Ariella Goldfein has a wide range of interests, many of which she explores at The Graduate School of The Jewish Theological Seminary.
A first-year student working toward a master's degree in Modern Jewish Studies, Ariella wants to explore the root causes behind many issues affecting women and those surrounding today's American Jewish community.
In addition to the education Ariella knew she would receive at JTS, it was also important, as she explains, that, "my graduate work exist within a framework of Judaism. JTS provides an opportunity for me to study and still go to Minhah in the afternoon, if I choose."
Ariella praises the professors both for their scholarly achievements and their personal empathy. "The professors here are at the top of their fields and care about who you are. They also maintain the balance between important academic work and how it may contribute to the larger community—that is unique," she says.
Ariella singles out Dr. Jack Wertheimer and his class, American Jewry Since 1945, as particularly noteworthy. "It helped me understand the contemporary American Jewish community, and was so beneficial in pinpointing areas in which I would like to be involved in affecting change," she says.
Living in New York City provides an immersion into Jewish culture that she relishes. "Studying American Jewry while getting involved in Jewish organizational life in New York City enhances my experience so much," Ariella says.
After graduation, Ariella looks forward to working at a Jewish nonprofit organization, pursuing a doctorate, or teaching. Until then, Ariella says, she looks forward to continuing her studies at JTS "surrounded by passionate, curious, and interested people dedicated to different realms of Jewish learning and Jewish life."