They are leading and creating organizations and businesses of all kinds, responding to humanitarian crises, writing novels, educating at all levels, creating works of art, and so much more! In celebration of Pardes’s 50th, we are highlighting 50 standout alumni whose accomplishments exemplify the rich texture of the Pardes community worldwide.
Clare Goldwater is the Chief Strategy Officer at M²: The Institute for Experiential Jewish Education, where she works with Jewish educators and organizations to help them improve their practice of experiential education, and be more effective.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE SPOT IN JERUSALEM?
The Mesila train track, running from the First Station all the way down to Beit Safafa. I love many things about that path, but especially the trees and plants that bloom at different times of year, the way it changes at different times of the day, the different views from different parts of the track, and the way it exposes the back-side of different neighborhoods on either side of it.
WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE CLASS AT PARDES?
Aryeh Ben-David’s Mishnah class. We learnt Masechet Rosh Hashanah, for a whole year. It was an exercise in deep reading, skill-building, very rigorous attention to detail, and a combined spiritual and literary and metaphoric reading of the Mishnah. Every so often people would get antsy and want to get to the Gemara, but Aryeh resisted. He kept us focused on really a deep reading of the Mishnah, and gave us a deep appreciation of how amazing and beautiful it is on its own terms. It was like uncovering the deepening layers of an onion.
CAN YOU SHARE A SPECIAL PARDES MEMORY?
I remember morning minyan every day, usually led by Rav Meir. It became a small family, very low-key, very habitual and an anchor of life in Jerusalem. Every day someone brought breakfast. I used to make a cake – an old-fashioned Israeli fridge cake with vanilla pudding – they called it “Clare’s eclair” and it was a big favorite.
WHAT ARE YOU MOST PROUD OF IN YOUR WORK?
I am proud of the rigor and creativity and level of professionalism of the work that we do, and that I believe we contribute in a meaningful way to the bigger field of Jewish education. I am also proud of the relationships I have built over the course of my career, with many many different kinds of people across the Jewish world – in the US, Israel, the UK and beyond.
WHAT DID YOU DO FOR THE FIRST TIME AT PARDES?
I built my own sukkah.
HOW DOES PARDES CONTINUE TO AFFECT YOU TODAY?
Pardes continues to be a real part of my life. Firstly, many of my closest friends are the people I learned with 30 years ago, and Pardes is always present in our interactions. My Jewish commitments and ideological approach to Jewish life were formed at Pardes and I still look to Pardes as an anchor for those ideas and approaches. Beyond that, I live close to Pardes, and am still connected to many of the faculty and administration on a personal and professional level, and I am happy that my professional life is also intertwined with Pardes and allows me to continue to be part of what is going on (albeit as an outsider).