Dynamic internships on the Rachael Ray Show and at Twentieth Century Fox and Bible Studies at The Jewish Theological Seminary. It’s not the most intuitive pairing, but for Alison, a senior in the Joint Program with Columbia University’s School of General Studies and Albert A. List College of Jewish Studies at JTS, it makes perfect sense.
The opportunity to pursue completely divergent interests is exactly what Alison loves about the Joint Program. About her political science major at Columbia, she says, “It’s a major that will take me wherever I want to go.” And of studying Bible, “I like being able to be creative with the text and feel like what I am doing is meaningful. It’s important to me to be involved in both.”
Alison comes from a Conservative background—growing up in Newton, Massachusetts, going to Camp Ramah in the summer and to Israel through with NATIV, the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism’s precollege leadership program. She picked the Joint Program because, she says, “I realized that if I went anywhere else I would have just gotten a degree in Jewish studies. But after twelve years of Jewish education, I wanted to pursue a more focused degree that would allow me to engage rigorously with Jewish texts.”
Alison also makes time for all that Columbia has to offer. She is president of her sorority at Columbia, Alpha Chi Omega, and also manages to find time to teach at a congregational school every Sunday. This summer, she will go back to Ramah to teach.
Alison’s Joint Program education, internships, and on-campus leadership experience give her a unique preparation for the next chapter of her life. She won’t be pursuing a career in the Jewish community—she hopes to work in television production—but she says, “My background here at List gives me confidence in maintaining a connection to Judaism and the Jewish community no matter what I do.”