By day, Stephanie Hausner is an official of the Jewish Federation of Northern New Jersey, specializing in challenges facing synagogues and religious schools.
Nights and weekends, she serves on the Clarkstown Town Council, working to improve the Rockland County hamlet of about 84,000 people.
In whatever time is left, Hausner works with Jews on the Hudson to bring together adults in their 20s through 40s through social events, celebrations and community service. She’s also a vice president of Congregation Sons of Israel in Nyack, the Conservative temple that sponsors the group.
As a child, Hausner dreamed of being a cardiothoracic surgeon. But the events of her late teenage and early adult years convinced her politics was her path. First came the 2000 election with its polarized debates and litigated recount. Then, 9/11.
At Johns Hopkins University, she chose international relations and later worked as an intern for Rep. Nita Lowey, who was appointed to the Committee on Homeland Security.
She decided to run for office because “a number of town board members had been there a long time, and I thought we needed a youthful voice. Young people were not moving back to Rockland County and specifically to Clarkstown in the numbers they used to. We needed more jobs and housing. I thought, ‘Hey, I could do this.’”
She was elected in 2010, defeating a 37-year incumbent. Now she’s also a member of the Democratic National Committee, and in June, 2011, was one of 150 young elected officials invited for a White House briefing.
The self-described sports fanatic spent “a good amount of time” as a volunteer chair of the Maccabi Games at the JCC of Rockland last year.
Earlier this year she kicked off her re-election bid for the council. Among the accomplishments she’ll cite: Local traffic issues and downtown revitalization, as well as the more mundane “making sure the garbage is picked up.”
Scrimagination: Her fantasy football teams finished last season in second place in one league and third place in another. Batter up: Another passion is cake decorating, including the Empire State-shaped treat she recently presented to State Sen. Andrea Stewart-Cousins.