Rabbi Mara Young - Young Pioneers Award 2017 Recipient


Sara Duani | Andrew Paull | Rabbi Mara Young | Adam Metzger | Eliana Light




Rabbi Mara Young is the Director of Congregational Learning at Woodlands Community Temple in Greenburgh, NY. Mara grew up in Westfield, NJ and attended Tufts University in Boston where she majored in Anthropology and Judaic Studies with a minor in English. She was ordained at the Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion where she also earned a Masters of Hebrew Literature and a Certificate in Education: Specializing in Adolescents and Emerging Adults. She participated in the Matan Institute, receiving training in special needs inclusion. She is proud to be in the pilot cohort of Qushiyot: the Israel Education Fellowship, a partnership between The Jewish Education Project and Makom.

Mara is the co-founder and former spiritual leader of a young minyan in Astoria, NY called the Wandering Jews of Astoria. She currently serves as the chair of the Westchester Association of Temple Educators, a regional professional learning group. Once upon-a-time intern at WCT, she oversees the educational program at Woodlands, including the religious school, informal/experiential programs, and adult learning. Rabbi Mara is a passionate feminist and sometimes-poetry-writer. She’s especially thankful for her husband Mark and young children: Noah Sadie and Asher.

From the Recipient:
Receiving this award encourages me to keep trying new things and connecting with new people. I believe innovation is sparked in the power of partnerships. Working together we can make a considerable impact on Judaism, on our world, and on each other. We just need to be mindful of the opportunities, most particularly the ones we don’t plan for. I appreciate the Jewish Education Project’s commitment to this same goal and the incredible way the organization has connected educators and institutions in the New York area. Being part of this network, and this particular distinction, makes me hopeful and excited for the Jewish future.”

Reflections from Colleagues:
Rabbi Mara Young was so excited to receive the Young Pioneer's Grant (and not only because her name is "Young"). While everyone at Woodlands loves Mara and values the numerous ways she has energized education, this honor from the Jewish Education Project states that the community beyond Woodlands recognizes Rabbi Mara's achievements.” - Rabbi Rachel Wineberg, Vice President of Education at Woodlands Community Temple

With all her heart, all her soul and all her might, Rabbi Mara Young has brought exciting new ideas, powerful pedagogy, and an unstoppable spirit to our youngest elementary students on up to our high schoolers and right on through to adult ed. With Mara, Jewish learning is soaring to breathtaking heights. And she's only just begun… She has brought incredible knowledge, energy and creativity to Jewish learning. We are the fortunate beneficiaries of Mara’s talents and are honored by her receiving this award.” - Rabbi Billy Dreskin, Woodlands Community Temple



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