Jewish students make the grade

James Merlino presents a VCE Premier’s Award to Bialik student Sienna Tugendhaft.

NINE Jewish students were among the 293 top achievers of the state who gathered together for the VCE Premier’s Awards on Monday. 

Last year’s high performing students who had earned an individual study score of 46 or above were presented the prestigious award by Deputy Premier and Minister for Education, James Merlino. 

Four of the nine awardees were from Bialik College – one of whom was Naomi Bagle-Zevin – who doubled the triumph when she received two awards for Hebrew, and Religion and Society.

“Winning the VCE Premier’s Awards … made me feel not only extremely proud of myself and the hard work I put in, but also of Bialik as a school,” she told The AJN

“Beyond doubt, my success can be attributed to my amazing teachers who guided and encouraged me throughout the whole year.”

Fellow student Hannah Grodski also achieved dual honours when she received awards for Religion and Society, and English. Le Or Lifschitz continued Bialik’s Religion and Society streak of success, while Sienna Tugendhaft was recognised for her exemplary efforts in Studio Arts. 

Creativity was further celebrated with Freya Boltman of The King David School receiving an award for her perfect score of 50 in Theatre Studies.

“I have been nurtured and supported by King David in my creativity throughout my school life,” Boltman reflected. 

“I am so proud of my result and I am happy to share this achievement with my King David mentors – I could not have done it without them.”

Tzivia Greenbaum of Beth Rivkah Ladies College, who achieved a score of 50 in Classical Hebrew, also credited her school and teachers.

“What enabled me to achieve this was a passion for the subject, a very close partnership with my teacher, and a supportive and nurturing school and family environment,” she said, adding, “I’m extremely honoured to receive recognition from VCAA for a subject that I consider an integral part of my Torah education. 

“This award will inspire me to strive for excellence in all areas of my life and learning.”

Leah Kinderman also excelled for Beth Rivkah, with an outstanding 50 for Texts and Traditions. 

Meanwhile, Mount Scopus Memorial College students Hannah Weinberg and Julian Green received awards for English and Laboratory Skills (VCE VET) respectively. 

Green shared, “The practical skills, together with the theory and knowledge I learnt from this course will be very valuable as I seek to further my studies in the science area after school.”