Rebecca Leibowitz

"When I marched in Selma, my feet were praying." -Abraham Joshua Heschel

 Rebecca Leibowitz
Organization: Foundation for Jewish Camp
Website of Organization:

Favorite Place in Israel: Kibbutz Degania on the Kinneret, circa 1909.

How has Israel played a part in your personal Jewish identity? Israel is both a physical location as well as a state of mind; every facet of the country’s struggles, whether political, socio-economical, or religious, mirrors my own challenges with my personal Jewish identity specifically, and Jewish peoplehood generally. Quite simply: the more I learn about the many systems of interplay that are manifested into what is known as Israeli society, the more I learn about myself.

Who was the educator who most influenced your path to Jewish education? Describe the effect that they had on you. My second grade chumash teacher, Mr. Veigh. Every day in class, he created an experiential environment for all seven students in a small Southern town, where we were rewarded for coming up with our own insights and interpretations of the Torah. Every night at his house, he gave me private Hebrew lessons to catch me up to my classmates. It was because of him that I gave my pet turtle a Hebrew name. It was the beginning of my love affair with the Hebrew language.

If you had the ability to build the landscape of Jewish education, what would it look like? - in 140 characters or less. A holistic approach that fosters the growth of each individual towards the common goal of promoting Jewish values that are universally relevant, personally meaningful, and distinctively Jewish.

What are you looking forward to most in the InCiTE Fellowship? I am looking forward to the opportunity to be exposed to like-minded individuals who share a passion for creating the next generation of Jewish leaders while also challenging one another to think critically and to be exposed to new perspectives.