January 2021 -- Tevet-Shevat 5781,  Volume 27, Issue 1

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Seeking Teen Leaders for Tikkun Olam Awards

Applications are now open for The Diller Teen Tikkun Olam Awards for 2021. Up to 15 teens will be awarded $36,000 each to fund a project.


The Diller Teen Tikkun Olam Awards recognizes Jewish teens 13-19 throughout the United States who have demonstrated remarkable leadership and initiative in projects that embody the values of Tikkun Olam, “repairing the world.”  A nominator may be any individual who knows a teen and is not a family member of the nominee. Nominations can be submitted online by December 18, 2020. Applications will close January 8, 2021


For the criteria, teens must show a proven commitment to the value and practice of Tikkun Olam; demonstrate vision and creativity; show effective development and implementation of a project or organization; show dedication to the project over time; engage individuals in the project; articulate in your own words about the project and the meaning and significance of the project.


Abe Baker-Butler (18) of Rye Brook, was one of the winners for 2020.  Deeply impacted by stories of family members who died from smoking-induced illnesses, Baker-Butler took comfort in his peers’ strong anti-cigarette stance, knowing they would never suffer from the same addiction. However, once in high school, the prevalence of e-cigarettes took hold of his friends’ despite their previous anti-nicotine sentiments.


He took matters into his own hands and co-founded Students Against Nicotine (SAN), which works to reduce and eradicate teen vaping through legislative advocacy and education in New York State. SAN has connected with thousands of New York teens through peer-to-peer education, webinars, rallies, and conferences. In 2019, Baker-Butler helped pass Tobacco 21 legislation, raising the age to buy tobacco products from 18 to 21 years old. Most recently, SAN helped ban the use of flavors in e-cigarettes across New York State. He plans on expanding SAN’s reach by developing a local chapter model to be replicated across the country.


For more information on how to nominate a teen, visit dillerteenawards.org