Our Amazing Alumni: Where Are We Now?
Mazel tov to our 2014 OHDS grads who are off to college and beyond! We wish you b'hatzalacha on your new journey. Below are the colleges our 2010-2014 graduates have enrolled in.
|Amherst College||Eretz HaZvi Yeshiva (Israel)||UC Davis|
|Berkeley City College||Harvard University||UCLA*|
|Boston University*||Harvey Mudd College||UC Santa Cruz*|
|Brandeis University*||Indiana University*||University of Colorado|
|Brown University||Loyola University||University of Michigan|
|California Polytechnic||New York University||University of Oregon*|
|Chapman University*||Northwestern University||University of Pennsylvania|
|Colorado College||Quinnipiac University*||Washington University (St. Louis)*|
|Columbia College||St. Lawrence University||Wesleyan University|
|Columbia University*||Tulane University*||Western Washington University*|
|Cornell University||University of Washington (Seattle) *||Wheaton College|
|Emory University*||UC Berkeley*||Yeshiva University|
"Hi! My name is Gavi Klein and I graduated from OHDS in 2014. I then enrolled at Berkeley High School (BHS). So how did OHDS help me navigate my new world?
First, being at OHDS gave me the skills and knowledge around Judaism that let me translate them to a secular setting: I knew enough about my religion to be able to have conversations about it with people who were not Jewish, and yes, at first (maybe even still) this was a terrifying prospect. But the knowledge OHDS provided me got me where I needed to be there. One example of this is kashrut. At BHS, students are allowed to leave campus for lunch every day, so a lot of people buy food in downtown Berkeley. Many of my friends would do this, too. When I would go out to lunch with them, I suddenly had to explain why I wasn’t buying food like they were. Then I started to explain to them what kashrut was, what a hescher was etc; I tried to answer every question they had (of which there were a lot!) and when I didn’t know something, I would ask someone else. Knowing when to ask questions and having the courage to ask questions is a skill that OHDS taught me. Now, in the fourth year of many of those first friendships, a lot of my friends will check hecshers for me, and after four years of membership I’m president of the Jewish Student Association, which provides a space for Jewish students just like me.
This leads to the second Jewish issue I was suddenly experiencing: I now had to deal with the fact that I would be missing school for Jewish holidays, which meant I had to communicate with my teachers about that. Somehow, this was one of the less intimidating aspects of high school, but it took me a while to figure out why. It was because at OHDS, not only did I form close enough relationships with my teachers that I was comfortable around my high school teachers, too, but also because my teachers at OHDS actually taught me how to communicate with people you respect. I remember one teacher at OHDS explaining to us very clearly how important it was to use academic and respectful language in emails to your teachers, and I have no doubt that experience and confidence greatly eased the struggle of missing school, particularly when I noticed a lot of my peers did not have this respect for their teachers, and it impacted how they were able to communicate with them. Through not only learning how to send emails, but gaining values of respect, I was able to advocate for myself all throughout high school, the number one reason being working with my teachers so I wouldn’t fall behind missing school for chagim.
The last thing I want to touch on is the academic rigor that OHDS prompted me to strive for. BHS is divided into five small schools that each have their own “identities” from art to science. One of the schools is called Berkeley International High School (BIHS) and it uses the International Baccalaureate program, which is a highly challenging, internationally used and recognized curriculum. So, as you might guess, BIHS is known as generally the most academically rigorous and intense program at Berkeley High. I chose to be in this school and that decision stemmed largely from my time at OHDS. I left OHDS not only being completely prepared for a highly challenging academic environment, but also wanting that environment. Though I didn’t think of it as clearly at age fourteen, I really wanted to be in classrooms that would be intellectually stimulating and engaging, mostly because I could feel that rigor while I was at OHDS, and I absolutely loved it.
Overall, I feel like OHDS very much so prepared me for life after eighth grade and I am very grateful for that, especially now, moving forward into the world of college and beyond. I'm looking forward to starting my new adventure at Brandeis University in the fall. Stay tuned!"