Montreal’s Diabetic Children’s Foundation and Leucan, an association for children with cancer, are $2,500 richer today thanks to seven Grade 10 Hebrew Academy students who won grants on the organizations’ behalf.

This morning, four semi-finalist student groups representing Old Brewery Mission, Dans la Rue, Leucan and Montreal’s Diabetic Children’s Foundation presented their charities before their peers and two judges, High School French Department Head Danielle Joseph and  Morah Racheli Blanshay, a former YPI finalist

The nail-biting face-off signified the climax of students’ months-long participation in the Youth Philanthropy Initiative (YPI), a project that encourages teens to research and advocate for a local charity for the chance to win it a $5,000 grant. This year two organizations tied, splitting the prize.

“YPI gives students an education and experience that they would never find in a textbook,” said Hebrew Academy’s lead YPI teacher, Celia Natanblut, who has been incorporating the initiative as part of her Grade 10 Ethics and Religious Culture (ERC) curriculum for the past seven years. Hebrew Academy is the only Jewish school in Montreal that participates in YPI, and students have raised $35,000 to date for worthy non-profits.

“Through their participation, students learn teamwork, research and presentation skills and connect with the people running the charities as well as those in need. They read about social issues and participate in acts of kindness for their respective charities. In non-Covid times, they also visit the organizations and gain an appreciation for the impact they are making right here in Montreal,” said Mrs. Natanblut.

Based on their research, students prepare a request for funding proposal on behalf of their charity, along with a presentation to introduce their cause to their peers.

Congratulations to Hilah Ohayon, Esther Sherrf, Jessica Raksi, and Taara Azoulay of Team Leucan and David Israel, Daniel Laredo and Michael Silverman, representing the Diabetic Children’s Foundation. Mrs. Natanblut presented both groups with a giant cheque for their organization!

“The YPI project truly exemplifies the values of Hebrew Academy students and the Jewish concept of gemilut chasadim, acts of loving kindness,” said Mrs. Natanblut. “I was truly impressed with all of the students’ presentations. Hopefully they have also developed a bond with their selected charities and will continue to be involved with them in the future.”

Click here for more pictures of the event.

by Aviva Engel, Director of Communications


Share This