Teach NYS, a project of the Orthodox Union (OU) and a leading advocate for equitable funding for New York State’s nonpublic schools, honored State Sen. Shelley Mayer, and lay leaders Daniel Lowy from Manhattan, and Elizabeth and Joe Braha from Brooklyn, recently at its annual dinner at the Metropolitan West.

Key New York State legislators joined with leaders from nonpublic schools across the state to celebrate securing an additional $60 million in government funding for nonpublic schools, including Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the legislature’s historic STEM bill.

More than a dozen state legislators – including Sen. Monica Martinez, Assemblyman Daniel Rosenthal, Assemblywoman Alicia Hyndman, Assemblywoman Latrice Walker, Assemblywoman Nathalia Fernandez, Assemblywoman Carmen De La Rosa, Sen. Jemaal T. Bailey, Assemblyman Jonathan G. Jacobson, Assemblyman Simcha Eichenstein, Councilman Chaim Deutsch – were also present at the dinner to show their support for the day school and yeshivah community and the work that Teach NYS is doing.

The evening honored Mayer, the chair of the Committee on Education in the New York State Senate. Mayer has been a champion of increased government funding for nonpublic schools. Prior to serving in the State Senate, Mayer championed education issues while in the lower house, serving as chair of the Assembly Education Subcommittee. She resides in Yonkers with her husband.

Lowy received the organization’s “Activist of the Year” award in recognition of his trailblazing efforts and dedication working with Teach NYS. He plays a vital role in building and growing the organization’s lay leadership base, opening doors to fellow community members and schools. Lowy is the founder and CEO of EMU Health. He currently resides in the Upper West Side of Manhattan with his wife, Elana, and their four children.

The Brahas received the organization’s “Young Leadership Award” in recognition for their exemplary efforts in mobilizing young families to get involved in the organization’s efforts. They have left their mark in Albany, developing relationships with countless elected officials, and opening their home to introduce representatives to their family and friends. The Brahas have served Teach NYS with their activism, ideas, and leadership, and are at the forefront of fighting for equitable funding for Jewish day schools and yeshivos. Joe and Elizabeth currently reside in Brooklyn with their four children.

The honorees received special gifts, representative of where STEM funding goes in Teach NYS schools. The gifts were custom-designed and 3-D printed in Westchester Day School’s “makerspace” by science teacher Becky Shapiro with design help from her sixth-grade students who are currently learning how to use the 3-D software. Lowy and the Brahas were given engraved apples, and Mayer received a golden shofar symbolizing the upcoming Jewish High Holidays. Westchester Day School is a Jewish nonpublic school within Mayer’s district.

“We are grateful to Senator Mayer for her leadership in Albany on behalf of each and every New York child. We thank Daniel Lowy and Elizabeth and Joe Braha, for their commitment and dedication to Teach NYS,” said Teach Coalition Executive Director Maury Litwack.