The Diller Teen Awards celebrate tikkun olam, or “repairing the world.” The Diller Family Foundation knows that supporting Jewish teen leadership today means creating and inspiring future generations of strong Jewish leaders in the global community. Each year, the Helen Diller Family Foundation awards $36,000 to each of fifteen Jewish U.S. teens for exceptional leadership and engagement in service projects to make the world a better place.

The Diller Teen Tikkun Olam Awards Committee is pleased to welcome the new 2018 recipients! Five awardees have been selected from California while ten have been chosen nationally. Below you’ll find information on a few of these extraordinary teens. To learn about all fifteen, click here.

Michaela Weinstein, 15, Albany, CA: Speak Teaches Kids to Speak Out Against Hate Through Empathy and Social Justice Curriculum
Michaela Weinstein co-founded Speak after a series of hate-based incidents occurred at her high school. Speak offers two tiers of membership for students to facilitate classroom presentations and design curriculum that teaches empathy and social justice to 5th grade students. Michaela has created lesson plans for her school district, whose faculty approved facilitation of 38 presentations this year. Serving as class president and a peer buddy with Best Buddies International, Michaela is next year’s School Board Representative and a member of the California YMCA’s Youth and Government program.

Adam Sella, 18, Cincinnati, OH: Students Together Assisting Refugees (STAR) Mobilizes Students to Support Resettled Refugee Families
As the president and founder of his high school’s chapter of Students Together Assisting Refugees (STAR), Adam Sella has organized fundraisers, assemblies, benefit concerts, and a tutoring program for refugees. Under Adam’s stewardship, his chapter has raised over $26,000, collected over 750 household items for 266 refugee families, and helped nine resettled refugees receive funds for college. Adam has written about his work for Imagine Magazine and was recognized as a 2017 Ohio State Prudential Spirit of Community Award Honoree.

Meet all the awardees