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Springboard Blog

Springboard Blog

Why I Was Inspired to Nominate Jacob for 18 Under 18 By Laura Siegel Perpinyal

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About the prompt: 18 Under 18 is always a special process and a great opportunity for people in the community to highlight teens who uniquely live out their values as leaders and changemakers in the community. Are you thinking about nominating an incredible teen for this year's 18 Under 18? If so, check out Laura's blog post to read why she nominated Jacob and his profound impact on his community. 

Nominate an exceptional 9-12th grader by Friday, September 30th at 5:00 PM HERE. Nominators can be teens, Jewish professionals or community members. Nominations made by teens themselves or by family members will NOT be accepted.

Jacob Photo 1

I first got to know Jacob well as a student in our Temple Chai school program. It was clear that he loved learning, but in addition, had a special ability to support students helping them to learn to read Hebrew and to prepare for becoming Bar or Bat Mitzvah. For the past four years, Jacob has been a madrich, a student volunteer in our school, working in the 5th grade class as well as a Bar or Bat Mitzvah tutor, working one on one with dozens of students to prepare for this meaningful Jewish lifecycle experience. Jacob’s commitment to our community didn’t stop there. Two years ago, Jacob joined the Social Action Committee of our congregation. He is the only student on our adult committee, and yet, he attends meetings regularly, contributes ideas and has been instrumental in planning 3 Mitzvah Days.  Jacob has been a leader within our community, organizing and leading programming in front of large audiences and for various ages of participants. He even pivoted and lead a virtual Mitzvah Day this past January when our community went virtual due to the rising COVID cases. 

Jacob Photo 2

Jacob Photo 3

I am incredibly proud of Jacob!  He was a natural fit for Springboard’s 18 under 18, which created such a special opportunity to broaden his positive impact. Jacob chose to combine his passions through his project collecting devices like computers and laptops to be donated to those in need.  Not only is he a serious and dedicated student, but he is a compassionate leader that looks to support others with deep care and sensitivity. Jacob exemplifies leadership and commitment to social action, by working towards making a better tomorrow for his Jewish community and the world! 

Laura Perpinyal

About the Author: Laura Siegel Perpinyal has been the Director of Congregational Learning at Temple Chai since 2011. Under her leadership, the school was accredited by the Association of Reform Jewish Educators (ARJE) in 2018. Laura has been active in the national leadership of the ARJE serving as a Board Member since 2021 and has served as Development Co-chair and Advocacy Team Leader. She also served as President of the Chicago Area Reform Jewish Educators (CHARJE) from 2017-2021. 

Laura also loves spending time with Temple Chai students at Olin Sang Ruby Union Institute (OSRUI) where she serves as Faculty over the summers. Laura attended Indiana University where she graduated with Honors with degrees in Jewish Studies and Political Science. In 2009 Laura graduated from Hebrew Union College- Jewish Institute of Religion with Joint Masters Degrees in Jewish Education and Jewish Non-Profit Management. Laura and her husband in Northbrook, IL with their two children.