Service in the United States Army is anything but easy, and being a Jew in the military only complicates matters further.
One of only a handful of Jews in the army, I was barraged with questions about Judaism, most of which I lacked the knowledge to answer adequately. Upon completing my service, some of which I spent in Iraq, I headed back to the Middle East to learn Hebrew at the Masa Israel Journey-accredited Ulpan Akiva program, hoping to gain the necessary skills to learn more about my religion. While in Israel, I also took part in Masa Israel’s Building Future Leaders
seminar series, and crafted an outreach program for other Jewish soldiers in the U.S. Army.
Raised in Northern California, I attended synagogue on the high holidays and the occasional Friday night. Though I went to Hebrew School until I was 13, had my...