Today’s interview is with David. David is spending his first summer at Genesis as a Community Educator. He completed his undergraduate work in Biomedical Engineering at CWRU, and received his Master’s degree in Public Policy from Rutgers University before working for several years as a contractor at the U.S. Department of Energy.
1. Tell us a little about yourself.
I’ve lived in Israel for the past three years. During that time, I have been studying at Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem. Though I was born in Jerusalem, I grew up mostly in New Jersey. My parents moved from the Former Soviet Union to Israel in 1974, and I speak Russian. In the long-run, I want to work in Jewish education with Russian speaking Jews.
2. What brings you to Genesis this summer?
I learned about Genesis a few summers ago. The connection was made with me because of the Russian component of the program. It is important to me to work with Russian-speakers, and I’m fascinated that Genesis integrates Russian-speakers into a program of mostly American Jews. I’m interested in thinking about how to create that space in other settings
3. What are you most looking forward to this summer?
I am excited to help create a free market place of Jewish ideas and to encourage members of the community to think about where they stand in relationship to one another theologically, religiously, politically, etc.
4. If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?
Travel is not a priority for me. Having said that, I am very interested in visiting Moscow because my father lived there his whole life. I’m curious to see the city where my father grew up. I’ve been to St. Petersburg a few times and enjoy visiting there. But Moscow is particularly special because it’s my father’s place of birth.
5. What are your hobbies?
Spending time with my wife is my favorite hobby. Outside of that, when I’m not studying all the time at Pardes, I manage the student blog. The blog is really about the students. It features a wide range of posts from student experiences to recipes to divrei Torah (words of Torah) and represents the diverse community that comes together to study at Pardes. It reflects Pardes’ philosophy of freedom of thought and coming to one’s own decisions. I’m very proud of the work I’ve done on the blog and how successful it has become.