[Archived from March 20, 2009]
[by Shiela Steinman Wallace]
When David Bloom went to the NFTY (North American Federation of Temple Youth) biennial convention in Washington, D.C. last month, he was ready for the Wendy Blickstein Memorial D’var Torah Competition. The time he spent preparing his remarks on Yitro, “The Chosen People,” was well spent, because he captured first place in this national Torah commentary competition and received a $4500 scholarship to be used toward URJ (Union for Reform Judaism) Youth Programs.
To win such a prestigious competition is a major accomplishment, but for David, delivering a Jewish message with words is not enough. His commitment to Judaism also requires action.
On March 4, a friend of his from Kutz Camp, Jonah Dreskin, a 19-year-old student at the University of Buffalo died. David decided the best thing to do with his prize would be to create a “New Kutz scholarship for those who are financially challenged.” In writing to see if the donors of his award would approve this use of the money, he continued, “I would like to name this scholarship after Jonah Dreskin and call it ‘The Jonah Dreskin Fund.’”
David is a junior at Louisville Collegiate School and a member of Temple Shalom. He credits NFTY with helping him make incredible friendships that will last his lifetime. He aspires to be a rabbi and says NFTY sparked his curiosity for Judaism.
When not at a NFTY event, David enjoys chess and martial arts. He also has attended Kutz, NFTY’s Campus for Reform Jewish Teens the past two summers.
Of Kutz, David says: “There are no words to express the feelings I have for this place. I have made my best friends here and will continue to do so in the upcoming summer. I only wish to say that God dwells here when not in Israel.”
David is the son of Drs. Steve and Karen Bloom.
Hear his D’var Torah at http://www.nfty.org/competitions/.