energized by their Judaism were best equipped to both shape a Jewish ‘Renaissance’ and improve the world. This year’s Fellows are already a remarkable group; we have the privilege of instilling in them a love for learning Jewish texts and a commitment to pluralism and communal responsibility that will serve us all into the future.”
Following a competitive application process, the 2015 Fellows are from 13 states across the United States and Canada. They represent diverse Jewish backgrounds, including Orthodox, Conservative, Reform, Reconstructionist, and non-denominational. The Fellows, who have already distinguished themselves as leaders in their communities, will spearhead Jewish community or social action projects upon returning home after the summer.
The Fellows study with an esteemed faculty, including Rabbi Zion; Andy Bachman a rabbi and community leader in Brooklyn, New York, who is now the Director of Jewish Content at the 92Y and working on a book about contemporary Jewish life. Rabbi Laura Geller who is the Senior Rabbi at Temple Emanuel Beverly Hills and the third woman to be ordained a rabbi in the Reform Movement. Both Rabbi Bachman and Rabbi Geller have been named in Newsweek’s list of the 50 Most Influential Rabbis in America. And
THE BRONFMAN YOUTH FELLOWSHIPS IN ISRAEL
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Hannah Kapnik Ashar who co-founded The Tefilah Retreat and the Jewish podcast Come & Listen.
Over the summer, Fellows meet with political and cultural figures in Israel such as authors Etgar Keret and A.B. Yehoshua, politician Ruth Calderon, activist Anat Hoffman and journalist Jodi Rudoren, the New York Times Jerusalem Bureau Chief. They also spend a week with a group of Israeli peers who were chosen through a parallel selection process as part of the Israeli Youth Fellowship, Amitei Bronfman. This aspect of the program reflects Mr. Bronfman’s early recognition that the future of Jewish peoplehood should be considered a global enterprise, forged through deep collaboration, discourse and friendship between Israelis and Americans.
There are now over 1,000 Bronfman Fellowships alumni across North America and Israel, among them 7 Rhodes Scholars, 4 former Supreme Court clerks, 17 Fulbright Scholars, 27 Wexner Fellows and 22 Dorot Fellows. Young leaders of note among Fellowship alumni include Daniel Handler, a.k.a. Lemony Snicket, author of the best-selling “Series of Unfortunate Events” children’s books; Jonathan Safran Foer, author of Everything is Illuminated and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close and editor of the New American Haggadah (featuring commentary from Lemony Snicket, among others); and Angela Warnick Buchdahl, the first woman to be named Senior Rabbi at New York’s Central Synagogue and the first Asian-American person to be ordained as a rabbi and cantor. Others include: Igor Timofeyev, former Supreme Court clerk and former Special Advisor for Refugee and Asylum Affairs at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security; Dara Horn, author of In the Image, The World to Come and All Other Nights; and Anya Kamenetz, the youngest person ever nominated for a Pulitzer Prize for her Village Voice series “Generation Debt: The New Economics of Being Young.”
Our Israeli alumni have also ascended to positions of influence in government, civil groups, the private sector and cultural institutions. Israeli alumni include attorneys at the State Justice Department, a member of the Yokneam City Council, noted journalists, successful filmmakers including a Tribeca Film Festival winner, political advisers to Members of Knesset, members of elite IDF units and university lecturers.
“We are thrilled to welcome the latest class of Fellows into a community that has grown to become a talent bank for the Jewish people,” said Rebecca Voorwinde, co-director of the Fellowships. “As the past three decades have shown, the five weeks in Israel are just the beginning.”
Visit www.bronfman.org for application information.
About The Bronfman Youth Fellowships in Israel
The Bronfman Youth Fellowships, the flagship program for outstanding young Jews, taps 26 North American teenagers at a formative point in their lives, the year before college, when an intense, immersive experience will have the most impact. The Fellowship year
functions as a Jewish identity incubator, with serious text study, lessons taught by some of the world’s premier Jewish educators, and sustained discourse about pluralism, social justice and the future of Jewish peoplehood. The year begins with a five-week summer study program in Israel that includes a transformative week-long encounter with a parallel cadre of outstanding Israeli teenagers. Programming continues with two seminars in the U.S. focused on North American Jewish identity. Upon graduating high school, the Fellows join an alumni community whose members challenge one another to contribute their talents and vision to the Jewish community and society at large.
