The National Council of Jewish Women, Essex County Section (NCJW/Essex) honored three extraordinary Essex County high school students with the Nancy and Robert Eskow NCJW Volunteer Awards. Selected out of an outstanding field of 36 applicants, the recipients of the awards were recognized for their contributions to many different causes including starting a community service based news website, creating and filming live fire scenes for educational purposes, and fighting to build gender-neutral bathrooms in a local high school. This is the 13th year the award has been bestowed to deserving high school students.
The 2016 award winners include Madeline Broderick of Glen Ridge High School, Jared Kofsky of Columbia High School in Maplewood, and Mark Rosetti of Bloomfield High School. These high school seniors have shown a commitment and dedication to improving lives for others locally and globally.
Madeline Broderick, a senior at Glen Ridge High School, has dedicated her time as President of the Feminist Club to make a difference in the lives of women as well as in the LGBT community. With the Feminist Club she participated in fundraisers that included a clothing drive for Oasis Women’s Shelter in Paterson, a toiletries drive for Safe House Domestic Violence Shelter in Bloomfield, and a fundraiser for victims of acid attacks in the Middle East. She felt as President it was important not only to get involved and help women all over the world, but to make a difference within her own school. To that end, she helped advocate for gender-neutral bathrooms to be created at her high school. Broderick states, “Making a difference means sometimes making people uncomfortable and challenging people’s beliefs, which means that you won’t always be the most popular.”
Combining his passions of reporting and photography with a desire to serve others through mass communication, Jared Kofsky, a senior at Columbia High School in Maplewood, created the website PlaceNJ.com. He created the site because he felt the media rarely highlighted the positive attributes of Newark and he wanted to communicate a different perspective and stress positive news. The site operates under the slogan, “Unifying Greater Newark, New Jersey with local news and events” and concentrates on events, education, transportation, culture, politics and business. Kofsky received second place in a national competition sponsored by Seton Hall University in November 2015 where he showcased the website. Kofsky states, “I am happy to make a difference by using my website to serve others and to build community. I look forward to continuing to use mass communication for charitable purposes.”
Mark Rosetti, a senior at Bloomfield High School, was always fascinated by fire departments and firefighters. He started taking videos and pictures at different fire scenes and posting them on YouTube as a hobby. His channel began to develop a “fan base” and his videos began to be used for education and training. Three years later his channel has grown to 6,300 subscribers and 4.6 million views. He is now on the Bloomfield Fire Department Volunteer Rescue Company. Rosetti says, “It has been a childhood dream of mine to become a firefighter. I believe that building relationships through my film work and learning skills and techniques from what I have seen, I will be a better firefighter and also a better person.”
Winners of the Nancy and Robert Eskow Volunteer Award reflect the mission and values of NCJW/Essex through their commitment and dedication to community service projects and advocacy experienced during their high school careers. In recognition of their exemplary contributions, each will receive a $500 scholarship and an award certificate from NCJW/Essex.