Teenagers have the opportunity to earn money and take leadership training in the new year


Here are three opportunities you need to know about.

Jeens: prepare your pens (or keyboards). With a little thought and effort, you can earn money and great leadership experience for college. Here are three opportunities you need to know about.

Cohn-Haddow Annual Writing Competition

The Cohn-Haddow Center for Judaic Studies at Wayne State University is holding its seventh annual writing contest for high school students in Metro Detroit. Submissions can be essays, short stories, or one or more poems related to some aspect of Jewish life, culture, or history.

The purpose of the competition is not only to encourage high school students to think about and write about issues of Jewish significance – past, present and future – but also to cultivate new perspectives on what are often conversations, discussions and debates.

Winning works will be published online by the Cohn-Haddow Center. The deadline for submission is March 1.

The top submissions in each category will receive a cash prize of $500, with cash prizes of $100 for honorable mentions in each category.

For more information on competition guidelines, rules, suggested themes, and where to submit entries, visit judaicstudies.wayne.edu/writingcompetition.

NCJW/MI Jewish Youth Award

The National Council of Jewish Women of Michigan, an organization guided by Jewish values ​​and dedicated to social justice for women, children and families, will once again continue the tradition of honoring outstanding high school students who show strong leadership within the community.

All Jewish high school students are welcome to apply. To be eligible, a candidate must meet the following conditions:

  • Complete the online information section of the nomination form at https://ncjwmi.org/jewishyouthawards.
  • Complete the online leadership section of the form. Identify and describe leadership positions or other involvement in the Jewish and/or secular community during high school.
  • Upload a typed essay (600-800 words) on the following topic: What experience or person had the greatest impact on your Jewish identity?
  • Be available for a personal interview by a jury on Sunday, May 1 at 10 a.m. at the NCJW | MI office in Southfield.
  • All application materials must be submitted no later than February 22.

Prize money totaling $6,000 will be distributed to finalists as follows: 1st place: $2,500; 2nd prize: $1,500; 3rd prize: $1,000; and four honorable mentions: $250 each. Finalists will be recognized at an awards ceremony on Wednesday, May 11.

Israeli Teen Leadership Institute

Applications are due Feb. 4 for the upcoming Center for Israel Education (CIE) Virtual Teen Leadership Institute for Israelis (TILI), which will be held from noon to 3 p.m. ET on consecutive Sundays, February 20 and 27.

TILI’s interactive presentations not only enhance ninth-grade students’ understanding of Israel, its complexity, and its role in Jewish identity, but also provide skills for sharing that knowledge. By learning with and from their peers, students, communal professionals and the CIE’s own experts, the teenagers form valuable friendships and acquire important critical thinking skills that they can apply in their future projects.

Hundreds of high school students have attended the Intensive Teen Institute since the spring of 2018, joining more than 3,000 teens who participated in online CIE programs in 2021 alone.

Among other topics, TILI sessions will address:

  • Zionist and Israeli culture and politics through music.
  • The Jewish and Democratic Origins of Israel.
  • Identity and religion in Israeli society.
  • The process of state building for decades before independence.
  • Arab-Israeli relations and negotiations.
  • Be a critical consumer of media.
  • Israel on campus.

Teens from across the Jewish spectrum with any level of knowledge and perspective on Israel are welcome, but top performers are willing to engage with their peers and be open-minded. The teen institute connects them to content and context to build their individual abilities to learn, own and be part of Israel’s story.

The institute registration fee is $54 and applications are accepted on a rolling basis. Access the app at israeled.org/teens, where you’ll find more information, including testimonials from participants and insights from CIE’s Director of Teen Initiatives, Michele Freesman-Levenson, on the benefits of the program.

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