June 18, 2024
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June 18, 2024
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TABC Seniors Culminate Academic Year With Senior Experience

Necessity is the mother of invention! With many offices shuttered, TABC’s annual senior work study program was not to be this year. Instead, the Senior Experience was born.

Over the last two weeks, the graduating class had full days of speakers, ranging from community rabbanim to alumni, hands-on (in-house) internships supervised by TABC faculty and special demonstrations and activities,

Every day started with tefillah and a shiur from a TABC rebbe, followed by an address from a community rav on the topic of “If I Were Graduating in 2021…” Special thanks to Rabbi Ezra Wiener (Rinat), Rabbi Daniel Goldberg (Ahavath Torah), Rabbi Shalom Baum (Keter Torah), Rabbi Kenneth Schiowitz (Shaare Tefillah), Rabbi Larry Rothwachs (Beth Aaron), Rabbi Daniel Feldman (Ohr Saadya), Rabbi Yosef Adler (Rinat) and Rabbi Andrew Markowitz (Shomrei Torah) for their relatable and inspiring talks.

Seniors were able to choose between elective work in engineering, marketing and entrepreneurship, digital technology, creative writing, virtual arts and Beit Midrash, all supervised by members of TABC’s outstanding faculty. For those who chose entrepreneurship and marketing, under the direction of P’nina Seplowitz, the class learned about Chinedu Echerou’s Five C’s of Entrepreneurship: credibility, clarity, conviction, capital and concentration. The class discussed the difference between nonprofit and for profit organizations and were tasked with creating an innovative business opportunity of their own. They focused on a full strategic marketing plan complete with company name logo, and mission. The students were engaged in the discussions and enjoyed presenting their business ideas to the class. From a rental company for gap year students, to an altruistic autism awareness and support organization, there were many creative and innovative ideas shared in the class. In the beit midrash track, seniors Elan Agus, Eitan Mermelstein, Benzion Rotblat, Yaakov Saks and Avi Tepler delivered original chaburot.

Following their lunch break, the students enjoyed a featured speaker or an activity. Many of the speakers were alumni working in fields ranging from venture capital, accounting, real estate, law, medicine and dentistry to help seniors understand the range of career options available to them, both here and in Medinat Yisrael.

Other speakers included Charlotte Korchak, educational director of Stand With Us, who spoke to the students live from Jerusalem. She spoke about the challenges of representing Israel to an often uneducated and even hostile public, and discussed the current situation in depth with our students. The soon-to-be graduates were also privileged to hear from Dr. Nicole Agus, mother of their classmate Elan Agus and a leading geneticist, regarding the importance of understanding the genetic basis of disease and the value of genetic testing in an effort towards prevention in our community. Another day, they heard from Emmy award-winning writer and producer Ilana Wernick regarding the importance of maintaining Torah values in the workplace, in the context of her successful career in Hollywood. The seniors also heard about the struggle to free Soviet Jewry from one of its leading activists, Rabbi Avi Weiss, grandfather of their classmate Yair Levie. The remarkable story of Ahavat Yisrael on the part of American Jews and the courage of the refuseniks to face down “the evil empire” was an inspiration.

Some of the hands-on activities included a day of chesed at a foodbank, a barbecue tutorial from Chef Shalom Yehudiel (of The Humble Toast and La Cucina di Nava fame), a lesson in Krav Maga and a CPR refresher course.

With many celebrations ahead for the Class of 2021, this was a perfect and well-rounded culmination of their time in the classrooms of TABC.

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