The Jesner Twins: Yoni Jesner Volunteering Awards Inspires The Next Generation
Marsha Gladstone, flanked by granddaughters, Chloe and Leora Jesner
Leora and Chloe Jesner, the twin nieces of the late Yoni Jesner, mark the beginning of their volunteering journey by starting the Yoni Jesner Volunteering Awards, adding to tens of thousands of hours of good deeds already completed in the name of their uncle. This is especially poignant as Leora and Chloe, aged 12 from Yavneh College are the first immediate family members of Yoni to take part in the award in honour of his memory.
Enrolment for the Yoni Jesner Awards has now launched for this academic year, following inspiring assemblies from Yoni’s mother, Marsha Gladstone at schools all over the country. Yoni Jesner was killed in a suicide bombing on a bus in Israel in 2002. Yoni was an inspirational youth leader and true role-model for many young people, and his drive and determination led him to achieve more in his 19 years than many people do in a lifetime.
This is set to be a record-breaking year for the Yoni Jesner Awards, with over 500 young people already signed up since September. The scheme is managed by evolve, JLGB’s youth volunteering initiative, in partnership with the Yoni Jesner Foundation. Young people in school years 7 and 8 can take part in the award by volunteering as little as 20 hours, making a difference to the community throughout the year. The Yoni Jesner Awards will be launching in Manchester King David, Leeds JFS and Liverpool King David in the coming weeks.
Thanks to evolve, young people can now sign up directly through their chosen synagogue, youth group or charity. To register for the award, discover youth friendly volunteering projects, track hours and keep on target visit www.jlgb.org/yonijesner
Leora Jesner said, “Last year we went to the ceremony and all we wanted to do was go up on stage and receive the award”
Chloe Jesner said, “We are happy hearing the special things that the awards have achieved in our uncle’s name”
Marsha Gladstone, Yoni’s mother, grandmother of the Jesner Twins said, “Yoni was a mixture of so many different things. On the one hand he was fun and zingy, had loads of different friends of all ages, backgrounds and religions and really loved people. Yet underneath all that there was a modest, more serious layer, helping others and volunteering in so many different ways.”
Neil Martin OBE, JLGB Chief Executive said, “All of us at JLGB are so proud to power the Yoni Jesner Awards through the evolve volunteering and skills initiative. Working together with the Yoni Jesner Foundation we are excited for all the upgrades we have made as we further digitise the award with even more features. Now, for the first time, young people can sign up, not just through their school, but alternatively through the charity they are volunteering at or the youth group or synagogue they belong to, each of whom will be able to view the collective impact their young people have made.”