#5: Strangers in Strange Lands

How do we navigate Jewish living while serving in the developing world?

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“Does it matter that there is a separate Jewish people? And what is their mission? That should be a question that every young Jewish person is asking, and I think a trip [to the developing world] is an important opportunity to raise that question…” -Rabbi Zvi Hirschfield

Feeling like strangers or outsiders isn’t a new experience for the Jewish people. But when it comes to spending time in the developing world, navigating what makes us different as Jews – our religious or cultural practices, our identity and values – can bring with it unique challenges.

What are these challenges – and what are the opportunities – of living Jewishly while serving in the developing world? Sarah Mulhern and Rabbi Zvi Hirschfield unpack these questions together on our fifth and final episode of the Global Torah podcast series.

Guest Bios
Sarah Mulhern
Sarah is a fourth year rabbinical student at Hebrew College, where she is also working towards a Masters in Jewish Education and is a Wexner Graduate Fellow. During rabbinical school, Sarah has worked in a variety of settings—including pulpits, social justice organizations, mikvaot, hospitals, and adult and youth education. Previously, Sarah worked for several years at American Jewish World Service, where she designed curricula, wrote divrei torah, ran On1Foot.org, trained educators and designed and led service-learning programs. Sarah is an alumna of Yeshivat Hadar, Pardes Institute, Drisha Institute, Beit Midrash Har El, and Brandeis University. She currently lives in Cambridge, MA, with her husband, Will.
Rabbi Zvi Hirschfield
 Zvi-500x500Zvi teaches Talmud, Halakha and Jewish Thought at the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies. In addition, Zvi is a faculty member of the Pardes Center for Jewish Educators and has been training and mentoring Jewish Educators for over ten years in Tefilah in educational settings, critical issues in modern Jewish thought, and Israel education. Zvi holds a B.A. in History from Columbia University and did graduate work at Harvard University in Medieval and Modern Jewish Thought. He studied at Yeshivat Har Etzion in Israel and has rabbinic ordination from the Chief Rabbinate of Israel. He was the director of Judaica at the JCC of Cleveland and an instructor at the Cleveland College of Jewish Studies for many years. He also serves as a curriculum writer and is involved in staff training for the Nesiya Institute. His wife, Dina, is a faculty member of the Hebrew University School of Public Health, and they have four children.

Inspired to engage? Check out OLAM‘s Take Action page for opportunities to travel, volunteer, study, advocate, and more…