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Aronsohn, Ernst Memorial Scholarship

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Ernst Aronsohn was born in 1917 in the town of Posen, in what is now Poland.  At the onset of World War ll he was in school in Italy, and because of his Jewish faith could not return home to his family, who later perished under the Nazis.  Instead, Mr. Aronsohn went to Denmark to work on a farm with other young Jews displaced by the War.  It was here he met his wife, Erna Meier.  When the Nazis invaded Denmark, the Aronsohns were ferried to Sweden by Danish fishermen.  At the end of the war, they went to Israel.  It was in Israel that Mr. Aronsohn was recruited by the United States to return to Germany to help find Nazi war criminals.

In 1958 the Aronsohns moved to the United States with other Holocaust survivors and settled in Queens, N.Y.  Mr. Aronsohn had a successful career in finance.  After his wife’s death in 1989 Mr. Aronsohn was visiting a friend in Florida.  The friend introduced him to Jane Yanowitz, and they remained constant companions for 25 years.  At Mr. Aronsohn’s death in 2015, the Yanowitz family created this scholarship to honor his memory.

  • Students majoring in History or International Studies taking courses in Human Rights and Genocide Studies
  • G.P.A. of 3.25+
  • Selected by the Dean of the School of Humanities and Global Studies based on the recommendation of the convening group for Human Rights and Genocide Studies

2022 Recipient

Courtney Ottaviano

Courtney Ottaviano of Bellmore, N.Y., is a senior Sociology Major concentrating in Social Inequality and double minoring in Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies and Human Rights and Genocide Studies. She has a 3.8 GPA and has been awarded the Dean’s List throughout her academic career. She has been an active member of Ramapo Pride and is a member of The National Society of Leadership and Success.

Off campus Courtney has served as a childcare volunteer at Congregation Ohav Sholom. In the future she hopes to work at a non-profit organization.

2021 Recipient

Natalie Tsur

Natalie Tsur of New Milford, N.J., is a junior Communication Arts major, concentrating in Journalism and double minoring in Creative Writing and Human Rights and Genocide Studies. She has a 3.98 GPA and has been awarded Dean’s List throughout her academic career and published in the college’s literary magazine.

At Ramapo, Natalie has served as a peer mentor and is an active member of the College Disciplinary Review Board and The Ramapo News as web editor. She recently conducted an independent project interviewing Ramapo students, documenting their experiences during quarantine. Her work is viewable on the newspaper’s Instagram page.

Natalie currently interns at Embrace Relief, a local non-profit organization, as a digital content writer. She hopes to continue her studies post-graduation, specializing in feature journalism and plans to teach later in her life.

2020 Recipient

Zurine Cadena Jimenez

Zurine Cadena Jimenez, of Mount Arlington, N.J. is an International Studies major with a minor in Human Rights and Genocide Studies.  She has a 3.96 GPA and is a member of Sigma Iota Rho.  Zurine plans to enroll in a Master’s program in Human Rights Studies at Columbia University.  Upon completion, she aspires to obtain a position at UNICEF to work with regional and country offices that are engaged in advancing the early childhood education sector in developing countries.

In the summer of 2018, Zurine completed an internship with the director’s office of the Office of Innovation at UNICEF.  Through this experience she was able to take part in quarterly progress meetings pertaining to scaling of regional as well as country infrastructure projects such as healthcare and water access through the use of various technologies.  She also represented the School of Humanities and Global Studies at COPLAC’s Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity Conference.

Her life goal is to compose a peace education curriculum, emphasizing tolerance and equality that she hopes will be utilized in the process of intra/interstate conflict resolution.  She also hopes to extend her research on the Colombian civil conflict and 2016 peace accord as well as partake in campaigns working towards the elimination of FGM and child marriage.

Additionally, Zurine has an Associate degree in both Studio Art and International Studies.  She is currently a preschool teacher for Kindercare Learning Centers.  In her free time, she engages in working on art pieces and in writing poetry.  Her poems have been published in the literary magazines Driftwood and the Promethean. She has also been featured as Reward Publishing’s Poet of the Month.

2019 Recipient

Alejandra Sanchez

Alejandra Sanchez of Paterson, N.J. is an International Studies major with a double minor in Latin American Studies and Human Rights & Genocides Studies. She has a 3.7 GPA and has been inducted into Sigma Iota Rho Honors Society for International Studies, and into Chi Alpha Epsilon National Honors Society.

At Ramapo, Alejandra has been active in the Association of Latino Moving Ahead, where she has served as Treasurer and President and also with the organization of Global Roadrunners, where she has served as an E-Board member. Through these positions she has coordinated fundraisers on campus, particularly the Refugee Clothing Drive.

Off-campus, Alejandra studied abroad for a full semester in Santiago, Chile. She also interned abroad at the Alianza Francesa as a Cultural Orientation Intern in Puebla, Mexico. Additionally, Alejandra will be interning in the Center for Safety and Change as a Bilingual Legal Translator.

“Upon graduation, I plan to obtain a paralegal certification and eventually pursue law school in order to become an immigration attorney.”

2018 Recipient

Zurine Cadena Jimenez

“My goal is to obtain a position at UNICEF where I can work with regional organizations to provide access to early childhood education in developing countries,” says Zurine Cadena Jimenez.

Zurine is an International Studies major with a minor in Human Rights and Genocide Studies. She has a 3.85 GPA. She plans to continue her education at Columbia University to earn a master’s degree in Human Rights Studies. In addition, Zurine has an associate’s degree in Studio Art.  Her poetry has also been published in literary magazines such as “Driftwood” and the “Promethean” and has been featured twice as Reward Publishing’s Poet of the Month. 

Zurine is from Mount Arlington, N.J. and is currently a preschool teacher for Kindercare Learning Centers.

2017 Recipient

Alec Weissman

Alec Weissman of East Brunswick, NJ is a Literature major with minors in both Human Rights/Genocide Studies and International Studies. He has a 3.60 GPA.

Alec served as President of the Student Government Association during the 2015-2016. He is also a brother of Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity, International as he hopes to attend law school following graduation.  He also played for the Ramapo’s men’s varsity volleyball team.

Alec participated in the 2015 Pan American Maccabi games in Santiago, Chile. He also interned at the Museum of Jewish Heritage this past summer, and will be interning at a non-governmental organization, Grupo Cajola, in spring of 2017.

2016 Recipient

Megan Denecour

Megan Denecour of Boonton, NJ is an International Studies major with a minor in Human Rights and Genocide Studies.  She has a 3.98 GPA.  She is a member of Sigma Iota Rho International Studies honor society and serves as president.

Megan has been active in Relay for Life, Colleges Against Cancer, and the Concert Band.

She is currently interning with the International Rescue Committee.

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