“My passions are Judaism and politics,” says Jacob Taber, and he puts both of them into play. Jacob, a junior in the Joint Program, spent a summer working in the Washington DC office of a US senator. It was an amazing experience in large measure because of all that Jacob has gotten at Columbia and JTS. At Columbia, where he majors in History, Jacob has served on the board of the Columbia College Democrats, garnering experience that helped him win his prestigious government internship. But Jacob credits JTS just as much: “I did advocacy work for Israel that called on the Jewish knowledge I’ve gained at List and the connections I’ve made here. I love that I’m Jewishly engaged and civically engaged at the same time.”
Jacob is a member of the prestigious List College Fellows Program, which offers incoming students who show exceptional academic ability a generous merit scholarship; high-level, interdisciplinary seminars; and a chance to participate in cultural outings in New York City. He’s majoring in Jewish Liturgy and, like all JTS students, studies with world-class Judaic scholars. “I get college credit to study Talmud. How many people can say that? To have an opportunity to do this learning that I would be doing anyway on my own, to get credit for it, and to be able to make this a central part of my college experience is an amazing opportunity.
“I’m thinking law school after graduation, but that could just as easily be rabbinical school,” Jacob says. “That’s the beauty of this program, you can go anywhere—including Capitol Hill. The only hard part is choosing.”