NCSY and Torah High Recognize Excellence

Posted on May 28, 2017

On June 5, NCSY Canada and Torah High held their annual Awards Banquet. The elegant evening was a smashing success with over 300 students and parents coming out for the evening of celebration.

With a photo-booth, a beautiful dessert reception, and a DJ playing rocking music, everyone had an entertaining time while appreciating the accomplishments of our NCSYers and Torah High students. Over 200 teens received awards, including 20 who received Star of David awards, which were presented to students who distinguished themselves by going above and beyond expectations. The evening was capped with awards being presented to the Moms of NCSYers who were involved in our Jewish Family Experience programming.

Come meet a few of our awesome award winners. They #ReallyRock!

NCSY’er of the Year Award Winner

Ilan Reznick

When contemplating the choice for NCSY’er of the Year it was an easy decision to present the award to Ilan Reznick. Ilan has dedicated his high school years to NCSY. In fact, no one  has attended more programs and events than him! And through Ilan’s involvement in NCSY, his outlook on life has developed. Ilan is now poised to continue his Jewish growth by spending the next year in Israel learning about Judaism full time in Yeshiva Ohr Sameach’s Derech program. We are incredibly proud of Ilan’s dedication to Judaism and Israel, and we know that we will see incredible things from him in the near future.

JSU (Jewish Student Union) President Star of David Award Winner

Riley Koltun

Riley Koltun is the President of our JSU (Jewish Student Union) at Forest Hill Collegiate Institute. She has been an active member of NCSY over the last couple of years, attending Learn N’ Earn and Torah High. She has distinguished herself as a leader, helping the Jewish Student Union at Forest Hill attract other Jewish students at her school.  Riley’s dedication and commitment to her Jewish values as well as her care and concern for her fellow peers earned her the Star of David Award. Riley will be attending Wilfrid Laurier University next year and hopes to continue to enhance her Judaism by being active in the Jewish and social programming offered on campus!

Community Engagement Star of David Award Winner

Amanda Shekachi 

Amanda Shekachi has been a devoted volunteer at Live2Give from the time she started CHAT in Grade 9 until she graduated Grade 12. Although CHAT students are known to be swamped with schoolwork, Amanda made Live2Give her top priority and put her heart and soul into every project and every charity that we helped. Amanda helped create an environment at Live2Give where every girl, regardless of age or the school she came from, instantly became best friends. Her inspiring original compositions about acceptance and love were all something that we, at Live2Give, looked forward to hearing every week. Your optimism and strength that you have shown as a blind person has inspired us all. You have made us “open our own eyes” to the world around us and care for our fellow friends. Simply put, you taught us how to be better human beings!

Ner Emunah Star of David Award Winner

Yishai Dishy

Yishai Dishy has graduated Grade 12 at Yeshivat Ohr Chaim and will be spending next year studying in Israel at Yeshivat Lev Hatorah. As a budding Torah scholar, Yishai is an exemplary student who epitomizes Jewish leadership. After attending Euro Ice, an NCSY summer program, in 2015, Yishai assumed leadership roles on the regional board and became an advisor for the Grades 6-8 Junior NCSY programs. He took part in the JUMP (Jewish Unity Mentor Program) leadership program and successfully completed the Jewish Scholars Program. Yishai has brought numerous friends to join NCSY and he is eminently worthy of this distinguished award.

Junior Community Engagement Star of David Winners

 Stacey Goldberg and Shayna Feldbloom

Stacey Goldberg and Shayna Feldbloom are two of our original Live2Give Juniors, which began two years ago. Since then, they have rarely missed a week. Stacey and Shayna are natural leaders who always make new girls feel welcome, creating a happy environment of cheerfulness and dedication. They have also initiated and ran their own chesed projects for the Live2Give Juniors North.

Torah Achievement Star of David Award Winners

May Shenhev, Hannah Wohl, Sarah Klein, Alexa Schneider, Kayla Miller, Seema Woolf, David Yuffa

May Shenhev has been extremely dedicated to NCSY and its various programs. Throughout her four years with us, she has attended almost every Shabbaton and Learn N’ Earn session. She is always looking to grow and learn how to become a better Jew. We are really going to miss her.

Hannah Wohl was in Grade 12 at CHAT this year. Even with a heavy workload, she religiously participated in Live2Give every week. Hannah is amazing at creating a happy environment around her and instilling a genuine love of learning and appreciation for our heritage among her peers.

Sarah Klein, a student at Westmount C.I.,  has dedicated herself to learn and explore more about her Judaism. She has just completed her first year of high school and is happy to have added NCSY to her high school experience.  Sarah learned with NCSY advisor Shirel Moll and continued her learning even after the program had ended!

Alexa Shneider is currently a student in one of Thornhill’s largest public schools, Westmount C.I. She has attended Learn N’ Earn almost every single week.  Her diligence has paid off as she and her mentor Shirel Moll have completed two books of Tanach. She is passionate and eager to learn more about her Judaism. and considers her journey through NCSY as just beginning.

Kayla Miller goes to William Lyon Mackenzie Collegiate Institute and has been an active member of NCSY Toronto since she joined a year and a half ago. Kayla was introduced to NCSY through the Jewish Student Union at her school. Kayla hasn’t looked back since then, joining the NCSY Learn N’ Earn program! Kayla’s dedication to enhancing her Jewish growth is clearly evident, as she is one our most consistent and committed learners.

Seema Woolf goes to William Lyon Mackenzie Collegiate Institute and has been an active member of NCSY Toronto since she joined NCSY two years ago. She is one of the core members of the NCSY Jewish Student Union Club (JSU) that occurs every Monday. Seema’s commitment and drive to help others discover their Jewish roots has resulted in her introducing many of her friends to NCSY. Seema utilizes every moment of NCSY’S Learn N’ Earn program to learn as much as she can about Judaism and has been one of our most consistent attendees.

David Yuffa has been a really consistent participant of Learn N’ Earn this year. For the first time, David attended a Jewish school this year; in spite of his heavy work schedule, he comes each and every week with the sole purpose of  learning  how to be a better Jew and person. His passion and love of learning is electric and helps to create an enthusiastic and happy environment.

Isaiah Zabitsky (not in picture) has just completed his second year at Learn ‘n Earn. He has consistently attended nearly every single weekly session with enthusiasm and a great attitude. He also took the initiative to make sure we had an extra kippah on hand in case any male NCSYer forgot to bring one.

President’s Award Winners

Ryan Gabriel and Daniella Mikanovsky

As co-presidents of the Regional Board, Ryan Gabriel and Daniella Mikanovsky were responsible for helping to facilitate meetings, organize programs, and manage the members of the board. With great dedication and passion for NCSY and Judaism, they inspired students to go beyond attending NCSY programs while also taking on leadership roles themselves.

Parents of the Year Award Winners

 Inna and Edward Kholodenko

Inna and Edward Kholodenko were recognized for having continuously opened their doors to an abundant number of NCSYers and staff and promoting awareness of the great work of NCSY.

To see our full gallery of award winners, please click here: