web analytics
June 30, 2015 / 13 Tammuz, 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post


‘I Never Expected To Win’: An Interview With Rhodes Scholar Miriam Rosenbaum


Rosenbaum-120211

On Shabbos, November 19, Princeton University’s Miriam Rosenbaum made history by becoming the first Orthodox Jewish woman to win a Rhodes Scholarship. Roughly 1,500 Americans apply for the prestigious award each year, but only 32 ultimately receive it. Altogether only 7,000 people – including such famous personalities as Edwin Hubble, Dean Rusk, James William Fulbright, Bill Clinton, and David Souter – have won the scholarship since its inception in 1902.

Rosenbaum, who is studying at Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, grew up in Riverdale, N.Y., and is a graduate of Bruriah High School for Girls in Edison, N.J. and Michlalah-Jerusalem College in Israel.

The Jewish Press: When you first applied for the scholarship a half year ago, did you really expect to win? Or was it more of a pipe dream?

Rosenbaum: I honestly did not think I would win at all. It’s a six-month application process – you need to get 10 letters of recommendation, write a 1,000-word essay, and go through a few rounds of interviews – and there were times when I was wondering, “Why am I spending six months working on this?”

But I figured that it would be a good experience either way because writing the essay and going through the interview rounds taught me a lot about myself and gave me a number of important skills that would be useful regardless of the scholarship.

What type of skills?

Interview skills, writing skills, and the ability to think about my interests and future goals in a cohesive way. Also, throughout the interview rounds, I met a number of really interesting, smart people, and I think those experiences were valuable. Most of the interviewers were in their 60s and 70s and hearing what they have accomplished throughout their lives was very interesting. And I learned a lot from them.

Who interviewed you?

There were eight interviewers, and they themselves were Rhode Scholars at some point in their lives.

Was Bill Clinton one of them?

No.

What are your thoughts on becoming the first Orthodox Jewish woman to receive a Rhodes Scholarship?

I hope this will be a trend. Many Orthodox women pursue higher education and strive for academic achievements, and I’m hoping that more will continue to do so.

Do you think that currently too few do?

Not necessarily. I think there are many Jewish women who accomplish tremendous amounts in their personal, religious, family, and academic lives, and I don’t want to minimize that.

You’ve been quoted as saying that Orthodox Jewish women can get any education they desire and that they need not choose their religion over their education. Some, however, believe that Jewish women must, indeed, sacrifice advanced education or certain careers if they are to properly raise a Jewish family.

I don’t want to give out universal advice. I’m only 22 years old and I don’t think I have enough life experience to be giving advice. But what I can say from my experiences and what I’ve witnessed is that Orthodox Jewish women are able to be successful in many areas of life simultaneously – get a good education, have a fulfilling career, grow in Yiddishkeit, and raise a family. My teachers in high school chose to do that as did other women I see – like my mother, who is my role model.

At Princeton, you’re minoring in African American Studies, Near Eastern Studies, and Jewish History. That’s a pretty wide array of interests.

I decided to minor in African American Studies because of the professors who teach in the department – specifically Cornel West.

It’s just something very different, and especially in the field of health policy [which I hope to enter] it’s important to be able to understand different cultures. When you make policy, you have to do what’s best for the greatest number of people, but you also have to understand the needs and backgrounds of different cultures that comprise the nation.

It’s interesting that Cornel West was one of your inspirations to minor in African American Studies. Some see him as a flaming radical.

He is pretty radical, and while I disagree with most of his views, I find him to be a bright and kindhearted person. He calls me “Sister Miriam.” Also, he doesn’t express his radical views in the classroom; he’s pretty good about sticking to the material.

What do you hope to study at Oxford University next year?

I’d like to [ultimately] be an advocate in the [U.S.] government for people with disabilities and the elderly. The Rhodes Scholarship will pay for me to get a Masters in bioethics, and when I return to America, I hope to get  another Masters in public affairs, with a focus on economics.

