For which grades did you attend Pardes?
I attended Pardes from fourth through eighth grade. I graduated in 2011.
We’d love an update on your life after Pardes. Where did you continue your education?
After finishing Pardes, I spent one year at Desert Mountain High School in the International Baccalaureate program. My family moved to San Antonio, Texas the summer after my freshman year and I then attended a magnet school called the International School of the Americas. After graduating high school in 2015, I went on to study in Yeshiva in Israel at Yeshivat Lev HaTorah in Ramat Bet Shemesh for a year before continuing my formal education at Harvard University.
What did/do you love about Pardes Jewish Day School?
I loved Pardes because it was the kind of place that truly was able to treat each student as an individual. It did not matter how different we were, we all experienced a warm and nurturing environment that allowed us to become the best versions of ourselves. I loved my peers. From Reform to Conservative to Orthodox, born in America to born abroad, everyone came from such diverse backgrounds that we really were able to learn so much from each other. I loved the teachers. I’ve never met a collective group of professionals that shares such a deep passion for their work. They truly want every student that walks in their door to have a transformational experience, to not simply improve at math and science and reading, but to improve at being a human being, to grow in kindness and compassion and understanding.
What is one word that best describes the school?
This is actually one of the easiest questions for me because for me, Pardes represents family. When attending Pardes, I truly felt that I was not only becoming part of a broader community, but of an extended family. To this day many years later, I am still in close contact with many of my former teachers, each of whom played a vital role in my journey to becoming the person I am today. Pardes is so much more than a school, it’s a chance to be part of a loving, nurturing family, a community that will care for you and help you grow.
From your own experiences, why do you believe it was important for you to attend a Jewish Day School?
One of the things that I see very often is young adults my age searching for some sort of meaning or purpose in life. In an atmosphere such as Harvard where knowledge and intellect reign supreme, many of my peers who do not identify with some sort of faith group express a sense of lacking, of wanting some sort of connection with something greater. Jewish Day School in general provides a unique opportunity to learn what it means to be part of a community by actively taking part in a thriving one. We are able to question our Judaism and shape our Jewish identity at such a formative young age. That way, when so many people around us are struggling to find their place, graduates of Jewish Day Schools are already acutely aware of theirs.
What would you tell a someone who is considering Pardes Jewish Day School for his/her child?
I truly cannot imagine a situation in which attending Pardes would not be the most beneficial decision you could make. The warmth and nurturing environment is unparalleled. Pardes has some of the absolute best teachers and faculty in educational realm. I can almost guarantee that some day down the road, your child will thank you for your decision.
We are proud of our graduates! Do you have any other accomplishments you would like to share?
In the years since graduating Pardes, I have run multiple half marathons, I helped to run the largest student-run, Model UN conference in the world, I became the director of a peer counseling group at Harvard that provides support to individuals that are experiencing some sort of eating concerns or body image issues, and have worked with multiple non-profits. However, my greatest accomplishment is getting engaged (and soon married) to my best friend, Miryam.