MEOR Comes to Harvard
An Obvious Choice For MEOR
According to the US News and World Report, for many years Harvard University has been ranked #1 among US colleges. And with a Jewish undergraduate population of over 1600 students, it’s no wonder MEOR has chosen Harvard as the perfect campus for its newest location.
From Humble Roots to High Aspirations
MEOR will be moving to Cambridge this fall, led by Rabbi Aaron Benjamin, his wife, Rachel, and their almost-two-year-old daughter, Avital. Rabbi Benjamin hails from a small farm in Michigan, where his father used to pick him up from school on a horse, and where he’d often sell vegetables by the side of the road. He has since moved on to greater pursuits such as Torah study at the high school of Philadelphia Yeshiva and then at the Mirrer Yeshiva in Jerusalem. After their marriage in 2009, he and Rachel settled in Baltimore, where Rabbi Benjamin completed his rabbinical degree and began law school at Georgetown Law. In addition to helping teach first year law students at Georgteown, he also studied international law in London and worked at the U.S. House of Representatives’ Committee on Ways & Means back in D.C., before the two of them recently decided to move up to Boston and join the MEOR family. He plans on finishing his law degree at Harvard.
Sophisticated Programming for Future Leaders
The Benjamins are very excited to be initiating a MEOR campus at Harvard. “What motivates me more than anything else is the fact that students at Harvard are future leaders at the community, national, and global levels,” said Rabbi Benjamin. “Giving these future leaders an opportunity to develop a strong Jewish identity can have a tremendous impact on the long-term welfare of the Jewish people.”
Rabbi Benjamin went on to describe the upcoming Harvard Maimonides curriculum as “unique, content-based, sophisticated and engaging” – the perfect fit for the intellectually rigorous Harvard student who is looking for something more out of their college experience. He also feels that he will be able to relate to the student body, as he himself will be attending Harvard Law, and comes from the same career-driven mindset. “I have perspective as to where they are coming from and where they are headed, so I think they will feel comfortable with us joining them on campus. We will offer the type of learning that is honest, open, and fun. They’ll quickly see that there’s something to it.”
MEOR programming at Harvard will most probably start out with a mini-Maimonides program, or “Maimo-mini,” for the first semester, with small groups of students completing short 4-week series’ on various topics. By the second semester, the Benjamins hope to have a full-fledged 10-week Maimonides Leaders Fellowship similar to those already in place on campuses across the country. And of course, there will be Shabbat meals with the Rabbi and his family, one-on-one learning, women’s programming, and even a possible Shabbaton in NYC.
Partnerships With Distinction
The Benjamins hope to form partnerships with other Jewish student groups and organizations at Harvard and embrace the campus environment there, while at the same time offering something unique. “You’ll get something here you can’t get anywhere else,” he said.
MEOR Harvard will also be joined once a week by Rabbi Mordecai Feuerstein, a senior educator with two degrees from Harvard, who has been teaching in various Jewish settings and schools for over 30 years. Rabbi Feuerstein will be available for one-on-one learning with students, and will add experience and perspective to the program.
MEOR Harvard will be a stimulating, distinctive, and inspiring new destination for students looking for real depth and Jewish education during their college years. The MEOR family is extremely excited to welcome the Benjamins and Rabbi Feuerstein, and we wish them success in all their endeavors, this year and beyond.
MEOR at Harvard is made possible with the generous support of the Friedberg Foundation.
To contact MEOR Harvard or sign up for programming, email Rabbi Benjamin at firstname.lastname@example.org.