April 14, 2024
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April 14, 2024
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Elisheva Mirwis Is Terrific At Tiferet

Elisheva Mirwis is studying at Tiferet Center in Ramat Beit Shemesh. She grew up in Houston and moved to Teaneck at the age of 12. She attended Yeshivat Noam for middle school and Ma’ayanot for high school, where she was the captain of both the dance and basketball teams, as well as co-head of Heartbeats. She attends Camp Moshava IO in the summers. Her family davens at Congregation Bnai Yeshurun.

Her next stop? A difficult choice between the army, sherut leumi, shana bet and Yeshiva University.

Why did you choose to study at Tiferet?

As I begun hearing more about Tiferet, I instantly knew that’s where I had wanted to spend my year learning. My attention was drawn to all of its amazing attributes. I love the energy of the environment and the beautiful campus. Tiferet has a reputation of having incredible girls, and the connections you make with not only the students but also with the teachers are ones that last a lifetime. Everyone in Tiferet is welcomed in with open arms and feels the warmth throughout the year. I’ve been looking forward to my personal growth in Torah learning and self-discovery throughout the year. I strive to better my actions and my midot, as well as becoming a good role model and leader to others.

What kind of goals do you have for the year?

I had many goals going into my year in Israel. I wanted to focus on being a better person, a better daughter, a better sister and a better friend. I believe that improving one’s middot is an important focus throughout life. Additionally, I want to challenge and push myself to reach my full potential. I look forward to continue meeting people with diverse backgrounds and still having a love for the entirety of am Yisrael. Finally, I hope to come out of this year with teachers who have become mentors and friends who have become family.

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

There are many things to be thankful for by simply being in our Land of Israel. One morning, I spontaneously decided to daven vatikin at the Kotel. It was a rainy cold day, and after I finished davening, I noticed a stand giving out free hot chocolate, cookies and baked goods to feel warmth and to start off their day well. This led me to realize that no matter where you are or who you are, am Yisrael truly cares for each other and will always put others before themselves to show their passion and love.

Once a week, my roommate and I help a recently divorced mother who has three children. Throughout the first weeks it was very difficult for us to see the family struggling. The mother has since gotten engaged and we went to her wedding two weeks ago. It was so inspiring seeing the weekly progression in her home. We have helped clean, organize and create a better environment for her and her kids to live in. After her wedding she made sure to let us know how important we are to her family and the impact we are making on them. Knowing that we are helping to better someone’s life is the greatest reward we can ask for.

What kind of challenges have you faced coming to Israel?

One of the greatest challenges of this year is being away from home and family. Having to be on my own and become more independent is new and scary. However, I find that being a Jew in Eretz Yisrael makes me feel at home. If I am traveling alone and need help, anyone on the street will help out or offer a ride. Everyone truly cares about one another and will go out of their way to help.

My schedule does not always match up with my parents’, siblings’ or friends’ schedules who are in America, so it can be hard keeping in touch with them. Whenever I have time I always send pictures and texts to my family and friends in America.

Managing my personal time has been a difficulty. There are so many things that need to get done in such a short amount of time. Between classes, chavrutot, writing in my daily journal, doing laundry, exercising and talking to my friends and family, I find it tough. I am always working toward creating a healthy balance within my free time, and I find that most rewarding when I achieve that.

How has your year been different from your expectations?

Having many older siblings, I had felt as prepared as I could be, knowing what clothing to pack and having already known my roomates before. However, now living in Israel, I can say I would have never been able to expect the emotions that I would feel, the experiences I would go through, and the knowledge I would gain. Once I came to live here for my gap year, I had to learn independent skills on how to be a mature and responsible individual, how to manage my time, as well as how to take care of myself and others. My eyes have been opened to the diversity of people and religions in Israel. This culture shock exposed me to the different types of Jews, and while respecting others’ beliefs, I am still able to maintain and be proud of my background, upbringing, values and morals.

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

A big part of seminary is experiencing Shabbat throughout Israel. Almost every Shabbat I have traveled to different places with friends: Tekoa, Modiin, Evan Shmuel, Kibbutz Lavi, Ranana, Baka and more. I plan on continuing adventuring to exciting and meaningful places around Israel. I love how each destination has its own experience, with homemade food, interesting culture and diverse lifestyles. I also love staying in Tiferet for a shabbaton, or when I decide to stay in school with friends and spend time at teachers’ houses for meals. Shabbatot are an essential part of my year and add so much thrill to my week.

Who is a teacher at Tiferet you connect to especially well?

It is hard say only one teacher whom I have a special connection with since all the Tiferet staff are incredible. However, Mrs. Schneider is someone I look up to on a daily basis, someone who is a huge role model to me. Her empowering attitude toward Torah, family and everyday life is an extremely inspiring outlook in which we should all strive to have. Additionally, Rav Simi Sherman is also a huge mentor to me. I enjoy the different ideas and sources he brings to class that help me understand Torah on a whole new level with a new perspective. In every class, Rav Sherman always connects middot to what we learned and how to apply it to our everyday lives. Rav Sherman truly pushes each student to do their best and reach their full potential.

Which is one of your favorite classes at Tiferet?

I truly enjoy all of my classes, for each class has its own purpose and significance. The teachers are incredible and each class is thought-provoking. Although I love all the topics in each class, my class about women and Halacha stands out as one of my favorites. We learn about all kinds of topics such as modesty, laws of marriage, kol isha, candle lighting, covering hair, yichud, nidah and more. I really enjoy knowing these halachot and learning more about the importance of our obligations in the Torah.

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

There is so much to look forward to for the rest of the year. I want to learn how to acquire the tools I am given this year and consistently keep up with them. I strive to use the methods I have been taught as well as the guidance I have been given for my future growth. I specifically look forward to continuing the growing relationship with the children I do chesed with and help the family in every and any way I can Finally, I am thrilled to reflect back on how much I have accomplished and achieved over the entirety of the year. I look forward to understanding how much more I am capable of achieving furthermore, because: “You can do anything you set your mind to”—Benjamin Franklin.

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