- Outside the Classroom
- Upper Division
By Matan Halzel, Communications Coordinator
As the first semester of the 2020-21 school year at Denver Jewish Day School came to a close, Denver JDS senior, Jonas Rosenthal, finished his application for the United States Senate Youth Program Scholarship. A week ago, Jonas received one of the best phone calls of his life and was told he had been selected as one of the two delegates from the state of Colorado for the scholarship. The Senate Youth Scholarship is a prestigious merit-based award given to only 104 delegates across the United States, and it featured thousands of high school student applicants. Jonas becomes the first student from Denver JDS to receive this award.
“I was really excited to apply for this scholarship because I have always been really interested in politics and policy,” said Jonas. “My goal is to use every opportunity I can from this scholarship to learn and better myself in order to fulfill my aspirations of helping others through the Jewish values that have been instilled in me through my Jewish education.”
Each year, this unique merit-based program chooses 104 qualified and exemplary high school students to participate in an intensive week-long study of the federal government. Each delegate has the opportunity to hear major policy addresses by senators, cabinet members, and officials from the Departments of State and Defense and directors of other federal agencies. Delegates also receive the unique opportunity to participate in meetings with the president and a justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.
In addition to the student delegates attending Washington Week, the Hearst Foundation provides each of the 104 student delegates with a $10,000 undergraduate college scholarship, and they are encouraged to continue their educational coursework in government, history, and public affairs.
At the end of January, Jonas was notified that he had advanced as a semifinalist for the scholarship award. A couple of days later, the Colorado Department of Education interviewed Jonas, and then weeks later they notified him that he was one of the two delegates from Colorado to win this prestigious award.
“I owe so much to one of my favorite teachers and our principal, Mr. Snyder,” said Jonas. “He has taught me so much about history and government, which heavily contributed to my passion for politics and policy. The Talmudic style of learning we use at Denver JDS was something I mentioned a few times in my application and interview, and I’m sure that helped me win this great award.”
Jonas was also recently accepted to his top college choice, Dartmouth College, and he will be attending Dartmouth this fall.
“Jonas is truly a remarkable student, and the truth is that studying history with Jonas is like discussing art with a young Rembrandt or music with a young Mozart,” said Upper Division Principal, Jason Snyder. “He truly has a gift and it has been a pleasure to learn with him.”
Jonas’ older brother, Abe, attended Denver JDS and graduated in 2017. Jonas’ younger sister, Kiki, also attends Denver JDS and will be graduating next year as part of the Class of 2022.