I originally decided to attend Yeshiva University because I knew that it could provide me with opportunities that I wouldn’t be able to receive elsewhere. However, it wasn’t until I started at Stern College for Women that I realized the opportunities were endless and that they would have such an impact on my life after graduation.
Academically, my classes were rigorous, interesting and taught by incredible professors whose passion for their subjects was extremely evident. My classes, specifically in my major of Political Science, were large enough that I was exposed to the different ideas and viewpoints of my peers, but small enough that I was able to form connections with both my classmates and my professors, who were always supportive and went out of their way to help me achieve my goals. I was fortunate enough to work with two amazing professors on my senior thesis, a project that really empowers students to take an interest of ours and turn it into something we can master.
“My classes, specifically in my major of Political Science, were large enough that I was exposed to the different ideas and viewpoints of my peers, but small enough that I was able to form connections with both my classmates and my professors.”
YU also provided me with academic opportunities outside of the undergraduate classroom. I participated in a program called Frontiers, where I was able to learn from professors at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, attended educational events as part of the S. Daniel Abraham Honors Program and was active in the school’s academic clubs. While at Stern I benefited tremendously from more than 100 clubs on campus and dozens of events every week. I held leadership roles in a number of clubs on campus and served as the president of the Stern College for Women Student Council my senior year. I found that at YU it’s much easier to get involved and to take on leadership positions. This reality stems from YU’s willingness to allow students to create new clubs when they feel something is lacking, the smaller number of students overall on campus and the fact that no student has to miss an extracurricular event for Shabbos or a Chag.
Though there are many reasons I feel blessed to have attended a Jewish institution, one of the biggest is the fact that I never had to miss an opportunity, either inside or outside the classroom, because of my religion. For example, YU’s Model United Nations conference was one of my favorite events every year, and I recognize that in another institution I may have been unable to participate, as at most schools they are held on Shabbat.
“Though there are many reasons I feel blessed to have attended a Jewish institution, one of the biggest is the fact that I never had to miss an opportunity, either inside or outside the classroom, because of my religion.”
The students at YU also reaffirmed that I made the right choice. My classmates are insightful, ambitious, kind hearted and strong individuals who have encouraged me and helped me grow over the past few years. They are also much more religiously diverse than I initially expected. Though the university is Orthodox, I have been fortunate at Stern to get to know Jews of many religious backgrounds and learn from their approaches to Judaism.
This past year, I studied at YU’s Graduate Program in Advanced Talmudic Studies (GPATS), a two-year masters program in Gemara, and next year I will be attending the University of Pennsylvania Law School. I owe both of these incredible opportunities to Yeshiva University: I recognize that the love of learning that led me to defer a year of law school and participate in GPATS was cultivated in Stern’s Judaic environment, and that what made me stand out as a law school candidate was everything I was able to take advantage of while at Yeshiva University.
Lizzi Peled (SCW ‘17), of Los Angeles