The Hadassah Foundation on Monday awarded the 2015 Bernice S. Tannenbaum Prize to Jessica Nare, Director of Leadership Programs at Jewish Family Service of San Diego (JFS), in a ceremony at the UJA-Federation of New York.
The Bernice S. Tannenbaum Prize recognizes emerging professionals who have made innovative contributions to advance the status of women and girls in Israel and the United States. Awardees demonstrate a high degree of talent, commitment, and accomplishment in their work. The prize honors Bernice S. Tannenbaum, z’’l, for her lifetime of service to the Jewish People; the State of Israel; and Hadassah, the Women’s Zionist Organization of America.
Jessica Nare was awarded the prize for her work directing the Girls Give Back teen leadership program at JFS. Supported by the Hadassah Foundation, Girls Give Back empowers the next generation of female leaders to create meaningful change in the world around them. Teens learn about issues that impact women and girls, and develop leadership skills by planning service projects. Girls Give Back promotes Jewish values and the importance of tikkun olam while developing social-mindedness, critical thinking, healthy self-esteem, and empathy in high school girls.
“Jessica Nare is a young woman with great potential, and has already achieved so much in her leadership role with Girls Give Back,” said Rabbi Ellen Flax, Director of the Hadassah Foundation.
In the last year, under Nare’s leadership, Girls Give Back teen leaders have:
• Volunteered more than 1,200 hours, earning the Presidential Gold Volunteer Service Award
• Hosted a Teen Gender Equality Conference for 60 teens from Carlsbad to Baja California
• Created a facilitated a middle school empowerment program for 12 girls in grades 6, 7, and 8.
• Launched the blog “Wisdom for Womanism” in December 2014, created 19 original posts, and garnered close to 3,000 unique views from across the world
• Partnered with the Hands Up Teen Leadership Program at JFS to host, “Rock Out to Give Back”, which raised over $7,000 for JFS’ food pantry and domestic violence programs.
“We are still living in a society where women are underrepresented in positions of power. Girls Give Back develops community among high school Jewish girls and provides them with the skills and confidence they need to be the next generation of leaders,” Nare said. “I’m honored to be recognized by the Hadassah Foundation, an organization with a long-standing commitment to the advancement of Jewish girls and women.”
Nare holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Ohio Wesleyan University and a master’s degree in women’s studies from San Diego State University. In addition to her work at JFS, Nare serves as a core faculty member in the College of Letters and Sciences at National University and as a lecturer in Women’s Studies at SDSU. She also serves on the Human Relations Commission of the City of San Diego and is an alumna of the San Diego Leadership Alliance.
The Prize provides $500 in general operating support to Girls Give Back at JFS, as well as $2,500 to Jessica Nare to further her professional development.