Meet the 2012 Diller Teen Tikkun Olam Awardees

Diller Teen Tikkun Olam Awards This week, the Helen Diller Family Foundation celebrated outstanding California teenagers working to make a difference at the Diller Teen Tikkun Olam Awards luncheon. Five exceptional teens were recognized for their volunteer work with an Award and $36,000 to further their college education or their vision of tikkun olam (repairing the world). These videos, which premiered at the luncheon, showcase their hard work and dedication.

Zak Kukoff, Thousand Oaks, CA

"We bring students together to build understanding and friendships." Zak founded Autism Ambassadors after seeing his autistic cousin ostracized and alienated in the classroom.  Moved by her experience, he created this peer-led program to foster friendships between students with and without autism, and to teach autistic students social, emotional and academic skills.

Joe Langerman, Coronado, CA

“Be a part of the solution to end hatred and embrace tolerance.” Joe stood up to bullying by starting Voices Against Cruelty, Hatred and Intolerance. He has engaged and educated teachers, students and parents about the prevalence and impact of bullying, combating intolerance at his own school and beyond.

Daniel Rosenthal, Santa Rosa, CA

“Magic takes you on adventures–without ever leaving your seat, hospital bed or wheelchair.” As an eight-year-old, Daniel began performing magic tricks for hospital patients. Inspired by the healing power of laughter, he established Magic is Medicine, coordinating other volunteer magicians who give magic shows in hospitals, schools and rehabilitation and assisted living centers across the country.

Adam Weinstein, Los Angeles, CA

“Sparking  interest in math and science enriches students’ lives and betters our world.” Adam’s love for math and science encouraged him to share his passion with underprivileged fifth graders in Los Angeles. He started Archimedes Learning to teach students through fun, hands-on and creative activities  and demonstrations – setting them up to succeed in two subjects that are vital to their and America’s future.

Celine Yousefzadeh, Los Angeles, CA

“Through fashion, we can engage and empower students to take action to help Israel.” Celine felt a responsibility to help students in S’derot, Israel, after Gaza Strip rocket attacks devastated their high school. She began Fashion with Compassion, an annual event that turns hundreds of students each year into fashion show models, planners and philanthropists raising money for Israeli charities.

The Diller Teen Initiatives are funded by the Helen Diller Family Foundation, a supporting foundation of the Jewish Community Federation and Endowment Fund.


August 23, 2012


The Federation