One of the best things about Pardes is its diverse student body. We have students from many religious, political, geographical and professional backgrounds. We are about 50% men and 50% women. Our students have come from over 500 universities, with majors from theatre to biochemistry to history. Some students are working professionals who take time away from their careers in education, law or business. Others are building or exploring careers as Jewish communal professionals. Ages range from post-college early 20s to retirees in their 70s, with the majority of students in their 20s and 30s.
Anyone who is currently considered Jewish according to any of the major denominations of Judaism, or is engaged in a formal conversion process, is eligible to apply to Pardes.
Community is one of the most important elements of the Pardes experience. Friendships formed at Pardes last a lifetime. Communal meals, social activities and student-initiated programs foster relationships outside of the classroom. Students join together for Shabbat experiences, including community-wide Shabbat retreats, meals at the homes of faculty members and informal student gatherings.
The sense of community continues well beyond the time spent at Pardes and often extends to the communities people build after they leave Pardes. Students often go on to celebrate Shabbat, holidays and milestone events together long after their time learning at Pardes.
Click here to read one student’s perspective on the Pardes community.
The best way to learn about Pardes students and the Pardes community is to visit us in Jerusalem or attend an event in your area. You can click here to find out when our teachers will be visiting your area. If you visit Israel, you can schedule a day or two to sit in on classes, meet the teachers and talk to the students.
You can also read our blog, which is completely student run and written, to hear what the students are saying. The blog also includes student profiles, which you can read by clicking here. If you’d like to speak to a current student or recent alumus/a, please click here.
The majority of students come from North America. Every year we also have students from several other counties, which have included Argentina, Australia, Columbia, Czech Republic, England, France, Germany, Hungary, Israel, Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Russia and South Africa.
Although most students are in their 20s, there are always students who are older. Pardes attracts students who are interested in intellectual pursuits and self-development. Students include those straight out of college, those who have been working for a number of years and those who have retired. Students of all ages and backgrounds can find a niche at Pardes. Click here to read about a student profile about someone who came to Pardes in his retirement.
Students come to Pardes from many different backgrounds and go on to pursue many different paths. Many students come to Pardes between undergraduate and graduate programs, and therefore go to graduate school after Pardes. Many come to Pardes between university and starting their careers, and some come to Pardes during a break in their career. Students’ majors and fields of graduate study range from anthropology to zoology, and their careers range from classical musicians to applied mathematicians.
Students find support from peers and from staff in planning next steps. Previous career planning events have included goal setting, life coaching, decision making, resume writing and job search workshops.