On Friday, May 13, congregants and guests were invited to a special Shabbat Service led by the Confirmation Class of 5782. During this service, Fred and Joy Miller presented the Michelle Miller Award for Jewish Commitment to Mia Lederer and Emily Schenkel. This award is presented annually to one or two TBE Confirmation students and honors the memory of Michelle Miller, who passed away in April 2002.
Emily Schenkel participates in as many Jewish activities as she can. In addition to continuing her own Jewish education through Hebrew High and Confirmation, Emily loves to help teach younger children, serving as both a b’nei mitzvah tutor and madricha in the Religious School. She works with the third grade on Sunday mornings and also helps out on Wednesday afternoons by staffing the office and helping kids who need extra help with their Hebrew skills. She has a gentle way of making students feel comfortable and accepted, and a number of kids specifically seek out her help and advice.
Emily attends events of at least three different Jewish youth groups in Charlotte and is particularly active with her BBYO chapter. This year Emily was chosen to participate in BBYO’s Leven Global Leadership Academy, which culminated with her presenting a TED talk at BBYO’s International Convention.
Mia Lederer loves Judaism and looks for ways to share her enthusiasm with others. She actively participates in Hebrew High classes and Confirmation discussions, and is always eager to learn new things. Mia serves as both a b’nei mitzvah tutor and madricha in the Religious School. This year Mia has worked hard to develop her guitar and song-leading skills and helps lead services on Sunday mornings for the whole school. She is particularly adept at shepherding our youngest singers in Shir Kids.
Mia also serves as the Communications Vice President on the LIBERTY Board. Despite the challenges of organizing a youth group during a pandemic, Mia remains positive and is a great support to her fellow board members. She is always ready to help out with a project or try something new.