Customizing my Judaism



February 13, 2019

“I grew up in a tight-knit Jewish community in Baltimore, having attended Jewish day school through eighth grade and participated heavily in synagogue life. However, there was very little I’d learned that prepared me for Jewish life on a college campus.

“I was unequipped to talk about a real and not imagined State of Israel, and more than that, I didn’t know to prioritize my own Jewish growth on campus, here in the United States. It was through my four years with Hillel at Temple, from their freshman orientation program to serving on the student board, that I developed the tools to imagine and create the Jewish life I want.

“These experiences in college, with an amazing group of staff and students, helped me prepare for my professional role in the Philadelphia/SNJ office of American Jewish Committee (AJC) running our high school program, Leaders for Tomorrow (LFT). LFT seeks to prepare students with the exact tools I was lacking when I went off to college: a nuanced and complex view of the State of Israel, a thoughtful approach to the role of American Jews and American Jewry in the future of Israel, and an ability to craft for oneself what a Jewish life can look like.” — Max Buchdahl, ACCESS/LFT Associate at American Jewish Committee Global, Temple University