Student Profile on Stefan Tiwy by Fellow Student Vicki Raun
You won’t find Israel between Germany and the United States in a typical atlas. But for Pardes Year Program student Stefan Tiwy, it is a logical route.
Stefan, born in Germany, is hoping to become a liberal rabbi in the United States. At Pardes, “I’m able to study with fellow young Jews,” Stefan, 25, said, “and strengthen my ties with Jerusalem and Israel.” His year at Pardes allows him to study Jewish text in depth with Jews of a wide range of traditions and practices, something not typical in Jewish institutions in either Germany or the United States.
Stefan was in his teens when he first thought about becoming a liberal rabbi, but it was during a year of graduate school at Clark University in Massachusetts that he found real encouragement. Rabbis Dennis S. Ross and Ilene Bogosian, both then at Temple Emanuel in Worcester, Mass., supported his career goals. At Temple Emanuel he also learned trope, the tunes for reading the Torah, from B’nai Mitzvah Tutor Debbi Morin, so he could celebrate his bar mitzvah before he returned to Germany and completed the equivalent of master’s degrees in English and Spanish. Stefan also speaks Modern Hebrew and reads Biblical Hebrew, Greek and Latin. He looked for the best place to expand his Jewish education while applying for rabbinic school. Pardes was recommended by friends, his Jewish Studies professor at Clark and by his rabbis in Worcester.
At Pardes, “I am able to work on the practical and social skills I need for the future as a rabbi,” he said. “I’m becoming better prepared for the whole spectrum of rabbinic activities.” Stefan’s courses at Pardes include advanced Talmud and Tanach, Women in Judaism, Modern Jewish Thought, and Halacha. “Learning is my big passion,” Stefan said, “and at Pardes, there is always something to learn.”