Six prospective students of the Lander College for Women-The Anna Ruth and Mark Hasten School (LCW) were awarded up to $48,000 in academic scholarships as the winners of the school’s first annual Torah essay contest in Israel. Each of the three first-place contestants will receive $3,000 in scholarships annually for up to four years of enrollment at LCW; three second-place winners will receive $1,000 each in annual scholarships. Dr. Alan Kadish, president and CEO of the Touro College and University System, was in attendance and presented the students with the awards.
“I was impressed by the high level of scholarship and thoughtfulness of the essays that were submitted,” said Marian Stoltz-Loike, dean of LCW and Touro’s vice president of online education. “The review committee had a very difficult time deciding on the winners. I look forward to having all of these students join us at LCW.”
According to the rules of the contest, students studying in seminary in Israel submitted eight- to ten-page essays on the theme of “ma’aseh avot siman lebanim,” “the actions of the forefathers are a model for the children,” and used an individual story or incident from Tanach and applied it to contemporary Jewish life. Students from five seminaries across Jerusalem submitted entries.
The award ceremony took place in the Jerusalem community of Bayit V’gan at a reception that included food and music. Attendees included accepted and prospective LCW students, as well as alumnae. Both Dean Stoltz-Loike and Dr. David Luchins, founding dean and chair of the political science department, addressed the students.
In collaboration with Yad Eliezer, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping families with financial difficulties, all of the attendees helped assemble mishloach manot packages for poor families in the Israeli city of Okafim. Most of the money for the food items was raised by LCW students with the rest subsidized by the college.
“You did something incredible with these packages. They are absolutely stunning,” wrote Meira Bauminger, Yad Eliezer’s grant coordinator, in a letter to LCW. “The gabbai tzedakah in Okafim called us last night to tell us how excited he was about the packages. Huge yasher koach!”
The first-place contest winners were: Rivky Horowitz of Spring Valley, NY; Miri Korbman of Elizabeth, NJ; and Bracha Leff of Brighton, MA. The second-place winners were: Mindy Schron; Naomi Broker; and Nechama Weinstein, all from Brooklyn, NY.
The Lander College for Women is an undergraduate division of Touro, a student-centered college located in midtown Manhattan where Jewish women follow a rigorous academic program as they pursue their baccalaureate degrees, while continuing and deepening their Torah education and commitment. For more information, visit lcw.touro.edu. v