Reflections on my time at Hebrew U
By Carly Goodman, Montreal
I went to Israel for the first time when I was 18 years old, unsure of what to expect, with little understanding of Israeli culture, or connection to my Jewish identity. I got a taste of Israel that first summer, and I knew then that I wanted to see and experience more of what Jerusalem had to offer- and I made a promise to myself that I would come back. I would make that happen, by choosing to study abroad at one of the most renowned schools in the country for international students- the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
Fast forward to my 2nd semester of third year – and I found myself sitting in a classroom at the Rothberg International School- Hebrew University (HU) Mount Scopus campus, surrounded by peers from all over the world, who like me had been drawn to the culture, history, and an aura of something truly magical that cannot be described in words, all that encapsulates and is Jerusalem.
In the winter semester of 2009, I spent 6 months completing my Psychology electives abroad at HU. My educational experience took me from the classrooms learning from renowned scholars (topics ranging from Hebrew to the Holocaust), to the dorms where I lived directly alongside Israeli’s coming to study right after the Army, and even to the hidden and less-travelled streets of Jerusalem where I felt for the very first time, I was truly discovering what it meant to see, live, be, and breathe in Jerusalem. That semester, I developed lasting and impactful friendships from all over the world, and whether it was welcoming the sunrise at the Kotel, cooking a Shabbat dinner with my Israeli dorm mates, or celebrating a Jewish holiday in the streets of Jerusalem- the experience opened my eyes to the world and diverse cultures and people around me. HU opened a door for me to live life to it’s fullest, and I don’t think I have ever looked back.
- Carly works as the Community Inclusion Coordinator at Federation CJA in Montreal. She went to Hebrew U in 2009 for one semester, studying at the Rothberg International School.