Hometown: Skompton, IL
WUJS Track: Jerusalem Learning at the Pardes Institute
College: University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana
Major: Psychology and Chemistry
Why did you decide to take 6 months and come to Israel?
I grew up with Israel and Judaism very close to me, going to a Jewish day school and high school. To me Judaism always meant family, community gathering, and connection; However, it wasn't until college that Judaism became a way for me to think. Judaism is not what I experience only on Shabbat or holidays, it's something I feel everyday. I find it important for me to live in Israel for 7 months and experience the epicenter of our religion.
What are you doing while on WUJS?
I am excited to begin learning at The Pardes Institute on their summer program. Until then, the learning track participants have been enjoying seminars and classes centered around text, torah study and Jerusalem.
What are you looking forward to the most?
I am looking forward to being not only in Israel, but feeling a connection to Jerusalem through text and study that this track will provide me. While at the same time, learning Hebrew and experiencing and seeing Israel first hand.
What are you nervous about?
Being in Israel is a little nerve racking to me. The difference in culture and everyday life is something to get used to.
Where else have you traveled in the world?
Canada, Italy, India
What Israeli food are you hoping to eat a lot of during your time in Israel?
I'm excited to have shabbat dinner with my fellow WUJS participants in our apartment building!