Five Reform Jewish Teens Win Award for Creative Excellence

Inside Leadership

Five Reform Jewish Teens Win Award for Creative Excellence

Five first place winners, and 12 runners up receive prizes for innovative projects

February 24, 2015, New York, NY --Every two years, NFTY, the Reform youth Movement, challenges their teens to explore their creative and innovative outlets within a Jewish context through NFTY Competitions. At NFTY Convention, which took place last week in Atlanta Georgia, five first place winners, and 12 runners up received prizes for their innovative projects.

This year, NFTY expanded the breadth of the competitions to spotlight the many different forms in which teens connect with their Jewish identities. The two types of competitions: (1) NFTY's Got Talent, which highlights tangible forms of expression such as art, writing, and video; and (2) NFTY Honors, which celebrates the initiatives and projects teens are running in their communities that address meaningful topics such as leadership, social justice, and science and technology.

Teens were permitted one entry per candidate, and were judged on the following criteria: reflection and inclusion of the guiding theme of influence; originality of expression; quality of work; and creativity.

"We have been celebrating the talents of our teens for decades. We deeply value their excellent contributions to our creative community," said Beth Rodin, Associate Director of NFTY.

2015 NFTY Competition Winners :

Visual Art :

Winner (featured on cover of Women of Reform Judaism (WRJ) calendar; $1000 scholarship to URJ Kutz Camp as an art major):

Helaine Bach (Temple Mount Sinai, El Paso, TX)

Runners up (artwork featured inside WRJ calendar):

Sarah Lader (Temple Beth Ami, Boyds, MA)

Andrew Baxter (Wallingford, CT)

Chelsea Stieglitz (Temple B'nai Torah, Wantag, NY)

Susannah Berlowe Binder (Temple Sinai, Chevy Chase, MD)

D'var Torah (sermon):

Winner (featured in the JTA and URJ online publications; presented d'var Torah at NFTY Convention):

Logan Kramer (Temple Beth Shalom, Austin, TX)

Runners up (featured on NFTY blog):

Shelby Shoup (Congregation Schaarai Zedek, Tampa, FL)

Stephanie Pokras (Williamsville, NY)

Lucy Brown (Chevy Chase, MD)

Creative Writing :

Winner (featured in JTA and URJ online publications):

Shayna Lowenstein (Congregation Beth Israel, Northfield, NJ)

Runners up (featured on NFTY blog):

Matt Mandel (Congregation Rodeph Sholom, New York, NY)

Jill MacKillop (Chelmsford, MA)

Amanda Leventhal (Beth-El Congregation, For Worth, TX)

Video :

Winner (Video shown at NFTY Convention)

Leah Monack (Temple Beth Abraham, Tarrytown, NY)

Song Competition :

Winner ($150 to Nashir, teen songleading institute; $1000 to URJ Kutz Camp as a songleading major; performance at NFTY Convention):

Kate York (Northern Virginia Hebrew Congregation, Reston, VA)

Runners up ($150 to Nashir)

Sophie Forstein (Temple of Israel, Greenville, SC)

Emily Groff (Temple Beth Sholom, Miami Beach, FL)

Morgan Leader (Congregation Kol Shalom, Bainbridge, WA)

Published: 2/24/2015

Categories: Press Releases

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