Who We Are
Michal Birnbaum

1. When were you at Hadar?

Year fellowship 2011-2012!

2. Where are you now (physically)?

Bushwick, Brooklyn. Hipster-land!

3. What are you up to now?

I am producing a short film I wrote. It's about the modern slave market of Latina cleaning ladies in Hasidic Williamsburg. We're in the middle of our crowdfunding campaign, Check it out: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/divisionavefilm/division-ave

4. Is there a beautiful piece of Torah from your Hadar days that you keep close to your heart?

Learning Masechet Sanhedrin with Rav Jason was amazing. It was powerful to see how they used to work the justice system in the Mishna and Talmud time and Rav Jason's insights were always in my mind for hours after Yeshiva was over for the day.

5. If you could describe your experience at Hadar in one word what would it be (feel free to elaborate beyond a single word)?

Eye opening!

6. How have Torah and mitzvot changed your life (post Hadar)?

Coming from a very old fashioned Orthodox world, Hadar definitely influenced the way I experience Torah and Mitzvot. From being quite passive about it, I became pro active, more involved in shul and started asking questions about my commitment to Mitzvot as a woman.

7. Is there a time this past year when Hadar specifically came to mind?

Our visits at the Jewish home came to my mind as I was working on my film. I started thinking about how I can be involved in social actions as a Jew, and how I can do it in a humble way, to do it as part of the community and not as an outsider.