The Fellowships were founded in 1987 by Edgar M. Bronfman, z”l, and reflect Mr. Bronfman’s early and impassioned belief that for the Jewish people to thrive, Israeli and American Jews from a variety of backgrounds must be engaged in open and creative discourse with one another. The alumni embody Mr. Bronfman’s vision that young people who are enriched and energized by their Judaism are poised to contribute not only to Jewish life, but to improving the world.
The Bronfman Youth Fellowships in Israel
(518) 475-7212 email@example.com
Palo Alto, CA. Lily Dodd, daughter of Leslie Berlin and Rick Dodd of Palo Alto, is a Junior at The Urban School of San Francisco. Lily is an avid writer and has won several awards for her fiction, including a Level I Short Story award from the National YoungArts Foundation. Her first published work, entitled “A Eulogy for Pretzel” will appear in One Teen Story Magazine in May, and her short play “Phillip from Lady FootLocker” will premiere at the Urban One Acts Festival, also in May. She loves improv comedy, bike rides, and hanging out with her friends, all of whom are excellent people. Lily is a member of the Palo Alto Teen Arts Council and a former alumni intern with the National YoungArts Foundation.
Mountain View, CA. Matan Grinberg, son of Sergey and Galina Grinberg of Mountain View California is spending most of his time learning physics and mathematics (currently completing differential equations) he has founded his high school’s first physics club and helped prepare his fellow student for his school’s first participation in the qualifiers for the US Physics Olympiad. He is also a devoted Latin student, recently leading the Latin III team that he captains to 3rd place in the California Junior Classical League Certamen competiton. Aside from these, he has also been on his high school varsity soccer team for three years and dance team for two, while also being on the board, leadership council, and alumni council of the South Peninsula Jewish Teen Foundation (SPJTF), helping donate around $200,000 during his three years there.
Los Angeles, CA. Henry Muhlheim, son of Eric and Lauren Muhlheim of Los Angeles is a junior at Harvard-Westlake School in Studio City. Henry and his family have been lifelong members of Temple Emanuel of Beverly Hills and were members of Chabad of Shanghai while living in China. Currently a Junior at Harvard-Westlake, he is a swimmer on his Varsity team as well as his local club team, BLAST. He is also a volunteer at Teen Line, a teen crisis hotline operated out of Cedars-Sinai Hospital. He is very involved at his Temple, where he is both an assistant teacher at the Sunday School and a member of MATCH, the teen philanthropy group. Last summer, he worked as a stem cell research intern under Dr. Lipshutz and Dr. Byrne at UCLA. In his free time he enjoys listening to music, playing guitar, and cooking with his family.
Piedmont, CA. Louis Teitelbaum, son of Ben and Ruth Teitelbaum of Piedmont is a junior at Piedmont High School. Prior to ninth grade, Teitelbaum attended Oakland Hebrew Day School, a modern orthodox hebrew day school. Though his family is primarily conservative or unaffiliated, Teitelbaum currently attends Beth Jacob Community, an orthodox synagogue in Oakland. Teitelbaum is the principal trumpet of the school symphonic band and participates in both the school’s cross country team and the Piedmont FIRST Tech Challenge robotics team, Scotbotics. Outside of school, Teitelbaum participates actively in the local NCSY chapter, attends Berkeley Midrasha, and works in the lab of Dr. Tamira Elul at Touro University doing microscopic imaging of neurons. Teitelbaum also enjoys visual art and produces papercuts for each weekly Torah portion.
San Diego, CA. Mauricio Wulfovich, son of Ethel and Isaac Wulfovich of Mexico City is a junior at the San Diego Jewish Academy in San Diego. He is the founder and president of his school’s FTC robotics team and is also the founder and president of IDEAS (Inspiring the Development of Engineering and Applied Science), a program that conducts fun, curiosity-driven activities to kindle younger students’ interest in pursuing science and engineering. Mauricio, who was born in Mexico, supports his community as the third-grade counselor in Ken, a latin, Jewish youth movement. Furthermore, he is dedicated to helping other immigrants as a leader in the International Immersion Program at his school. There, he plans weekly activities for the club aimed to teach international students about American culture and integrate them into American life. In his free time, Mauricio loves to play guitar and run.
Denver, CO. Ethan Greenberg, son of Liane Morrison and Alan Greenberg of Denver, is a junior at Denver East High School. He has played soccer since age 5, and plays on his high school varsity team. During the fall and spring, he referees soccer games for younger players. Ethan interned at the campaign of United States Senator Mark Udall this past summer. He is the co-captain of Denver East High School’s Constitutional Law team, which won the Colorado We the People Competition. They will compete at Nationals in Washington D.C. Ethan plays piano in the school jazz band, and tutors Hebrew at his synagogue’s religious school.
