Priscilla R. Stern Literacy Fund

Working in Memory of Priscilla R. Stern

The Stern family and their friends joined together to establish the Priscilla R. Stern Literacy Fund at AVODAH: The Jewish Service Corps in 2007. This fund will allow one AVODAH corps member each year to work in the field of literacy for 10 years.

Elsie Stern, Priscilla’s daughter, and the immediate past Board Chair of AVODAH: The Jewish Service Corps wrote that the fund was established because, “we can only imagine how much our mother would have loved to talk with an AVODAH corps member — a young woman, overflowing with enthusiasm about her work in teaching people to read, angry and sad that such work is necessary, and passionate about working for comprehensive system reform. For our mother, talking was a way to connect, poetry a way to express her wonder at the beauty of the world, and books a way to enter into limitless worlds of imagination and ideas. She worked at the school and public libraries; she brought books to shut-ins and tutored adults in reading.”

Seven AVODAH corps members have served as Stern Literacy Fellows:

  • 2007: Diana Levy worked in the Enrichment and College offices at the Urban Assembly School for Law and Justice in Brooklyn. She continues to work there today as Director of the College and Career Center.
  • 2008: Josh Ontell worked as a Program Assistant at Manhattan Comprehensive Night and Day High School in New York City.
  • 2009: Anna Liebowitz worked as an assistant 11th grade English teacher at the Urban Assembly School for Law and Justice.
  • 2010: Aaron Vinnik worked at Manhattan Comprehensive Night and Day High School in New York.
  • 2011: Anna Bennett was Student Advocate/Internship Coordinator at Manhattan Comprehensive Night and Day High School in New York and continues in this role today.
  • 2012: Azeen Nafisi was a College Advisor at Manhattan Comprehensive Night and Day High School in New York.
  • 2013: Ivan Porto is a College Advisor at Manhattan Comprehensive Night and Day High School in New York.

AVODAH is honored that the Stern family and their friends have selected this unique way to cherish Priscilla Stern’s memory. For more information on naming opportunities at AVODAH, please contact Steve Bocknek at sbocknek@avodah.net or 212-545-7759.

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Testimonials

I am honored to be working at the Urban Assembly School for Law and Justice, where the staff is committed to enriching the lives of underprivileged youth and preparing them for future success in college. Every day, I get to help students develop important leadership skills, as well as challenge them beyond the scope of the classroom. Thank you for making it possible for me to do this work in Priscilla Stern’s memory.”

Diana Levy"Working in Memory of Priscilla R. Stern" 2007-2008 Corps Member