Two Amherst Regional High School students are being honored for work distinguishing them as budding Jewish philanthropists.
High school junior Maya Berkman and high school senior Juliana Gensheimer have been selected to receive the Unsung Hero Award for Outstanding Teen Leadership from the Harold Grinspoon Foundation. The Unsung Hero Award honors Western Massachusetts residents whose leadership in the Jewish community and commitment to Jewish values inspires others and improves life in the region. Each year, the Foundation honors adult professionals and volunteers, as well as teens in the Jewish community for their community service and philanthropic giving.
Berkman and Gensheimer are members of B’nai Tzedek Teen Philanthropy Program, an initiative for Jewish teen philanthropists funded by Longmeadow philanthropist Harold Grinspoon. B’nai Tzedek teaches teens skills for fundraising and making philanthropic donations to Jewish non profit organizations.
In September 2008, Maya and Juliana were picked to serve on the B’nai Tzedek Youth Foundation, a leadership board of 18 teens representing the 300-plus western Massachusetts teens in B’nai Tzedek.