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.
Miriam Lorie is a third year semikha student at Yeshivat Maharat, one of the first British women to pursue Orthodox ordination. She serves as Rabbi in Training at Kehillat Nashira, the Borehamwood Partnership Minyan. She teaches Bnei Mitzvah students, engaged couples and anyone else who loves to learn Torah and finds their way to her! Her favorite part of this work is facilitating lifecycle moments. She has been privileged to be part ofBrit Milah and Simchat Bat ceremonies, Bnei Mitzvah, stone settings (consecrations) and Vorts.
WHAT DID YOU DO FOR THE FIRST TIME AT PARDES?
I went to a regular weekday minyan. Not always easy with a toddler in the house, but the space and time to get to know our tefillah in a supportive space with peers was really important to my Jewish development. Orthodox women don’t often get to experience prayer as a communal experience and I learned how much more motivating and meaningful it is to daven alongside others. I also tried to take a photo of the sky outside the Beit Midrash every minyan morning – the patchwork of changing skies that I have in my photo album is a lasting memento from that special time.
CAN YOU SHARE A SPECIAL PARDES MEMORY?
The Beit Midrash was the setting of most of my memories, but the learning that happened beyond was also impactful. Tiyulim, Shabbatot, meals with friends and teachers. But if I had to choose one memory then it would be a Tanakh Tiyul, learning stories from Bereishit about Grar, in Grar!
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE SPOT IN JERUSALEM?
The unexpected dusty charm of the garden of the Natural History Museum, particularly during a Nava Tehila service where the beauty of people coming together to make gorgeous, spiritual music, matches up to the natural beauty.
HOW DOES PARDES CONTINUE TO AFFECT YOU TODAY?
Pardes was the year when I decided, “I’d like to dedicate my life to this Jewish thing.” For so many reasons. Pardes embodies joyful yet serious text learning. It invites every question. The teachers are phenomenal pedagogues, deep-rooted scholars and most importantly, they’re menches. Pardes models a cross-denominational Jewish way of being that is incredibly difficult to find done well elsewhere. When I arrived, I felt a bit bruised by the criticism my community received when we started the UK’s first partnership minyan. The welcome and acceptance of Pardes was not only healing but helped me build back up to soar into my future work.
WHAT ARE YOU MOST PROUD OF IN YOUR WORK?
When my work inspires the next generation of girls and young women. The change that feels difficult and slow to us will, I really believe, be an obvious given for them. A Bat Mitzvah student told me this week, “you’ve made real change happen.” – That was nachas.