May 26, 2024
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Aliza Ochs Is Learning and Growing at Michlala

Aliza Ochs is studying at Michlala Yerushalayim in the Bayit Vagan neighborhood of Jerusalem. She grew up in Passaic, attended Yeshivas Beis Hillel for elementary school, and Bruriah for high school. In the past, Aliza worked at Camp Sternberg as kitchen staff and as a counselor, and, more recently, she attended Camp Simcha, where she hopes to return this year. Her family davens at Agudas Yisroel of Passaic Park. Her next stop? SY Syms School of Business.

Why did you choose to study at Michlala?

Michlala was the right choice for me, because I have the opportunity to grow in Torah and Avodas Hashem, in an environment with great girls and a Hanhala that shares the hashkafa with which I was raised. The classes which Michlala offers are a great foundation for my future growth, and I find them very applicable in my life.

What kind of goals do you have for the year?

Going into the year, my goal was to develop a Torah perspective on how to live my life.

What have been some of the highlights of your year so far?

I find it hard to limit myself to one inspiring experience, but one experience that stands out is our Shabbaton in Tzfat. The external beauty of Tzfat reflects on the beautiful Torah that is deep in its roots. On Friday night, we went on a tour of the old city of Tzfat, and it was so beautiful to learn about all of the Torah personalities who lived in Tzfat throughout the generations.

What kind of challenges have you faced coming to Israel?

My biggest difficulty is being so far away from my family. The beginning of the year was harder, but as the year goes on, I have learned to adjust.

How has your year been different from your expectations?

Coming into seminary, I felt somewhat comfortable in Israel already, because I had traveled there with my family, to visit my brothers, last January. I was apprehensive about figuring out the bussing, and how I would find my way around Israel, but, after a few short weeks, I got much more comfortable traveling around and now it feels very natural.

Where is your favorite place to go for weekends/Shabbat so far?

In general, I enjoy going away for Shabbos with friends to different communities, but one specific Shabbos that comes to mind is when I visited Geula. I really appreciated experiencing other people’s views and way of life, and I especially enjoyed having the luxury of being able to walk to the Kotel on Shabbos for Shacharis.

Who is a teacher at Michlala whom you connect to especially well?

I really feel I connect to Mrs. Tehilla Greenblatt. Every Sunday, we have a chavrusa, learning a sefer called “Living Emunah,” which is the highlight of my day. When we get together, we first catch up a bit and then we learn and discuss what we read about. Having a kesher with a teacher like her is so important to me

Which is one of your favorite classes at Michlala?

One of my favorite classes in Michlala is Alei Shor with Rav Hadar Margolin. We go into depth about the importance of Simchas HaChayim, and how to apply these crucial concepts to our lives.

What are you most looking forward to for the rest of the year?

I am looking forward to continuing to learn and gain as much as I can in Michlala, so that I can continue establishing a strong Torah foundation to carry me through the rest of my life.

By JLNJ Staff

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