With the start of the 2018-19 school year upon us, we are highlighting members of the incoming class of students. Click here to see all of the articles in this series.
Today we’re talking with Rabbinic student Michal Morris Kamil who started her AJRCA journey in the Spring semester.
Q1) Where do you live?
I am currently staying in Altadena but plan to reside in LA proper.
Q2) How did you first hear of AJRCA?
I was at a NewCAJE conference in Moraga last summer. Though I had met representatives from AJR in NY at other NewCAJE conferences who had tried to recruit me, I hadn’t considered a realistic possibility for myself. Then last year, I sat next to someone from AJRCA (a final year student, can’t remember her name). We got talking and I shared what the hurdles were and I loved how she responded as she was like me in age, in background and experience, and in perspective. Our conversation made the impossible seem possible, and attainable, and so I reached out to Robin, and from then it was history.
Q3) What was it about AJRCA that drew you to enroll here?
I liked the fact that the school is not affiliated to any Jewish stream, and agenda, and that the spectrum of educators and students is a reflection of the diversity of our people. I loved the fact that it wasn’t a school aiming only at young graduates, but rather also for 2nd career professionals as well. I also liked the fact that it was part time which made it possible to cope with and maintain a job. And, I loved the fact it was in LA!
Q4) What were you doing prior to enrolling?
I have been involved in Jewish and Israel education and leadership for decades. I have led schools, programs and new initiatives. I have always wanted to empower young Jews and infuse them with a love of their identity and and engagement with their legacy. BUT, the scope is limited. I wanted to do more, and being a Rabbi enhances my knowledge base, provides me with a diversity of opportunities to access diverse populations, and is an important leadership role in the Jewish community, both in the USA and in Israel. I wanted to learn, and be around brilliance.
Q5) As you embark on this experience, what are you most excited about?
Having completed one semester, I know more of what to expect, and I had a wonderful 1st experience and taster, that did not disappoint. I recommend everyone starts like this as it contributes to making informed decisions and preparation of what to expect. I love the academic aspect of engagement with our sources, with discussion, with diversity of approaches and perspectives. I look forward to learning with fellow students who are as passionate as myself, knowing that it won’t be easy, but certainly worthwhile. I look forward to be parting part of a diverse and warm family like community, teachers, and students alike, friendly, inclusive, and supportive. That was my experience in this first semester. And I am excited by all the skills I will be learning and mastering!