2014 CBS Young Mensch Award

JesseBarushWe are pleased to inform you that Jesse Barush is the recipient of the 2014 Young Mensch Award. The description of the award is below and was distributed widely for several months prior to the deadline.

Jesse is finishing his sophomore year at UC Santa Cruz. While he was in high school he was very involved with our Religious and Hebrew School as well as our Chaverim Summer camp.

At Santa Cruz, Jesse has been actively involved in Hillel, Alpha Epsilon Pi (national Jewish fraternity), AIPAC, and was one of the student leaders in helping to defeat the BDS movement at Santa Cruz. He continues to be very involved as an Eagle Scout.

Jesse wrote in his essay: "Nobody is perfect, and part of being a good role model is being able to admit when you are wrong. A mensch always owns his or her mistakes, and uses them as a learning experience. Humility and taking responsibility for one's own actions are hallmarks of a mensch... I especially take this principle of being a mensch seriously. It is important to celebrate success, but it is more important to keep your nose to the grindstone, because a true mensch never stops helping."

The Hillel director at Santa Cruz wrote this about Jesse: "He regularly attends Shabbat and other Jewish life celebrations. When he does attend such events, he doesn't just show up, he brings warmth, humor and a willingness to lend a hand and help out. For example, this week Hillel had a table set up in the center of campus to share stories and information about the Holocaust in honor of Yom HaShoah. As is typical of Jesse, he showed up early (wearing his March of the Living Sweatshirt), helped with the setup, stayed for the entire event -- talking with both Jewish and non-Jewish students about the Holocaust -- and at the end helped to clean up. This is just one example of Jesse's willingness to not just say he is going to do something but to dive in and make the event both warmer and more Jewish at the same time."

We are very proud of Jesse and all that he is doing is a reflection of his menschlekeit. As a recipient of this award, he will be receiving a generous scholarship towards his 2014-2015 tuition. We also wish a Mazal Tov to his parents Sue and Roy Barush.

This award is made possible by the generosity of an anonymous donor. If you would like to donate to this fund, please send your contribution to CBS and designate for the Young Mensch Award.

Criteria for Award:

The Congregation Beth Shalom Young Mensch Scholarship Fund was established by an anonymous member of CBS in hopes of acknowledging the good work of our teens and young adults in the Napa Jewish community.

To qualify for the award a candidate must be a current or prior member of Congregation Beth Shalom, who will be enrolled, either full-time or part-time, in an accredited college or university during the 2014-2015 academic year.

Applicants will be evaluated on their commitment and contributions to CBS or to the greater Napa Jewish Community, and, if they have completed at least one year of college, their involvement in Jewish life at their school.