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“When JFCS called me with the news about this scholarship, my eyes immediately filled with tears of joy and I felt a sense of relief and happiness rush through my whole body,” says local student Shana Sklovsky.
This spring and summer, outstanding young people in our community received the joyful news that they would receive meaningful financial help for their college dreams, thanks to the generosity of donors to JFCS’ scholarship fund.
One of the scholarships administered by JFCS’ Financial Aid Center is the highly competitive Vivienne S. Camp Scholarship. Each year, the Vivienne S. Camp Scholarship is awarded to three Bay Area students. This year’s recipients demonstrated resilience against adversity, sincere commitment to service, embodiment of our highest Jewish values, and academic excellence, all of which made them ideal candidates for this life-changing scholarship.
Meet the 2023 Vivienne S. Camp Scholarship Recipients
“Judaism teaches that every individual has the potential to make a positive impact on the world, and that it is through acts of kindness and compassion that we can fulfill our purpose in life. The idea of tikkun olam motivates me to make the world a better place,” says recent Gunn High School graduate Brenna Birnbaum.
Throughout high school, Brenna was deeply involved in her Palo Alto community. A recipient of the Presidential Service Award, she volunteered over the years in different capacities, particularly as a camp counselor for the City of Palo Alto and a helper for Animal Assisted Happiness. While earning top grades in Gunn’s rigorous courses, Brenna played high-level school and club soccer and travel softball. Plus, she actively participated in functions and religious education at the Oshman Family Jewish Community Center and Congregation Beth Am.
Brenna will begin her studies this fall at the University of California, Merced, which moved to the top of her list for its strength in science and math, smaller class sizes, and diversity. She looks forward to joining the Jewish community there.
Reflecting on receiving the Vivienne S. Camp Scholarship, Brenna said, “I am truly honored to be awarded this prestigious scholarship. Besides greatly helping pay for college, receiving it makes me ever so proud to be a Jew, for it epitomizes our tradition of charitable giving—tzedakah.”
“I want to contribute to the forward progression of society and science, creating a tangible change in the world,” says Tamalpais High School graduate Freddy Goldstein.
Growing up in Marin County, Freddy thrived in water sports and excelled in school. Kol Shofar, where he became a Bar Mitzvah, and the synagogue’s community have been important throughout his life. Freddy discovered a love of math and science early and plans to follow his grandparents, three of whom are doctors, into medicine. He is particularly interested in neurology.
Freddy was over the moon when he received his acceptance to the University of California, Los Angeles, his dream school. He significantly expanded participation in the Jewish Student Union at Tamalpais High and is eager to become an active member of UCLA’s Jewish community.
“I’m so grateful to be one of the recipients of the Vivienne Camp Scholarship. This scholarship will help me reach my academic and professional goals, and therefore I would like to thank everyone involved and affiliated with JFCS and the Vivienne Camp Scholarship for all of their work and contributions,” says Freddy.
“When someone asks what Jewish means to me, my response will always be the community,” says Shana Sklovsky, a 2023 graduate of Jewish Community High School (JCHS) in San Francisco.
Throughout high school, Shana set her sights on attending the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). A star student whose favorite subject is math, she maintained a busy schedule of extracurricular activities, including competitive ballroom dancing, the high school volleyball team, and involvement with several clubs. She experienced the power of creating community when she co-founded JCHS’ Russian Club and deepened her Jewish identity through JCHS’ Jewish Studies program and Israel trip.
When she received her acceptance to UCLA, Shana cried with joy. With plans to study public affairs and join the campus Hillel, she looks forward to making the most of her university years—heartened by the knowledge that she has a caring community behind her.
JFCS’ Loans and Grants Program is supported by the generosity of individuals, foundations, businesses, and JFCS‘ Named Endowment Funds. For information about establishing a scholarship, please contact Barbara Farber, Director of Development and Planned Giving, at [email protected] or 415-449-3858.