Posted on December 16, 2013 by Meira Cohen
On November 29, David Levin-Kruss walked up and down the High Line in NYC, teaching Torah and raising money for cancer research. Among those who joined him was an incoming student.
I’m not due to arrive in Jerusalem for another month, but I have already experienced the legendary warmth of Pardes.
As soon as I made contact with the Pardes recruiter, I was quickly connected to alumni who were happy to tell me all about their experiences, and I decided to attend some local events featuring Pardes teachers to see what it was all about. By the next week, I had attended Judy’s lecture at JTS and James’ lecture at Yeshivat Hadar. At each event, I encountered a cohort of enthusiastic and friendly alumni who shared their unique perspectives on all that Pardes has to offer. I took in the way that former students ventured out on a cold evening for the privilege of hearing their favorite teacher address an audience. I noticed the way that strangers immediately warmed up to each other when they discovered that they shared the common experience of studying at Pardes. I knew then that I would be joining a truly special community.
And that is why, when DLK invited me to join him as he walked the High Line in NYC to bring Torah to the streets of NY and to raise money for cancer research, I happily agreed.
On a clear day in late November, I suited up to brave the crisp chilly air of New York City and took the familiar train ride into Manhattan. This time, though, I wasn’t a stressed graduate student hurriedly making my way to another round of late night classes, but was instead en route to begin the next leg of my life journey. When I arrived, DLK warmly introduced me to his family and to the former students who had joined him on the walk. Our small group quickly fell into step together: talking, joking, and sharing words of Torah wisdom. As we walked and talked, I couldn’t help but think that the camera toting tourists and wide-eyed children passing us by must have assumed that we were a group of old friends who had known each other for some time by the way we were deeply engrossed in conversation. By the end of the walk, I too marveled that our group had all just met each other that day.
It has been so nice getting to know Pardes indirectly, and I can’t wait for the real thing in January!