Students Speak


27, from New York City, New York

After spending my freshman year at Columbia University, I told my parents that I was planning to take a leave of absence for the following year to study at a seminary in Israel (yikes!) As you can imagine, they weren't too happy. They were afraid I'd get sucked into some cult and never return - never to receive my Ivy League degree.

My parents could afford to send me to Israel, but they didn't want me to go, so I was on my own to raise the money to get there. I spent that summer working two jobs, got some funding from the United Jewish Appeal (UJA), and I received a discount from the seminary I was supposed to attend.

I got to Israel and after spending a couple months at one of the seminaries, I felt that it wasn't the right fit for me. The great thing about the schools in Israel is that there are so many different options available; each one is terrific in their own way. I realized that I wanted a smaller school that had a different focus. I checked out a number of the schools and finally chose Midreshet Rachel . The learning style and student body at Midreshet Rachel fit best with what I was looking for.

My year in Israel was such an amazing experience. And after it was over, I did return to Columbia to complete my degree. I wasn't sucked into any cult - I was just now a more knowledgeable and confident Jew.

You can check out my �Jew in the City� videos by clicking here.