We were so pleased by all of the wonderful responses to our Haredi Changemaker award!
Choosing the winners was not an easy task. Each of the nominees has demonstrated dedication and heroism in their efforts to work towards reform in the Haredi world.
After careful consideration, we have decided upon the three heroes/heroines who we feel best exemplify what it means to be a Haredi Changemaker.
This year’s winner has shown unparalleled dedication, passion, and bravery in advocating for the education of all children. Because of her hard work, the next generation of Hasidic youth will have access to resources specifically designed to help them navigate the difficult path to obtaining a college degree.
Please join us in congratulating our winner Adelle Goldenberg!
We are also thrilled to announce runners up Shaindy Weichman and Chaim Wigder who have both made major contributions towards the education of Hasidic children.
Introducing this year’s winner of the Haredi Changemaker Award: Adelle Goldenberg!
It wasn’t until Adelle tried to pursue college instead of agreeing to an arranged marriage that she realized how limited her options were. Despite the tremendous institutional, familial, and personal obstacles she faced, Adelle is currently a student at Harvard University. Determined to make the path easier for other young people growing up in Hasidic communities, Adelle worked with Yaffed to write a college guidebook called “A Guide to Higher Education for ultra-Orthodox and Yeshiva Graduates.”
Along with the book, Adelle created and runs Hasidic College Access, a website designed to connect Hasidic youth with knowledgeable volunteers who help guide them through the process. The book and website, along with her ongoing advocacy work fighting for the education of Hasidic students makes her this year’s Haredi Changemaker WINNER!
Runner up: Chaim Widger
Chaim is a graduate of the Hasidic Yeshiva system. His first-hand experience of the effects of educational neglect has led him to advocate on behalf of Hasidic children who are still in the system. Chaim currently works at Community Access providing services to underprivileged individuals and families in the New York City area.
Runner up: Shaindy Weichman
Shaindy was devastated by the lack of education that her son was receiving in his Hasidic yeshiva. While many parents fear the backlash that often results from speaking out, Shaindy refused to be silenced. She has been a fierce advocate for Yaffed, participating in press conferences, panel discussions, information sessions, and social media campaigns. Shaindy’s advocacy work has helped to put a face and a name to this complex and critical issue of educational neglect.
The winners were chosen by a committee composed of Yaffed’s team and rabbinical council. Nominees from all religious backgrounds and affiliations were considered. The first place winner received $500 and each runner up received $250. Each winner will also be given a year of guidance from Yaffed staff along with the opportunity to be featured on our blog, webinar, and podcast.
Congratulations again to all of our winners and thank you to all of the nominees! You are all heroes in our eyes.