JFS and King Solomon pupils receive £6,000 cash boosts for projects aimed at bettering their peers' lives.

Secondary students participated in the virtually held pitch competition run by Partnerships for Jewish Schools, and supported by Genesis Philanthropy Group, this week.

After sifting through entries from six secondaries, judges decided to award the joint winners £6,000 and one runner-up was given £3,000.

Joint first was taken by a team from Kantor King Solomon, who pitched an outdoor area where students could relax in order to improve mental health. A JFS team, consisting of year 12 and year 10 pupils, were successful in their bid to provide free music lessons in wake of the pandemic.

Second place was awarded to Immanuel College’s year 12 students who want to turn the school’s informal education hub into a multi-purpose space.

Rabbi David Meyer, Executive Director of PaJeS, said submissions “were all excellent and it has been inspirational to see how students from Jewish schools across the UK have worked so hard and delivered such high quality pitches. The ideas were innovative and impressive and it was particularly exciting to see the students taking such an interest in leading these projects in order to benefit their school.

Marina Yudborovsky, CEO of Genesis Philanthropy Group, said: “The PaJeS Pitch is especially exciting because it enables students to implement meaningful and creative projects that make a tangible difference for their peers at Jewish schools. We were extremely impressed with the quality of the proposals and would like to congratulate each and every participant.”

Director of PJ Library UK, Lauren Hamburger, said: “Listening to the finalists pitch their well-researched, creative and considered projects, left me feeling excited about our next generation of Jewish leaders. The students talked about the various social and mental challenges as a consequence of the pandemic. But instead of focusing inward, they worked together to come up with ideas that will help their peers and the wider school community.”

The judging panel, which based its decision on criteria including sustainability, budget, the project’s impact on the school and the centrality of its Jewish values, included Miri Benchetrit, Senior Program Manager at GPG, Lauren Hamburger, and entrepreneur Daniel Green. Co-Founders of My 1st Years, Daniel Price and Jonny Sitton, gave feedback remotely.