By Mira B. Shore (Summer ’09, ’10; Year ’12)
As a self-identified progressive, liberal, secular Jew growing up at Jewish Day School, I spent a lot of my time and energy speaking about why prayer and G-d were NOT a part of my life. I actively ran from prayer. Once I had my bat-mitzvah, there was nothing my parents could do to get me to synagogue. I prided myself on my rebelliousness and frequently claimed my atheism as a controversial badge of honor.
For university, I continued on my secular path by attending Sarah Lawrence College, named the #1 least religious college in America by The Princeton Review in 2011. While Sarah Lawrence was the perfect school for me in all other ways (academically, socially, professor/student ratio, philosophy, classroom dynamics, etc.) it was very taxing on my Judaism. After my sophomore year, I decided to go back to Israel and study at Pardes to try to find something I felt I’d lost.
Deciding to come to Pardes in the summer of 2009 was a difficult decision for me as a proud, secular Progressive, and I was concerned about how it might feel alienating. I was right. Continue reading