No matter what path you choose in life, be a blessing. That is the message we give Mirowitz students every day. That imperative has been the Mirowitz way for many years, and nothing delights us more than the fact that our alumni continue to make that choice as young adults.
Two of our alumni blessings have been front of mind in recent weeks. Allow me to introduce you to Jordan DeBlasi and Jacob Granick.
Jacob was commissioned to the Navy after completing his Bachelors Degree in public policy at Duke University. He’s now in Mississippi training to fly Navy jets.
Jordan enlisted in the Army after high school and is deployed as a paratrooper in the elite 82nd Airborne Division. He follows a long line of family members, including his father, paternal grandfathers and maternal great-grandfathers who all served in the military.
I reached out to their families so that we could connect them to the Jewish Soldier’s Project
, which mails Passover packages to Jewish soldiers around the world this week.
So how has their day school education impacted their service?
For one thing, they know who they are. They have the ability to be a confident voice, inside and outside of the Jewish community.
Jacob said he is often the first Jew whom his Christian colleagues have met. Day school and youth group gave him confidence to engage in conversations about religion and to challenge assumptions. “My service is informed by my Jewish values and upbringing,” he says.
“It impacts the way I think about morals of war, and gave me a solid foundation on Israel, which is so important to foreign policy. I’m often the Israel expert among my friends.”
Jordan is overseas, and removed from Jewish community, but he keeps in touch with some of his Mirowitz, BBYO and Camp Sabra friends. His mom, Dana, said Judaism is part of who Jordan is as a person and a soldier. (Photo left was his Mirowitz 6th grade photo.)
Jordan has a tattoo of Jacob wrestling with an angel. His mom says it is a representation of his most authentic self. In joining the military, he was wrestling with the prospect of forging a different path from the cultural expectation of college and a professional degree.
Several Mirowitz alumni also choose to be a blessing through their service in the Israeli Defense Forces. We pray for the safety of Jordan, Jacob and all our soldiers. They are defending the things we take most for granted and stand ready to enter into combat if necessary on our behalf.