Yosef Nider, centre, receives the inaugural Lamplighter Award last year. (photo from Centre for Judaism)
Do you, or does someone you know, qualify for the Centre for Judaism Young Lamplighter Award? Has anyone you know between the ages of 5 and 18 made a unique effort to illuminate their world by performing extra special deeds of goodness and kindness?
Last Chanukah, on Dec. 21, Yosef Nider, 7, received the Centre for Judaism Young Lamplighter Award at the annual public menorah lighting in the Semiahmoo Shopping Centre. White Rock Mayor Wayne Baldwin, Surrey Mayor Linda Hepner and Rabbi Falik and Rebbetzin Simie Schtroks, co-directors of the Centre for Judaism of the Fraser Valley, presented Yosef with an engraved trophy, as well as a cash prize.
“Chanukah celebrates the victory of light over darkness and goodness over evil. This is a most appropriate opportunity to motivate and inspire young people … with a little light, they can dispel all sorts of darkness,” said Simie Schtroks.
“We were delighted to bestow this honor upon young Yosef because he turned the painful experience of dealing with his grandfather’s terminal cancer into an opportunity to do good for others. With his parents’ support, he organized an event – highlighted by his own violin performance – A Concert for a Cure, which raised $10,000 for cancer research,” she added.
Jeff Nider, Yosef’s father, described the experience. “We were blown away by the events of the evening, and it was such an honor for my wife and I to be the parents of a child who won the Lamplighter Award,” he said. “Yosef started out simply wanting to do something to help his grandfather, but what he eventually accomplished resulted in such a ripple effect. We truly are amazed and feel both humbled and proud of Yosef.”
When Yosef heard that he would be passing the light forward to the next recipient, he said, “I felt really happy to get this award. I hope that other kids will also do something good for the world after hearing about this award. The award is on my dresser in my room. I also got to buy a really cool Lego set.”
The deadline to submit a nominee for this year’s Lamplighter Award is Nov. 22, 2015. Include with the nomination at least one letter of recommendation written by a rabbi, teacher, principal, mentor, doctor or other verifiable source. Send all the material and direct any questions to Simie Schtroks, [email protected].
The award ceremony takes place on Dec. 13, 5:30 p.m., at the Semiahmoo Mall menorah lighting. Everyone is welcome.