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Yeshiva Atlanta is a Modern Orthodox high school. Our mission is to offer a well

Yeshiva Atlanta is a Modern Orthodox high school. Our mission is to offer a well-rounded Torah- based college pre- paratory education to young Jewish men and women.

pre- paratory education to young Jewish men and women. BRIEF INSIDE LOOK Elan Miller Wins National




Elan Miller Wins National Merit Scholarship


Girls Volleyball


YA Fall Pay!


College, Yeshivot


and Seminaries

Students Join the Honor Council


Note from Our HOS


New Science Program at YA



Keeping you connected to Yeshiva Atlanta















Kislev 5773 - December 2012

V O L U M E 3 , I S S U E 1 Kislev 5773

School Shabba-TON of Fun!

seniors (who narrowly avoid- ed an upset) and the 8 th

graders, singing, divrei To- rah, a program run by the


course, YA’s trademark “shabbos dancing.” Students from Yeshiva University and Stern College were also in attendance to participate in the programming.

While the YA staff and counselors were convinced that there was no way to eat any more food after the luscious Shabbat meals and many snacks served through- out the day, the students proved them wrong at the

motzei Shabbat bonfire and

BBQ. So many hamburgers, so many hot dogs; and lucki-

Leaders, and of

ly, so much “Shabbos dancing”! Everyone slept well on Saturday night.

According to faculty member Ms. Amanda Bunder, “it was a special and inspiring Shabbaton, one which we believe gave our 8 th grade guests a glimpse of the unique character of Yeshiva Atlanta and the bond that exists among our students.”

The Shabbaton was organized by the YA Student Council:

Jake Belinky and Elan Miller (co -presidents), Ben Valenta (vice- president), Jessica Nooriel (secretary) and Ethan Arbiser (treasurer). Todah rabah to them for their hard work making this year’s Shabbaton a howling success.

YA’s annual Fall Shabbaton is always eagerly anticipated by current students and per- haps with some trepidation by 8 th graders who come along to check us out every year. This year’s Shabbaton was held October 19-21 (Parshat Noach), with about 100 current YA students and 31 eighth-graders.

In addition to normal

davening and lots of food, everyone enjoyed “So You Think You’re Smarter Than A Senior” between the YA

Yeshiva Atlanta Re-Accredited!

Every five years, Yeshiva Atlanta applies for re-accreditation from the Southern Associa-

tion of Independent Schools (SAIS) and AdvancED, the global educational organization that oversees the Southern Association. It’s a process that involves a detailed report con- taining an analysis of the past five years of the school’s progress and development, a stra- tegic plan for the next five years of improvement, and documentation that the school

meets all the standards and indicators to merit accreditation. YA’s accreditation was suc- cessfully renewed this past spring.

The accreditation process requires YA to meet a wide range of indicators proving that we are a functional institution: Vision & Purpose, Governance & Leadership, Teaching & Learn- ing, Documenting & Using Results, Resources & Support Systems, Stakeholder Communica- tion & Relationships, and Commitment to Continuous Improvement. Included is a detailed self-study describing how YA has developed since 2006. The self-study helps a school identify areas of both success and needed improvement, and when properly done, can help transform an institution. Highlights from YA’s self-study included our increased Smart- Board use, RenWeb implementation, Strategic Learning Program, and upgrades to the physical plant including our improved computer lab and renovated Beit Midrash. Events like the Cause Fair, CoffeePalooza, and the establishment of the Honor Council were also part of the self-study. (continued on page 3…)

