I was always aware of my Jewish roots growing up. I was raised as part of a Reform Jewish community in Long Island, NY and attended Hebrew school all the way through high school. Looking back on my decision to choose a university, I believe that I was looking for a campus with a large Jewish community, somewhere where I could connect with my Judaism on a deeper level, even if I didn’t truly realize it at the time.

During my junior year at UMD, I met with Rabbi Koretzky. He was young, engaging and understood my background. He helped me view my inexperience with Jewish learning as a growth opportunity, which I found refreshing. I immediately signed up for the Maimonides program. I began to learn Torah in-depth and on a challenging intellectual level, but most importantly, I also learned about who I was in context of our history.

By the end of that semester, I experienced Israel for the first time with MEOR. I saw first-hand how essential Israel was to Judaism, not just historically, but to our future.

My MEOR Israel trip changed my life, and changed the direction of my career. I seized every opportunity to return to Israel. Soon after graduation, I worked for AIPAC, and after a few years I returned to Israel for my MA in diplomacy and conflict resolution at IDC Herzliya. I now work for AJC, the American Jewish Committee in New York, promoting global Jewish advocacy.

Without a doubt, my life’s purpose and positive connection to Judaism and Israel was cemented and directed by my experiences with MEOR.

Class of 2007, Government and Politics