Mara Bernstein, Director of Synagogue Programming and Adult Education
Mara joined the Park Avenue Synagogue team in June 2018 as Director of Synagogue Programming and Adult Education. She has a background in event planning and program management, having worked at several New York City nonprofit organizations and cultural institutions including the American Jewish Historical Society, Museum at Eldridge Street, and the Jewish Theological Seminary. Before coming to PAS, Mara was the Retreats and Programs Manager at the Institute for Jewish Spirituality, where she helped create and facilitate learning and leadership opportunities for Jewish clergy and community leaders of all kinds. A native of Southern California, Mara moved to New York to attend New York University, and has lived here ever since. She loves the vibrant diversity of her adopted home, but misses wearing sandals year round! While not at Park Avenue Synagogue, Mara is a volunteer docent at the Museum at Eldridge Street and also leads historic walking tours in lower Manhattan. Mara lives on the Upper West Side and enjoys exploring the many cafes and bookstores in her neighborhood.
Ellie Benjamin, Adult Education Coordinator
Ellie joined the Park Avenue Synagogue team in July of 2020 as the Adult Education Coordinator, working closely on all adult educational offerings and classes. Prior to PAS, Ellie worked for two years at UJA-Federation of New York as a Development Associate in their Center for Youth Philanthropy and Leadership, where she developed and led programs to engage youth and teens in tzedakah. Ellie earned her BA in history and Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies from Brandeis University. She is very passionate about supporting the incredible lifelong learners at PAS.