P A G E 2 Elan Miller Named National Merit Finalist The pressure is on
Elan Miller Named National Merit Finalist
The pressure is on for YA juniors.
Every fall, all non-seniors take the
Preliminary SAT/ National Merit
Scholarship Qualifying Test, but for
juniors, this test is the first screen-
ing of about 1.5 million high school
students nationwide to determine
who will land in the final 15,000 cho-
sen as National Merit Finalists. In
2011, one YA junior, Elan Miller,
made the first cut (50,000), and
recently Elan was notified that he is
indeed a National Merit Finalist.
personal essays. Yeshiva Atlan-
ta’s curriculum and school in-
formation are part of the mix
as well.
Staff Writer for the Yeshiva Atlanta
Palette and a member of the Environ-
mental Club. Elan also works as an
intern at the Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention (CDC), where
he assists with the VAERS Data Base
-Vaccine Adverse Event Timeliness
Reporting project. In December
2012, Elan and his fellow seniors are
in the throes of their college
applications, and Elan is interested in
studying mathematics and business.
It’s not just about the test scores,
though. National Merit Semifinalists
(16,000) name universities or colleg-
es they are considering, submit
their academic record, recommenda-
tions from the school, information
about their in-school activities and
leadership, and of course, their own
Those who know Elan were not
surprised that he was named a
National Merit Finalist. As Dr.
Paul Oberman, YA’s Head of
School noted: “Elan has earned
the respect of everyone he
comes in contact with—
students and teachers alike.
He exemplifies everything the
school stands for and aspires
to be.”
In addition to being a top stu-
dent, Elan is co-president of
the Student Council and has
been a valued member of the
YA Boys Soccer Team for
three years. He is a Senior
No school is guaranteed to a National
Merit winner: the criteria are rigor-
ous and national. Elan is quick to
acknowledge that Yeshiva Atlanta
provided great opportunities that
motivated him to excel academically
and succeed in becoming a National
Merit Finalist.
Girls Volleyball
Fall 2012 saw another successful year
for YA’s Girls’ Volleyball team. Under
the direction of Coach Kealani Kukahiko,
the team of 12 varsity players, 4 prac-
tice-team players, and 2 managers fin-
ished with a record of 12-6.
New School
But for a school the size of YA, with just over
100 students, the program’s success is more
than just wins and losses. Coach Kukahiko says
“All the girls are hard workers, dedicated,
team-focused and fun. I really enjoyed
working with them.”
One of the season’s highlights was beating
Tallulah Falls not just once, but twice: a huge
first for a YA team. A big ingredient in this
success was the hard work all the girls put
into improving their serves. This concentrat-
ed effort on everyone’s part culminated in
one practice at which 100% serving was
achieved during the team pressure serving
drill. “That sure was a lot of fun—being
perfect—at least for one day,” notes Rebecca
Sirota, team co-captain. Serve-Receive
percentage improvement throughout the
season was another point of pride for the team.
Yeshiva Atlanta is delighted to
welcome to its staff Pamela Ma-
son, Ph.D., as our new school
counselor. Dr. Mason was born
and grew up in Monsey, New York, and graduated
from Barnard College. She earned her Ph.D. in
Clinical and School Psychology from Hofstra
University, where she studied the impact of cultural
and religious factors on body image and eating
behaviors among Orthodox Jewish adolescents.
While working at Ardsley High School, a public
school in Westchester County, NY, Dr. Mason
successfully implemented a novel comprehensive
skills program to help teens improve their ability to
regulate their emotions and improve interpersonal
skills, which was the first of its kind in a mainstream
school setting.
Dr. Mason and her family moved to Atlanta in 2010,
and she is excited to get back to working with
teens in a high school setting again after spending
time at home with her two young children. She told
Face2Face: "It has been a privilege joining the YA
family. I truly enjoy working with the faculty and
meeting with the parents, but the highlight is the
students. What an amazing group of teens! It is very
special to take my background, training, and experi-
ences and integrate those into a Modern Orthodox
high school environment. I look forward to contin-
uing to plan and implement programs to benefit the


3 ,





Lost in Yonkers, found in Yeshiva

For a long time, dramatics at YA meant only one thing: Chagiga, the Girls’ Committee’s annual musical production. But thanks to Talya Gorsetman, the newly-appointed Chagiga Advisor, Neil Simon’s Pu- litzer Prize-winning play was pro- duced in October with a co-ed cast featuring Matthew Sawyer (“Jay”), Shimmy Blaut (“Eddie”), Daniel Shiff (“Uncle Louie”), Herschel Siegel (“Arty”), Eden Farber (“Grandma” and student director), and Shira Lubinsky (“Bella”).