Denver, CO. Julia Turnbow, daughter of Kimberly and Wayne Turnbow of Denver is a junior at Thomas Jefferson High School in Denver. Julia is a member of the Hebrew Educational Alliance, and has attended the URJ’s Camp Kalsman in Washington State for the past seven years. Julia is serving her second year on the board of Rose Youth Foundation as one of this year’s co-chairs. On this board, Julia has participated in grant-making for a variety of local nonprofits. Julia swims and golfs on her high school’s varsity teams. She is the two year winner of the Denver All City Art Show for her Sculptural work.
Boca Raton, FL. Maya Borzak, daughter of Deena and Steven Borzak of Boca Raton is the youngest of four sisters and is a junior at Weinbaum Yeshiva High School in Boca Raton. When not deflecting soccer balls as the varsity captain and goalkeeper, she is passionately engaged with Israel advocacy as co-chair of WIPAC, her school’s Israel education and advocacy club. Representing Weinbaum, Maya has attended various AIPAC events and seminars, and looks forward to attending AIPAC Policy Conference as she has done for the past three years. Maya has also intensively studied Jewish texts at the Dr. Beth Samuels Drisha High School Program, has completed three years of Arabic study, has sharpened her political and parliamentary skills at Yeshiva University Model UN, and is passionate about Hungarian and European Jewry through her involvement with Camp Szarvas of the Lauder Foundation and Joint Distribution Committee. She happily managed to spend each summer since age 8 at B’nai Akiva’s Camp Stone, which has greatly influenced her love for Religious Zionism. She has won two silver key awards for poetry in the National Scholastic Writing Competition. As a board member forthe past three years, Maya has been involved with the South Florida branch of Yachad (National Council for Jewish Disabilities), an organization promoting inclusion within the Jewish community for those with disabilities.
Evanston, IL. Rena Newman, daughter of Heidi Goldfein and Dave Newman of Evanston is a junior at Evanston Township High School. She enthusiastically writes and draws for her school newspaper. She is committed to social action causes both local and national, and serves as co-president on Beth Emet Synagogue’s youth group board, organizing and planning events that extend beyond the Jewish community. She was also chosen to participate in the Goodman Theatre’s Young Critics writing program this year.
Louisville, KY. Jacob Finke, son of David and Helene Finke of Louisville is a junior at duPont Manual High School. Jacob has been active in B’nai B’rith Youth Organization (BBYO) since his freshman year. He has held multiple leadership positions and is currently the Vice President of the Kentucky-Indiana-Ohio Region. In 2014, Jacob was awarded the Stacy Marks Nisenbaum Award for teen leadership in the Jewish community
by the Jewish Community of Louisville (JCL). Very interested in government and politics, Jacob was recently selected as a presenter at the 2015 JCPS IdeaFestival, where he spoke about the influence of money in politics. Jacob volunteers at the Backside Learning Center, where he tutors immigrant children whose parents work at Churchill Downs.
Silver Spring, MD. Malka Himelhoch, daughter of Sheila Jelen and Seth Himelhoch of Silver Spring is a junior at the Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School in Rockville, MD. She serves in several leadership positions at JDS including: Editor in Chief of The Lion’s Tale, an award winning student newspaper; Captain of the Social Activism Club; and coordinator and leader of Conservative services at her school. She is a senior member of JDS’s highly ranked Debate and Mock Trial teams. Malka also plays center back on her local soccer team.
Newton, MA. Tali Anisfeld, daughter of Sharon and Shimon Anisfeld of Newton, is a junior at Gann Academy in Waltham. She is a passionate basketball player who has played on school and town teams since middle school and has earned League All-Star awards all 3 years on her high school’s varsity basketball team. Tali is the writing editor for her school’s yearbook, a volunteer at PACE Upham’s Health Center in Dorchester, a member of various student-run clubs, and a leader in Gann’s community chosen to facilitate 9th grade advisory activities and work with the admissions team.
