the 2019 inaugural emerging scholars awardees
May 1, 2019 (Bronx, NY) — Maharat has announced the inaugural cohort to receive the Emerging Scholars Award. This award, funded by Maharat, celebrates young women who are high school seniors and who excel in leadership, spirituality and Torah learning. The award acknowledges these young women for their accomplishments and dedication to the Jewish community, while supporting their continued growth. Dozens of applications were received from across the United States, representing the diversity and dedication of today’s young women.
An independent selection committee reviewed each application and ultimately selected these impressive leaders. One committee member remarked, “I’ve been on innumerable selection committees for a variety of awards. This was, by far, the most challenging elimination process I’ve ever been a part of. Each of these girls is truly incredible.”
Mazal tov to these remarkable awardees who have engaged in deep Jewish learning, shown leadership in tefillah, camp, social justice, political environments, and support their peers and family members in deep and beautiful ways.
Gabrielle Buch, Rae Kushner Yeshiva High School, Livingston, NJ
Yonit Krebs, St. Louis Park Senior High School, St. Louis Park, MN
Clara Sandler, Shalhevet High School, Los Angeles, CA
Awardees will receive a $1000 stipend towards university or gap year education. They will connect with other prominent Jewish leaders and Torah scholars, including Maharat faculty, alumnae and students. Additionally, they will be announced at Maharat’s Seventh Annual Semikha Ceremony, on June 17 at 6:15pm, an inspiring celebration of women’s leadership which is open to the public. Click here for details.
“The future of the Jewish community is bright!” said Rabba Sara Hurwitz, President & Co-Founder of Maharat, “We read applications from young women who are invested in shaping a Jewish future that is dynamic, committed to Torah values, and striving towards greater equity. We are thrilled to honor three stellar woman who will surely impact the Jewish community and beyond.”
Gabrielle Buch is a senior at Rae Kushner Yeshiva High School in Livingston, NJ and is Staten Island born, but Hillside, NJ raised. Growing up she spent her summers at Camp Moshava Indian Orchard. An active volunteer for Yachad, Gabrielle can be commonly found humming along to her favorite “circle time” cheers. During her summers, Gabrielle has participated in Drisha’s Dr. Beth Samuel’s High School program, Yad B’yad, and was a counselor at Camp Moshava IO, as well as a Yachad fellow. In her free time, Gabrielle loves playing baseball, napping, and listening to Yishai Ribo. After graduation, she plans to spend the year studying at Migdal Oz. Upon her return, she will attend List College - the Joint Program of Columbia and the Jewish Theological Seminary, where she plans on studying political science and Talmud or Jewish Literature. She hopes to one day make Aliyah and become a successful lawyer/Toenet Rabbanit in the Beit Din and Yoetzet Halacha.
“Gabi truly loves to learn Torah, and her very real excitement about Jewish learning has only grown in the time I have known her. She serves as a beautiful role model for students, for her unabashed love of Talmud Torah and her constant striving for growth. She is responsible and caring, and her strong love for am Yisrael is apparent to all those who know her.” -Ms. Norma Mintz, Faculty, RKYHS
Yonit Krebs is a senior at St. Louis Park High School in Minnesota. She is managing editor of the Echo, her school’s newspaper, captain of the gymnastics team, and founder of Achieving Change Together St. Louis Park ([ACT]SLP), a community service organization. In 2017, Yonit founded the Minneapolis chapter of Bnei Akiva, which has become the hot spot on Shabbat for children in grades 1-6. For the last 7 years, Yonit has been a devoted member of the Camp Stone community. A member of Congregation Darchei Noam, Yonit studies Tanakh and Talmud with local Jewish educators and regularly reads all the megillot in the shul’s women’s readings. She is excited to spend next year studying at Nishmat’s Shana Ba’aretz program in Jerusalem, Israel, followed by studying at Princeton University.
“Among ALL of the teens I have worked with, Yonit stands out as a leader par excellence. With her signature smile and positive energy Yonit absolutely embraces leadership opportunities for causes and organizations she believes in. She is highly driven to expand her Jewish academic horizons on all fronts. Yonit quietly displays sensitivity and compassion well beyond her years.” -Rabbi Max Davis, Congregation Darchei Noam
Clara Sandler is a senior at Shalhevet High School in Los Angeles, CA. At Shalhevet, she is Co-Editor-in-Chief of the school newspaper, The Boiling Point, co-captain of the Model UN team, and a member of the AIPAC cohort and feminist clubs at school. Outside of Shalhevet, Clara has participated in a Muslim-Jewish fellowship, volunteered for the Hillary Clinton campaign, interned at the Jewish Journal, was published in the Lookstein Center for Jewish Education journal and works at Moshava Alevy. Her hobbies include napping, rereading Harry Potter, listening to Kanye West, Taylor Swift and Hamilton, watching sitcoms and looking at pictures of pretty libraries on the internet. After Shalhevet, she will be attending Midreshet Lindenbaum and the University of Chicago and plans on studying political science on a pre-law track.
“Clara believes totally, with 100% of her being, in what is important to her and others see how sincere she is, and respond to her passion and commitment. She is committed to developing her best halachic and Torah learning self.” -Atara Segal, Mashgiach Ruchanit, Shalhevet High School