“They were absolutely fearless,” remarked Ms. Gorsetman of her cast and crew (which also included Shani Wienmann as stage manag- er, Oryah Bunder as assistant stage manager, and Daniella Sokol as head of scenery). “It was a great opportunity to work with this amazing cast.”

Lost in Yonkers chronicles growing up as a teen in a dysfunctional extended family in the early 1940’s. In addition to a long run on Broadway it was adapted by the

In addition to a long run on Broadway it was adapted by the playwright for film

playwright for film in 1993.

The addition of a fall play involving both girls and boys adds an opportunity for YA students to explore the arts and adds balance to the school calendar. Talya Gorsetman and her cast and crew deserve a big round of applause for this new and exciting event!

a big round of applause for this new and exciting event! Colleges, Yeshivot and Seminary Acceptances
a big round of applause for this new and exciting event! Colleges, Yeshivot and Seminary Acceptances

Colleges, Yeshivot and Seminary Acceptances in 2012


SUNY Binghamton, Boston University, Brandeis, Emerson College,

Emory University, Georgia Tech, University of Georgia, George

Washington, Indiana University, University of Maryland, UMass

Amherst, NYU, University of Rochester, Rutgers University, Touro

College, Towson University, and Yeshiva University/Stern College


Derech Etz Chaim, Keren B'Yavneh, Lev HaTorah, Yeshivat Eretz

HaTzvi, Yeshivat Shalavim


Afikei Torah, Bnot Torah Institute, Darchei Binah, Garin Tzabar,

Machon Ma'ayan, Midreshet HaRovah, Midreshet Moriah, Michlelet

Esther, Midreshet Yeud, MMY, Shalavim for Women, Shalem,

Tiferet, Tomer Devora

YA Re-Accredited! (Continued from page 1…)Along with the self- study, of course, YA was visited
YA Re-Accredited!
(Continued from page 1…)Along with the self-
study, of course, YA was visited by an accredita-
tion team composed of veteran educators and
administrators from across the Southeast. Our
visitors were impressed by YA’s ability to meet
or exceed expectations in all aspects of our job.
We were delighted by the team’s positive com-
ments and look forward to implementing our
plans for the next five years.



Students Join the Honor Council

Like any high school, Yeshiva Atlanta occa- sionally experiences instances where a stu- dent’s behavior or academic integrity does not quite meet expectations. To address these fairly and expeditiously, the school last year established the Honor Council. This fall, the Council was restructured to include student representatives, in a move to in- crease students’ sense of responsibility for and ownership of their own words and ac- tions.

The change is consistent with YA’s long- held and oft-repeated expectation that stu- dents conduct themselves as b’nei Torah “at all times both in school and out of school,” as outlined in the Parent-Student Handbook. The Honor Council acts in cases of alleged academic dishonesty, bullying or disrespect- ful behavior.

“It was always our intent to have student representation on the Honor Council, but last year's upper class students had some reservations about this. So we decided to operate for a year with faculty only, and

then revisit the issue. We hoped that once the students became more familiar and comfortable with the Honor Council they would be more willing to be a part of it,” notes Dr. Paul Oberman, Yeshiva’s Head of School.

The revamp means that instead of five faculty members, the Honor Council now includes three faculty members and three student repre- sentatives. Student response has been extremely positive, with nine students standing for election in September.

Joey Siegel, one of the student rep- resentatives, acknowledges that “By giving us seats on the Honor Coun- cil, the school has really given stu- dents a chance to be heard. Not just those who come before the Honor Council, but those of us who are on it and who are helping to shape school policy.” His colleague

Noam Gal agreed. “At first I wasn’t sure how I’d feel about judging other stu- dents and proposing conse- quences for misbehavior or cheating. But having been through the process a few times, I feel like I’m making Yeshiva a better school and a better place for all our students.”

Honor Council faculty member Rabbi Moshe Rose observed, “I have been very impressed with the stu- dents’ maturity, their input and their perspectives. In my estimation, student presence on the Honor Council is a very positive thing.”

presence on the Honor Council is a very positive thing.” Mondays are Yeshiva days at Fuego!

Mondays are Yeshiva days at Fuego!