Deerfield, MA. Joshua Tebeau, son of Matthew Tebeau and Monika Switakowska of Warsaw, Poland is a junior at Deerfield Academy in Deerfield, MA. At Deerfield, Joshua holds leadership roles in the student newspaper and the literary magazine. He is Head of the Deerfield Academy chapter of Amnesty International. Joshua Tebeau is the Writer, Director and Producer of “Picking Up the Pieces,” a short documentary film telling the stories of a diverse group of Jewish Child Survivors of the Holocaust. Josh started the film after receiving a “Cost Family Award” from Deerfield Academy. This award helps students to independently start ambitious projects and bring their learning back to campus. Josh has served as a volunteer in the Educational Department of the Museum of the History of Polish Jews in Warsaw. While working at the Museum Josh led a seminar on Jan Karski. He attended a summer language program in Yiddish in Warsaw in 2014. Joshua has been a volunteer working with Chechen Refugees as well. He has won a number of debate and public speaking awards both at the American School of Warsaw and at Deerfield Academy. Recently he gave a TEDx presentation entitled, “In Search of Lost Time” about the effect of the modern cinema on our experience of time.
Farmington, ME. Miriam Cohen, daughter of Jonathan and Victoria Cohen of Farmington is a junior at Mt. Blue High School in Farmington. She loves to fiddle and sing, and is a member of the Franklin County Fiddlers and Mt. Blue Chamber Singers. She recently performed in an Arts Institute of Western Maine concert, as well as at the Maine Acoustic Festival and KVMEA Music Festival. Miriam also loves running and cross country skiing, and was part of the Maine U16 Nordic Team last year.
St. Louis, MO. Joshua Kazdan, son of Andrew and Linda Kazdan and the older brother of Ben. Joshua attended the Saul Mirowitz Day School through fifth grade in St. Louis. His bar mitzvah occurred at Moreshet Yisrael in Jerusalem. His family belongs to B’nai Amoona, a conservative synagogue, and he currently attends John Burroughs School. He is News Editor for the school newspaper and was a press delegate for Model UN to Qatar in January 2015. Joshua is a leader of his school’s community service club and in charge of the annual fundraiser that donates money to the Jewish Food Pantry. He was selected as one of fifteen representatives by the Japan-America society as a youth ambassador to Ishinomaki in the summer of 2014. His research at Washington University into copper catalysts for the sequestration of carbon dioxide won an Award for Excellence in Research through the STARS program. He won first place in the Honors Division of the St. Louis Science Fair, 2015, and will go to Intel in May. He received honorable mention for his Toshiba Exploravision project, and qualified for the AIME in 2015. He has received a Silver Key in the Scholastic Art and Writing Contest and is a finalist in the Beverly-Hopkins Memorial Poetry Contest. In his spare time, Joshua teaches at the St. Louis Math Help Center. He coaches immigrants and refugees at the International Institute in St. Louis, and he started a reading program for homeless children in 2011. His hobbies include painting, drawing, and visiting art institutions as well as bird watching. His art was selected for display at the St. Louis Artists’ Guild in 2014. He dabbles in theater at school. Joshua plans to pursue a career in STEM.
Teaneck, NJ. Yael Marans, daughter of Amy Roth and Noam Marans of Teaneck is a junior at SAR High School in Riverdale. The youngest of four, Marans grew up attending Congregation Beth Sholom and spending summers at her beloved Camp Ramah in the Berkshires. Marans is a member of Teaneck USY and is involved in a variety of SAR teams and activities. She is a member of SAR’s Yeshiva University National Model United Nations team, which won first place at their annual conference two years in a row. Marans plays on the SAR High School Girls’ Varsity Soccer Team. Previously, on the JV Girls’ Soccer Team, Marans and her peers won the Metropolitan Yeshiva High School Athletic League championship twice. Marans is also an active member of her school’s slam poetry team, winning awards at several Yeshiva High School competitions, Jewish Public Media Sermon Slam events, and advancing to the 2013, 2014 and 2015 semi-final rounds of the Annual Urban Word NYC Teen Poetry Slam. She is a News Editor of her school newspaper, The Buzz, and Editor-in-Chief of her school’s Judaic Studies publication, Ruach S’arah. Marans also contributes to SAR’s math magazine, literary
magazine and Hebrew journal. She is a tutor for the Jewish Journey Project’s online Hebrew Home Page, which allows her to tutor younger children in Hebrew and liturgy through distance learning.
Brooklyn, NY. Noah Goodman, son of Barak Goodman and Rachel Dretzin is a junior at Bard High School Early College in Manhattan. Music has been an obsession from a young age; Noah plays three instruments, and is a founding member of a band that has played at established venues in New York City such as Muchmore’s and Freddy’s Bar. He is a serious soccer play, having played club soccer from a very young age and is a three year starter and future team captain on his varsity high school team. He is a leader of his school’s philosophy club and a founder of a Bible study group at his synagogue.
