An extraordinary 624 young people from 11 schools across the country have now signed up to the prestigious Yoni Jesner Award, eclipsing last year’s numbers with an 83% increase! By volunteering just 20 hours, students in years 7 and 8 are able to make a difference to their communities in ways they never imagined they could.
The Yoni Jesner Award is brought to you by evolve, JLGB’s youth volunteering initiative, in collaboration with the Yoni Jesner Foundation. The award calls 11-13 year olds to experience the power of helping others in memory of the inspirational Yoni Jesner, who was killed aged 19 in a suicide bombing in Israel in 2002. Yoni proved that anyone can make a difference in this world no matter their age, which led to the inception of this award after his passing. Since then, tens of thousands of hours of good deeds have been completed by 11-13 year olds as part of the Yoni Jesner Award.
It’s only a month since Yoni’s mother Marsha Gladstone has launched the award but already young people have begun volunteering and logging their hours on evolve. JCoSS student Maya Lachmann, aged 13, volunteers monthly distributing clothes to refugees at the New North London Synagogue Asylum Seekers' Drop in. She described her experience as “A privilege” and although she initially found it challenging to approach strangers, she now thinks this has strengthened her communication skills.
The number of volunteers are continuously rising and it is an incredibly proud moment to reach such record breaking numbers of participants; an achievement worthy of Yoni’s name.
Neil Martin OBE, JLGB Chief Executive said:
“All of us at JLGB are so proud to power the Yoni Jesner Awards through the evolve volunteering and skills initiative. Working together with the Yoni Jesner Foundation we are excited for all the upgrades we have made as we further digitise the award with even more features. Now, for the first time, young people can sign up, not just through their school, but alternatively through the charity they are volunteering at or the youth group or synagogue they belong to, each of whom will be able to view the collective impact their young people have made.”
Young people can now sign up directly through their chosen synagogue, youth group or charity on evolve. To register for the award, discover youth friendly volunteering projects, track hours and keep on target, please visit www.jlgb.org/yonijesner