Starting in 2013, if you eat at Fuego Mundo on a Monday, just tell your waiter you are there for Yeshiva Atlanta and we will receive 10% from your bill (excluding tax and tip)! It can be breakfast, lunch, or dinner, just head on over to Fuego and eat for a great cause!

New Advancement Officer at YA

Yeshiva Atlanta welcomes a new advancement officer, Mrs. Avi Levinson. A Chica- go native, Avi spent the summer running the first Bnei Akiva day camp in Atlanta with her husband, Ashy. By the end of the summer, they had decided to stay! They currently live in Toco Hills and are the Youth Directors at Young Israel. Avi worked last year at the National Bnei Akiva office, coordinating and planning events for all of the U.S. and Canada. At YA, she deals with fundraising, communi- cations, and alumni outreach, and has also started coaching the girls’ basketball team. We welcome Avi to the YA family and are excited to have her on board!

F A C E 2 F A C E

the girls’ basketball team. We welcome Avi to the YA family and are excited to have

A note from our Head of School

A note from our Head of School It efforts between the community and YA a continued

It efforts between the community and YA

a continued apace, as YA students spent time playing BINGO at the Jewish home, building sukkot at shuls and the homes of individuals needing some assistance, lead- ing teen minyanim throughout the com- munity, and assisting with childcare dur- ing the holy days. Finally, the play Lost in Yonkers allowed YA to further connect with the community via our wonderful actors!

Meanwhile, bridges continued to be built within the YA community. One of our students, Levi Siegelman, took the “Building Bridges” theme literally, and got together 25 volunteers to help him with his Eagle Scout project and built a bridge near his home in Toco Hills to make the

has been such

pleasure this

year to be a part of our bridge- building pro- gram, connect- ing people and topics at every turn. At the beginning of the year we spent some time connecting the ninth grade to their new school. This effort continued via peer lead- ership, as the seniors made it a reg- ular part of their schedule to discuss with the freshmen all of the things the seniors wish THEY had known as ninth graders. Bridge building

P A G E 5

shortcut between streets more

accessible to everyone.

The students connected with each other and prospective students at the amazing Shabbaton at Camp Blue Ridge. Students connect their Judaic subjects to their general studies subjects, and connect with their peers and teachers. Finally, I had a special opportunity to connect with my past and with Young Israel of Toco Hill, as I read my bar mitzvah Haftorah in early November in front of a wonderfully supportive community that also included my parents. I look forward to further connections and bridge building as we celebrate Chanukah.

Check out our ‘Building Bridges’ school video!

YA Launches Committee for Science Improvements

to watch! YA Launches Committee for Science Improvements Studies have shown that fewer and fewer American

Studies have shown that fewer and fewer American and Israeli Jewish graduates are pursuing science- based graduate programs or ca- reer paths (YouTube videos from the Technion notwithstanding). Not only does this suggest a de- cline in Jewish innovation, discov- ery and leadership, but the US has slid in the international rankings to #20 in math and #25 in science. In an effort to buck this trend, Yeshi- va Atlanta has formed CSICommittee for Science Improve- ments.

YA-CSI aims to prepare students to graduate equipped with the skills and knowledge necessary for success in post-secondary educa- tion and the 21st global economy. The committee recently partnered with the Hebrew Order of David (HOD) to fund a three-pronged science initiative that will include building a state-of-the-art science

lab, implementing STEM (Science, Tech- nology, Engineering and Math) curricu-

STEM (Science, Tech- nology, Engineering and Math) curricu- lum and standards, and cultivating sci- ence-based career

lum and standards, and cultivating sci- ence-based career pathways and in- volvement. YA-CSI has been named the recipient of HOD’s annual fundraising efforts, with a spring event expected. In conjunction with HOD, the committee is also pursuing several other grant op- portunities.

