By Matthew Beinart
The University of Maryland chapter of MEOR, a non-profit Jewish educational organization, received the “Educators of the Year” honor at the foundation’s annual awards ceremony April 6 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J.
The organization recognized the leaders of the Maryland chapter, who have worked together since 20ll to engage more than 400 students through its programming.
“I believe the award was in some respects a cumulative recognition of the work we have done on campus over the past decade,” Executive Director Rabbi Ari Koretzky said. “We have been very blessed to see wonderful success, as well, of course, as our share of challenges.”
Koretzky cited the group’s new addition of a home on Knox Road that serves as a hub for Shabbat meals, and a new location for “M2: Maimonides Reloaded,” a discussion-based Jewish learning program, as an example of their “pushing the envelope.”
“The new building is a game-changer in our ability to service students,” Koretzky said. “It is virtually unique, certainly in size, among similar campuses within the MEOR orbit.”
MEOR Maryland also offers advanced text study classes, philanthropy and leadership programs, and organizes Taglit-Birthright Israel trips, which allow participants to go to Israel free of charge.
“MEOR does more than just take you on a free trip to Israel,” said sophomore public relations major Mara Dworkin, who went on a birthright trip in January. “They take a bunch of kids and turn them into a family.”
The most recent group the Maryland chapter sent on Birthright won the “Bring Home Israel” award, allowing the Israeli soldiers who participated on the trip to come and visit the campus, according to a press release by MEOR following the MetLife ceremony.
The awards ceremony also recognized Yitz and Hilda Applbaum as “Community Service Honorees” for their Jewish educational efforts with U.S. and Israel organizations, Cliff and Maggie Newman as “Parents of the Year,” and Daniel and Lauren Feinberg as “Young Leadership Honorees” for their philanthropic involvement with New York’s Upper West Side Jewish community.
MEOR Maryland continues to expand its team and hopes to grow on the success of its new building on Knox Road in the coming years.
“MEOR has taught me a lot about Judaism and created a Jewish home for me here on campus,” sophomore marketing major Alyssa Hochberg said. “Since Birthright, they have provided lots of opportunities to get involved.”