by Phyllis Shaikun
The B’nai B’rith Youth Organization (BBYO) in Louisville has long been a training ground for the Jewish leaders of tomorrow; and each year, BBYO recognizes its best leaders for their contributions with special awards. This year, the Ellen Faye Garmon Award goes to Klaire Spielberg and the Stacy Marks Nisenbaum Award goes to Chelsea Rosenberg.
Klaire Spielberg, a straight-A student and rising junior at Collegiate of Louisville, has just finished her first year as president (n’siah) of Jay Levine BBG. Born in Louisville and a graduate of Eliahu Academy, Spielberg will be receiving the Ellen Faye Garmon Award at the Jewish Community of Louisville’s Annual Meeting in August. The award, named in Garmon’s memory, is awarded to a well-rounded teen who demonstrates the ability to help his/her chapter and community.
“I’ve been doing lots more volunteer work lately,” says Spielberg. “I participated in the Hunger Walk and, along with my friends in BBG, I helped plant the vegetable garden at the Jewish Community Center.”
The award will provide the opportunity for Spielberg to attend the BBYO’s International Kallah in Pennsylvania for 20 days next summer. Kallah offers a deep Judaic experience in which participants are given the opportunity to explore their own Jewish identity and engage with others in programs on spirituality, culture and religion.
With a focus on international studies, Spielberg’s classes in both Spanish and French are favorites. In fact, this summer she is spending a month taking part in an education experience at University of Seville in Spain with 30 other students from around the world that includes visiting various parts of the country as well. At Collegiate, she is a member of the rowing team and will be inducted into the National Honor Society next year.
Spielberg, the daughter of Jamey and Jeffrey Spielberg and sister of David, looks forward to doing more for Louisville in the future and to serving on more BBYO-related boards. She is the third person in her family to receive the award and is happy and proud to accept it.
The Garmon Award is given annually in memory of Ellen Faye Garmon, the daughter of Estelle and Selwyn Garmon, who died in July 1968 in a tragic accident. The fund was established by the Gamma Kappa Social Club in order to further the work of high schoolers who, in the spirit of Ellen, are involved in Jewish life through BBYO, the Jewish Community Center and in the general community. The Garmon Award is supported through the sale of all-occasion cards.
Chelsea Rosenberg, an energetic 10th-grader, is an honor roll student and member of Junior Beta Club at Ballard High School. Despite her young age, she has already earned her place in BBYO circles and is this year’s recipient of this year’s Stacy Marks Nisenbaum Award. The award is presented annually to a young person with great promise who has been active in BBYO.
Rosenberg attended the March BBYO Kallah (convention) and was the Jay Levine BBG Chapter Morah, the teacher for the chapter’s new members-in-training (MITs). In April, she attended the MIT/Aleph-in-Training (AIT) experience in April at Camp Livingston in Indiana, which focuses on membership.
“I believe I received the award,” said Rosenberg, “because I eventually plan to become even more involved in BBYO both locally and regionally.” She is especially excited to have this opportunity to attend the CLTC (Chapter Leadership Training Conference) next summer and feels it will help her contribute even more to her chapter.
Rosenberg attended Eliahu Academy for five years and is a student at the High School of Jewish Studies. She is the daughter of Bea and Alan Rosenberg and has two sisters, Emily and Dylan. The family belongs to The Temple.
Outside of school, she plays softball at Lyndon Recreation and is active with Walden Theatre. She also has volunteered at Gilda’s Club and is a counselor at the Jewish Community Center camp this summer.
The Stacy Marks Nisenbaum Award was created after her death by her three close friends, Stacy Gordon-Funk, Wendy Snow and Sally Weinberg, who felt the scholarship program was the best way to honor her memory.