The new STEM curriculum is an inter- disciplinary approach to learning where rigorous academic concepts are cou- pled with a real-world approach in which students apply science, technolo-

gy, engineering, and mathematics in contexts that make connections be- tween school, community, work, and the global enterprise. Integrating STEM with improved lab facilities and courses into the YA curriculum should yield stronger graduates bet- ter positioned for college and future careers. In turn, these students will become the Jewish leaders and inno- vators of the next generation. YA-CSI is delighted to be working on this project with the Hebrew Order of David and its president, Jeff Kal- werisky. If you wish to get involved, call YA!

on this project with the Hebrew Order of David and its president, Jeff Kal- werisky. If
P A G E 6 Come cheer on the YA Lions and Lady Lions! Click
Come cheer on the YA Lions and
Lady Lions!
Click here for the schedule
the YA Lions and Lady Lions! Click here for the schedule December 24 - January 2nd:

December 24-January 2nd: Winter break

January 11th– Student Visitation day

January 13th– YA open house

January 20-22– Senior service trip

February 1-2: In-school Shabbaton

Peer Leadership Gabi Hoberman and Becca Sirota Peer Leadership was established at YA this year
Peer Leadership
Gabi Hoberman and Becca Sirota
Peer Leadership was established at YA
this year as a way for the incoming
freshmen to create bonds with their
seniors and learn the ropes of high
school. During bi-monthly meetings, the
senior leaders would pair up with their
freshmen groups and discuss relevant
high school issues—such as bullying, peer
pressure, and stereotyping—in the form
of ice-breaker games and discussions.
Faculty would take a back-seat to en-
courage a
closer inter-
action be-
tween the
students and
to encourage
lasting rela-
based on mu-
tual respect
and trust.
on things our seniors wish they
had known when they were
Peer Leadership has been a suc-
cess in both expected and unex-
pected ways. Relationships be-
tween seniors and freshmen in
most schools are weak if even
existent, but through Peer
Leadership, YA’s current fresh-
men and
have cre-
Because the transition from middle
school to high school involves unfamiliar
situations, Peer Leaders discuss their
own high school experiences with the
incoming students, and provide advice on
how to handle these events. Other top-
ics discussed include personal manage-
ment, teamwork, and respect, focusing
ships that
even out-
side the
One Peer Leader noted “I think
socially, we have definitely
helped them,” says Ben Huisman.
“I can talk to them about things
they should work on, and they
improve. They seem to feel
more comfortable in YA.”
Help us reach our Annual Fund goal! We will receive a match if your dona-
Help us reach our Annual Fund
We will receive a match if your dona-
tion this year is a 10% increase from
your last.
F A C E 2 F A C E
Lauren and Gavin (‘94) Westerman of NY on the birth of a son. Dawn Brenner
and Gavin (‘94) Westerman of NY on the birth of a son.
Brenner (‘84), daughter of Shelley and Allen Shaw, on her
engagement to Joel Newman, son of Dora and Jerry Newman of
Portland, OR.
… Dr. Stacy Westerman (‘99) on her recent marriage to Paul Fisher.
(‘97) and Jennifer Salmenson on the birth of a daughter,
Kurtz (Past President) on becoming a Grandfather.
If you have any updates or
news you would like to share
with us, please email
(‘96) and Eliana Katz on the birth of a daughter in LA.
(‘01) and Emily Katz-Doft on the Birth of a daughter in Atlan-
Ovadia (‘98) on his upcoming marriage to Cara Stern of West
we would LOVE to hear from
Palm Beach, FL on December 31, 2012.
YA Stands with Israel YA shows support for Israel by wearing blue and white, and
YA Stands with Israel
YA shows support for Israel by wearing blue and white, and adding extra Tehilim during Mincha while
the battle between Israel and Gaza was at its worst.



battle between Israel and Gaza was at its worst. P A G E 7 New Senior
battle between Israel and Gaza was at its worst. P A G E 7 New Senior

New Senior Seminar

by: Rabbi Yablok

Yeshiva Atlanta students continue to amaze us with their wide ranging suc- cesses and accomplishments. YA has graduates operating at the highest levels throughout a broad spectrum of universities, professions and walks of life. We are proud of their accom- plishments and continue to evaluate how best to prepare them for the paths that they choose.

