18 Under 18 Honorees

Check Out Last Year's Recognition Book!

Amelia Tehrani

Amelia Tehrani

Amelia is very involved in USY serving on the Chicago Region (CHUSY) Executive Board as the communications vice president. Besides USY, she is very involved with different clubs at her school, such as Best Buddies, Voices in Prevention (VIP) and Student Council serving on the executive board. She also is involved in VHgive, Spark and Student Diversity Council.

Avital Strauss

Avital Strauss

Avital is the president of her school’s Mental Health and Wellness Club and is a board member of her school’s human rights club. In addition, she is an active member of the Rochelle Zell Model United Nations team and the school’s Feminism Club. Avital enjoys engaging with the Jewish community through various Jewish programs, such as AJC’s Leaders for Tomorrow, JCC’s TeenSeed613, and currently, in her role as a StandWithUs High School Intern. Avital has worked on several political campaigns, most recently as a field organizer and communications associate.

Claire Schwartz

Claire Schwartz

Claire is a swimmer, Mathletes competitor, and Girls Coding Club co-president. Outside of school, Claire follows a passion for social justice as an active member of the Jewish Council on Urban Affairs, a local March for Our Lives chapter co-founder, a temple youth group board member, and a Kol Koleinu fellow.

Emma Shimovich

Emma Shimovich

Emma is president of Israeli club, captain of the cross country team, and sings in vocal jazz at Niles North High School. Outside of school, Emma is the Israel chair of NFTY CAR, assistant youth group advisor for Temple Beth Israel, and songleads for many Jewish communities. She also studied abroad in Israel though URJ's Heller High and spends her summers at OSRUI.

Jayden Fogel

Jayden Fogel

Jayden has committed her time to various Jewish organizations. She is Am Yisrael's chapter president of USY, was a 2020 Co-Chair for their 8th Grade Shabbaton, and is a teen ambassador at No Shame On U. At Am Yisrael, Jayden is a Madricha and mentors multiple students with special needs who are working towards their B'nai Mitzvot. She has also had multiple leadership roles at New Trier High School and participated in AJC's Leaders For Tomorrow program.

Lauren Tapper

Lauren Tapper

Lauren is the co-founder of an organization connecting global teens during the Covid-19 pandemic. She serves on the Orr Sholom youth board of Temple Sholom of Chicago and is a member of the Social Action Va'ad at NFTY. She participates in Model UN where she focuses on international crisis. She is passionate about social justice and change, and is a 2020-21 intern at the Research Training Internship with JUF and DePaul University.

Leah Seidman

Leah Seidman

Leah is the Co-President of the HPHS Orchestra Leadership Board and a founding member of the HPHS Holocaust Remembrance Day Student Board. A proud member of NSS Beth El, she serves on the BEANS USY Board and works at the synagogue's library. Leah is so grateful for the Chicago Jewish community's investment in youth programming and education, which have allowed her to participate in amazing programs like Ta'am Yisrael, RTI, and the Diller Teen Fellowship.

Maxwell Silverman

Maxwell Silverman

Max is the Executive Director and Co-Founder of Teens Be Heard. He is extremely passionate about social justice work and involving young voices in societal change. Aside from social justice work, Max is a dancer, and he loves using the arts (both visual and performing) as a platform for education and awareness.

Nathan Frewen

Nathan Frewen

Nathan is an actor and musician who enjoys performing in every way from being a drum major in marching band, to performing in musical theatre, which he plans to pursue after high school. He is very active in the Jewish community as a teaching assistant for religious school and Co-President of the Senior Youth Group at Congregation Etz Chaim, and a former camper at OSRUI.

Noa Polish

Noa Polish

Noa is a public forum debater, tuba player, and leader of her school's community service club. She is committed to seeking out untold narratives and finds meaning within her synagogue, Diller, and Rosh Chodesh communities.

Samantha Feinberg

Samantha Feinberg

Samantha is involved in many Jewish and Israeli related organizations including: The Illinois Holocaust Museum's Teen Board, Voices, USHMM Teen Board, Israel Club, and Hebrew Honors Society. Samantha is the Co-Founder of Balance Boxes, a youth-led nonprofit to provide academic and enjoyable activities to low-income kids. At school her favorite clubs consist of Student Congress, Model UN, Human Rights Club, and Genocide Commemoration Day Planning Committee.

Stephanie Kallish

Stephanie Kallish

Stephanie currently serves as USY International Israel Affairs Vice President and CHUSY regional Israel Affairs Vice President. She is a Standwithus High School Intern, a Student to Student board member and is the president of Highland Park High School's JSU (Israel Interest) club.

Zach Bromet

Zach Bromet

Zach is a student leader at Barrington High School, committed to making a difference in his community. He is actively involved with Broncos Committed as a PACT Leader and sits on the Executive Board at his school's Dance Marathon. Zach runs hurdles on the Varsity Track Team, is an Eagle Scout candidate, and a Co-President of his school's JSC. He has also served as a Teacher's Assistant in Torah School at Congregation Kneseth Israel.

Ziggy Gelman

Ziggy Gelman

Ziggy is very involved with his school serving as Editor in Chief of yearbook and designing school merchandise. He also is on the High School Leadership Board for Yachad, an organization that services people with special needs. This year Ziggy spent 2 months in the hospital during the Covid pandemic because he developed severe ulcerative colitis ending in the removal of his colon. With 2 surgeries still ahead of him, he has maintained a positive attitude and has turned his difficult situation into a positive message for others around him.

Zoe Haith

Zoe Haith

Zoe is a Senior at Mundelein High School where she participates in Lacrosse, Link Crew, and Black Student Union. She serves on OSRUI's DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion) task force to make her camp a more inclusive and open environment. She has also run multiple NFTY programs that educate teens about social issues going on around the world as NFTY-CAR's Social Action Vice President.

Kaylee Zaveduk

Kaylee Zaveduk

Kaylee is a leader at her school's Jewish Student Connections as well as a member of CTeen of Wilmette's board where she also teaches Hebrew school. She is a StandWithUs High School Intern and is very involved in BBYO. Kaylee attended a semester at Alexander Muss High School in Israel and upon returning, volunteers with the Jewish National Fund. She is a peer mentor at her school, teaches children with disabilities how to figure skate, and is a Keshet camp counselor at Apachi Village.

Naomi Altman

Naomi Altman

Naomi is a Junior at the Latin School of Chicago. She is an editor and writer for Discourses Political Magazine and is the head of her school's Jewish Student Connection club. She is a founding member of Latin's Science Olympiad team, is a member of the Cyber Patriot team, is a co-captain of the softball team, and is on the field hockey team. Outside of school, Naomi is a participant in JUF's RTI (Research Training Internship) and a former Diller Teen Fellow. Naomi is an intern at the Field Museum of Chicago, in her final year of the Northwestern University Medical Discovery Program, and spent last summer as an intern in the Northwestern Medicine Medical Informatics Department.

Sara Schwartz

Sara Schwartz

Sara is involved with BBYO, where she is the regional president (N'siah). She also works and volunteers with Keshet in various recreational programs. At school, Sara is a freshman mentor and serves on the Best Buddies executive board. Sara is passionate about helping teens find a positive community and spreading inclusion. She hopes to pursue a career as a special education teacher.

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