Newark Mayor Cory Booker Honors NJ NCSY JUMP

25 Dec 2012

By Hanna Schlager

On the fourth night of Chanukah, Newark Mayor Cory Booker held his annual Menorah Lighting Ceremony at Newark City Hall. This year, Mayor Booker invited the New Jersey NCSY JUMP team to light the Menorah with him and recognized it for its extraordinary volunteer efforts in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.

The team founded an organization called “Sundays 4 Sandy” which recruited volunteers to assist in cleaning up many heavily affected areas. Mayor Booker expressed his deep appreciation for the team’s incredible disaster relief efforts and commended the team’s commitment to “taking initiative to do good for the community.” He also mentioned that to him, the story and holiday of Chanukah are all about “taking the sparks and lighting up even the lowest of places.”

NCSY | Jewish Youth Leadership is the international youth movement of the Orthodox Union. The New Jersey NCSY JUMP team is made up of students from Englewood, NJ who attend The Frisch School in Paramus, NJ.

JUMP — Jewish Unity Mentoring Program — is a national project of New York NCSY, which encourages passionate leadership among public and yeshiva high school students through a leadership seminar and competition. Teenagers divide into competing teams and perform a variety of tasks such as fundraising, volunteer programs, and Jewish outreach, all in an effort to bring about positive changes in their schools and communities.

Rabbi Aryeh Lightstone, Regional Director of New York NCSY, attended the event and said, “The ceremony was a truly beautiful and memorable experience for all involved. The hard work, creativity, and positive press that the New Jersey NCSY JUMP team garnered for Sundays 4 Sandy has been an inspiration for all JUMP teams around the country and for myself personally.”

Carol Rhine, New York NCSY Chief Operating Officer and Director of JUMP throughout North America, said, “It is not enough to just have a vision. Many people see things that should be done, things that should be fixed, great steps forward that could be taken, but what makes leaders different is that they act on their vision. The New Jersey JUMP team became leaders when they took the steps to achieve their goals. They are truly inspiring.”

David Prince, New Jersey NCSY JUMP Coordinator, was extremely impressed by his team’s accomplishments and shared, “As the Mayor was honoring the students for creating Sundays 4 Sandy, I felt a tremendous amount of pride, not only for the incredible impact the students had on those who suffered, but also the amazing impact they had on the world. They made a great Kiddush Hashem (Sanctification of the Divine Name)!”

Phil Rosen of Lawrence, NY, JUMP Founder and community philanthropist, applauded the overall accomplishments of all of the JUMP teams and said, “It’s incredibly important to me that among all of the great things you do, people can look at your achievements and say, ‘Hey, I could do something like that, too,’ and that way we can create a chain effect of change.”

Pictured from left to right: Estie Hirt (Mentor), Samantha Kleinhaus, Eliana Pickholz, Melissa Maza, Mayor Cory Booker, Rabbi Aryeh Lightstone, Amanda Rubin, Zachary Flahmolz, Josh Ottensoser, David Prince (Coordinator).
Not pictured, Alex Shoenfeld and Rena Ackerman (Mentor).

New Jersey NCSY teens in the midst of their relief efforts with a victim of Hurricane Sandy.

OU | Enhancing Jewish Life