I was raised an orthodox Jew in an a small midwestern college town. The student body exceeded the population of the city. Summers the place became a virtual ghost-town. My parents did not send us to summer camp. So, as little kids, when we didn’t spend the day at the municipal pool, my friends and I would pack a paper bag with sandwiches, get on our bikes and go. We’d spend the whole day “exploring”. More often than not we were late for dinner. Riding made me feel normal & free. Every time I get on a bike it takes me back to those days and that carefree feeling. The wind in my hair (no helmets!), the open road, no destination, no school and no bills.
I attended public school, and received my Jewish education from my late father, Rabbi Gedalyah Engel A”H, Hillel Director at Purdue University, in the early mornings before davening, a breakfast of hot cereal, and riding my bike to public school, where my brother’s and I were the only kids running around with “beanies” on our heads. I guess you could say I was homeschooled, and as an adult I appreciate the level of commitment involved, but as a kid I longed for a school full of Jewish classmates, peers and role models.
I believe Yeshiva High School of Arizona provides that and am happy to support Rabbi Goetz in his efforts to provide others the opportunity I longed for myself so many years ago.