Today’s Interview is with Jessica Goldberg. Jessica is going to be an intern for Genesis this summer and she is so excited! Jessica is a rising senior at Brandeis University where she is majoring in Psychology with minors in Religious Studies and Near Eastern and Judaic Studies. She spent the last year as the President of Hillel at Brandeis and currently serves on the Hillel Board of Directors. She has led educational and new student orientation efforts in her previous positions within Hillel. When not consumed by Hillel, Jessica can be found discussing faith and religion with the Brandeis Interfaith Group, working on projects with the Brandeis Democrats, reading about Kabbalah or the paranormal, or writing a d’var Torah just for fun. Jessica hopes to attend rabbinical school after college and eventually become a Jewish educator in a pluralistic environment.
1) What were you like as a high schooler?
I was just starting to get involved in Judaism. I was extremely interested in politics and I never missed an episode of CSI! I was the captain of the Science Olympiad team, I was on Varsity Quizbowl, and I also played the cello. At the time I was a little bit punky, I wore a lot of black eyeliner and band t-shirts.
2) What is one achievement you are proud of?
My education program from two years ago. I designed educational events for Hillel groups that focused on diversifying Jewish learning. I had a twofold approach that involved creating space for pluralistic learning in the Brandeis Beit Midrash and having temple groups be more text based. I will hold the same position next year in Hillel and I look forward to more progress.
3) What are you most excited for this summer?
4) What inspires you?
Kabbalah really inspires me. Also a good d’var torah, team work, learning to look at an issue in a new way, the inquisitiveness and innocence of animals and children, and The West Wing.
5) What advice do you give to teenagers entering Genesis?
From what I understand, Genesis is a very different experience and a unique Jewish Environment. If you ever feel lost or uncomfortable in this situation, just realize that the person next to you probably feels the same way and that each moment of feeling uncomfortable is a learning experience. Just soak up the whole experience from your peers and the staff and know that no one is judging you. Also, act on your curiosity and have lots of discussions outside of the classroom.