Thursday, March 09, 2006

Product of Y.U.

THC: While most students study abroad somewhere far from home, Yeshiva University senior Sarah Rindner is spending a semester in an environment more spiritually than geographically foreign. While she’ll return to Yeshiva—a modern orthodox Jewish university in New York City—to receive her diploma, she’s wrapping up her college career in Cambridge. Rindner says she came to Harvard because the Yeshiva Jewish community “was claustrophobic. I know it’s my last semester, and I wanted to make some positive memories.” The “Harvard bubble” is nothing new to Rindner, who says she grew up in a similarly self-contained community. “The Orthodox community was my entire world,” she says. “I never realized what a small part of the world it actually is.” Rindner admits that there are differences between the Harvard and Yeshiva Jewish communities. “Here women are much more involved,” she says. “There’s also more dialogue with other faiths.” And while the Harvard Jewish community may be smaller than what she’s used to, Harvard itself is a whole lot bigger. “There are 600 students at [Yeshiva] in total,” Rindner says. “There are classes here that size!” The disparities between her old world and Harvard sometimes prove difficult. “I’m used to eating Kosher food, and keeping the Sabbath,” she says. “It’s difficult when my [Harvard] friends don’t.” Overall, however, Rindner does not regret spending her last semester as a visiting student. “Religiously, I feel like I am evaluating myself,” she says. “Harvard is a positive environment for self-reflection. I definitely feel like I’m growing.”
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