Mazal Tov to the 2013 Bronfman Youth Fellows!

The prestigious Bronfman Youth Fellowships in Israel recently announced the names of its 2013 fellows, a cohort of North American Jewish teens entering their senior year of high school. Through an intensive year of seminars and a robust alumni community, the fellowship offer teens from diverse Jewish backgrounds with an unparalleled leadership experience. The fellowship begins with a five-week summer program in Israel, when fellows travel through the country, explore their Jewish identity, and engage with thinkers, authors, artists, and educators in a transformative experience, while learning about themselves and each other.

Among the 26 new fellows are nine teens with connections to the Reform Movement – and we at the URJ are kvelling! Read on to learn about these exceptional young adults.

Student SarahSarah Novicoff, of Temple Emanuel of Beverly Hills, CA, began her high school’s Girl Up Ice Cream Sundae Fundraiser, a now-annual event to raise money and awareness for the United Nations’ program for girls’ education in the developing world. Sarah is also an editor for her school’s award-winning newspaper  and a member of the Model United Nations club. She is a madricha, a religious school teachers’ assistant, at her synagogue and a member of MATCH, a Jewish teen philanthropy organization.

MarinMarin Callaway, of Temple Solel in Cardiff by the Sea, CA, is a Varsity track and cross country runner and belongs to a number of clubs at her high school, including National Honor Society, Spanish National Honor Society, and Students for Energy Efficiency. After her mother converted to Reform Judaism in 1997, Marin began attending religious school and became a bat mitzvah.

Student MatthewMatthew Wallock, of Congregation B’nai B’rith, Santa Barbara, CA, is president of his synagogue’s high school youth group, SBORTY, and an active member of NFTY SoCal. He is the editor-in-chief of his high school’s student newspaper and a member of the boys’ varsity tennis team. Matthew enjoys co-teaching the high school Journalism class and is a member of the National Honors Society. Every Sunday, he serves as a madrich at his synagogue, which he has attended for nearly 10 years.

Student SamSam Malnik, of Temple Shir Shalom, in Newberry, FL, is active in school leadership and is passionate about helping his community, as evidenced by his role as the leading fundraiser in Alachua County’s chapter of Chain Reaction, the youth leadership council for the March of Dimes. Sam is an outstanding soccer who has competed across the country, even traveling to Argentina as part of Florida’s Olympic Developmental Soccer Program – all while maintaining his position on his high school’s honor roll. Sam scored perfect 5’s on his AP Exams taken in tenth grade.

Student LilianaLiliana Brown attends a Conservative synagogue but is a graduate of The Alfred and Adele Davis Academy, Atlanta’s Reform Jewish day school. At her high school, Liliana serves as a student peer leader, and runs and directs programs for the student body as part of the Israeli Action Fellows club. She is a school representative for Peace by Piece, an interfaith club of Atlanta high school students from Jewish, Muslim, and Catholic day schools. She is also a Girl Talk leader, a volunteer club designed for Weber girls to mentor seventh grade girls in Atlanta’s Jewish community.

SophieSophie Wolf-Camplin, of Agudas Achim Congregation in West Branch, IA, attends a Quaker college preparatory boarding, where she is active leader in the school’s GLBTQA group and raises community awareness and support at her school around issues of gender and sexuality. She also serves as a clerk of the entire Girls Dorm, where she works to improve cohabitation and lead her community in necessary conversations.

Student RebeccaBecca Krieger, of Congregation Beth El in Sudbury, MA, serves as a peer advisor to 9th grade students at her high school, where she is a junior. Rebecca is a member of the state champion field hockey team, serves on the School Committee Advisory Board, and teaches swim classes and lifeguards at the local Boys and Girls Club. This year, she participated in the Tufts Health Plan Foundation Future Philanthropists Initiative. Rebecca is a student at Prozdor Hebrew High School and has long attended Camp Yavneh, a pluralistic Jewish summer camp.

Student IsabelIsabel Snodgrass, of Beit Ahavah in Florence, MA, attends the synagogue her parents helped found, where she became a bat mitzvah, works as a teacher’s assistant at the Sunday school, and is an active member of the youth group, Shevet. Isabel has also served on the Board of B’nai Tzedek Youth Foundation, a teen philanthropic organization supported by the Harold Grinspoon Foundation. At her high school, she is a member of the Ultimate Frisbee, cross country, and varsity ski teams at her school, as well as a part of improvisational theater troupe and school plays.

Student TylerTyler Kaye, of Congregation Emanu-El of Westchester in Rye, NY, has been a member of his high school’s varsity soccer and track and field teams since his freshman year. Tyler is the president of his school’s Academic Challenge team and shares his passion for the Chinese language as an oral proficiency intern for younger students. Tyler spent the last 3 summers backpacking through Alaska and Utah, and most recently stayed in a remote rural village in the Yunnan Province of China, where he was able to form a deep connection with his homestay family.

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Kate Bigam

About Kate Bigam

Kate Bigam is the URJ's Social Media and Community Manager. Prior to this, she served as a Congregational Representative for the URJ's East District and at the Religious Action Center as Press Secretary and as an Eisendrath Legislative Assistant. Kate resides in Northeast Ohio.

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