Jewish Day School faculty member Nance Adler has been awarded a Legacy Heritage Jewish Communal Scholarship for summer study at the Conservative Yeshiva of United Synagogue in Israel.
The Conservative yeshiva summer program in Jerusalem provides an opportunity to study the classic texts of Judaism, including Rabbinic literature, Philosophy, and Bible. The program also includes an intensive ulpan to build Hebrew speaking and reading skills and offers advanced classes in Talmud and halachah. Additionally, as a Legacy Heritage recipient, Adler will participate in a series of communal leadership activities.
“I’ve long wanted to go to Israel and this three-week summer study program is a perfect fit,” said Adler. “I look forward to the Israel experience, improving my Hebrew skills and the opportunity to study…I love to study.”
Adler graduated Cum Laude from Randolph Macon Woman’s College in Lynchburg, Virginia with a degree in European History and Russian Studies. She also holds a Master of Arts in Jewish Studies from the Jewish Theological Seminary. She teaches elementary level Judaics at JDS and she and her husband Steve live in Seattle.
He’s an avid Seahawks fan, and confesses to enjoying a little low-stakes poker, but Mercer Island’s Jake Bobman is also one of three students from his legislative district (41st) to be named a Washington State Scholar. These scholars (three from each district in the state) are selected for academic achievement, leadership and community service and receive full tuition scholarships at a state school.
A regular Sunday afternoon volunteer at the Kline Galland Nursing Home for five years, Jake was recognized in 2005 with the Jennie Newberger volunteer award, only the second teen to be so honored. He participated in J-Serve, a national day of service for Jewish teens sponsored by the leadership organization, PANIM, and was one of eight local students selected to participate in that organization’s Teen Leaders Fellowship conference in Washington, DC, this past November.
As vice president of Temple De Hirsch Sinai’s youth group, the Mercer Island High School graduating senior was the only student appointed to the synagogue’s Tikkun Olam Council (repairing the world), which promotes volunteer projects in the Seattle-Tacoma area.
“Religion is one of the most important aspects of my identity,” Jake told me in an e-mail. “I love Jewish prayers and music and have been given the honor of chanting from the Torah on High Holidays every year since my Bar Mitzvah.” Jake sings bass and has enjoyed being part of the Midnight Blues Jazz Choir at his school.
“My passion for singing provides a creative outlet for my energy and emotion,” he says.
A National Merit Scholar, Jake was also valedictorian of his class. He’s been named a Rotary Islander of the Month and received a Mercer Island community scholarship. He was president of the National Honor Society and participated in the BRIDGES program, in which older students help new students integrate into high school.
The future Husky plans to double major in biochemistry and mathematics in the UW Honors Program, and eventually blend his interests with a desire to help others in medicine or research. He’ll definitely be involved in Hillel and hopes to be accepted to one of the school’s vocal ensembles.
Jake is the son of Bruce and Karen Bobman.
Because Seattle’s North End is the fastest growing Jewish neighborhood in the state, I suppose it’s no surprise that Jewish kids were well-represented at the recent poetry contest sponsored by Seattle Public Library’s Northeast branch.
Naomi Savin, a 5th Grader at the Seattle Jewish Community School, was one winner, as were 6th Grade twin brothers Ethan Katz and Jesse Katz from Eckstein Middle School (in the interest of full disclosure, Jesse and Ethan are my kids). The awards ceremony took place in the overflowing meeting room at the branch and kid and adult winners all received certificates and Beanie Baby stuffed animals.
I know that Jews can’t make a unique claim on poetry, but as one who writes poetry I’ve often wondered if there was any connection. Even in this town, which is only about 2 to 3 percent Jewish, adult Jews are overrepresented at poetry events. And many of those Jews are non-religious, so it’s not necessarily connected to a familiarity with liturgy or Torah.
I asked long-time writing teacher and editorial consultant Linda Clifton what she thought.
“I’m not an anthropologist,” she qualified, “but it’s interesting question.
“Jewish culture fosters a love of language,” she proposed, and “ a deep appreciation for the word itself.”
Paraphrasing Rabbi Lawrence Kushner, she suggests that “our relationship with letters and books is not just argumentative, but a matter of love.”
My guess is that there were other winners from our community, so if you’d like a shout-out, send us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org.