Schools and Libraries
April 25, 2013
Long Beach High School sophomore Ilana Blumenthal was chosen by the State Assembly of New York and the Jewish Community Relations Council of Long Island to take part in a special ceremony honoring Nassau County high school students who are working to create a more civil society. The ceremony took place at Hofstra University on April 18, which is Holocaust Remembrance Day.
As a leader in the Oceanside Jewish Center’s junior congregation, Ilana educates teens and children about religious tolerance, showing them ways to eradicate and recognize bullying. She organizes events to promote these issues and is a driving force, leading by example in her interaction with others. She is also on the planning committee for the annual Yom Hashoah program at the Oceanside JCC. Additionally, she is a member of the Harriet Seifman inclusion committee, which helps to ensure that people with disabilities and allergies are able to attend, enjoy and participate in the services at the temple. This includes arranging for American Sign Language interpreters for the holidays as well as building a ramp to make the facility accessible to all. Ilana, who participates in the Talented Writers program at Long Beach High School, uses her pen to promote awareness and activism.
Ilana was nominated for this honor by Long Beach High School teacher Rachell Koegel, who described her as embodying the traits of altruism and activism that she would love to see in all her students. “She lives what she preaches and on a daily basis stands proud in her heritage and is not intimidated to share her thoughts about her beliefs or the importance of her religion in her daily life,” said Koegel. “She is respectful of all people and does whatever she can to promote awareness and tolerance wherever she can.”