web analytics
March 2, 2015 / 11 Adar , 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post


Orthodox Rhodes Scholar Excelled In Classroom But Found Spiritual Enrichment In Orthodox Union Program


Rosenbaum-120211

In September 2008, Miriam Rosenbaum, a freshman from New York City, arrived at Princeton University to begin her four years of undergraduate education on the Ivy League campus. At the same time, Rabbi David and Sara Wolkenfeld arrived on campus to assume the positions of Torah Educators in the Orthodox Union’s Jewish Learning Initiative on Campus (JLIC) program at Princeton.

Miriam came from Bruriah High School for Girls in Elizabeth, N.J., followed by a year of seminary study at the Michlalah College for Girls in Jerusalem. Rabbi Wolkenfeld was a graduate of Harvard, Sara an alumna of the University of Pennsylvania. Miriam had applied to Princeton as an early decision student and was accepted. Rabbi David and Sara were chosen for their positions because of their secular educational backgrounds (both Harvard and the University of Pennsylvania also have JLIC programs), deep commitment to Jewish learning, and their perceived ability to serve as role models for Princeton’s Orthodox students.

JLIC, a joint initiative of the OU and Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life, is found on 15 campuses across the United States and in Canada and tends to the spiritual and personal needs of the increasing number of yeshiva graduates who have chosen to attend secular colleges.

Just before Thanksgiving this year, Miriam became a sensation in the Orthodox world with the announcement that she had won a prestigious Rhodes Scholarship to spend the next two years studying at Oxford, becoming the first Orthodox woman to be so honored. (Her interview with The Jewish Press appeared in the Dec. 2 issue.)

When she flies across the pond, she will go to Oxford influenced not only by her academic studies, but by her four years participating with the Wolkenfelds in Princeton JLIC.

“The Wolkenfelds have always been there for me,” she said. “They are like a mother and father away from home in that they are concerned not only with the Jewish aspect of my education but with the personal aspect as well. If I have a rough day I can have a cup of coffee with them, go to their house, play with their children. They are wonderful people. They work to strengthen the social bonds in the community besides their shiurim, chavrutas and other Jewish studies.

On the Princeton page on the JLIC website (www.jliconline.org) Miriam has written, “JLIC makes Princeton into a home for me. On a rather anonymous college campus, it is wonderful to have JLIC care for both my spiritual and personal well-being…”

“This is our fourth year serving the Jewish community at Princeton as JLIC educators, so we have been privileged to be a part of Miriam’s college career from the very beginning,” said Sara Wolkenfeld. “Through her participation in shiurim and other communal events, her own personal religious observance, and her one-on-one learning, Miriam has been a central figure in our community. In particular, Miriam’s passion for the ideals and principles she cares about stands out for me; even a casual lunchtime conversation can become a forum for a lively, educational debate when Miriam is present at the table.”

Rabbi Wolkenfeld explained: “Miriam came to Princeton with the advantages of a strong Jewish education and a firm Jewish identity. She has always been clear about her values and her commitment to a life of mitzvot. Her horizons have expanded through the friendships she has cultivated and through the intense coursework of Princeton, without compromising her faith.

Miriam Rosenbaum (right), with Rabbi David and Sara Wolkenfeld.

“To be a Sabbath-observant Jewish student at Princeton, who successfully completes the same demanding coursework as one’s peers with 25 fewer hours each week to devote to academic pursuits, requires a high degree of motivation and dedication to both academic studies and to Judaism. It is gratifying when an outside organization, like the Rhodes Scholarship, validates the commitment, perseverance, and intellectual excellence needed to balance academic success at an elite university with the conscientious cultivation of a life of Torah and mitzvot.”

Rabbi Ilan Haber, director of JLIC, and the former JLIC rabbi at Yale, expressed his delight over Miriam’s achievement. “I was very happy to hear about Miriam and her incredible accomplishment. I hope that this will bring her much additional success, and that her achievements will serve to inspire others,” Rabbi Haber said.

“Miriam is an active leader within her own Jewish community at Princeton. While obviously hers is a singular achievement, I am always greatly impressed with the caliber, poise, maturity, and capabilities of the students that I meet that make up the JLIC and Hillel communities on campus. With the role of JLIC to inspire, support and encourage students, I often find that the students equally inspire and motivate myself and the JLIC educators.”

About the Author:


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.

No Responses to “Orthodox Rhodes Scholar Excelled In Classroom But Found Spiritual Enrichment In Orthodox Union Program”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and many of the Bibicotters
Want to Tell the BibiCotters What You Think? Here’s How You Can.
Latest Indepth Stories
Hur and Aharon holding up Moshe's hands as Joshua battled Amalek.

“Remember what Amalek did to you on your journey after you left Egypt-how undeterred by fear of G-d”

Illustration is by Israeli artist Hanalisa Omer

Stalin’s plan for the Soviet’s “final solution of the Jewish question” was totally assimilating them

Bibi and Obama: Head to Head

Many Jews oppose the speech fearing it will further erode relations between Israel & US. I disagree.

UGANorthCampusSign

The University of Georgia Student Government Association called for more investment in Israel.

Without an alliance comparable to ISIS, Al Qaida & Iran, militant Islam will conquer the Middle East

Ultimately, Esther, Netanyahu, and we, the Jewish people, must and will rely on the true King, God, for our salvation from this genocidal threat.

Netanyahu addresses a clear, present & lethal threat to the US/Israel/WORLD; NOT political bickering

Buried in the tax-returns of the JCF is millions of dollars funneled to NIF in the last few years.

Bibi’s speech to Congress will bring respect and honor to the Jewish Nation from the US & the world

Obama & Putin have handwriting/signature clues indicating differences between public & private life

It’s time for a new Jewish policy regarding Ramallah, NOT just because of the yarmulke incident

“GETT’s” being screened for Israeli Rabbinical Court judges at their annual convention.

If Jackson were alive he’d denounce Democratic party’s silence towards virulent anti-Semitism

Victim of Palestinian Arab terrorism, a victor in NY federal court, after years of being ignored by Justice Dept.

March 2013: Arabs hurled stones hitting the Biton’s car; Adele’s mother swerved the car-into a truck

More Articles from Stephen Steiner

Some college students use their winter break between terms to relax, fly to warm climates and in general recover from the academic burdens of the fall semester. Others study how to slaughter chickens according to kosher law.

Rosenbaum-120211

In September 2008, Miriam Rosenbaum, a freshman from New York City, arrived at Princeton University to begin her four years of undergraduate education on the Ivy League campus.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/interviews-and-profiles/orthodox-rhodes-scholar-excelled-in-classroom-but-found-spiritual-enrichment-in-orthodox-union-program/2011/12/14/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: