Sara (Gerstenfeld) Strobel ‘05 - Baltimore, MD
Founder of "Elevate"
Always wanting to stay in a strong environment, Sara chose to attend WITS/Maalot even though she was interested in pursuing a degree in the music field. With the help of Mrs. Judy Gross, WITS/Maalot’s first Academic Dean, Sara was able to complete her degree in Liberal Arts as well as receive the other needed credits to complete an audio engineering degree from Berkely College of Music. For ten years, Sara ran a music after-school program for girls in Baltimore called Ratzon. Each girl left with a CD of their recording, a chance to shine in the Ratzon show, and a strengthened confidence in themselves.
In 2019 Sara began Elevate, an organization which provides opportunities of growth, connection, and mentorship for young, married women in their 20s and 30s. The organization runs approximately five chaburas a year on different topics, fostering community and growth for young married women in Baltimore. Their recent kick-off event had over 100 women attend and their chaburahs have over 25 women participating weekly.
During the pandemic, Sara organized an online talent show together with Rina of Baltimore, which raised over $20,000 for Ahavas Yisroel. Between her music program and Elevate, Sara is constantly looking for ways to help girls and women thrive and connect. She feels strongly that in order to combat social media and the negative influences of technology, Yiddishkeit should be exciting and alive.
“I have so much hakaras hatov to WITS/Maalot and Mrs. Gross. With their guidance I was able to pursue a career that was both off the beaten path and in a true Torah environment.”