My goal is to combine ethics and economics to have a holistic understanding of the healthcare issues facing marginalized populations.

About the Author: Elliot Resnick is a Jewish Press staff reporter and author of “Movers and Shakers: Sixty Prominent Personalities Speak Their Mind on Tape” (Brenn Books).


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

2 Responses to “‘I Never Expected To Win’: An Interview With Rhodes Scholar Miriam Rosenbaum”

  1. Steve Karp says:

    Bruriah High School for Girls is in ELIZABETH, N.J. and is a division of the Jewish Educational Center – this is the JEC’s second Rhodes Scholar.

  2. Steve Karp says:

    Bruriah High School for Girls in ELIZABETH NJ – It is a division of the Jewish Educational Center & this is the JEC’s second Rhodes Scholar.

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
The Marks & Spencer dairy case held nothing kosher -- as promised by the store clerk -- in London, where even the juice and milk were bereft of basic kosher supervision symbols.
US Churches to Vote on BDS Moves Against Israel, Affecting Millions
Latest Indepth Stories
Menachem Zivotofsky sued the U.S. government because the U.S. refused to include "Israel" alongside "Jerusalem" as the place of his birth on his passport. So far the courts have sided with the government.

The problem with US treatment of Israel did not start with Obama but with birth of Jewish State

Activists on the Marianne boat that the IDF made sure to arrive in Ashdod instead of Gaza.

The pathetic failure of the Marianne to reach Gaza is the best thing that has happened to Israel since Hamas mis-fired a rocket on its own civilians.

Pres. Rivlin and PM Netanyahu with the justices of the Supreme Court

Wonder why Israel has the world’s most insane rules of engagement imposed on its military? Read on..

obamatargetiran

Think political Islam’s a problem now just wait until an Islamist nuclear umbrella covers the region

Fiorina’s wrong about Islam which embraces our death&destruction confusing pc theories for hard fact

Bangladesh PM Hasina is fighting terror not only for her nation but for the entire civilized world.

No necessity to redefine marriage, just address equal rights for couples in non-nuclear families

PM Netanyahu has pledged the nation won’t rest until the hero Eli Cohen is returned home to Israel

“Palestinian armed groups” & “local authorities” are named in the report; Hamas’ absence stands out

Dating apps have really changed the way many young Jews approach dating.

The families of those slain even publicly forgave the murderer. Charleston was serene and at peace.

Changing plans needn’t be a frustrating experience. Sometimes the new path proves far more rewarding

Seventy-one members of the Assembly, including Glen Cove Assemblyman Chuck Lavine, who heads the New York chapter of the National Association of Jewish Legislators, joined in the effort to secure a majority to protect the rights of Jewish voters.

Students in New York City schools are protected by publicly funded security guards, so it would seem a no-brainer that students attending non-public schools be similarly protected.

More Articles from Elliot Resnick
On-The-Bookshelf-logo

My best book is one that hasn’t been published yet.

Israel is not the only issue that has drawn Jews closer to conservative Christians in recent decades. The culture wars have played a significant role as well.

What books might people be surprised to find on your bookshelves?

Jews are an anxious group – understandably, given the millennia of persecution – and want to have no trouble.

Why do Jews, then, sometimes feel more intensely about Polish anti-Semitism than they do about German anti-Semitism?

Mitchell Bard is nothing if not prolific. He has written and edited 23 books, including “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Middle East” and “The Arab Lobby: The Invisible Alliance That Undermines America’s Interests in the Middle East.” Bard, who has a Ph.D. in political science from UCLA, is also the executive director of both the […]

You have to understand that Ukraine was really a very, very Jewish place for many years.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/interviews-and-profiles/%e2%80%98i-never-expected-to-win%e2%80%99-an-interview-with-rhodes-scholar-miriam-rosenbaum-2/2011/12/04/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: