JTS Alumni in Israel

DAVID WELTMAN (LC '12) was featured as "blogger of the month" on the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev Medical School's first-year student blog.

A graduate of JTS's Joint Program with Columbia University, David has begun his first year at the Medical School for International Health, a collaboration between Ben-Gurion and Columbia University Medical Center. Students spend the first three years in Israel, and then return to New York to take their fourth-year electives at Columbia and its affiliates. Highlight is an eight-week global health clinical clerkship in supervised sites around the world.


RUTH FRANK (SC/TI '60): "My JTS experience was the icing on the cake for me after graduating Ramaz High School and spending a year in Israel (1954–1955) and at Hebrew U. In 1956–1958, I completed the Joint Program, but circumstances delayed my dream and only in 2001 did I make aliyah. Now I am enjoying my new career as an Israeli licensed guide in the Israel Ministry of Tourism, and I do volunteer guiding at museums in Jerusalem. The Jerusalem Post did a write up on me two years ago. Please see my website."



Jeffrey CymetRABBI JEFFREY CYMET (RS '08) is the founder and rabbi of the New Kehila of Ramat Aviv, the Masorti congregation of the northern neighborhoods of Tel Aviv. Working together with local civic organizations, the New Kehila has quickly established itself as the center for young, vital Jewish life in this mostly secular community, and was specifically noted in Haaretz for its diverse membership. Founded less than a year ago, the New Kehila has already had more than 1,000 people participate in its many activities: Shabbat and holiday dinners and services, public communal Passover and Tu Bishvat seders, film nights, lecture series, havdalah at the beach, and regular classes and Jewish studies.

Thanks to the New Kehila's activities, women danced with the Torah at the public Simhat Torah celebrations in Ramat Aviv for the first time in anyone's memory, a solidarity service for the Women of the Wall was held in Tel Aviv, people in need were hosted for Passover seder, area teens coordinated local tzedakah drives, and Tel Aviv residents are getting rides to enable them to attend Women of the Wall services at the Kotel every Rosh Hodesh. Due to the New Kehila's proximity to Tel Aviv University, it has taken particular steps to be a "home away from home" for international students in the area, including Conservative Jews seeking a familiar environment. The Kehila also works with the Israel-Asia Center in order to serve as local ambassadors to international students, Jewish and non-Jewish, and to help the students see the best side of Israel and Israeli hospitality.

Rabbi Cymet is one of the founders of a joint secular-religious school that will allow people in Tel Aviv to have the option of learning Jewish studies without needing to conform to Orthodox strictures. After two years of preparation, the new school has been approved by the Tel Aviv Municipality to open in 2014.


RABBI LEOR SINAI (RS '09) is dedicated to his congregation at Adat-Shalom Emanuel in Rehovot; Tikun Israel ("Israel needs healing too."), which he founded and facilitates; and Caravan for Democracy at the Jewish National Fund, a program that empowers high school and college students to become advocates for the State of Israel.