Inaugural Brawerman scholarships awarded

Five Los Angeles teenagers have been awarded $40,000 in college scholarships as part of the inaugural Brawerman Fellowship of the Geri and Richard Brawerman Leadership Institute. The fellows, who applied for the scholarships through The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles, will receive their scholarship in four annual installments and will participate in a Birthright trip, several Shabbatons and four weeks of community service projects each summer.

The winners were Josh Cahn of Culver City High School, Leigh Evans of Milken Community High School, Mitchell Handler of Venice High School, Evan Lowell of Cleveland Humanities Magnet and Harmony Richman of Santa Monica High School.

The Brawerman Leadership Institute was started with a multimillion-dollar gift from Geri Brawerman, on behalf of herself and her late husband, which will enable the Brawerman Fellowship to become an annual scholarship.

“The fellows we’ve chosen represent the finest young leaders in our community,” Geri Brawerman said. “It is extremely gratifying to be able to make this unique program possible. I’ve personally gotten to know them and am excited that they will be leading our community in the future.”

The Brawerman Fellowship was open only to graduating high school seniors who intended to enroll in college this fall. Eligible applicants included those who were Jewish, excelled academically and showed a commitment to leadership and community service as well as a demonstrated financial need.

Cahn and Handler are enrolled at University of California, Berkeley; Evans is at University of California, Santa Barbara; Lowell is at Boston University; and Richman is at Barnard College.

Jewish Federation President Jay Sanderson said that although the fellowships will be limited to four or five students for the first few years, the Federation hopes to add more in the future.

“We’re going to be able to help create the next generation of Jewish leaders,” Sanderson said. “These are the most extraordinary kids who are so committed to the Jewish people.”

For more information on applying for the Brawerman Fellowship, contact