Silver Academy student 1990 - 2000
Though we were a small school, we had an impressive regional and global footprint. Some of my favorite experiences include participating with other classmates in the Pennsylvania state science fair competition in State College, and our middle school conservation and oceanography field trips to Wildwood, NJ, and Wallops Island, VA. Our class trip to Israel gave me a powerful early connection to that land. Though I never could have imagined it at the time, the Hebrew language skills I learned at the Sliver Academy gave me a solid foundation which eventually helped me interact directly with patients as I studied medicine in Israel at the Medical School for International Health at Ben Gurion University of the Negev.
I would not be who I am today without the personalized education I received from The Silver Academy (at the time The Rabbi David L. Silver Yeshiva Academy). I have proud memories of my time at Harrisburg's ambitious Jewish day school, from kindergarten movie-making with Mrs. Klein and Mrs. Herman all the way to our tight-knit 8th grade graduation. The close friendships I made during those years have been an important presence at every step of my life. From high school at both Susquehanna Township and Beth T'Filoh in Baltimore, to college at the University of Pittsburgh, graduate school at Georgetown, and medical school in Israel, my Yeshiva Academy friends have always been by my side.
I believe there was great value in being exposed to a rigorous dual curriculum at such an early age. Mrs. Gaughan's science curriculum consistently stoked my curiosity in the natural world and introduced me to the principles of the scientific method, a powerful toolkit that I use every single day as a brain tumor researcher at Johns Hopkins University. My curiosity was equally stimulated on the Judaics side where I enjoyed discovering powerful life lessons together with teachers such as Rabbi Gewirtz, Rabbi Stein, and my insightful classmates. I remember at the beginning of third grade Rabbi Gewirtz pulled out a hand-drawn poster of Sherlock Holmes and charged us with the duty of becoming what he called "Torah detectives." We were to be on alert for any interesting patterns and meaningful clues as we worked our way through the words of the Torah. These and many other experiences continue to shape who I am today as a caring, critically thinking individual with the skills to look deeply into a text - whether scientific or biblical - and form my own conclusions. I am grateful to my parents, teachers and classmates for giving me the opportunity to learn as a young student at the Silver Academy.