Do you know a child who is single-handedly working to make the world a better place? A child who has recognized a need in their school, neighborhood or city, and is trying to improve the situation? Or maybe a child who is using his or her natural talents to help other people?
If that child is a Jewish youngster under the age of 14, then you can nominate them for this year’s “Power of Jewish Children” contest being run by JewishKids.org, and co-sponsored by Tzivos Hashem: Jewish Children’s International and Chabad.org.
The contest is open to children “who have worked hard to make a difference, and want to be part of something special internationally.” says Chaya Kaltmann, who is coordinating this year’s contest.
Previously known as the Jewish Kids Got Talent competition, this year’s contest is focusing more on the positive effect children can have on the world around them than on a particular skill.
“After four very inspiring years of children sharing their wide array of talents, we are now attempting to channel the focus and energy towards their impact on their local communities,” explains Rabbi Yerachmiel Benjaminson, executive director of Tzivos Hashem. “Now it’s about our youth utilizing their talents and passion to help others, and displaying their unique commitment towards traditional Jewish values.”
“This year’s program wants to recognize youth who have devoted themselves to a larger cause, says Kaltmann. Through utilizing their natural skill and talent, as well as their passion and commitment, our youth are able to help others in their respective communities, and thereby express their Jewish identity. This is the ultimate power of Jewish children.”
Last year’s winner, Estee Ackerman, 13, of Long Island, N.Y., has certainly been a catalyst for spreading goodwill and empowerment. The teen was recently recognized by a blog as one of “Jew in the City’s 2014 Orthodox Jewish All-Stars” and has been quite vocal about her level of Jewish observance, even while pursuing her dreams of being an Olympic athlete in 2016 in the sport of table tennis. For example, she does not compete on Shabbat, even if that means forfeiting games.
In addition to a website at PowerofJewishChildren.com, the contest also has its own promotional video that’s a blend of cartoon art and live action in the form of Jewish singer Benny Friedman, who appears in the video.
“I am so privileged to help honor you for your imagination and your initiative in making the world such a much better place, and I wish you good luck with your entry,” Friedman says in the video. “This is your chance to inspire others by sharing what you’ve been accomplishing through your kindness and commitment. …
“Clearly,” the singer continues, “you’re already a winner.”
The contest’s actual winners will enjoy a semi-private concert with Friedman and few hundred other people when they are flown to New York for the annual Tzivos Hashem dinner, to be held on Monday, Dec. 8, at the Grand Prospect Hall in Brooklyn, New York.
Also performing at this year’s dinner will be Joel Chasnoff, an American stand-up comedian and writer. The event will be broadcast live on JewishKids.org.
To learn more, check out the video and contest rules on PowerofJewishChildren.com.
Submissions must be received by Tuesday, Nov. 18.