A record 140 pupils from London Jewish schools have been recognised for their volunteering efforts through the fourth Yoni Jesner awards, remembering a young leader killed in a 2002 Tel Aviv bus bomb.
Ninety of the winners received their awards from the Chief Rabbi and Yoni Jesner's grandmother Vivian Black at a St John's Wood Synagogue ceremony attended by more than 350 people. Ari Jesner told the gathering how his brother had encouraged young people to perform acts of kindness.
The award scheme is organised by the Jewish Volunteering Network, supported by the Yoni Jesner Foundation and UJIA. To qualify, students must complete at least 20 hours' volunteering.
This year's participating schools were Hasmonean (boys and girls), Immanuel College, JCoSS, King Solomon High and Yavneh. Beneficiaries included, Kisharon, Jewish Care, World Jewish Relief, Tzedek, Homeless Action in Barnet and Jewish Blind and Disabled.
Pupils who spoke at the ceremony were Pini Stimler, Dror Wayne, Eli Gordon, Mia Gray, Keren Abrahams, Lia Overlander, Gabby Bush, Danielle Shohet, Rebecca Alter, Jack Brown, Sapphire Littler, Samuel Freedman, Orli West, Delilah Gendler, Joey Sanford and Oliver Assor.
JVN chair Susan Winton said that award winners "should all be incredibly proud of what you've achieved. This is the beginning of a wonderful Jewish journey of volunteering - in your school, your shul, your neighbourhood, England, Israel or the wider world."