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Welcoming the Newest Cohort of Brawerman Fellows

Every year, Jewish Federation Los Angeles’ prestigious Brawerman Fellowship identifies a select cohort of graduating high school seniors who have shown commitment to leadership, academics, community service, and Jewish life. In addition to receiving a significant college scholarship, these students participate in various retreats, a trip to Israel, and other overseas opportunities. Each of these elements is designed to help students develop their Jewish identities, leadership skills, and overall personal awareness.

“Throughout their time in college, Brawerman Fellows explore Jewish life on campus and around the world,” said Orly Frank, the Federation’s Program Director of Strategic Initiatives. “These students already demonstrate outstanding leadership skills and commitment — this fellowship allows them to develop these skills even further in a meaningful Jewish context.”

Congratulations to the following four graduating seniors, each of whom brings his or her own diverse interests and skills to the Brawerman cohort.


Name: Yoni Benzacar
High School: Oakwood School
University: Emory University
Major: Finance and Political Science
About: Yoni is the Co-President of Oakwood’s Cultural Awareness Association, a group dedicated to promoting diversity, awareness, and inclusion. He is also involved with the planning committee of Oakwood’s Students for Progressive Reform and is a member of the Chiapas Project, Girls Learn International, and Oakwood’s admissions team. Yoni is on the board of directors at the Peer Education Program of Los Angeles (PEP LA) and volunteers at Oakwood’s food bank. He has also been the captain of Oakwood’s volleyball team and enjoyed playing on the team since ninth grade.
Name: Rachel Harris
High School: Cleveland Humanities Magnet
University: Georgetown University
Major: Political Science
About: Rachel has been a camper at Camp Alonim for many years and will be a counselor there this summer. She is the President of She’s the First, a feminist club that raises money for girls’ education in third world countries. In addition to her role as the Community Fundraising Director of her Youth and Government Delegation through YMCA, Rachel is the Social Media Director of her Magnet Program’s Leadership Team. Rachel is a tutor and has been dancing since the age of two.
Name: Britt Jacobson
High School: Milken Community High School
University: USC
Major: Global Studies
About: Britt has been on the board of her temple’s youth group Wise Temple Youth. Rachel also works at Stephen Wise’s religious school and has been a counselor at its camp. At Milken, she has been in a plethora of leadership roles including Student Government, Class Council, the Student Judiciary Council (of which she was the Chief Justice), and Editor of the school newspaper The Roar. Britt has played volleyball and tennis, but her favorite activities are reading, drinking good coffee, and discovering new music. Britt has been fortunate enough to participate on many travel programs both in school and out — she has been to Costa Rica and New Orleans through Rustic Pathways, explored Nice and Montreal through an immersive language program, studied abroad in Israel for four months, and most recently went to Poland and Israel through the Builders of Jewish Education’s (BJE) March of the Living.
Name: Joshua Zommick
High School: Valencia High School
University: UCLA
Major: Environmental Engineering
About: His school activities include involvement in Water Project Club, which helps raise funds for clean water wells and technology for developing countries, taking an active role in the Jewish Student Union, and playing football. Joshua is the VP of Activities in a club called Circle of Friends working with students with special needs. Joshua spends most of his time involved with BBYO both within his chapter as well as within the Pacific Western Region. He has been working with Camp JCA Shalom this past year and will continue to do so this summer. His high school involvements also include being a part of the National Honor Society.

To learn more about the Brawerman Fellowship, email OFrank@JewishLA.org.

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