FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
NEW YORK—Hadassah, the Women’s Zionist Organization of America (HWZOA), and Young Judaea have inaugurated a Leaders of Tomorrow Award for Young Women. This highly selective merit-based award gives two high school women the opportunity to receive full tuition for a four-week Young Judaea Teen Summer Program in Israel. With this gift, these young women will be giving back to their community by sharing their experiences through writing, blogging and speaking opportunities. After an overwhelming response of outstanding applicants from all over the country, much review and deliberation, Hadassah (HWZOA) and Young Judaea are proud to announce the inaugural Leaders of Tomorrow Award winners: Jamie Smith and Naomi Farahan.
Jamie Smith of Lexington, Kentucky, is a sophomore at Henry Clay High School. She was introduced to Hadassah through her mother who is a past president of their local chapter. As one of only three Jewish students at her school, Jamie is excited about this opportunity to “explore her Judaism in the context of Israel and meet other Jewish teens who are leaders in their communities.” Jamie describes, “This award is so important to me because of the amazing opportunity it provides to go to Israel and see the Jewish homeland that I have learned about for my entire life.”
Naomi Farahan of Carmel, Indiana, is a junior at University High School. She is the founder and editor in chief of the U Post – her high school’s online publication, president of the Young Democrats Club and participates in a number of other activities. Naomi has a close connection to Israel and has always been an advocate for the country. She explains, “I am so excited to have the opportunity to explore Israel this summer. I think the best way to connect with your roots is to do it with people who are just as passionate as you are.”
Hadassah (HWZOA) has been empowering women since 1912, and continues today to provide opportunities for leadership and personal growth for women of all ages. We congratulate these two young women for their energy and especially their passions for Israel and the Jewish people. Hadassah is proud to sponsor this award because of its tremendous potential to groom future leaders for the Jewish community.
Young Judaea and Hadassah enjoy a thriving and longstanding relationship dating back nearly a century. This relationship has evolved through the generations, creating young Jewish leaders who turn into active Jewish adults. While collaborations occur on a regular basis at different levels, it is through our joint work in helping future leaders flourish that instills within both of us a particular sense of pride.
Young Judaea’s Teen Summer Programs in Israel connect participants with the land of Israel, its culture, and its spirit. With award-winning educational programming and specialty touring options, Jewish teens experience the best of Israel while building leadership and social activism skills. Participants are offered a variety of distinctive trips – whether it is with a focus on science, social entrepreneurship, advocacy, volunteering, or more. Along with an extra trip to Greece, a weekend of leadership training at Tel Yehudah, Young Judaea’s senior leadership camp, and a chance to explore personal special interests for a week of their trips in Israel, participants on Young Judaea’s Teen Summer Programs in Israel have every opportunity to not only travel the world, but to also make a lasting impact on the communities around them.
Founded in 1912, Hadassah, the Women's Zionist Organization of America, is the largest women's Zionist Jewish membership organization in the United States. 330,000 members strong, Hadassah is entering its second century, growing our commitment to innovative and life-changing medical care and research, women's empowerment, education, advocacy, philanthropy and building Jewish identity – in Israel, America and around the world. For more information, visit www.hadassah.org.