March-April 2019 | Parenting

Where Are They Now?

For the 10th year of the Bethesda Magazine Extraordinary Teen Awards, we checked in with some past winners

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Sarah Marx Levin, with her husband, Oded, studying in Israel. Courtesy photo.


Sarah Marx Levin

2010 Extraordinary Teen

Photo by Erick Gibson.

Then: As a teenager in Chevy Chase, Sarah Marx (now Sarah Marx Levin) was home-schooled through much of high school. She directed a youth play at Round House Theatre in Silver Spring, completed a fellowship at the Folger Shakespeare Library in the District and interned at NARAL Pro-Choice Maryland.

Now: Marx Levin attended St. John’s College in Annapolis for a liberal arts education that focused on the study of great books. The Torah, by far, had the greatest impact on her.

Raised culturally Jewish, Marx Levin says reading the Hebrew Bible for the first time as a historical and literary text in college was life-changing. “I began to realize that my fascination was deeper than intellectual,” says Marx Levin, who wrote her senior thesis on the Book of Genesis.

A week after graduation, she was on a plane to Jerusalem to live, learn and work in a Jewish community. She became an Orthodox Jew and still lives in Jerusalem, where she studies six hours a day with a group of young women who aspire to be leaders in their religious community. Last year she married a local man, Oded Levin, and she’s teaching him English. They are expecting their first child in May. Now 25, she works as a freelance writer, creating business materials for Israeli startups and translating text from Hebrew to English.

“I love being able to read a page of the Torah and then say the same words when I’m grocery shopping,” Marx Levin says. “It’s a kind of fluidity between my religious experience and my practical life that I could not have anywhere else in the world.”