Featured Student: Aliza Gawin

Mar 21, 2017

Aliza GawinAliza Gawin grew up in a small town in rural Pennsylvania, in a multi-religious household. Her mother is Jewish and her father is Protestant. As a child, Aliza celebrated Jewish and non-Jewish holidays. Growing up she went to a Reform synagogue in Delaware where she became passionate about Judaism and Israel. When she graduated from high school, she went to Montclair State University where she re-connected to Judaism after going on her first trip to Israel. After going on this trip, Aliza started learning on her own and tried to become more observant. After finding little success trying to on her own, Aliza went back to Israel on another trip to become inspired and motivated again to take on the Torah’s mitzvot. This trip gave her a foundation to help her build her passion of Judaism into a more Torah observant lifestyle.

Aliza told herself that once she graduated from Montclair State she would go learn in seminary, and that’s exactly what she did. Aliza graduated a semester early with top honors with a B.A. in Political Science, and a month later she came to Midreshet Rachel v’Chaya. She chose MRC after visiting many seminaries and realizing that MRC was the right fit. She recalls, “MRC just felt like home. Everyone was one big family. The first day I walked into the school I was welcomed by an amazing group of women who were not only committed to learn for themselves, but were committed to putting others first and helping each other grow as a group. That reminded me of a family.”

Since starting at MRC, Aliza has grown tremendously in her studies. She has been exposed to exploring Judaism in different ways where she has gained new ideas and new knowledge. She likes diving into sources and she continues to dig for more answers in her free time. When asked about the staff, she stated, “One thing I love about MRC is that the staff goes out of their way to answer every question you have about Judaism. They know that everyone is on their personal journey, and they’re just there to help you along the way.”

After her time at MRC, Aliza plans on returning to the United States where she is getting married in June to David Schwartz. She plans on furthering her education by going to law school. Aliza states that she is extremely grateful for all the experiences she has had at MRC, and cannot wait to use the skills that MRC taught her while building a Jewish home.

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