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Teen Merit-Based Grants

Applications for 2023 travel are open!

Applications are due by February 14, 2023. There are four $1,250 awards that will be granted. Grant is only open to current high school students participating on a 2023 Israel experience. Candidates will be considered on the basis of a combination of academic and personal achievement.

Click here to apply


Stuart I. Pessin Teen Israel Grant Application

Please submit this completed application along with:

  • A personal statement answering the question: Given that many students share common experiences, what sets you apart and is unique about your interests and passions?
  • A resume detailing extracurricular activities both in the Jewish community and the community at large, awards, honors, skills and talents.


2022 Stuart I. Pessin Award Winners

Jewish Federation of St. Louis is pleased to announce the 2022 recipients of the Stuart I. Pessin Award: Sarah Rumfelt, Yechiel Shulman, and Zoe Klevens.

The awards, which are allocated from the Stuart I. Pessin Scholarship Fund, compliment the existing Israel grant program funded by Jewish Federation of St. Louis. The merit-based award provides a means for select high school students to receive community funds by demonstrating their commitment to Judaism and the St. Louis Jewish community.


Sarah Rumfelt is a sophomore at Francis Howell High School and a member of Temple Israel. She is involved in many activities at school such as Youth and Government and FBLA as well as National Society of High School Scholars. She is also the manager for the wrestling team and the lacrosse team at Francis Howell. Sarah is very involved at her synagogue being a madricha as well as in confirmation class. In 2016 and 2020, she received the Academic Presidential Award and has also received the National Junior Honor Society Certificate of Excellence. Sarah is a black belt in Taekwondo! This summer, Sarah will be traveling to Israel with the Jewish Federation of St. Louis’ teen Israel experience, Israel Bound.

Yechiel Shulman is a senior at Yeshivat Kadimah High School and a member of Young Israel. At school, Yechiel is very busy with many programs such as building Sukkot for community members, reading the weekly Torah portion, as well as playing on the varsity basketball team. Yechiel has been a counselor at Bnei Akiva for three years and is a participant in JCRC’s Student to Student program. He is the co-president of the local NCSY branch and also organizes Young Israel’s Teen Minyan which includes organizing the service, preparing and reading the Torah portion and cooking cholent each week. In 9th grade, Yechiel placed 5th in the International Bible Contest in Israel. He is part of NHS and takes many AP classes. This fall Yechiel will begin a year of study at Yeshivat Har Etzion in Israel.

Zoe Klevens is a sophomore at Parkway Central High School and a member at United Hebrew. At school, Zoe is involved with Yearbook, Student Council, and field hockey and lacrosse. She is also the President of the JSU chapter at her school. She was the top fundraiser for Dance Marathon in 2021 and continues to serve on the executive committee. Zoe serves as a madricha at religious school and is a camp counselor at Ramot Amoona. This summer she will be traveling to Israel with NFTY/Camp GUCI.

Previous Stuart I. Pessin Awardees

2021       Liam Harir, Liam Oiknine, Hayley Lerner, Noah Kleinlehrer
2020       Amarah Friedman, Rachel Perera, Halle Wasserman, Ethan Winograd
2019       Jonah Boyer, Emma Cantor, Amit Harir & Kobi Recht
2018       Jacob Mann & Melissa Rush
2017       Rina Gersten & Yonah Shafner
2016       Aaron Koshner & Eitan Oberlander
2015       Kyla Gersten & Rachel Somorov
2014       Sarah Casteel & Jonathan Samuels
2013       Ryan Finkelstein & David Iken
2012       Andrew Brick & Noah Oberlander
2011       Shira LeDeaux & Miranda Siler
2010       Ethan Bennett & Hannah Kaiser
2009      Hannah Barg & Jennifer Koshner
2008      Lior Melnick & Stuart Portman
2007      Jennifer Levy & Phillip Weber
2006      Alana Baron & Donna Iken
2005      Jamie Dalin & Avraham Rovinsky

If you have any questions, contact Ben Panet at or 314-442-3881.