|Posted by Ben R on October 31, 2013 at 11:30 AM|
by Kelly Kossar
I came from an incredible job and a community that was so supportive it was like my family. When I considered graduate school, I had difficulty finding reasons to move to another part of the country. I visited JTS in November 2012, and before long, I had packed up my life and left my community to head to New York City.
For four years after graduating Binghamton University, I lived and worked at the American Hebrew Academy. AHA is an international Jewish boarding school in Greensboro, North Carolina. For two years, I served as a Fellow and gained valuable experience in teaching, admissions, fundraising, programming, and residential life. After my second year, I became the Administrative Coordinator for Student and Jewish Life, a House Parent, and a Synagogue Skills teacher.
My time at The Academy helped me to determine the kind of Jewish professional I wanted to become. Living and working in a 24/7 Jewish environment for teens was an incredible experience as an educator. On The Academy campus, students’ lives are completely interconnected. The entire community studies, eats, lives, prays, and plays together every day. I don’t think the community life can necessarily be replicated outside of the boarding school world, yet the theory and pedagogical skills I am learning at The Davidson School builds on the experiences I gained while working at The Academy.
My experience at The Davidson School has been inspiring and exciting. I’ve been surprised by how much the faculty here wants to get to know you, not just as a student, but as a person. My cohort has been supportive and helpful in acclimating to graduate student life in New York City. While I miss my Southern home, I feel more and more that coming to study at JTS was a great decision for me.
Kelly Kossar (DS ‘16) is an MA Candidate in Jewish Education, with a concentration on Educational Leadership in Synagogues and Communal Settings. She hosts a personal blog about experiential education at http://www.reformingjew.blogspot.com/. Contact Kelly to learn more.
Categories: Synagogue Educational Leadership