Reflections on our Time at Hebrew University
Gabi (Kneller) Winestock and Benji Winestock, Winnipeg
I was lucky enough to have my Jewish Teacher Education program at York University offer a one-year study abroad program with Hebrew University. I used this year not only to complete some of my electives which also served as main courses for my degrees. I had previously been to Israel many times, visiting family and through various school trips, but had never had the experience of living like a true Israeli.
Though Benji and I both knew each other growing up – we actually lived on the same street – and were close friends, our relationship truly developed in the year together in Israel. We took the same classes, went on the same field trips and strengthened our bond by taking advantage of every opportunity that Hebrew University offered. A great deal of the foundation of our relationship was established that year.
Academically and professionally, we were both able to use this experience to further our careers and develop stronger relationships within our communities. I continued on to become a Jewish day school teacher and Benji improved his role on various Jewish community boards and committees. In 2017, we got married and the next year we bought our first house.
I came to study at Hebrew University as a year studying abroad during the completion of my Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Manitoba. Growing up I went to a Jewish day school and had been to Israel before but had never lived there. I knew that even though I couldn’t complete my entire degree there, I wanted a portion of my studies to be in Israel.
Gabi is a Grade 2 and high school Judaic Studies teacher at the Gray Academy of Jewish Education in Winnipeg. Benji is an associate advisor for RBC Wealth Management.