FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 16, 2016 NEW YORK — Hadassah has named the 2016 recipients of the Leaders of Tomorrow Award for Young Women, announced Ellen Hershkin, National President, Hadassah, the Women's Zionist Organization of America, Inc. (HWZOA). This highly selective, merit-based competition awards two high school women full tuition for four weeks at Young Judaea's Teen Summer Program in Israel. The 2016 Leaders of Tomorrow Award recipients are Mikayla Carno-Harf, 17, a junior at Beachwood High School, Beachwood, OH and Adina Tuchman, 17, also a junior, from Western High School, Davie, FL. For over a century, Hadassah has enjoyed a productive relationship with Young Judaea, which has created a corps of young Jewish leaders who become active and engaged Jewish adults.
2016 marks the third year that Hadassah has awarded the Leaders of Tomorrow Award to two young women in high school who have proven their leadership skills and shown the potential for even greater leadership roles, potentially in Hadassah. These two award recipients receive an all-expense paid trip to Israel to participate in the annual summer Young Judaea Machon program to deepen their love for Israel and offer them a fresh perspective of a country to which they are already devoted. Upon their return, Hadassah will offer them many opportunities to share their rich experiences.
Ellen Hershkin states, "Since its inception, Hadassah has been empowering women to assume leadership roles in the community and we are proud to continue to provide opportunities for leadership and personal growth for women of all ages. We congratulate these two exceptional young women for their achievements and especially their passion for Israel and the Jewish people. The Leaders of Tomorrow Award has a tremendous potential to groom future leaders for the Jewish community."
Barbara Spack, Hadassah National Chair, Young Judaea, states, "In 2016, we received applications from across the United States submitted by outstanding candidates who demonstrated exceptional leadership skills as well as noteworthy academic achievements. Adina Tuchman and Mikayla Carno-Harf both personify the spirit and dedication of our organization's values and mission. We are confident they will best use this opportunity to share their experiences and educate their communities when they return home."
Adina Tuchman, 17, a junior at Western High School, Davie, FL, has been actively involved in Young Judaea for over seven years, and was instrumental in bringing year-round Young Judaea activities back to South Florida. Adina has held several leadership positions in Becca’s Closet, a non-profit which provides free prom dresses to girls throughout the United States. She is a student leader, currently involved in her high school student government, the National Honor Society and Best Buddies, and consistently maintains an honor roll grade point average while taking several AP courses. Adina has learned to be an effective advocate, taking part in education programs about domestic violence: "My Jewish identity holds a strong importance in my life and being given this opportunity would shape that identity that I desire to expand."
Mikayla Carno-Harf, 17, a junior at Beachwood High School, Beachwood, OH has been actively involved in both Young Judaea and North American Federation of Temple Youth: The Reform Jewish Youth Movement (NFTY) for over seven years and has held leadership positions with both. As president of her NFTY board, she headed the planning for their Regional Conference. Described by her teacher as a self-motivated student, Mikayla seeks "to improve her grasp of the class concepts as she connects them to her life." Her synagogue has awarded her its highest honor for a teen, the Barnett Brickner award. She has been a strong advocate for Israel in her community and believes that participation in this program will "strengthen her commitment to Zionism." She says: "The Leader of Tomorrow Award will be the pinnacle of my Young Judaea experience thus far."
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 with a focus on science, social entrepreneurship, advocacy and volunteering, to name a few. Along with a weekend of leadership training at Tel Yehudah, Young Judaea's senior leadership camp, and a chance to explore personal special interests for one week of their trip in Israel, participants in Young Judaea's Israel Teen Summer Programs have every opportunity to travel the world and have an enduring impact on the communities around them. For more information, please visit http://bit.ly/yjsummer.
Young Judaea, the premier Zionist youth movement worldwide, encourages young people from grade school through post-college to become involved in social and educational activities that sharpen their senses of Jewish and Zionist identity. Young Judaea programs include a variety of year-round activities; summer camps nationwide; Alternative Winter Break; Year Course in Israel (a freshman gap-year program) and its Shalem Modern Orthodox initiative; Israel summer programs for teens, including YJ Machon, Israel Discovery, and I Speak Israel; Amirim college summer offerings; and WUJS Israel post-college internship and study programs. The movement is a "108 year old start-up," having recently become an independent organization and is building a dynamic, entrepreneurial, creative staff to meet current challenges and embrace new opportunities. For more information, please visit www.youngjudaea.org.
Hadassah 2016 Leaders of Tomorrow Award Recipient Adina Tuchman
Hadasssah 2016 Leaders of Tomorrow Award Recipient Mikayla Carno-Harf