Chief Rabbi: "Be a Role Model like Yoni Jesner" 

In a packed auditorium of over 300 people, Chief Rabbi, Ephraim Mirvis called upon Jewish young people of our community to become the role models of the future.

Chief Rabbi, Ephraim Mirvis said:

"Boys and girls I’d like to ask something from you, that this evening should not be a graduation, the conclusion of what you have done for your Yoni Jesner Awards, but rather the beginning of an entire lifetime through which, giving selflessly will always come naturally to you…I'd like to ask each and every one of you, please, try to become role models yourselves - people who will inspire others, people who set an example for others to follow - you will be just as Yoni Jesner was."

The Chief Rabbi spoke at the Yoni Jesner Awards ceremony which was organised by JLGB, and saw over 100 young people presented with Yoni Jesner Awards certificates for service to their community. Each school was presented their award certificates by a different community guest, including members of Yoni’s family, new Board of Deputies Vice President Edwin Shuker (pictured) and Rabbi David Meyer, the Executive Director of PaJeS.

Powered by JLGB, in partnership with the Yoni Jesner Foundation, the award honours the memory of Yoni Jesner, a passionate volunteer from Glasgow who was tragically killed in a bus bomb in Tel Aviv in 2002, at just 19 years of age.

Marsha Gladstone, Yoni’s mother said:

"I’m so proud to associate Yoni's name with this project, because this way of giving is truly what Yoni was all about, you've shown that not only you have it in your heart to show that you do care, but also to see it right through to the end".

Also in the evening, the Yoni Jesner Foundation presented scholarships to Avishai Marcus and Tsipporah Lax. The Yoni Jesner Scholarships aim to assist other students wishing to spend a year in Israel before commencing their university studies and are awarded to exceptional individuals who demonstrate a special kind of activism within their community and evidence of excellence.

Avishai Marcus, Yoni Jesner Foundation Scholar said:

"The responsibility of trying to emulate Yoni and perpetuate his legacy is on the face of it, a staggering task. At the same time I am excited, excited being tasked with this challenge and the prospect of doing all I can to continue Yoni's ideals which were inclusive, positive and based around a genuine love of Torah values".

Hundreds of young people completed the Yoni Jesner Award and other national achievement awards through evolve, JLGB’s youth volunteering and skills initiative. The evolve digital platform allows young people to search for youth friendly volunteering opportunities in their local area that matches their skills and interests, in addition to tracking their achievements all in one place. As young people progress through the school years they can record their volunteering experiences on evolve and complete other nationally recognised awards and accreditations, including the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, vinspired award and Open College Network accreditations.

Next year’s Yoni Jesner Awards will launch at the beginning of the next academic year, where even more young people are expected to sign up for the award. If you or your child is in school years 7 or 8, now is a great time to sign up at www.jlgb.org/yonijesner.

Find out more about the other awards powered through evolve including JLGB’s kosher Duke of Edinburgh’s Award at www.jlgb.org/evolve.

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