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January 24, 2017 / 26 Tevet, 5777
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RASG Hebrew Academy Wins National NCSY Competition

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JUMP Winners (left to right) Karen Steinberg, Adina Bronstein, Ariela Israelov, Jackie Olemberg, Shane Herskowitz, Danny Bister, Jacob Mitrani, Ariella Stein, Merah Frank, and Todd Cohn.

After many months of hard work, RASG Hebrew Academy has won the National NCSY (National Council of Synagogue Youth) JUMP Competition. Each team in the competition was charged with the mission to successfully create and execute four events relating to Israel Advocacy, Jewish Values, Holocaust Remembrance and Bullying, as well as a fundraising event for their school and community. The JUMP Challenge is carefully designed to develop and build critical aspects of leadership that can be applied throughout life and more specifically while serving the Jewish community.

For the competition, the Hebrew Academy JUMP Team created an Israel Awareness Day including guest speaker Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, a speech by Consul General to Florida Chaim Shacham, Krav Maga (Israeli Martial Arts) self-defense instruction, and an Israeli cultural fair. Among the highlights of the Israel Awareness event was a highly informative and interactive presentation by Dr. Shmuel Katz, senior vice president of the Hebrew Academy, who together with the JUMP Team engaged the large audience with several relevant Audio Visual clips and meaningful “take home” messages.

In addition to the Israel Awareness Program, the JUMP Team developed a Bullying Awareness Week wherein students wore purple and blue as a sign of bullying awareness, learned about bullying in the NFL from former NFL lineman Alan Vinegrad, participated in open forum discussion groups about cliques and bullying, and in the high school wore bandages with anti-bullying messages in the team’s Band-Aids Against Bullying campaign.

The JUMP Team also spent time with developmentally delayed youth at a Friendship Circle event during which they made friendship bracelets together.

The team also ran a successful community three-on-three basketball tournament as a fundraiser. Finally, the students created a video featuring Holocaust survivors and their descendants, which will be shown on Yom HaShoah.

The JUMP program at Hebrew Academy was generously sponsored by Evelyn and Dr. Shmuel Katz.

The Hebrew Academy is an Orthodox Jewish college and yeshiva preparatory school serving students through grade 12. The school works to inspire and equip students to achieve their greatest potential academically and spiritually by focusing on their individual attributes and instilling eternal Torah values in a changing world.

For more information about the JUMP Team at Hebrew Academy, contact Rabbi Avi Fried, Hebrew Academy Fana Holtz High School Student Activities director, at 305-532-6421 ext. 219.

Shelley Benveniste

About the Author: Shelley Benveniste is South Florida editor of The Jewish Press.

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