Nominated and written by Meira Schneider-Atik
I was not like most NCSY kids (or most any kids, for that matter). I was born and raised Orthodox and NCSY was a way for me to meet people and make friends. I was awkward socially, and NCSY was a haven for me. I had a lot of wonderful friends who inspired me in so many ways. But if there was any one person who made the biggest difference for me, it was Ora Shmidman (now Kermaier).
She reached out to me and befriended me even when I still so awkward, and she encouraged me to use my talents. She was the regional president when I was in 11th grade, but she wasn’t aloof and apart. I remember her listening to me when I was venting some sadness for another friend who had just suffered a loss. I still remember Ora as the finest regional president that NJ NCSY ever had. Thanks to her, I didn’t fall through the cracks. Now, I hope that she’s getting nothing but nachat from her own family and from those she inspired in NCSY. Thank you Ora.