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A True Zionist Story
A True Zionist Story
Lytal Bohbot (22) grew up in a Zionist family in Paris, France. When her brother graduated high school he spent a year in Israel and then enlisted in the IDF'S combat corps, but Lytal's journey was slightly different. She began studying medicine at the Paris 13 University knowing that she would eventually make aliyah.
BIU Law student Matan Katzman is the founder and chairman of My Truth, which counters negative images of Israel and the IDF put forth by organizations such as Breaking the Silence.
As a commander and officer in an IDF Reconnaissance Unit, Matan Katzman has served in every conflict against Hamas in Gaza since 2005. But more recently the Bar-Ilan LLM candidate has been very active on another front: defending Israel's image and IDF ethical standards and actions against attempts to slander the Israeli army.
A proud Cherokee Nation citizen whose mother converted to Judaism and whose father is Christian, Eliana Ramage is herself the stuff of fiction. The English teacher and content writer from Nashville, Tennessee, who has just completed an MA in Bar-Ilan, Shaindy Rudoff Creative Writing Graduate Program, is a prize-winning storyteller who embraces seemingly disparate worlds.
Esther Shafier and Batya Karp
For twin sisters Esther Shafier and Batya Karp, 22, choosing to study at Bar-Ilan was all about the student community. “I had heard there was a great Anglo community at BIU, and that it was very close-knit, welcoming and helpful,” explains Esther, who moved to Israel with her sister during high school.
Sivan Eliyahu (34), a PhD Candidate in Virology at the Bar-Ilan University Faculty of Medicine in the Galilee, is also the School’s Students’ Union’s Vice-Chairperson of Advanced Degrees.
Growing up in the Netherlands, Naftali Schrijver had always planned to make Aliyah some day. The question of “when” was easily answered after Naftali (23) participated in the Maccabiah Games in 2009.
As a young woman from the Netherlands just starting her life, the decision to make Aliyah wasn’t easy for Danielle Keizer. But Danielle (25), who made Aliyah in 2015, had one major thing going for her. She had strong family ties in Israel, and would visit them almost every summer. During those summers she was able to make many friends and create a social circle here.
Just 2 years ago, Margaret Xiao, then a 25 year old Chinese student, knew next to nothing about Israel. All she has ever heard of this distant tiny dot on the globe was a passing story on CNN. It seemed nothing could be further from her life
Peninah Lamm-Kaplansky and Bracha Lamm
Not all who arrive from abroad and land at BIU planned to do so. In 2010, Peninah Lamm, an 18 year old Long Islander fresh out of high school, had a clear plan. She would spend one year in Israel in Midrasha (Seminary), like many of her friends and fellow orthodox high school graduates do, and then get back to the States for college, settling somewhere around her family. Her younger sister, Bracha, planned to do the same when she graduated a year later.
Bar-Ilan University strives to provide its students with an outstanding education, and create an environment where any student, regardless of their background, has the opportunity to excel. It is for this that reason Talya Herring, 21, chose to study at Bar-Ilan.
“Bar-Ilan was the only University where Social Work students would talk to me about their experience,” says Benji Figdor, 22. “To my surprise, each BIU student I asked was more than willing to share their enjoyment of the studies, the campus, the professors, and especially the student life.”
Bar-Ilan University offers students various ways of contributing to its student community. Shev Shatzman, 24, a soon to be graduate in the International Program's BA track in Social Sciences, looks back at her time at BIU fondly because of the opportunities offered to her on and off campus.
Last summer, Operation Protective Edge had a significantly visible impact on the Bar-Ilan campus, as hundreds of students and faculty were called off to reserve duty right in the middle of summer finals.
Sargent (res.) Amram Sherby, 26, a student of Communications and Political Science, spent 32 days sitting in a hot, cramped tank on the outskirts of Gaza.
BIU Undergrad Maor Dahan: From Ramat Gan to the Gaza Front
Operation Protective Edge in July 2014 caught Maor Dahan in the middle of his economics and accounting exams at Bar-Ilan University. The 2nd-year undergrad had just finished the first five when he received an emergency call-up (Tzav 8) to IDF reserve duty near Gaza. Dahan, a medic, spent the ensuing weeks attached to an armored corps unit. "In the past five years, I have fought in Gaza three different times," notes the 25-year-old who directed the Kfir Brigade's field medical station during his regular military service.
Yair Ronen: Integrating Torah and Engineering
Two weeks after his wedding, BIU computer engineering freshman Yair Ronen received an emergency call-up notice from the IDF. Instead of preparing for university exams and getting settled with his new bride in Jerusalem, he headed south to Gaza to take active part in Operation Protective Edge. A combat reservist in the Paratroopers' Evacuation Unit 202, he was based in Khan Yunis, extricating wounded IDF soldiers from the battlefield – often under heavy fire – and transporting them to the border where they were airlifted to an Israeli hospital.
Chaim Seligman: Future Diplomat
Meet Chaim, age 24, living in Givaat Shmuel after coming to Israel in 2007 from Hollywood, Florida. Chaim is in his second year at Bar-Ilan's Faculty of Law. In addition to his studies, he spent the last year as the President of the Bar-Ilan Model UN Society and was recently elected as the Vice President of External Relations for the Israeli Model UN Association. He also teaches a Model UN and leadership workshop to a group of high-school students.
Ro Yeger: Changing the Image of Israel One Day at a Time
Meet Ro (Rachel), age 23, single, living in Giva'at Shmuel after making aliyah 1 year ago from New York. She is currently studying in her second year in the Bar-Ilan International Social Sciences program, learning Sociology, Economics and Political Science. In her free time she enjoys baking pastries to share with her friends and she writes a blog on current events for an English news website.
Meet Simone, age 19; here from Italy studying communications and political science in Bar-Ilan's International Program after completing high school. He is the host of " Pop Up - Radio Kol Bar Ilan," a fun, weekly program on music and culture broadcasted from the Bar-Ilan radio studio through the School of Communications. He is a self declared Twitter addict and music aficionado and he works as a freelance journalist for the central Jewish Italian newspaper.
Netanel Shavit: An IDF Sharpshooter Takes Aim at Electrical Engineering
After seven years as a combat soldier and yeshiva student in Israel’s south, IDF sharpshooter Netanel Shavit eyed his next mission: pursuit of an engineering degree at one of the nation’s top academic institutions.
Medical Students Make Aliyah from France to Northern Israel
In the last year Israel has seen a dramatic upsurge in aliyah from Europe. This year the medical school welcomed three new immigrants from France.
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