This year we are happy to introduce a new course of study for the seniors in anticipation of the exciting steps they will each be taking as Yeshiva High school graduates. While privy to a rich and broad education here at Yeshiva, there is no question that the environment here is far different from that which they will experience beyond our walls. As such, our new

Senior Seminar will present our students with an extensive and practical guide to life beyond YA.

Topics in this semester-long course will include Shabbat observance, interdenomi- national and non-Jewish relations, Israel advocacy, and prayer. Students will engage with key primary sources, hear from alum- ni, and start to create a vision of how they can smoothly transition from YA to the next step, whatever it may be. The lessons will be driven by practical scenarios and situations which we are certain will engage our students in lively and meaningful dis- cussions surrounding their chosen paths.

We look forward to this exciting new of- fering as it brings yet another dimension to the excellent education available to YA students.



Our Annual Fund donors…

Dr. Joel and Toni Adler Stuart and Karen Adler Ariella Allen Aaron and Jeannine Altman Sam and Pola Arbiser Harold and Dolores Arnovitz Abe and Farimah Asher Mr. Sason Azani Peter and Elizabeth Bein Stan and Judith Beiner Dr. Alan Belinky Lisa Belinky Joseph Benkiel Carol Berger Dr. Sherwin and Deborah Berger Rabbi Michael and Elisheva Berger Dr. Frank and Zahava Berkowitz Michael and Melissa Bernstein Rabbi Mordechai and Nancy Birnbaum Jeffrey and Diane Bland Larry and Eleanor Bogart Matthew Bronfman and Ronit Walker Mark Brooks Rabbi Lee and Rachel Buckman Noam and Amanda Bunder Ron and Dana Burchfield David Byron Patricia Cain Dr. Howard and Jennifer Caplan Fredric and Dr. Rita Chaiken Susan Christy Jodie Cohen Rabbi Mordechai and Naomi Cohen Stephen Cole and Miriam Seidband Dr. Shlomo and Yehudit Cooper

F A C E 2 F A C E

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Neal Reeves Elliott and Charlotte Rich Dr. Colin and Maureen Richman Jack and Jean Robbins Joel and Audra Rojek Rabbi Moshe and Pam Rose David and Marcie Rosenberg Beruriah Sawyer Allan and Roberta Scher Dr. Arnold and Marcy Schneider Schwarz Foundation Eric and Beth Shapiro Dr. Allen and Shelley Shaw Naftali and Dina Shmuel Michael and Lisa Siegel Murray Siegel Jan and Rachael Siegelman Dr. Brett Silverman Mikhael and Marina Sirota Rav and Harriet Soloff Alan and Wendy Solon Dr. Daniel and Jacalyn Sosin Jan and Marsha Spector Drs. Scott Steinberg and Chanie Wilson Stanley and Marilyn Steinberg Zvia Talor Louis and Bunnie Taratoot Debra Tenenbaum Fay Tenenbaum Terry and Jan Tenenbaum Toco Instant Printing Dr. Manuela Trani Matt Trapp Rabbi Travis and Laura Kahn Aaron and Beth Valenta David and Tracy Warren Mark and Anne Wasserman

Jeffrey and Barbara Weener Jerry and April Weiner Ben and Hilda Weissmann David and Nancy Weissmann Dr. Jack and Pam Williams Burt and Doreen Wittenberg Allen and Mona Wolmer Rabbi Asher and Shira Yablok Dr. Barry and Vivian Zisholtz Barbara Zucker

Help us reach our goal by donating here! We will receive a match on every
Help us reach our goal by
donating here!
We will receive a match on every
donation that is 10% higher than
your last donation.

A Special Thank you to our Sustainers!

Dr. Perry and Shirley Brickman

Marshall and Sheila Cohen

Scott Italiaander

Harold and Dolores Arnovitz

Our Sustainers have made substantial 5-year commitments to support Yeshiva Atlanta’s mission and enable us to continue to provide excellence in education.

