I was a Shoresh skeptic. Sometime in mid 9th grade, however, I started to make connections between
    my Shoresh classes and what I was studying at my private secular school.

    Shoresh includes students like me who graduated from or previously attended Jewish day schools as well
    as others who had very little prior Judaic background. The diversity of experiences and beliefs enriched
    our class discussions. I loved that our teachers encouraged us to think critically and to reach our own
    conclusions about the texts we studied.

    The promise of interesting debate lured me back every Sunday night. We considered what it means to be
    Jewish; the differences between kavanah and avodah; and how--and more importantly why--we practice
    our Judaism. Our teachers engaged us with meaningful topics, such as why we should remain Jewish and
    how our Jewish identity shapes our lives.

    With the help of my Shoresh teachers, I now approach my secular studies from a different perspective. I
    compare all protagonists to Saul, whether I follow Holden Caulfield or Yossarian. I used Kohelet to inform
    my reading of Grendel. My comments in Government class frequently included something I learned in
    Israeli history class, such as our exploration of global anti-Semitism. Thanks for helping me integrate my
    secular and Jewish studies. What I learned at Shoresh will stick with me and my classmates for years to
    (Class of 2009)
    A Shoresh Skeptic
Ulpan Ben Yehuda
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