Merit scholarships are amongst the most prestigious awards given for academic excellence to high school students. Approximately 1.6 million students are candidates for this notable award. However, only three percent of those students are entered into the pool for further recognition.
The group is narrowed down into two basic categories: Letters of Commendation, which are awarded to approximately two percent of total test takers, and semifinalists who represent approximately one percent of total test takers.
Those who are awarded semifinalist status must apply and qualify for a finalist award. Again, less than one percent qualify. This year, as well as in the past, Rambam has been exceedingly well represented in each of these categories.
According to the principal, Rabbi Yotav Eliach, “We are a small school, so having four winners in a class of 40 means that ten percent of our students qualified.” Rabbi Friedman commented, “Of course we are proud of their academic achievements, but we are prouder of the fact that they are truly nice kids with great midos who exemplify humility and sensitivity towards others.” Great scores do not happen in a vacuum, according to Mr. Hillel Goldman, associate principal. “We are fortunate to have a cadre of motivated students taught by excellent mentors. Together they promote and deliver excellence.”
Last year’s winners were Eliezer Graber, Semifinalist, Daniel Berkovich, Letter of Commendation, Dovid Bluth, Letter of Commendation, Joseph Masri, Letter of Commendation.
All students are Rambam Men and are wonderful models of Torah, midos, and excellence.