National Council of Jewish Women Greater Detroit Section Jewish Youth Awards is an annual scholarship program for high-school seniors. Applicants are judged on a written essay, their leadership and community service in the secular and/or Jewish communities.
Eight finalists were honored April 25: Emma Green, first place, $3,000; Samantha Berman, second place, $1,500; Allison Bloomberg and Nisim Nesimov, third- and fourth-place winners, $500; Aria Frawley, Jason Jubas, Miriam Lupovitch and Ilana Weinfeld, honorable mentions, $250.
Award sponsors are the late Esther and the late Nathan Katz, and Dina and the late Herman Brodsky.
This year’s essay topic: “What experience or person has had the greatest impact on your Jewish identity?” The following excerpts are from Emma Green’s essay:
“I have been to Israel more than a dozen times; this last trip was one of the most important and meaningful. My family and close friends spent an entire day dedicated to my grandfather as he told us the story of his life during the Holocaust. I always knew my grandfather was a Holocaust survivor, but after hearing the story directly from him, I really felt his history become a part of me, a part of my Jewish identity.
“I have been to museum after museum and heard countless tragic stories about the Holocaust, but not one had ever affected me in this way. It made me feel that this is the reason I am Jewish: to represent those before me and stand strong for all that my grandparents and great-grandparents endured to ensure the Jewish people thrive long into the future.”