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the 2020 emerging scholars awardees

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March 16, 2020 (Bronx, NY) — Maharat has announced the Second Cohort of Emerging Scholars Awardees. 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, “It was incredibly gratifying to learn of the accomplishments and lofty visions of all of the nominees and proved extremely challenging to reduce the pool of enormous talent to just 3 awardees. The entire adjudicating committee was uplifted by the knowledge that so many young Jewish women and future leaders care so deeply about our Jewish future.”


Mazal tov to these remarkable awardees who have engaged in deep Jewish learning, shown leadership in tefillah, camp, social justice and political environments, and support their peers and family members in beautiful ways.

Miriam Fisch, Ma’ayanot Yeshiva High School for Girls, Teaneck, NJ

Noam Goldberg-Kellman, SAR High School, Riverdale, NY

Elitsa Sklar, Rochelle Zell Jewish High School, Deerfield, IL


Awardees will receive a $2,500 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 Eighth Annual Semikha Ceremony, on June 9 at 6:00pm, 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.”

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Miriam Fisch is a senior at Ma’ayanot Yeshiva High School for Girls in Teaneck, NJ. She has a passion for learning and teaching, and keeps busy in a myriad ways, from working as the first female editor-in-chief of international Torah publication Kol HaNe’arim to learning new takedowns in her krav maga class. She has also worked her way through an independent study of Tanach over the course of high school. When not spending her summer growing glow-in-the-dark bacteria at the Touro College of Pharmacy, Miriam has participated in both the Tikvah Scholars and Dr. Beth Samuels Drisha High School program. Over the course of her life, she has also been a bubble fairy, a sushi chef in a Manhattan restaurant and brushed her teeth in preschool TV show SeeMore’s Playhouse. She is incredibly excited to be spending next year in the Nishmat Shana Ba’Aretz program and to see what else HaShem has in store for her.

Miriam Fisch
Noam GK
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Noam Goldberg-Kellman is a senior at SAR High School in Riverdale, NY, and a member of the Hebrew Institute of White Plains, NY. She is the captain of her school’s Mock Trial team; co-founder of her local chapter of Knock Knock Give a Sock, a community service club, and Talk for Tolerance, a club which facilitates dialogue with students in the Middle East; and a member of her school’s girls varsity hockey team. She devotes large portions of her time to encouraging female participation in Judaism, both as a gabbait in her school’s Women’s Tefillah and through teaching Bat Mitzvah lessons in her community. Noam has spent seven of her past summers as a camper and a staff member at Camp Stone, and learned with the Dr. Beth Samuels Drisha High School program in the summer of 2017. She looks forward to continuing her Jewish learning in the Beit Midrash of Migdal Oz next year.

Elitsa Sklar
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Elitsa Sklar, a senior at Rochelle Zell Jewish High School, in Deerfield IL, is inspired by Judaic Studies, volunteerism, and social justice work to create a more peaceful world. Elitsa organized a march to advocate for safer schools and implemented an international interfaith writing campaign to support victims of religious violence. She is the recipient of the Bronfman Fellowship, the Write on for Israel program, and a two-time scholarship recipient for the Dr. Beth Samuels Drisha High School program. Elitsa, an accomplished athlete, has earned four consecutive all-conference medals in varsity cross country and received two all-team and three all-conference awards in varsity basketball. At school, Elitsa has held several leadership positions, including Vice President of Programming, President of the Mental Health club, President of Va’ad Israel, and President of Va’ad Tefillah. Elitsa was named to Chicago JUF’s 18 under 18 teens for her leadership, community service, and activism. Elitsa is inspired by Maharat’s groundbreaking work at the forefront of female leadership in the Orthodox community.

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