Alex Katz was looking for balance—growing up outside New York City, he always sought out a more robust Jewish community. When the time came to apply to college, the ability to study at both the Albert A. List College of Jewish Studies and Columbia University proved to be just the equilibrium he was after.
Now concluding his second year as a Modern Jewish Studies major at List College, and either an Economics or Psychology major at Columbia University, he is confident he made the right choice. Academically, Alex says, "It is thrilling to be in a classroom where the commentaries written on the text were written by your professors. The professors provide so much individual attention in the classrooms, and I enjoy getting to know them on a personal level as well."
Even before Alex set foot in a classroom, he was already impressed. "When I arrived at JTS, the admissions director already knew my name and various details about my life. There are not many places you can go where they give each person such attention," he says.
Outside the classroom, Alex's fellow students at JTS also provide much-needed balance, exposing him to different backgrounds and levels of observance. "It is fascinating to be in such a wide-ranging and tight-knit community. Everyone has an interesting story to tell," he says.
Alex also keeps busy as part of the executive board of the Columbia University Student Council, heading up student life programming in the School of General Studies, and performing in a Columbia University sketch comedy group.
After graduation, Alex wants to stay in New York. To prepare for a career, Alex is spending the summer in New York City interning at a research-marketing firm.
Alex will return to JTS in the fall with open arms, knowing that the balance he sought, he has finally achieved, saying, "Being here has exceeded my expectations, and I am so thankful to be a part of JTS."