Ann Arbor's JRC helps students find connection through programs in Israel.
Special to the Jewish News
niversity of Michigan sophomore Miriam
Livny of Manalapan, N.J., has family in Israel
and had visited more times than she could
count, but this time was different.
One of some 20 students participating in educational
programs arranged through the Jewish Resource Center
in Ann Arbor, she said the Jewish learning experience
she took part in this summer gave her a new apprecia-
tion for Israel and for her Judaism.
"This had a very, very large impact on my life," said
Livny, who studied at Neve Yerushalayim College in
Jerusalem for three weeks. "This school was just a very
amazing place with some very amazing rabbis and
teachers, and now I see why Israel is so special."
Adi Neuman of West Bloomfield, a recent U-M
graduate, picked a program that involves studying at
Ohr Somayach, an English-language yeshivah in
Jerusalem. He plans to continue his studies in Israel for
at least a year.
"This is my fourth time in Israel in four years, but for
the first time, Torah learning has become my main
focus," he said. "When I was touring or taking classes
in past years, I always felt like something about my
Jewish experience was incomplete. For example, I
always felt an empty feeling when I visited the Old City
and especially the Kotel, as if I wasn't capable of fully
appreciating what Israel had to offer.
"Now, having committed myself to a program of
Torah study and personal growth, I feel a deep spiritual
connection to the land of Israel and for the first time
feel fulfilled in my Jewish observance."
Both Livny and Neuman had studied at the JRC. Livny
participated in the Maimonides Jewish Leadership
Training Program, a semester-long series of weekly lec-
tures and excursions through the JRC, which is spon-
sored by the Oak Park-based Jewish Learning Network
of Michigan, Machon ETorah.
Machon spent about $25,000 to send students to
Israel this summer, assisting with costs for everything
from program fees to airfare and housing expenses, said
Rabbi Avraham Jacobovitz, Machon director.
He said the JRC has been sending students to Israel
for the past seven years, and student experiences in
MEANINGFUL STUDY on page 34
Jacobovitz leads a group
of 15 University of
Michigan students to
Israel to participate in
study programs. Students
included, from left, Brett
Pepper of Denver; Jaime
Cohen of Birmingham,
Emily Cohn of
Huntington Woods and
Kirsten Quinzi of Ft.