Garth Silberstein

Year '09-'10, Fellows '10-'11

“Getting to help organize the Yom Iyun Shel Chesed was an amazing opportunity to be part of something really special, a chance to connect with Israeli society, with my fellow students, and with Pardes as an institution with a history and a memory that extends beyond the year or two that most students spend here. My only complaint is that there was only one day. I’d have loved to have more opportunities to participate in different kinds of projects. Before Pardes, text study was something that I wanted to pursue to improve my facility with Hebrew, and to know more about my tradition. Now, it’s hard NOT to imagine text study occupying an important space within my life as a value in and of itself. I’ve been blessed in the past to belong to communities that included liberal Jews of different denominations, practices and theologies, but [at Pardes] I’ve gotten to be a part of a community that includes Jews from every denomination — including Orthodoxy as well as no denomination. I’d like to see this model of a community built on diversity become the norm rather than the exception. It can sometimes feel kind of self-indulgent to be spending a year studying Torah lishma, especially when we spend so much of our time in the insular world of the Pardes community. Together with the regular volunteer opportunities, Yom Iyyun Shel Chesed provides an important means for Pardes students to interact with Israeli society outside of the walls of our Beit Midrash, and also to give back in concrete ways.”

Garth Silberstein, Davis, California
Bennington College; Majors: Acting and Evolutionary Biology