Becca Stein and Gabi Hoberman on their experience with BYFI

Each year, the Bronfman Youth Fellowships in Israel selects

a diverse group of 26 North American juniors to attend an all- expenses paid, 5-week Fellowship to Israel. Fellows engage

in thought provoking study and conversation, make life-long

friends, and explore their own relationships with Israel, Juda- ism, and the Jewish people. During the past few years, two Yeshiva Atlanta students have been accepted to the pro- gram: Rebecca/Becca Stein, YA ‘10 in 2009 and Gabriela/ Gabi Hoberman, YA ’13 in 2012. The two agreed to answer a few questions How did your experience at YA position you to participate in Bronfman? Gabi: Throughout my first two years at YA, the Judaic teach-

ers and courses inspired me to delve deeper into my own Jewish identity; yet by junior year, I realized that I wanted to know more about every different kind of Jewish belief and denomination. In Bronfman, I found the perfect way to further explore part of myself that YA had helped create while still experiencing more diverse, pluralistic aspects of Judaism. Becca: Part of why I wanted to do Bronfman is that I felt I

was lacking a real pluralistic Jewish experience at YA. I thought that experiencing pluralism would be a good way to complement the Modern Orthodox education I was getting at YA. How does the small, integrated YA community compare to the bronfman fellows group? Did you feel awkward for being 'too' Orthodox in this group? Gabi: Bronfman is an open program--no one is “too Jewish.”

What may be surprising is that often, the less Orthodox kids had in many ways more developed opinions on G-d and Judaism, maybe even deeper relationships to our religion than the Orthodox kids. Despite our separate denominations, many times I found that I had the same beleifs as kids who belonged to a completely opposite type of Judaism; we dif- fered only in the practice of those beliefs. Because of Bronfman’s pluralistic goals, other Fellows were generally very respectful, willing to understand and even experience for

themselves different aspects of Orthodoxy.

Becca:I think that because the point of Bronfman is to em-

brace pluralism, people on the trip appreciated having Ortho- dox Jews in the group. It did get tense at points. There are definitely issues that are sensitive, and I was frustrated at times when I thought orthodoxy was misrepresented, but I thought that group was generally respectful.

Save the Date

The Dinner of Honor June 2, 2013 Honoring

Ian and Carol Ratner

Sue Loubser

Scott Forbus

And recognizing retiring faculty

Al Wolmer Dr. Fred Coolik

What activities from the program are most useful to you at YA? in college? I’ m really having trouble answering this question--Bronfman impacted me most through its pluralism, and YA isn’t plu- ralistic Gabi: I am constantly remembering

different activities and experiences from my summer at school--when Rabbi Yablok refers to Heschel in a dvar To- rah, i think back to our conversations on The Sabbath; when I talk with other members of the Israel Advocacy Club, I worry about the friends I made in the Israeli branch of the program; when in class we talk about feminism in Modern Orthodoxy, my mind flashes back to the midnight discussions we had about exactly the same subject. Bronfman widened my perspective and chal- lenged my beliefs, and, coming home to YA, I find that these new lessons only help me reach the deeper truth in all of my classes. Becca: It’s really interesting to apply

some of the conversations we had on Bronfman in the context of college. I feel that my encounter with Jewish diversity on Bronfman really prepared me for the different diverse communi-

ties I have found at Penn. When thinking about some of the issues that face the Jewish community at Penn, I’m often brought back to discussions we had on Bronfman. A good example I’m reminded of is our discussions of Mechitzot; it was interesting to hear different perspectives about this issue on Bronfman, and these different opinions have certainly been useful to have in mind when we have similar discussions about Penn’s Jewish community. What happens next? is this an ongoing commitment/ relationship? Gabi: Senior year, Bronfman Fellows create a project

for their community, based on the things they learned during the summer. Though I have not yet confirmed the specifics of my project, I hope to do something in YA that will aim at exploring different ideas about and developing our own relationships with G-d. Additional- ly, this year I will attend two Shabbatonim with my Fellowship year, as well as formally meet up with them in bi-monthly phone/Skype conversations. Becca: One of the things I most appreciate Bronfman

for is the great alumni experience that they provide. Bronfman really emphasizes the importance of an alumni network, and I have found the network to be really helpful. I’ve met a lot of Bronfman people in college, and it’s nice to have that connection with peo- ple when transitioning into a new environment. Also, during my year in Israel we had a lot of Bronfman activities for alumni who were also there.