[Archived from April 3, 2009]
[by Phyllis Shaikun]
Daniel Ensign, a senior at duPont Manual High School’s High School University program, is this year’s recipient of the Ellen and Milton Cantor Israel Scholarship.
Milton Cantor established the fund with the Federation’s Foundation for Planned Giving’s in 1997 in memory of his wife, Ellen. When he passed away in 2002, the fund was renamed in their memory. Each year the Cantor Fund provides an annual scholarship to help defray the cost of a high school junior or senior’s participation in an approved month-long educational opportunity in Israel.
Ensign, who has been extremely involved with B’nai B’rith Youth Organization (BBYO) activities, will be traveling to Israel this summer to take part in the BBYO International Leadership Seminar Israel (ILSI). He will put the skills he learns to good use at the University of Maryland in the fall.
BBYO has been a significant force in Ensign’s young life, and he has served in a number of leadership roles on the chapter, regional and international levels. He has been the Drew Corson AZA Chapter Godol (president), Moreh (VP of Membership) and Shaliach (VP of Judaism and Community Service/Social Action), and is currently serving as chapter Moreh. He served as the 2007 KIO regional Mazkir (Secretary) and 2008 Regional S’gan (1st VP of Programming), was the 2007-8 Online Initiatives Chairperson and the assistant coordinator for the 2009 BBYO International Convention.
Through BBYO, he attended the CLTC (Chapter Leadership Training Conference) in 2006, the ILTC (International Leadership Training Conference) in 2007, Kallah 2008 (Judaic Summer Program), IC 2007-2009 and the March of the Living 2008. In addition, he coordinated the KIO Fall Kickoff 2007 and KIO Regional Convention 2008, each with over 120 participants.
Since assuming a leadership position in BBYO, he has helped the local chapter increase its membership from 5 teens to more than 30 (an additional 25 teens are involved in chapter activities), established regular programming and promoted greater outreach to Jewish teens in Louisville.
In recognition of his efforts, Ensign received the Stacy Marks Nisenbaum Award in 2006, the Pressma Award in 2008, both from the Jewish Community Center; and the Tree Of Life Award (for recruitment) and the Silver Shield of David (the highest award an Aleph can receive) in 2008 from BBYO’s International Order.
In addition to BBYO, Ensign has been a member of the Y-Club (a model government organization with an emphasis on community service) and helped found Action For Africa, a club striving to raise awareness of various crises in Africa with a focus on the “Invisible Children” of Uganda. He also was a volunteer in the 2008 Yarmuth for Congress campaign.
Ensign, who is the son of Julie and Jim Ensign and grandson of Elaine and the late Henry Frank and the late Les and Carolyn Ensign, says he is “really excited” to be the recipient of the 2009 Ellen and Milton Cantor Israel Scholarship. “Mr. Cantor was a life-long friend of my grandfather, and I know he would be so excited that I will be able to go to Israel this summer thanks to the generosity of one of his very dear friends. Through ILSI, I hope to be able to gain valuable leadership skills while continuing to grow as both a Jew and a person. I feel this is the perfect opportunity to explore Israel while making awesome new friends from all over the United States.”