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.”

Last year, the Fund supported AVODAH Corps member Josh Ontell, who worked as a Program Assistant at Manhattan Comprehensive Night and Day School in New York City. Manhattan Comprehensive is a one-of-a-kind public high school with classes from 11am to 11pm, created to serve older students, ages 17 to 21, with adult responsibilities such as working and child rearing. Josh served as a Program Assistant in the College Services Department, helping students with the process of getting into colleges.

The Priscilla R. Stern Literacy fellow during the 2007-2008 program year was Diana Levy, who worked at the Urban Assembly School for Law and Justice (SLJ) in Brooklyn, New York. SLJ is a public college preparatory school with a focus on law. Students take classes in legal studies and learn by doing. Diana, who is from Hyattsville, Maryland and graduated from Northwestern University, coordinated the After School Learning Academy, developing after school programs and summer internships for SLJ students and helping them apply to college.

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 Ilanit Gerblich Kalir at ilanit( put the “at” symbol here ) or 212-545-7759.

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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