The Teen Leadership Award


Each year The Teen Leadership Award will recognize up to three 8th grade teens who demonstrate strong leadership skills through the Sababa Youth Group or through a self-directed Tikkun Olam project that contribute to strengthening the Beth El teen community.

Award support is provided by the Rabbis’ Discretionary Fund.

The Award:

  • Up to three monetary prizes of $250 will be awarded to support the recipients’ interests in leadership training, such as:

  1. attendance at workshops or retreats at Camp Newman, BESTY and other NFTY activities
  2. enrollment in Jewish learning programs such as Midrasha or Jewish Youth for Community Action (JYCA)
  • Name engraved on a permanent plaque at Beth El,
  • Public recognition at the Spring Annual Meeting and at The Celebration of Education Shabbat ceremony.

Selection Criteria:

Leadership Skills will be accessed in the following ways:
  • Strong and committed Board leadership in the Sababa Youth Group.
  • Spearheading a Tikkun Olam project for the Sababa Youth Group.


  • Nominations submitted four weeks prior to the Annual Meeting in two ways:
o   Self Nominations: Any 8th grader who is a member of Congregation Beth El can submit their name for consideration, accompanied by a short statement (about 250 words) that describes how he/she meets the award criteria.
o   Peer Nomination: Any middle school student who is a member of Congregation Beth El can nominate a Beth El 8th grader for consideration, accompanied by a brief statement of support that describes how the student meets the award criteria.
o   Staff Nomination: Any Beth El staff member can nominate an 8th grader by submitting their name along with brief statement of support that describes how the student meets the award criteria.
  • Selection Committee:

o   Rabbi Yoel Kahn,
o   Rabbi Rebekah Stern,
o   Director of Youth & Family Education,
o   Emily Schnitzer (Director of Camp Kee Tov and Youth Group Director),
o   Ali Greenland (Youth Group Advisor).
  • The award is a recognition of excellence. The Selection Committee is under no obligation to make an award every year.
  • Procedure for Claiming Monetary Award: the recipients may either submit a request for reimbursement to the Executive Director at any time during the award year, (with receipt attached) or for a check to be made out to the sponsoring organization or agency (such as Camp Newman, NFTY, Midrasha or JYCA).

Meet this year’s recipients!

Sylvie Love

Sylvie Love has been a part of Beth El’s programs for many years, and after becoming bat mitzvah last year she transitioned into a new role as a madricha. She’s risen to the occasion—being thoughtful, kind and ready to help anyone who asks. She is a devoted Camp Kee Tov camper who is entering her final year before applying to be a CIT for the Summer 2018.

Elan Park-Bernstein

Elan Park-Bernstein is following in his brother’s footsteps through participation on the Sababa Board and as a madrich. This year especially, Elan has risen to the occasion of being a madrich and has devoted his time and energy to getting to know his students and helping with classroom clean-up. Elan is dedicated to making sure his Kadima students have a fun and focused time and he even participated in every Shabbat YAFE this year! Yasher Koach Elan!

Olivia Rokhsar

Olivia Rokhsar, as a three-year member of the Sababa Board—this year as president—has reached new heights of leadership. She is active on Program Council, reporting on past and future Sababa events while also putting effort into planning and attending them throughout the year. We’re excited to have Olivia continue her presence in our youth group in high school.