Sam Albert, above, and Liana Gerber are co-winners of this year’s Temple Sholom Teen Tikkun Olam Awards. (photos from Temple Sholom)
The Dreamers and Builders gala event May 5 provides Temple Sholom the opportunity to present its third annual Tikkun Olam Awards. The awards are the dream child of Rabbi Dan Moskovitz, and are funded by Michelle and Neil Pollock.
In addition to highlighting exemplary dreamers and builders like honourees Susan Mendelson and Jack Lutsky, this year’s gala will recognize two among the many amazing teens in the community. These youth see the needs in the world and work hard to address those needs, with creativity and compassion.
The application process for the 2019 Tikkun Olam Awards produced eight applicants and two co-winners: Sam Albert and Liana Gerber.
Sam, 17, is in Grade 11 and already recognizes the power of the pen – he plans to study journalism. His parents, Jennifer Tater and David Albert, have encouraged his devotion to community involvement. He is the youngest of three and has two older sisters. His interest is protecting the planet and preventing climate change. He is involved in many local organizations and has spent a lot of his spare time working to clean Metro Vancouver’s beaches. He is so well-known in the world community that he has been invited to attend a climate change conference in Bonn, Germany, this summer.
Liana, also 17, is a Grade 12 student. The daughter of Michelle and Martin Gerber, Liana has a twin and a younger sister. Next year, Liana plans to start studying interior design and also hopes to become a paramedic one day. For several years, on a volunteer basis, she has baked for the kids who enter Ronald McDonald House. In the process of doing this, she has spoken with and persuaded the manager of her local grocery store to provide reduced prices for the grocery items required. She also has fundraised to ensure that meals are provided for families when they enter the home, so that they may focus on the needs of their child and not worry about feeding themselves. While traveling in the United States, Liana found a Ronald McDonald House and baked for the residents there. How basherte it is that Liana is a co-winner the year that Temple Sholom recognizes Mendelson, a founder of the Lazy Gourmet catering company, among other accomplishments, for all of her work and devotion to tikkun olam.
Temple Sholom is proud and honoured to recognize excellence among its teens. On June 7, at the Shabbat evening service at the synagogue, all of the Tikkun Olam Award candidates will be acknowledged and celebrated with a special presentation. The entire community is invited to participate.
For more information about and tickets to the Dreamers and Builders gala, which is almost sold out, visit templesholom.ca/dreamers-and-builders.