New York, NY. Doria Kahn, daughter of Tobi Kahn and Nessa Rapoport of Manhattan is a junior at SAR High School in Riverdale. Doria has been involved in many different clubs throughout high school. She has been in the SAR a cappella group for three years and starred in the school’s winter musicals for two years running. She also joined the performance poetry group this year and is working on her own original pieces. An avid seamstress, she has designed home furnishings and purses as well as floor- length gowns. As a writer, Doria has been working on her prose since she was 8, when she wrote a 50-page novella. Today she is writing her first full-length YA novel. Doria has been involved in the JCC in Manhattan, where she learned her love of acting in the summer play. She also spent her summers there as a volunteer tutor and counselor. She can’t wait to be a part of the Bronfman Fellows 2015 and learn from all in her cohort.
Brooklyn, NY. Becki Marcus, daughter of Jessica Greenbaum and Jed Marcus of Brooklyn is a junior Bard High School Early College Queens in Long Island City. Becki’s Jewish life started in a homemade Havurah, and she became a Batmitzvah at Brooklyn Heights Synagogue. She initiates and runs a body positivity workshops at her school and is working on a campaign to encourage Urban Outfitters to diversify the body types on its website. She is the co-chair of her school’s environmental club and a devoted 800 meter runner. In a continuation of her Batmitzvah project, Becki mentors and tutors at Housing Plus Solutions, an alternative-to-incarceration organization for single-mothers and their children.
New York, NY. Gabriela Siegal, daughter of Jackie and Bippy Siegal, is a junior at the Dalton School in New York City. Gabriela has been chosen to be one of Dalton’s three representatives for the Interschool Leadership Fellows Program and has recently been chosen to be a Peer Leader for the incoming freshman class at the Dalton School. Gabi is secretary of Dalton’s Model Congress Team and is a co-head of Dalton’s Ujima Club, a Dalton based movement aimed at funding merit based educational scholarships for high school children in Kenya. Additionally, Gabi is passionate about athletics and is a three-sport varsity athlete (Cross Country, Swimming and Track and Field). Gabi has won an All Ivy award for her top three finish at the Ivy League championship swim meet. Lastly, Gabi is a member of the Write-On for Israel class of 2016.
New York, NY. Jake Waksbaum, son of Sherry Waksbaum and Andrew Baraff of the Upper West Side is a junior at Stuyvesant High School in downtown Manhattan. Jake has played on his school’s Ultimate Frisbee team for the past 3 years, winning the NY State Championships last spring. He enjoys studying mathematics, and received a Silver Medal at last year’s New York City Math Fair. He is also the Web Editor of his school newspaper, the Stuyvesant Spectator.
Dallas, TX. Benjamin Singer, son of Mike and Miriam Singer of Dallas, is a senior at the School for the Talented and Gifted at Yvonne A. Ewell Townview Magnet Center. He is the second of five children, and is a graduate of Torah Day School of Dallas. He and his family are members of Congregation Ohr Hatorah and Tiferet Israel synagogues. Benjamin is active in Townview’s Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) program; he served this past year as battalion commander, and was named Cadet of the Year. In addition, he is involved in his school’s computer science club, current events club, and film club; is a member of the bass section in the choir; and contributes to Inklings, the school’s semi-monthly literary magazine. Last year, Benjamin took part in NASA’s Texas High School Aerospace Scholars program, which included a week of hands-on learning at the Johnson Space Center in Houston. In addition, he participated in the Endevvr Summer Incubator at Georgia Tech, developing apps and learning about high-tech entrepreneurship. Next year, he will attend the University of Texas at Austin, where he will study computer science in the Turing Scholars program.
Mercer Island, WA. Clement Brown, son of Michael and Shelly Brown, is a junior who is homeschooled. He has been named as a recipient of the Bronfman Youth Fellowships in Israel, a lifelong association that begins with a five-week summer program in Israel following the junior year of high school. Clem has pursued his interests in classical languages, literature and civilizations through three Latin courses at the University of Washington, as well as private studies in Latin and Ancient Greek. Clem founded and runs Clement Brown Publications, a nonprofit company dedicated to publishing literary works of soldiers, and for three years has participated in J.Team, a teen philanthropic organization. He enjoys hiking in the Cascade Mountains, and fly fishing in local rivers and alpine lakes. An avid runner, Clem is on the cross country and track teams of Mercer Island High School, and has played on MIHS’s tennis team as well. He has studied Shudokan Karate for eight years and hopes to earn his black belt in the coming year. Clem walks dogs for money, has six “clients,” and uses the proceeds of his enterprise to feed his passion: flying drones (quadcopters), and studying drone engineering and law. Clem and his family are active members of Congregation Shevet Achim, an Orthodox congregation on Mercer Island.
