Helping YU students make a social impact worldwide in memory of Sholem Benchimol Z'L
Sholem Benchimol Z'L passed away at the age of 17 after a tragic bike accident. He was known for his novelty, Jewish pride, and willingness to help others. His passing has inspired thousands, and we want to continue spreading his legacy by helping Jewish communities worldwide.
My older brother Daniel and I attended Yeshiva University and always looked for ways to help our communities. Daniel is the creator of http://enminutos.org/ a platform for Latin jews to get inspired in a minute or less. Enminutos was awarded the Neals Fund grant to kickstart his project which has created 120 videos with Rabbis from all over the world and reached more than 25,000 Jews worldwide up to date. Daniel graduated in 2014.
Following my brother's steps, I applied for the Neals fund in 2017. I was looking to fund an idea of preserving the Jewish history of the Jews of Kaifeng, China. Unfortunately, the Neals fund never got back to me and I got cut up in other projects. It was difficult to reach them as well regarding my application so I moved on from this idea.
We want to make this fund different by making the funding process decentrlizled, faster and more transparent.
Sholem was considering attending Yeshiva University. He was an avid soccer player who aspired to become the first professional to wear a Kippah to the games. His Kippah was a symbol of his Jewish identity. Now our family started the Sholem Corazon Valiente nonprofit to keep his legacy alive by empowering values and enhancing athletic skills in teens.
After Sholem passed away, I felt the love and support from the YU students at my hardest of times. Losing a brother is not easy, after a few months passed by and it still hard to deal with. I want newer students to feel the family, support system, and connections students are able to receive. Also, an initiative like this can bolster the bond between students and alumni to make a global impact.