High school Seniors from the Columbus area are invited to apply for any of the following three awards: David and Irene Cole Essay Contest Award, David and Janet W. Goldsmith Teen Kavod Gadol Award, and the Don Erkis & Lou Berliner High School Jewish Scholar/Athlete Award


Application window is now closed. Awards Ceremony will be held on May 1, 2022 @ 5:00p.

Don Erkis & Lou Berliner High School Jewish Scholar/Athlete Award

This award remembers two outstanding community leaders who had a love and respect for young people and a vision about the importance of becoming the leaders of the future.

Their vision: that scholastically strong and athletically gifted young people would use their skills, proven in competition and in the classroom, to become the leaders of their generation. They carry our hopes for a better tomorrow.

Based on that standard, each year the JCC recognizes local high school Jewish athletes who have excelled in the classroom and in the athletic arena. The nominees are honored at an annual ceremony, open to the community and featuring the announcement of each year’s winners. The outstanding male and female applicants each receive a scholarship award in the amount of $1,000.

Each winner receives:

• $1000 Scholarship
• A one year JCC membership
• A $100 gift certificate
• A fitness evaluation by a JCC Personal Trainer
• Recognition in each applicant’s local suburban newspaper

Every applicant receives:
• A $100 gift certificate

The following criteria for candidates has been established by the JCC’s High School Scholar Athlete Committee:

• Central Ohio residence
• Jewish high school student, attending college after graduation
• Participation in a high school sport, club level sport, or another recognized amateur sport
• Record of a 3.0 (B) GPA after seven (7) semesters

David and Irene Cole Essay Contest

ESSAY PROMPT: Explore the evolution of your Jewish Identity as a soon to be college student in light of rising antisemitism on campuses and throughout the world. How will your Jewish identity affect your involvement on campus? What, if anything, will distinguish you from other students? Why is your Jewish Identity part of your story and how will you express it on campus?


1st Place – $1000
2nd Place – $500
3rd Place – $250

David and Janet W. Goldsmith Teen Kavod Gadol Award

ESSAY PROMPT: Demonstrate how your commitment to community service, leadership, and compassion for others will strengthen and improve the Jewish community both locally and globally. What specific steps have you taken to accomplish these goals?

Prize: $500