JUMP FOR JUDAISM: WINNERS ANNOUNCED FOR FIFTH ANNUAL NCSY NATIONAL JUMP LEADERSHIP COMPETITION
JUMP participants reviewing their notes minutes before the presentations begin.
Hebrew Academy of Nassau County of Uniondale, NY and Yeshiva Atlanta of Georgia tied for first place at this year’s NCSY JUMP Leadership Competition thanks to their hard work, dedication to leadership and innovative ideas for programs.
The other finalists included Stella K. Abraham High School for Girls (SKA) of Hewlett Bay Park, NY; Midreshet Shalhevet of North Woodmere, NY; Hyman Brand Hebrew Academy (HBHA) of Overland Park, KS; and Melvin J. Berman Hebrew Academy (MJBHA) of Rockville, MD.
In response to the need for committed, passionate Jewish leaders to overcome the challenges today’s Jewish community faces, New York NCSY launched a teen leadership training program called JUMP five years ago. JUMP empowers students to become aware of individual and communal issues facing the Jewish people and to commit to making positive changes in their schools and communities. Two years ago, the JUMP competition expanded to a national program including 15 yeshiva day schools around the country.
NCSY | Jewish Youth Leadership is the international youth movement of the Orthodox Union.
“NCSY, through its pioneering program JUMP, pursues the mission of giving ownership to teens,” said Rabbi Steven Burg, International Director of NCSY and Managing Director of the Orthodox Union. “Just as teens have taken over the technological revolution that we are living in, our teens have come to realize that they too can revolutionize the world we live in, and that they can get as much, if not more satisfaction, applying their skills and hard work to the Jewish people.”
JUMP kicked-off the year in October with a National JUMP Leadership Training Seminar. Fifteen yeshiva day schools from across the country came together for a two-day comprehensive leadership program in Stamford, CT. The teens attended numerous workshops that broadened their understanding of the global issues facing the Jewish people and how they can become active responders. At the conclusion of the seminar, each JUMP team was given four challenges designed to exercise students’ abilities in chesed, outreach, fundraising and Israel advocacy. Throughout the year, each club meets on a weekly basis to plan, execute, and conquer their challenges as a team.
JUMP culminated this week with the top six schools presenting their results in Weil, Gotshal & Manges law firm’s boardroom, overlooking Central Park in Manhattan. Each team discussed what they accomplished and reflected both their successes and setbacks. The judges were then able to analyze the true leadership capabilities of the students.
“The judges, Phil Rosen, Partner at Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP; David Friedman, Partner at Kasowitz, Benson, Torres & Friedman; and Charlie Harary, CEO of H3 Capital LLC and founder of Milvado Inc., are true examples of leadership throughout the Jewish and secular world,” said Rabbi Aryeh Lightstone, Regional Director of New York NCSY. “Their deeds and contributions are well known and the teens felt very much affirmed by having the opportunity to present, learn from, and interact with the judges. All participating schools, even those not present at the finals, exemplified that they were empowered to become the future leaders of tomorrow, today. I am especially proud of my team led by Carol Rhine who worked tirelessly to make this year’s JUMP a success.”
Senator Orrin Hatch addressing the JUMP champions.
Some major JUMP accomplishments highlighted by the judges were the creation of a interactive online resource for Jewish teens to learn about and participate in Israel advocacy; a unique Bat Mitzvah program for unaffiliated Jewish girls who expressed interest in becoming more connected to Judaism; a winter holiday carnival for underprivileged children to reinforce the importance of tikkun olam – repairing the world; and a Maccabeats concert attended by more than 500 community members and organized to benefit children with special needs.
The winning teams were awarded the opportunity to meet and present their accomplishments to United States Senator Orrin Hatch of Utah at the McGraw Hill building in midtown Manhattan. He congratulated the JUMP students’ success and encouraged them to continue striving to be leaders in both the Jewish and secular worlds. He then spent a few special moments sharing his own personal path to leadership.
Participating JUMP schools included:
• Davis Renov Stahler Yeshiva High School for Boys (DRS) of Woodmere
• Hebrew Academy of the Five Towns (HAFTR) of Cedarhurst
• Hebrew Academy of Nassau County (HANC) of Uniondale
• Rambam Mesivta of Lawrence
• Midreshet Shalhevet of North Woodmere
• Stella K. Abraham High School for Girls (SKA) of Hewlett Bay Park
• Salanter Akiba Riverdale Academy (SAR) of Riverdale
• Yeshiva University High School for Girls (Central) of Queens
• Weinbaum Yeshiva High School (WYHS) of Boca Raton, FL
• Yeshiva Atlanta of Atlanta
• Hyman Brand Hebrew Academy (HBHA) of Overland Park
• Melvin J. Berman Hebrew Academy (MJBHA) of Rockville
• Kohelet Yeshiva High School of Philadelphia
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