The natural partnership between the Jerusalem College of Technology (JCT) and the Orthodox Union’s Jewish Learning Initiative on Campus (JLIC) program demonstrates that JCT is the appropriate home for Orthodox students from abroad studying in Israel. Extending JCT’s excellence beyond the classroom, the JCT-JLIC partnership will ensure students enjoy a home-away-from-home in the heart of Jerusalem by building a robust social life on campus.
This marks the first time that the program is being offered in Jerusalem.
Rabbi and Rebbetzin Simcha and Margalit Herschman will be the inaugural JCT-JLIC couple tasked with launching the program. The couple made aliyah from Chicago and West Hempstead, N.Y., respectively, and met at a JLIC event. They are now eager to build the sense of community for international students that brought them together.
“Our experience with JLIC was life-changing. We saw JLIC build community and unify olim, and it was instrumental in helping us feel like we were at home,” the Herschmans said in a joint statement. “We are now eager to do that for others. It’s so important to feel a sense of belonging when you’re far away from family and that’s why we’re looking forward to building relationships with students, inviting them into our home, and helping them build a strong and supportive community.”
Since 2001, the OU-JLIC has helped students observe key aspects of Jewish life across 32 campuses in the United States, Canada and Israel. On those campuses, creating Jewish learning and social opportunities as well as Shabbat and holiday programming are components of what OU-JLIC provides. Given that Jewish learning and programming are core components of JCT student life, the OU-JLIC couple will focus on building community and social programming for students on both the Lev Campus for men and the Tal Campus for women.
“This partnership will provide a warm home away from home for our international students,” said Rabbi Shlomo Anapolle, director of JCT’s International Program, taught in English. “In my recruiting efforts in North America, I’m frequently asked if JCT has an OU-JLIC program and I’m delighted that we can finally say yes. The OU’s choice to prioritize our school further demonstrates JCT’s integral role as an excellent choice for students who come to Israel seeking a religious, affordable academic environment in Israel. Our alumni are immediately sought after as leaders in high-tech and health sciences. We’re proud of our winning model.”
“Parents who send their children to the Jerusalem College of Technology can now rest easy knowing that there’s a dedicated couple looking out for their child’s spiritual and physical well-being on campus,” the rabbi added.
JCT’s students hail from 38 countries from around the world. Approximately 70% of the international students come from North America. The college’s student body has the highest percentage of new immigrants (6%) of any higher education institution in the country.
Home to approximately 5,000 students from different religious backgrounds, JCT is Jerusalem’s second-largest academic institution. The college’s vision is well-aligned with its home city of Jerusalem, helping to position the capital as a national hub for academic excellence in science, technology and other disciplines while maintaining religious tradition.