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August 29, 2013 - Image 85

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2013-08-29

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Perfect Summer

Studying science and Torah in the Holy Land.

Yair Hillman

jewish@edu Writer

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Yair Hillman of Southfield studied with scientists at
Bar-Ilan University in Ramat-Gan this summer.

FREE ADMISSION
(Fri. & Sat., 11-4)

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Kids 12 & under

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With 3 canned goods

(to benefit Lighthouse of Oakland County)

s an Orthodox Jew and a physics
student at Yeshiva University in
New York, the Bar-Ilan University-
YU Summer Research Program offered me
the perfect opportunity to interact with the
Israeli scientific community to gain experi-
ence in physics research and to continue my
Torah studies.
The program enabled me to meet and
develop connections with professionals
in Israel in various scientific fields. On an
almost weekly basis, Dr. Chaim Sukenik,
program director, organized trips to visit
high-tech companies in Israel, such as
Elisra and Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI)
or medical institutions and pharmaceutical
name brands such as Tel Hashomer Hospital
and Teva. These visits allowed me to see
the Israeli scientific industry and to interact
with some of the industry leaders.
I particularly enjoyed working in the lab
of Dr. Yuval Garini, professor of physics and
nanotechnology at Bar-Ilan University in
Ramat-Gan. His research combines basic
cellular biology and the physics involved in
analyzing biological processes in the cell.
This gave me exposure to the interdisciplin-
ary field of bio-physics.
While working on a project for over a
month, I learned about the dynamics of
DNA structure and some of the methodolo-
gies involved in investigating it. The warmth
and patience I received from the members
of the lab were exceptional, and everyone
was happy to help me learn the basics.
In addition to the academic benefits of

A

the program, I was pleased to find a stimu-
lating religious environment. I stayed at the
YU Gruss Kollel campus in Jerusalem, and
simply being in Jerusalem enhanced my
spiritual awareness.
Additionally, my peers in the program
were fantastic. Each night, I studied the
talmudic Tractate Shabbat in the Gruss Beit
Midrash with my friends. On the private
bus rides back and forth to Bar-Ilan, we
learned together in study groups. Over the
weekends, the program provided me with
the flexibility to spend Shabbat with friends
and family based anywhere in Israel.
This program exemplifies the positive
environment that can be produced when
American and Israeli institutions work
together. I am very thankful to the profes-
sors and lab members at Bar-Ilan who
graciously welcomed us into their labs; to
YU for supporting the program; and to Dr.
Sukenik of Bar-Ilan for directing the pro-
gram. Their combined efforts presented me
with incredible opportunities. I especially
enjoyed being in Israel and achieving a
better understanding of the Israeli scientific
and religious cultures. @

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Yair Hillman of Southfield is a senior at
Yeshiva University's Yeshiva College in

New York. He was one of 28 undergradu-
ate science majors from YU who partici-
pated in the third annual Summer Science
Research Internship program June 23-Aug.
8, a joint initiative with Bar-Ilan University.

FS

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August 29 • 2013

85

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