Name: David DeLauro
School: The Graduate School
Graduation Year: 2016, estimated
JTS Field of Study: PhD, Bible
The Jewish Theological Seminary: Why did you choose The Graduate School?
David DeLauro: While I was participating in the Clinical Pastoral Education program at Bellevue Hospital, I became friends with students who were attending JTS. I had always planned on applying to PhD programs after I completed my work at Bellevue. These students started my journey. I investigated the program at JTS, which became my first choice.
JTS: What do you enjoy most about studying at JTS?
DD: I could fill the answer to this question with well-deserved accolades about the level of scholarship and academic rigor, but beyond those things, I find the communal learning environment to be the thing I enjoy the most about JTS. The collaborative support from all of the students really makes for a fun and effective learning environment.
JTS: Tell us about your favorite class.
DD: So far, my favorite class has been Akkadian, whichwas taught by Dr. David Marcus using the inductive method. It opened my understanding to the importance of being able to read ancient documents and stories that I have always enjoyed in their original languages. I have used these stories before in classes in a previously translated form, but this class started me down a path toward discovering broader and also more nuanced understandings of these stories.
JTS: What do you enjoy most about being part of our community?
DD: One thing that I am enjoying that I would not have gotten anywhere else is the exposure to the Conservative Jewish community in an environment of open dialogue and discussion.
JTS: What person at JTS has had the greatest impact on you, so far?
DD: The professors, obviously, have already had a huge impact on my thinking and excitement about various areas of study. I do have to say, though, that Greg Gilbert [a 2012 graduate with an MA in Bible] was the person that helped me fully integrate myself into the community at JTS. Noticing that I was studying modern Hebrew on the D train, he struck up a conversation, and has become a good friend.
JTS: What are your professional goals?
DD: The primary goal for my study at JTS is to become a tenured faculty member at a major university. I am also currently in the ordination process within the Presbyterian Church (USA). My ideal position would be to serve as a university chaplain with a dual role as a faculty member. Ultimately, I want to help others, through self-discovery and academic enlightenment.
JTS: What has been the best JTS "moment" for you, so far?
DD: The Graduate School Student Organization's "Lost Texts" conference. Not only was I able to meet and network with new scholars, I was also offered opportunities to help edit journals and work with individuals, which will greatly advance my career.
JTS: Name your favorite place on campus.
DD: My favorite place at JTS has to be the courtyard. I like the upper level. Not many people spend time there, because it lacks shade. It is because of this full sun and quiet environment that I find this area to be the most conducive to deep moments of reflection.
JTS: What are your hobbies?
DD: I make my own soap and run a blog that teaches other people how to do the same.