Warsaw has always been my home. I was born here and grew up in and around the city. It’s central to who I am, and serving the Jewish community here has been a foundational part of my life for many years.
By being a part of these communities, I have felt encouraged to embrace myself — no matter what Jewish space I occupy.
I am a bi-racial Jew: My mom is white and Jewish, and my dad is Black and a non-practicing Christian. My parents always told me how special I am to be part of two extraordinary groups of people, but I long believed I could only be one or the other. Over the years I have learned to become more comfortable coexisting in both identities.
But I love Israel, and sharing that love has always been so important to me, so when my friend came back to me a few months later and told me that Stanford University was looking for an Israel Fellow at the last minute, I decided to apply. A month and a half later, I was settling into California life.
For me, Judaism is warmth. It is the warmth of a mazel tov on a happy occasion. It is the warmth of far too much food at every social gathering. It is the warmth of traveling away from home to college and having a constant, reliable base in the campus Hillel. And it is the warmth of hearing “welcome home” the moment you step foot in Israel.
While I may be wearing a surgical mask while interacting with my community, the smile underneath has never faded.
Over past two years, I’ve learned what it feels like to leave your home and everything in it at the spur of the moment, not knowing when you will come back – something my immigrant parents went through in their own childhoods.
When our student community sees themselves represented in leadership roles, they feel more safe, secure, and seen on campus.
The idea that two students from very different communities decided to run together and share the highest position in the student body raised many eyebrows on campus. Students were very skeptical it would work out, and I got comments daily questioning my decision
I’m majoring in bioengineering. But I’m also in an academic program that combines Engineering, Business and Computer Science. It focuses a lot on the design and development of different products and that’s truly what I am interested in pursuing. So when I heard about the Tikkun Olam Makers (TOM) Fellowship, I thought: Wow, this truly aligns with my passions.
Each experience reminds me that I am the role model I’ve always wanted to be — and that all the hard work was undeniably worth it.
“In fifth grade, I struggled with a newly diagnosed life-threatening peanut allergy, the resulting anxiety, and for good measure, an appendectomy. During that rough year, writing was the creative outlet I needed and became the catalyst for the adventure of a lifetime. “I decided I wanted to write a story that I, as an avid […]
When countering antisemitism, you can make significant progress because of the experiences you’ve faced.
I’ve talked to so many people who were and still are actively fighting BDS, and they feel like they’re losing. But I always remind them that it’s an uphill battle and that there is light at the end of the tunnel. You can make significant progress for the future because of the experiences you’ve faced.
What I saw at the No Fear Rally that I hope to take into my role in the Student Cabinet this next year is that, first and foremost, students need resources and need to know that people in high-up places and all over the world are supporting them.