When I told people I was going to study abroad in Jerusalem, they inevitably made a face.
“Why don’t you go to Europe? You spent all that time learning French,” some said. Or, “Oh I’ve heard of Semester at Sea. I didn’t know there was Semester at Synagogue too.”
From family members who only had my best interests at heart, I heard, “Thank goodness, now you’ll find a Jewish husband” followed by, “But once you find him, you better make that jerk move back to America. Israel is just too far away.”
Initially, I chose to study at the Masa Israel-accredited program at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem because I was a...