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Elu v’Elu: Engaging Diversity

Laura Berry

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“I converted to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Mormon, when I was 13 years old, on my own, with no family support.  I have essentially grown up as a Latter-day Saint.  While I am a devout ‘believer,’ I have felt a hunger in my late middle years to learn more deeply, to understand more fully, to partake from sources of faith and wisdom other than my own.  In my application interview with Rabbi Shire, I KNEW  that Hebrew College was the place for me to seek out that learning.  I felt in his voice and demeanor that he valued me as an individual and my life experience outside of the Jewish community.  He let me know that my perspective is welcome here.  To me, Rabbi Shire demonstrated Elu v’Elu in the way he spoke with me.  I’m sure that as I continue in my studies I will have many more questions than answers.  I always want to have more questions than answers.  Today, one question I have been contemplating is, ‘How can I contribute to this Hebrew College community, as well as the Jewish community for which I have great admiration and respect, in a meaningful way?’”
(Laura Berry hiking in the Cotswolds with her husband in September 2017. Laura is a student in the Jewish Studies program at the Shoolman Graduate School of Jewish Education. Now accepting applications.)
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