Seattle, WA. Esther Goldberg, daughter of Karen Treiger and Dr. Shlomo Goldberg of Seattle, is a junior at Northwest Yeshiva High School in Mercer Island. Esther Goldberg
has been accepted as a Fellow with The Bronfman Youth Fellowship in Israel. Esther attended Seattle Hebrew Academy for elementary and middle school and is currently a junior at Northwest Yeshiva High School. Esther has received the Navi (Prophets) merit award and the Gemarah (Talmud) merit award from her school. Esther is the founder of her school’s Poetry Club and the chair of her school’s Committee for Israel Awareness. She is the Varsity Volleyball captain and plays for her Varsity Basketball team. Esther is a StandWithUs MZ intern and a youth leader at Minyan Ohr Chadash. Esther plays piano and guitar. Last summer, Esther was a fellow in the Szarvas fellowship in Hungary. She plans to spend to spend a year in Israel before college.
Toronto, ON. Jacob Brown, son of Edward Brown and Enid Markson of Toronto, is a grade 11 student at the University of Toronto Schools - UTS - Canada’s only merit based high school for high-achieving students affiliated with a university. He has won several scholarships and awards for his academic accomplishments, as well as his contributions to extra-curricular life. Recently, Jacob had the opportunity to combine his love of science and his public speaking background to present a TedX talk on the future implications of 3D printing. Jacob is also a student leader for his school’s DECA chapter (a high school business competition), he is a DECA Provincial Champion, and has qualified three years in a row to compete at the International level. He also writes a political column for the high school paper “The Cuspidor”, is a Co-Founder of UTS’s Cartography and Urban Design Club, a member of the Jazz Band where he plays the alto sax, a math and science tutor, and a member of UTS’s cross-country team. Jacob is particularly thrilled to be a student mentor for a micro-gravity experiment, where the winning project at his school is guaranteed a spot on Mission 8 of the International Space Station. Community involvement include his participation in ActOut, a student-run organization that goes into high school classrooms to help develop awareness of current social and political issues through interactive scenarios with students. As well, Jacob is working with the University of Toronto’s Global Ideas Institute, where under the guidance of professors, he and other students in the program are developing strategies to help solve problems of financial inclusion in India. Jacob has also volunteered on the municipal level to help elect a new mayor for the city of Toronto. In addition, he has been a volunteer with the Jewish youth group JOLT in Toronto, and has helped with fund-raising campaigns and community service projects. In his spare time, Jacob loves alpine skiing, long distance cycling, hiking and canoe tripping. Jacob is also the recipient of the Silver Medal Duke of Edinburgh Award for community service, outdoorsmanship, and skill development.
Toronto, ON. Sofia Freudenstein, daughter of David Freudenstein and Anna Urowitz-Freudenstein of Toronto is a junior at TanenbaumCHAT Wallenberg Campus. Sofia has attended Jewish day school for her entire life, and has been involved in her community in several ways. She is an active member of her local monthly partnership minyan, a halakhic (according to Jewish ritual law) prayer service that permits women to lead parts of the service that do not require 10 men. Sofia has also informally taught Tanakh, or the Hebrew Bible, at her school as well as at her local Modern Orthodox Synagogue, Shaarei
Shomayim. Sofia competed and placed 6th in the International Bible Contest last year in Israel. The study for the contest required knowledge of over 400 chapters of the Hebrew Bible, the Tanakh. This past summer, Sofia attended the Drisha Institute High School Summer Program, which is a pioneering centre of Orthodox Jewish scholarship for women. Sofia identifies as a “post-denominational Halakhic Jew,” meaning that she practices halakha (Jewish ritual law), but is not comfortable conforming with the classic Jewish denominations such as Orthodox, Conservative, Reform, or Reconstructionist. Sofia is involved in many school extracurriculars, such as being a member of her school’s Moo Beit Din (Mock Jewish Court) team, head of the school’s library book club, and trains the school’s National Bible Contest contestants. In her spare time, Sofia listens to music, goes to serious art classes, and enjoys learning about ancient history and Tanakh.
Bronfman Youth Fellowships Awarded for Program’s 29th Year
163 Delaware Ave, Suite 102
Delmar, NY, 12054