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Address: Revivim Program, Yitzchak Rabin Building—The Global Center for Jewish Studies,
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Mount Scopus, Jerusalem 9190501
Telephone: 972-2-588-1970
Fax: 972-2-588-1218
Email: revivim@savion.huji.ac.il

Ophir HaCohen, Sixteenth graduating class

 

OPHIR HACOHEN

They say that the profession chooses the person, and not the reverse. In recent years, I’ve begun to believe it’s true.

I came to Revivim after a year working for the Jewish Agency in the U.S., where I was exposed to a diverse Jewish community. This community enriched me, revealing a different Jewish lifestyle than the one I knew in Israel. It was in the Diaspora that I first became curious about the cultural abundance of the Jewish bookshelf, and, at the same time, began to feel that I needed to return to Israel and learn, to enrich my personal knowledge. I wanted to feel that I, too, had ownership over the corpus that constitutes my personal and collective identity.

Revivim is the perfect blend of Jewish studies and pedagogic training. The encounter between the two worlds – academic and experiential – positions us before significant challenges, which I have felt profoundly during my first year of teaching. The exceptional group that is my cohort enriches me. The group makes me confront ideas – and, more importantly, makes me confront people who are different from me. Teaching is an opportunity to have an influence from inside the system, with all of its difficulties and challenges. My colleagues and I are privileged to influence many students and thus to change Israeli society, even in a small way. I began by saying that I was privileged to see a Jewish community in the U.S.; in class, I am privileged to hear from my students about their worldviews, and they shape mine in that dialogue.

“Be the change you want to see in the world,” Mahatma Gandhi is quoted as saying. The profession most certainly chose me.