At twenty-two, Danielle Gobuty is one of the younger students in The Rabbinical School of The Jewish Theological Seminary, and she is well on her way to becoming a congregational Rabbi. “I enjoy being one of the youngest; everyone is accepting and welcoming,” Danielle says.
Ever persistent, she has already been working for many years to achieve her goals. A graduate of Brandeis University, Danielle says she always wanted to do something that combined her two passions: helping people and Judaism. “I taught Hebrew school at Brandeis for four years. Working with kids of all different ages and seeing what they needed from their rabbi and the Jewish community, I knew I could have an impact,” she says.
For Danielle, coming to JTS was the next logical step: “JTS seemed like the perfect fit—a warm and welcoming community with a good balance of tradition and a challenging academic program.”
Now in the middle of the Mekhina program, Danielle has been amazed by both the JTS community and the education she is receiving. “I have found so many mentors in my short time here. I felt as if I was part of the community from the moment I arrived,” says Danielle.
Danielle initially saw learning Talmud as a daunting task, and she credits Rabbi Mayer Rabinowitz with helping her grapple with the text in a way that made it fun, rewarding, and exciting. Says Danielle, “I have been taught by a lot of Jewish Studies professors, and Rabbi Rabinowitz is one of my favorites.”
When Danielle isn’t studying or collecting Jewish books (especially anything by Abraham Joshua Heschel), she often makes a trip upstate to Syracuse to apply her newly acquired skills and see her sister, Marisa, who plays basketball for Syracuse University.
“As the rabbinic intern at Syracuse University, I go up once a month and lead services or give a D’var Torah and coordinate community volunteer projects,” she says. In an early sign of things to come, Danielle says,”I’m getting really good feedback: when I come up, they attract twice the number of students to services.”Danielle looks forward to making an impact in the lives of fellow Jews and knows JTS is the best place to be trained to do so. As Danielle says, “Every day I feel I am learning more, and it’s wonderful.”