For DonorsFor Applicants

Alan Perlow Scholarship

Funded by
Picture of the donor
1 winner$806
Application Deadline
May 1, 2023
Winners Announced
Jun 1, 2023
Education Level
High School, Undergraduate
Recent scholarship winners
Eligibility Requirements
Education Level:
High school senior or undergraduate student
Financial Status:

Alan Perlow was a beloved uncle who played a significant role in the lives of his nephews and passed away too soon.

Alan was supportive, trustworthy, funny, and always there for whatever his nephews needed. Alan was a strong encourager of education and helped support his nephews throughout their education. 

This scholarship seeks to honor the memory of Alan Perlow by supporting Jewish students who are dealing with financial hardship.

Any low-income, Jewish high school senior or undergraduate student may apply for this scholarship. 

To apply, tell us what “paying it forward” means to you and how someone has paid it forward to impact your life.

Selection Criteria:
Ambition, Boldest Profile
Published February 1, 2023
Essay Topic

What does the idea of “paying it forward” mean to you and how has someone paid it forward to positively impact your life?

400–600 words

Winning Application

Emily Howell
Southwestern Oklahoma State UniversityElk City, OK
The saying, "mitzvah goreret mitzvah, averah goreret averah" translates to "one good deed will bring another good deed, one transgression will bring another transgression." This saying teaches that one mitzvah can lead to another until it forms a habit within one's life to the point that they unknowing perform mitzvot. These actions can then be seen by others who become inspired to do their own good deeds. This is a way to approach life, a simple way for us to "be a light," however it portrays performing mitvot as being a choice. It is not. It is a commandment and for good reason. Without charity or "tzedaka", the world would be lost. We must "pay it forward" in order to heal the world (Tikkun Olam.) It is our duty, our commandment, to perform good deeds throughtout our lives to benefit others and inact change within the world. The word tzedaka (charity) comes from the word tzedek (justice), meaning that by giving charity we are not only being charitable, we are being just. When someone is in need, an injustice has been served. Therefore, it is our duty to bring justice to that person, which can be done by fulfilling their needs. This can come in the form of "paying it forward." Put simply, the idea of "paying it forward," is that when one sees an injustice, a need, they fulfill it and, hopefully, someone else sees this and does the same in a similar instance. This idea cannot happen, though, if one does not fulfill the need, but because we, as Jews, are commanded to pursue justice in Deuteronomy, we are, therefore, obligated to fulfill this need, thereby ensuring that the idea of "paying it forward" is instigated. My idea of "paying it forward" is that simple: fulfill a need that you see and hope that someone else does the same. This idea played out in my life in 2018. My mom, a Forest Service employee, was furloughed due to a presedential dispute over the budget for the Mexican border and had gone to work at Pizza Hut in order to pay the bills. She was making minimum wage and working long hours and still struggling to make end's meet. A person within our community saw that we were struggling and brought two large boxes of food over to our house. This food lasted for two months, the remainder of the furlough, and ensured that we had enough money to pay bills without the stress of having to buy groceries. I am reminded of this event every time I see a homeless individual asking for food or a struggling family in the checkout line. This one individual's act of kindness impacted my life and inspired me to help others. Because of this, I organized a school supply distribution in 2021 after seeing multiple students in need of school supplies earlier that year. I was able to supply 80 children with a backpack and full set of supplies. This year, I organized a similar event where I gathered donations to present to a daycare specializing in helping low-income families with clothes and supplies. One act of kindess inspired me to fulfill my commandment to help others. Paying it forward is a critical idea in producing positivity in our world. One good deed could impact an individual for the rest of their lives. It takes little effort on our part to bring joy to others. So, why not do it? This is my goal in life: to help others. Tikkun Olam is simple if we all try.
Tessa Temme
University of California-Los AngelesLos Angeles, CA


When is the scholarship application deadline?

The application deadline is May 1, 2023. Winners will be announced on Jun 1, 2023.

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