Cohen Hillel Academy’s annual meeting, “Nitzan” (a new beginning), was a special evening of recognition and tribute. Karen and Jerry Madorsky presented the first annual Adam Madorsky Alumni Social Justice Award to Zachary Shwartz and Shane Skikne, in memory of their son Adam. Karen remarked, “It’s ironic, or perhaps it isn’t, that both Zach and Shane suffered tragic personal losses when they were middle school students. They each learned compassion and empathy at an early age and translated that knowledge into trying to repair the world.”
After completing a degree in engineering at Olin College, Shane combined his career with his passion and began The Launch Studio, a non-profit company located in California, that focuses on teaching students from disadvantaged backgrounds about entrepreneurship. Shane is currently piloting the program with success in an Oakland public middle school and will be expanding to three other schools in the fall, running 24, 10-week classes. Shane is the son of Michele and Joel Skikne of Middleton.
Zachary volunteered as a young boy at the Chelsea Jewish Nursing Home and continues to lead bingo every week at his temple in Malden for its aging population. He has become very involved with Special Olympics and is now the head coach for the basketball team. EMARC (East Middlesex Association for Retarded Citizens) recently honored Zach for his outstanding dedication to the organization, its athletes, the surrounding community and Special Olympics Massachusetts. He also serves as a member of the Cohen Hillel Board of Directors, taking an active role on both the Facilities and Alumni Engagement Committees. Zach is the son of Lisa and the late Matthew Shwartz of Malden.