Naftali Schrijver

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. So in 2011, Naftali officially made Aliyah and joined the IDF, where he served for two and a half years in Air Force intelligence, and was honorably released as a sergeant. During his service, Naftali’s love for Eretz Israel and his connection to the country and its people grew tremendously.

Intending to build his life in Israel, Naftali’s next step was to pursue an academic degree. Growing up in a traditional Jewish, pro-Israel home, the natural choice was Bar-Ilan University. Naftali decided to study Communications and Political Studies, in Bar-Ilan’s International BA Program, which is taught entirely in English to benefit non-native Hebrew speakers.

"The mixture of Jewish studies and secular topics this degree offers was appealing and made the decision of what and where to study much easier. Also, BIU offers great Hebrew and English programs, which provide a lot of help for students who live here without their families."

Another influential factor in his decision was the fact that his then girlfriend, and now fiancée Vivian Hamui (Congratulations!), also studies in the International BA Program. The two he met through yet another BIU student, Luna Chocron, who studied in the Micro Track and graduated last year. Naftali met Luna through mechina and Vivian became close to her because they both speak Spanish. Luna connected Naftali and Vivian, and they've been going out since.

“I heard great stories about Bar-Ilan from my friends, and my girlfriend loves it here. So there was no question…”

Currently in his first year of studies, Naftali’s future plans (beyond getting married to Vivian in September), are to use his degree to pursue a diplomatic career: “I feel the Political Studies minor will help tremendously with pursuing a diplomatic career.”

Both Naftali and Vivian, who was also interviewed for a Student Spotlight, are confident that their education at Bar-Ilan will pave the path for a bright future together. And so are we.