Family, Friends, Hobbies, & Interests
My Roots and Family
Coming from a diverse background, my family’s rich culture opens many doors for enriching experiences. Having family in every corner of the world– from the United States to France to Israel– I enjoy listening to my family’s stories and learning about our history. Additionally, we stay close to our roots by keeping family traditions and explore further through traveling.
At home, we celebrate mostly the Jewish holidays. Inviting our close friends and other family members that happen to be in town, we always try to make the evening meaningful and educational. With a set topic for conversation that connects to the holiday, our heated discussions are filled with a variety of perspectives. For example, this year during Passover, rather than having a classic ceremony/ “seder,” each guest was tasked with commenting on what enslaves them and what frees them in their lives. Adding a spice of intimacy and controversy to each celebration, we learn more about each other as a family while discovering more about our friends.
Traveling with my family has been and still is a very prominent part of my life. Each year, we explore at least a couple new places internationally. Oftentimes, we choose to tour areas where we have family connections or an interest in the country’s history. Having tasted flavors of culture from around the world– from Morocco to Guatemala to Israel and all over Europe– I am thankful to have worldly awareness and global perspective. For example, in Central America, my eyes were opened up to what poverty some people really live in; seeing this made me appreciate how fortunate I am to have the life I do. Among all these vacations however, the most incredible experience was in 2016, when I travelled to Berlin, Prague, and Krakow to deepen my research in Holocaust studies.
In my free time, I love hanging out with my friends. Since I have over schools a few times, I enjoy bringing all my friends together to meet each other and have a good time. Whether it be going on a hike, having dinner together, or seeing a movie, it is always fun to catch up with those I don’t see as often as I’d like to. Having a great circle of friends around me is very important as I love to have a variety of conversations and learn from different points of views and opinions.
I play varsity tennis for my school and play tournaments individually. I have been playing tennis for about 4 years and before that, I did gymnastics, soccer, and horseback riding. In the winter, I love going up to Vail or Utah with my dad and several friends and going snowboarding. I’ve been playing piano since I was 5 years old and despite it’s many challenges, I am thankful for being able to play and read music. I also love celebrating cultural festivals and holidays with my friends who come from diverse backgrounds and traditions. Because of my passion for promoting tolerance in my community, I decided to do projects such as this blog and others, to do so.
My Academic Interest
My academic interest lies mainly in the humanities. Reading, analyzing, writing, critical thinking, and debating are all passions of mine. At school, I enjoy French class and taking history and literature electives to complement my social studies and English classes. More specifically, I have devoted a few years Holocaust studies. Conducting research, interviewing survivors locally and globally, and drawing parallels between history and current events fascinates me. I was fortunate enough to compete in a program called National History Day and present my work. I find that the field of humanities opens many doors that widen our perspective and transform the way we think. I find that personally, writing is extremely valuable: it is a way to reflect, put my thoughts together, and express my feelings and opinions.
Extending beyond school, I enjoy applying my academic passions to projects that help others. Having experienced bullying when I was younger, I wrote a few of my stories and in addition, I constructed a method that helps kids stand up for themselves and manage adversity. Some of my friends and close family have also documented their experiences, adding to the collection of stories we are compiling. The books are on their way to being completed and then published soon!
The group Deeds by Kids was formed by my mom and I when I was younger. The group aims to help others–whether they be in need or seeking guidance– in my community. For example, we donated over 1,000 books to an underserved school in San Diego county. Now, through collaborative efforts of community members and Deeds by Kids volunteers, we constructed the SELF method.
SELF has been an ongoing project with a goal to publish stories of kids who have experienced adversity and bullying. Most of the stories collected are associated with diverse categories of bullying and each solution depends on the severity of each issue. The method encompasses tools and techniques to help manage these sticky situations. We also constructed a severity scale so each problem corresponds to an appropriate solution.
Through the SELF project I realized that the key to bullying is to having the tools to speak up assertively and act responsibly.