I'm an incoming senior majoring in International Comparative Studies with a focus on the Middle East. I also have a minor in Political Science and a certificate in Jewish Studies. I'm super involved in Jewish life on campus, especially with the Jewish Student Union. When I'm not at the Freeman Center for Jewish Life, you can find me rehearsing with Hoof 'n' Horn, Duke's musical theater production group.
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What do you love about your school?
There's so much about Duke that I think is truly unique. The people that I've met here are certainly the most interesting, unique, and intellectual people I've ever met. Sometimes I look around at my friends and I just think, wow, these are the coolest people ever and they're my friends! I love that Duke embraces the idea that every person can be interested in many different things, and I think Duke really helps you combine all your passions to make sure you can study and be involved in everything you're interested in exploring. Duke's school spirit is truly unparalleled, not only in our sports traditions but also in the feeling of community and care that one can feel when walking around our gorgeous campus. The energy that Duke has is always positive and intellectually stimulating, it's a place where everyone is celebrated for who they are, and of course, the iconic gothic campus is always a blessing to be a part of.
Why did you choose your school when you were a senior in high school? Walk us through that process.
Duke was a dream school of mine, and when I visited the campus I just knew it was the place for me. I loved the school spirit and campus traditions, and everywhere I looked students sported their Duke gear with so much pride. I felt like I could walk up to anybody and ask them about their Duke experience- everyone was so friendly and I could feel the passion that each student had for their own unique interests. I was really interested in the Major that I ended up pursuing because I knew it would be interdisciplinary and allow the flexibility I needed to explore all of my passions. I knew the professors and small class sizes would enrich my learning experience and provide the support for students that makes the academic setting so much more interactive. Duke also had the small campus feel that I was looking for, not in a huge city but in a vibrant area with an incredible food scene!
What has been your favorite class so far? Tell us about it!
My favorite class that I've taken at Duke was called Art and the Holocaust. I've always wanted to study art history but I never had the chance before, so I took this class because it intersected art history with Jewish history and Jewish art that I love to study and was more familiar with. The class opened my mind to a totally new way to look at such an important historical period, and the professor was an expert in the field of Holocaust era architecture and art, so it was so amazing to listen to his engaging lectures and really dive deep into a field that I've always wanted to explore!
What fun traditions do you like to partake in at your school?
So many! I've tented, which is our way of "lining up" for the Duke vs. UNC basketball game, called the greatest rivalry in sports. When we win, the whole school goes crazy- we are the Cameron Crazies, after all- and we have a huge bonfire to celebrate. I'm not a sporty person at all, but basketball really brings the entire campus together! We have non-sports related traditions as well, such as an awesome Last Day of Classes concert and campus wide celebration, and lots of ways to welcome the First Years each year!
Tell us about Jewish life on campus. How have you been able to engage with this aspect of your identity while at school?
Jewish life is truly my home on campus. I have developed close relationships with the Jewish Life at Duke staff and our amazing Campus Rabbi, and they serve as mentors for anyone in the Jewish community. Friday night Shabbat singing, services, and dinners are my favorite part of the week. We get to de-stress, take a breath, eat great (free!) food, and catch up with friends. I have engaged in Jewish life in pretty much every aspect of my Duke life: academically through Jewish studies classes and lectures, intellectually through the Jewish Learning Fellowship, socially through the Jewish Student Union events, culturally through Israel clubs and Jewish holiday celebrations, and emotionally through my close relationships and friendships. I wouldn't trade my Jewish life on campus for anything in the world.
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Summertime - by The Head and the Heart
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