I was very involved in the Conservative movement growing up in Toledo, Ohio. Though I attended public school for high school, I celebrated my Bat Mitzvah, was very involved in the Conservative youth movement, attended synagogue every week and participated in a gap year program in Israel following high school. But, I didn’t have the depth of Jewish knowledge or the learning opportunities that I was craving.

When I started my freshman year at George Washington University, I threw myself into the Jewish life on campus. I joined every Shabbat dinner and Jewish event that I could find, and signed myself up for MEOR’s Maimonides program right away. For the first time in my life, I was studying Judaism on a highly intellectual level.

After completing the Maimonides course in my freshman year, I travelled with MEOR to Israel. Upon returning, I signed up for Maimonides II for my sophomore year, and helped create a MEOR Miami
winter break trip. I was hooked. But it wasn’t until I spent a semester abroad in Jordan that all my learning struck a chord. Studying in Jordan was the first time that I couldn’t publicly embrace my Judaism, and the experience forced me to think about how I wanted to live my life as a Jew outside of my university experience.

When I came back from Jordan, I served as MEOR President at GW during my senior year, helping with Shabbat dinners and campus programming. Thanks to MEOR’s guidance and inspiration, I chose to spend almost eight months learning in Israel after graduation. I can confidently say that MEOR changed my life for the better by fueling my desire for Jewish growth in a healthy, intellectual, and passionate way.

Class of 2013 Middle Eastern Studies and International Affairs