In school, scholarships are often awarded for sports or academics. The Rose Ruderman Scholar Awards are special: These $1,000 scholarships recognize Jewish day school students who display a commitment to their studies—but who also demonstrate kindness and respect for their families, peers and community. The awards acknowledge the students’ contributions to propagating the spirit of chesed (loving kindness) and honor the memory of Rose Ruderman (z”l).

The 15th annual ceremony took place on Thursday, June 8, in person for the first time since COVID-19, with remarks from Ruderman’s granddaughter, Sharon Shapiro, trustee and community liaison for the Ruderman Family Foundation, and CJP president and CEO Rabbi Marc Baker.

“This is a very meaningful event for my family and me because it’s an opportunity to remember my grandmother, Rose. She was a very simple person. She wasn’t materialistic. But she was wonderful: She was always wonderful to people in her community and to her family and friends—always doing for others. She was supportive, loving and the best grandmother,” says Shapiro.

Although Rose died in 1994, the memories of her charity, selflessness, humility and love still inspire her family and those who knew her. Shapiro is equally inspired by this year’s award-winners, who are nominated by the heads of their respective schools. Their kindness is especially poignant during a time of so much unrest.

“It’s a very hard world out there. The ceremony is an opportunity to hear about students who do beautiful little things that are selfless and that truly help others. It takes some people until adulthood to mature into being empathetic and kind. At this young age, these students are remarkable,” she says.

Meet this year’s recipients, in their school’s own words:

Leah Weinreb (12th grade), Bais Yaakov of Boston

2023 Rose Ruderman Scholar Awards Ceremony
Rabbi Tsvi Levin and Leah Weinreb (Photo: Ilene Perlman)

“Leah Weinreb has a true passion for chesed. Whether it’s working with children with special needs, visiting the elderly or helping families at Rofeh International, she does it all with a genuine smile. As student council co-president, Leah has devoted countless hours to creating an atmosphere of positivity and joy at Bais Yaakov.”

Shaked Bell (12th grade), Maimonides School

2023 Rose Ruderman Scholar Awards Ceremony
Rabbi Dov Huff, Shaked Bell and Rabbi Yaakov Green (Photo: Ilene Perlman)

“We are incredibly proud of Maimonides senior Shaked Bell. Like Rose Ruderman, Shaked is a kind, humble and compassionate soul who quietly looks out for those lonely individuals who need befriending. She volunteers with developmentally disabled individuals and demonstrates an overall commitment to chesed and lovingkindness.”

Manny Tarlin (12th grade), Mesivta of Boston

2023 Rose Ruderman Scholar Awards Ceremony
Rabbi Moshe Wilhelm and Manny Tarlin (Photo: Ilene Perlman)

“We are pleased to name Manny Tarlin as the Mesivta Rose Ruderman Scholar this year. Manny is the perfect synthesis of Torah and chesed. He is a stellar student, and still makes time for all people. He runs the successful nightly learning program for middle school boys, organizes Shabbos meals at the Mesivta and everything else in between. We are proud of Manny and his accomplishments.”

Meir Novik (6th grade), Shaloh House

2023 Rose Ruderman Scholar Awards Ceremony
Rabbi Dan Rodkin and Meir Novik (Photo: Ilene Perlman)

“Meir Novik is Shaloh House Jewish Day School’s nominee this year for the Rose Ruderman Award because he’s the epitome of loving kindness in our school. In his own quiet way, Meir is a stand-out as a young gentleman. Meir immigrated at age 5 from Israel with his family and joined Shaloh House in kindergarten. He didn’t know English when he came. By the end of the year, he was able to read. But even more impressive was the way he interacted with the other kids, always thinking of ways to help them. In the classroom, Meir often is the one to broaden the conversation to make sure he and his classmates get a deeper understanding of the subject. In outside play, he is typically the one to make sure all the children are included in games. He’s also gracious with his siblings. He’s a very sweet, good kid and he adds to the good vibes in the entire school.”

Yonah Drory (5th grade), Striar Hebrew Academy of Sharon

2023 Rose Ruderman Scholar Awards Ceremony
Rabbi Jordan Soffer and Yonah Drory (Photo: Ilene Perlman)

“Striar Hebrew Academy is pleased to nominate Yonah Drory for the Rose Ruderman Award. Yonah is a child who never misses an opportunity to volunteer, to help or to offer support. He did not hesitate to step up when we asked for a fifth grader to join our early learning center every morning. The first question he asks when he enters a room is, ‘Can I help?’ and he never leaves without saying thank you. Yonah is kind and welcoming, and always wants to include others, especially those who are new or could be left out. Yonah is a mensch and a kind soul.”

Chaya Wolf (8th grade), Torah Academy

2023 Rose Ruderman Scholar Awards Ceremony
Mrs. Dina Feldman and Chaya Wolf (Photo: Ilene Perlman)

“Chaya exhibits strong leadership qualities, is respectful and well-liked. She seeks opportunities of chesed and is quick to lend a helping hand. She approaches her academics conscientiously and is a reliable community resource. Her upbeat personality is infectious, and her optimistic approach to life will serve her well in her future endeavors.”

Yishai Wasserman (12th grade), Yeshiva Ohr Yisrael

2023 Rose Ruderman Scholar Awards Ceremony
Rabbi Uri Feldman and Yishai Wasserman (Photo: Ilene Perlman)

“Yishai Wasserman is this year’s Yeshiva Ohr Yisrael recipient of the Rose Ruderman Award. Yishai is a young man who can be called upon for any community need, both inside Yeshiva Ohr Yisrael and the community at large. Yishai has continually volunteered to lein (chant Torah) at the Hashkama minyan; he has participated in numerous minyanim whenever called upon. He is always the student ready to come early to set up events and stay late to clean up. He has a true sense of responsibility for the tzibur (congregation). On top of his quiet, humble demeanor, he is constantly thinking about helping others and will do whatever is needed to assist. His chesed for others starts at home and extends outward to Yeshiva Ohr Yisrael and to the entire community.”