Derek Kwait

At the Ivy League Men’s Program I was privileged to experience true expression of love and concern for a fellow Jew. The faculty is comprised of strong, intelligent, and beautiful Jewish women who go above and beyond their job requirements to educate and nurture their students as mentors and role models. Learners come to Ivy League from a broad gamut of backgrounds and quickly form unique bonds while supporting one another through their spiritual journeys and challenges. After a year and a half I am still discovering the ways in which my experience at Ivy League impacts my growth in Torah. I whole-heartedly recommend the program to everyone; you will discover that your heritage is an invaluable treasure. My name is Derek Kwait, I am from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and went to Ivy League the summer before my senior year at the University of Pittsburgh, where I major in fiction writing, with minors in film studies and Jewish studies. When my campus rabbi suggested Ivy League to me, at first I wasn’t sure it would be right for me— I had never been in a formal Jewish learning environment besides Sunday and Hebrew school; I am not Chassidic, plus I would …

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Bonnie Herman

I didn’t grow up identifying as Jewish, but that changed as I began to learn what it really meant to be a Jew. After studying on my own, I realized that my spiritual quest wasn’t going to end anytime soon. I’d been learning for about eight months, but with work and university courses to deal with at the same time, I was not able to give Judaism my full attention. Ivy League, however, looked like I could get just that: an in-depth chance to study Judaism without the worries and distractions of college life. The stipend was what could make it all possible, so when I found out about it, I rushed to apply. I came to the Catskills with an open mind, and left with a dozen sisters and broader definition of what it means to be Jewish. We learned a staggering amount of material in a comparatively minute amount of time; our days, nights and weekends were jam packed. But we didn’t just learn. We laughed, cried, sang, shared, and bonded so fully, so fast. From the day trips to the Shabbos tables, everything affected me. The environment was beautiful, the food was delicious, and the extra-curricular activities …

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