Beth Margolis Rupp, Program Director
I was brought up with my Orthodox grandparents in Wynnfield, PA where I was taught the values of “Gemuilut Hasadim and Tikkun Olam”. I was a different kind of learner; I struggled in elementary school with traditional teaching and the injustices in our community as a whole. This is when I decided that I would be the first Jewish female President of the US; I knew that the world needed to be better and I could do it. I attended Akiba Hebrew Academy in Merion Station and joined Hashomer Hatzair, a progressive Zionist youth movement. Upon graduating from high school, I attended Machon L’Madrich Chutz L’aretz, a leadership course in Jerusalem. At this point, I decided it was better to become a teacher than a politician, that I could be more effective.
I received my B.A. in Elementary Education at Temple University with a focus on environmental science, conservation and citizen engagement. I then went to graduate school in Wheelock College in Boston, earning an M.A. in Educational Leadership and Administration, where my thesis examined “The development of the socially responsible learner (K-16) in educational settings”.
Upon joining the staff of the Jewish Community High School of Gratz College in 1989, I founded the Institute for Service leaning and designed a Certificate in Jewish Service Learning. The programs addressed intergenerational relationships, special needs educational partnerships, food insecurity, environmental sustainably, education inequity, Israel advocacy and more. I co-authored multiple grants including “Examining bio -diversity and human diversity” with Earth Watch and the Philadelphia Zoo. I co -authored the “Food for Thought” curriculum, used with the Cook For a Friend program to create well over 20,000 meals. Partners in Education, an afterschool educational program at St. Barnabas Women’s and Children Shelter, provided over 5,000 hours of tutoring and community activism. I also ran a program for teens to volunteer at a residential facility for mentally and physically impaired adults, providing Jewish residents with life cycle and religious celebrations for over 12 years.
In 2006 I became the Director of the Satell Teen Fellowship for Leadership and Social Justice. I took a hiatuses in 2010 to move to Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates with my husband and family, remaining as an an advisor to the Fellowship program over the last several years.