College Scholarships Available Now

Did you know that the Jewish Community Federation and Endowment Fund offers scholarships of up to $10,000 for students to attend graduate or undergraduate programs? Recently, we interviewed two scholarship grantees to learn more about what these awards have allowed them to accomplish.

Laura Rumpf was thrilled to receive a scholarship last year to pursue rabbinical studies at Hebrew Union College in Jerusalem. Before becoming a full-time student, she worked for the Jewish Community Relations Council, which partners with the Federation. In her own words, “it was especially meaningful to receive support from an institution I know and deeply respect.” She chose to attend Hebrew Union because of the exposure to critical areas of Jewish learning and discourse that the university offers, and she considers her school to be one of the most progressive, social justice-oriented and egalitarian rabbinical schools in Israel.
Throughout her time in Jerusalem, Laura has engaged in experiential learning on day trips and shabbatons all over the country, having the opportunity to meet innovative leaders. She has also spent many hours learning Hebrew grammar and liturgy with her helpful cohort of rabbinical students. Laura’s hope is that, “throughout my studies, I will gain the skillset and develop the relationships necessary to serve a pluralistic and open-minded Jewish institution like a Hillel or JCC that inspires people to ‘come as they are’ to Judaism.” Of her experience on a whole she states that “this year in Jerusalem has been incredible and I am coming back to California all the more aware of how much more there is to learn.”
 Jenya Parkman, currently a student at Harvard Law School, carved out some precious time to express his gratitude for receiving a scholarship through the Federation. He explained that his choice to attend law school sprang from a two year experience working for a small plaintiff’s side housing discrimination law firm in the Bay Area. In his work, he investigated complaints of discrimination, prepared court briefs, worked with fair housing councils and helped prepare clients for depositions and trials. Jenya “was amazed by the impact a few hard-working attorneys could make on the operations of an apartment complex, the laws of a city, and the daily lives of people suffering from unfair treatment.”
At Harvard, he “hopes to help in the work of tikum olam by doing public interest work after graduation.” This year, he is working as a student attorney with the Harvard Legal Aid Bureau, the nation’s oldest student legal aid service organization. “It is an entirely student-run and nonprofit law firm that provides free civil legal services to a diverse population of low-income clients in the Greater Boston area,” Jenya explains. “As one of 46 student attorneys, I advocate for survivors of domestic violence in probate court in disputes about restraining orders, child support, custody, and visitation. I also defend clients in eviction and foreclosure proceedings.”
It was an inspiration to connect with these talented and passionate young people who are truly putting their Jewish values into action. We wish them the very best and look forward to reviewing this year’s scholarship applications. If you or someone you know is interested, be sure to apply online by Friday, April 18.
Scholarships are primarily for Jewish students from the San Francisco Bay Area and are based on a combination of merit and need. Applicants may be eligible for more than one of the ten scholarship funds and may receive more than one award. Scholarships are for full-time students only. Undergraduate students must be under the age of 24 and graduate students must be under 30 as of January 14, 2014.
In Jenya’s words, “The Federation’s scholarship program has been a huge help to my family and I would really encourage everyone else who wants to pursue higher education to apply for the scholarships. They are a wonderful resource and are there to help us reach our dreams.”
Applications for college scholarships are available online through Friday, April 18. For questions, you can e-mail Corinne Forstot-Burke or call 415.512.6264.


April 11, 2014