For which grades did you attend Pardes? What year did you graduate from Pardes?
I am a Pardes Lifer! With a sister who is two years older than I am, I am really more like a Pardes pre-lifer. I graduated in 2010.
Where did you continue your education after graduating from Pardes?
After Pardes I attended Chaparral High School where I took honors and AP classes whenever possible. Thanks to Pardes’ rigorous math curriculum I was able to take AP Calc BC my junior year and get up to Calc III/Differential Equations my senior year. After high school I applied to a number of colleges but focused my attention on the three in-state universities once I became a finalist for the Flinn Scholarship Program. Flinn is a scholarship awarded to the top 20 high school students in the state of Arizona. The scholarship covers the cost of tuition, fees, housing and meals and at least two study-abroad experiences. The overall financial package is valued at more than $120,000. When I was ultimately selected as a Flinn scholar, I chose to attend the University of Arizona Honors College.
What did you love about Pardes Jewish Day School?
I can’t emphasize enough how much I loved and still love my classmates and the Pardes community. My friends from Pardes are still some of my closest friends. Throughout high school and our undergraduate years we kept in touch and had reunions over breaks. It is incredible to see how strong the ties are within the Pardes community and how strong they remain years after you’ve graduated from the school. I am moving to Washington, DC at the end of this month and will be living with a 2008 Pardes graduate from my sister’s class!
What is one word that best describes the school? Tell us why you chose that word.
Support – Throughout my time at Pardes I felt tremendous support from my teachers and classmates. I feel that support is still the best word to describe the school so many years later because that support never ends. Since graduating, some of my classmates have faced significant losses in their family and so many community members came together to offer support during those times.
Describe one of your favorite memories of Pardes Jewish Day School.
I loved writing our 8th grade graduation ceremony in Mrs. Kenton’s class. The theme of our ceremony was humor, since humor had always been a key trait of our class. The opening part of the ceremony was us introducing one another and was filled with inside jokes and imaginative ideas about where we would end up in the future. What really stands out to me is how well we knew each other and all of our little quirks. I still have my copy of what we wrote and I find it hilarious.
From your own experiences, why do you believe it was important for you to attend a Jewish Day School?
Attending a Jewish Day School meant I grew up with being Jewish as part of my everyday life. I feel grounded in Jewish values such as Tikkun Olam and being a mench. In a sense, I feel like attending Pardes made being Jewish more of “who I am” rather than “what I do”. I believe that attending Pardes has made me far more connected to Judaism that I would have been otherwise and I know that Judaism will always remain a part of my life.
In what ways did Pardes Jewish Day School prepare you for life?
I think the most significant way that Pardes prepared me for life was that it made me confident as an individual. Attending Pardes, I grew up with a peer group that valued kindness and learning. My classmates were incredibly intelligent, which pushed me to grow without fostering a competitive atmosphere. Pardes also prepared me academically, setting me up to take honors and AP courses in high school which in turn set me up well for college.
What would you tell a someone who is considering Pardes Jewish Day School for his/her child?
Pardes is an investment in your child’s future. Many of my classmates were not only able to admittance to top universities but also prestigious scholarships. Beyond preparing its students for future success, Pardes also helps shape its students into thoughtful, kind, and caring individuals.
We are proud of our graduates! Do you have any other accomplishments you would like to share?
I graduated Summa Cum Laude with my Bachelor’s in Chemical Engineering from the University of Arizona. I was one of six graduating seniors to receive an Outstanding Senior Award for demonstrated scholastic ability, citizenship, leadership, and promise for the future. I am now heading to Washington, DC to work for a science policy think tank.