Where did you grow up? I grew up in Hershey and commuted to school in Harrisburg from kindergarten through eighth grade.
Where did you go to school after The Silver Academy? I graduated from Hershey High School in 1996, Haverford College in 2000, and Harvard Medical School in 2005.
Where are you now? I live in Newton, Massachusetts (a suburb of Boston) with my wife Dalia and our children Aviv (4) and Keila (2).
What do you do? I am a pediatric endocrinologist at Boston Children's Hospital in Boston, MA. I take care of children with hormone disorders (like diabetes and thyroid problems), as well as doing research on thyroid disease in children and adults.
What was your favorite class at The Silver Academy? Science class with Mrs. Fendrich. Aside from the fact that she was a wonderful teacher, at the time she kept two pet chinchillas in the classroom (Winky and Blinky) that we sometimes got to play with if we finished our work early.
Who was your best friend at The Silver Academy? Dan Bartash, and we are still in touch.
What is your current favorite food and what was your favorite lunch at The Silver Academy? My favorite food now is probably steak. As a kid, I was a terribly picky eater and almost never ate the lunch Mr. Lowy made at school. This wasn't because I didn't like the food, I just wouldn't try it; in fact, there was a long span when I brought a grapefruit for lunch every day. These days I have a more varied diet, but I have sometimes thought back and regretted perhaps seeming ungrateful for the time and care Mr. Lowy invested in cooking for us all those years.
What was your favorite memory from The Silver Academy? Probably the most memorable experience was our class trip to Israel in the winter of 1992, when I was in eighth grade. The amusing part of the trip was that we got snowed in (really) in Jerusalem on the day we were supposed to fly home. We managed to get rebooked on Sabena, a Belgian airline, which meant we got to spend an overnight layover in a hotel in Brussels. I still have a deck of cards with the Sabena logo from that flight. As for the Israel trip itself, we stayed for several days in Jerusalem's Old City, climbed Masada, hiked Mt. Arbel in the Galilee, and spent Shabbat in Tzfat. Although I had been to Israel before, this trip was really a capstone experience. It was a chance to see Israel with the friends and classmates I had known since kindergarten, before we graduated and went off to different high schools and paths in life. I particularly remember waking up each morning and walking together through the Jewish Quarter of the Old City from the Sephardic Center, past the Cardo and the arch of the Hurva synagogue, to one of the yeshivot near the Western Wall. It was a powerful experience for a bunch of kids from central Pennsylvania to walk into a yeshiva half a world away, put on tallit and tefillin, and daven shacharit overlooking the kotel; it was an odd mix of feeling far away and close to home. When I have visited Jerusalem since then (most recently with my wife and our son), going back to that part of the Old City brings back clear memories of those mornings and the feeling our class shared on that trip.
What was your favorite thing to do at the JCC? I loved to go bowling after school in the JCC basement. I took bowling lessons there for several years and was sad when I heard that the the bowling alley closed.
Who was your biggest role model in Harrisburg? It's hard not to sound trite saying this, but of course my biggest role models are my parents. Although living in Hershey made driving my sister and me to school in Harrisburg far from convenient, the fact that they made this commute every day was evidence of the critical importance they placed on Jewish education for their children. It is obvious to me that if not for their investment and that of the Academy in my education, I would not be the person or the Jew that I am. This fact has certainly shaped my thinking as my wife and I plan the Jewish education of our own children.