18 Under 18 Honorees

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Blake Finkel

Stevenson High School


Blake is very involved at his school as well as with Camp Chi and BBYO. At school he is a Freshman Mentor, tutors math and Hebrew, is on executive board for both Club Israel through JSC and Kiva Club. This year, Blake has continued his work with organizations that serve students with special needs including Best Buddies and Keshet.


Eli Gould

Beacon Academy


Eli is very active in BBYO and serves as the Regional Vice President of programming in the Great Midwest Region. Outside of BBYO Eli is a part of Diller Teen Fellows where he continues to develop his leadership skills both in Chicago and world wide. Eli also plays on the soccer team and runs track.


Estefani Smith

Lincoln Park High School


Estefani is very involved with social justice work. She has created a social justice club at her school as well as being a part of two social justice related internships. She hopes to travel and work with marine animals over the summer before she attends college in the fall.


Evie Katz-Palka

Buffalo Grove High School


Evie is a three year dance and choral leader. She teaches religious school at Temple Chai in Long Grove and participated in the Diller Teen Fellowship. Next year, Evie will be attending Butler University and hopes to study marketing!


Gillian Rosenberg

Evanston Township High School


At school, Gillian participates in sports, competes in Speech and Debate, and writes and edits for the MULE (magazine of Untaught Languages at ETHS). In the Jewish community, she is a Hebrew in the High Ambassador and Diller Teen Fellows Junior Counselor. She also spends time Hebrew tutoring and reading Torah for her minyan.


Greta Loewenthal

Highland Park High School


Greta dances in her school's Dance Concert and is on the swim team. She is a madricha at Am Yisrael Conservative Congregation in Northfield. This year, she will be a counselor at Beber Camp where she has spent ten summers.


Gwen Tucker

Evanston Township High School


Gwen writes for her school's newspaper and is a board member of SOAR (Students Organized Against Racism). Through her work with RTI (Research Training Internship) and JCUA (Jewish Council on Urban Affairs), her Jewish identity has become central to her passion for social justice.


Hannah Adams

Walter Payton College Prep


Hannah is a leader of Jewish Student Connection, financial chair of Model United Nations, operations & outreach chair of the economics team, founder of mindFULL (a club that promotes the accessibility of wellness and healthy food), and a varsity lacrosse player. Hannah is a madricha at the Anshe Emet Religious School and will be a counselor at OSRUI this summer, where she has spent 7 summers.


Jacob Kline

Lane Tech High School


Jacob is a leader in USY and loves programming, making new friends, and participating in volunteer opportunities in his community! He is really excited to be able to share this honor with so many amazing leaders!!


Jonathan Olbur

Buffalo Grove High School


Jonathan is a co-captain of the cross country and the distance track team at his school. He participates, and was the former Treasurer of NFTY CAR and continues to be a proud member of BJBE in Deerfield. This year, he is continuing his work as senior director of Camp CAR.


Joshua Pogonitz

Ida Crown Jewish Academy


Josh has been on both his school's cross country and basketball teams all four years of high school. Through working on his own mental illnesses, and rediscovering happiness last year, he has learned that though there are still struggles in life, it is okay to not be okay and that it is okay to make mistakes. In November of 2019, Josh spoke at No Shame On U’s annual event about his journey through mental health.


Kayla Chandler

Walter Payton College Prep


Kayla is an energetic teen who runs on her school's track and cross country team. She participates in a year long social justice internship at JCUA. She is passionate about social justice, and is always looking for more opportunities to help others.


Lena Bromberg

Rochelle Zell Jewish High School


Lena plays on her school's volleyball team, organizes visits to a nearby retirement home, and participates in several other clubs. Most of Lena's free time is spent babysitting. She has spent the past five summers as a camper at Camp Ramah in Wisconsin.


Lyla Prass

Deerfield High School


Lyla participates in her school's Model UN, debate, human rights club, theatre, stage crew, and chorus. She is a madricha at BJBE, as well as a participant and board member in their youth group; she is also an active participant in NFTY. This year she is excited to travel to Israel and speak Hebrew on Chalutzim Ba'Aretz through OSRUI, where she has been a camper for the past 8 summers.


Mia Strubel-Iram

Niles North High School


In school Mia is part of the cross country and track teams, very active with Israeli Club, and she is the president of Hebrew Honors Society. Mia is a madricha at Am Yisrael's School of Jewish Studies in Northfield. Throughout the year Mia helps organize Ken Events (camp get togethers) for Habonim Dror Camp Tavor and this summer she will be returning to camp as a counselor.


Sammy Moscovitch

Ida Crown Jewish Academy


Sammy is an all around athlete who holds leadership positions in various organizations. He is the Chapter President of Chicago Yachad, Regional Board Vice President of Education for the Midwest NCSY Region, member of the Chicagoland Chapter of NCSY, and a member of the Teen Leadership Council with StandWithUs. Sammy also initiated a medical program at his school, Hugo’s Heroes, which teaches teens the basics of CPR and First Aid. This is his second year leading that program.


Tova Kaplan

Whitney M. Young High School


Tova is an activist and leader who is committed to making a difference in her community and standing up for the rights of all people. She is a member of Chabad of East Lakeview, and has been both a Hebrew School teacher and Gan Israel camp counselor.

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