100 Alumni We Love

Reflections of My Time at Hebrew University

By Rabbi Jonathan Infeld, Vancouver

Rabbi Jonathan InfeldI grew up in Pittsburgh, PA and received an undergraduate degree in Near Eastern Judaic Studies from Brandeis University. I knew many people who had spent their third year at Hebrew University and thought it would be a perfect addition to my university studies from both an academic and social perspective. Attending Hebrew University became the single most important decision of my life. That is where I met my wife Lissa Weinberger. She and I have been married for 21 years and have three wonderful children. Our oldest son is at McGill University and plans to also attend Hebrew University for a year with a scholarship that he won at King David High School.

While at Hebrew University, I improved my Hebrew and took a number of important classes for my major at Brandeis. I learned with excellent professors including an independent study with Dr. Steven Kaplan in the history of the education of Ethiopian Jewry. In addition to volunteering at a school teaching recent immigrant children from Ethiopia, I prepared for my senior thesis in the subject at Brandeis.

I was a Hillel Scholar and did a special program to prepare North American students to serve in the field of Jewish education with the Jewish Education Service of North America. That summer, I was also awarded an opportunity to intern with the organization in New York.

All my practical and academic pursuits at Hebrew University led me to apply for The Rabbinical School at the Jewish Theological Seminary and my career as a synagogue rabbi. It is absolutely clear that the year I spent at Hebrew University helped shape the person I am today. I will always be indebted to it for all that it did for me.

  • Jonathan is a rabbi at Congregation Beth Israel in Vancouver