I’ve always identified with Judaism, but at times I’ve been more distant than connected. In college I did very little as an undergraduate and while I was in a master’s program. It wasn’t until I got to Yale that I found a community where I felt comfortable.

People had told me about MEOR. It sounded interesting, but I didn’t make the time for it until a friend told me I should check out MEOR’s “vaad”. I did and I got hooked.

In the vaad, we meet on Monday nights for two hours. The first hour is presented by the rabbi, usually on a Mussar-related topic on character traits or character development. Our guest speakers have ranged from an expert on the Jews of China, to a singer/songwriter from New York and accomplished scholars from Israel. Both the depth and breadth of the material were really a big draw for me.

It’s an incredibly open forum for any kind of exploration of Jewish spirituality or identity. They really try to bring you the best resources on any subject that they can find. I have friends in the vaad who had little to no Jewish education, to some like me who attended Jewish day school. This program is really unique and offers something completely different.

I’ve never felt uncomfortable. I’ve been really impressed by MEOR’s openness and dedication to allowing each of us to express our Judaism in the way that works best for us.

MEOR has put me in touch with people in the Jewish community in Washington, DC—it’s really exciting how much is going to be available as I move from being on campus into the next stage of my life.

PhD Candidate in Epidemiology/Public Health, Research Fellow at the National Cancer Institute