"Before coming to Brown I took a gap year in Central America doing service work and that for me was an experience during which I was able to cement a lot of my Jewish identity. I had gone to day school but a connection was lacking, so while I could read through a page of talmud I wasn’t able to have any kind of relationship with that page. Through being so far out of my element, I was able to see more of this world, god’s creations and the divine presence, and so coming to Brown was an easy transition because I knew the values I wanted to hold on to. I came to Hillel my first Shabbat and it was an incredible experience just bonding with other people and seeing a warm light in the building and that for me was something that completely transformed what I did with my entire career at Brown. I jumped into Eboard because I knew I wanted to make a difference in leadership in this community and it was so interesting to be in a position where I got to see all the exciting ideas for programs and activities. Sacred foods Shabbat also became a huge part of my time at Brown because as a vegan I wanted people to see how amazing local food could be. I’d never cooked for a huge amount of people before but next thing I knew I was calling farms, placing orders, and googling how many pounds were in a bushel. I have never dedicated myself so much to one activity but it was so beautiful by Friday night to see so many people gathered in one space knowing they would embrace the meal with mindfulness, appreciation and love and that made it worth it. Yoga, which I had started to practice on my gap year, was also a huge part of my Jewish life here. Not only was it special to be part of that community here but to teach a class that's tied to the Jewish torah reading each Saturday and to feel out the different emotions and spirituality each week conjures up within us was wonderful. Being in Providence has been everything I could have wanted for my Jewish life at Brown because I had the amazing warm center of Hillel but I also had a welcoming modern orthodox community with families who always had me over for meals and were like having my own family here with me. Even right across the street was the amazing Chabad family who has been my rock and such a support system. I’m happy that I came into Brown knowing what beliefs I value but at the same time had a space where I was able to challenge them, confront them and move deeper into why I value them in the first place."