Graduate Profile: Michal Auerbach, Yeshiva University High School for Girls
A common spirit runs throughout Yeshiva University: the mandate to matter.
Students of all ages and backgrounds come here to pursue a range of professional and personal dreams, from scientific research and medicine to law, Jewish education or public policy. Our students seek to harness their unique talents and YU education to make a lasting impact on the world around them. This spring, when they graduate from YU, these new alumni will hit the ground running.
In the weeks leading up to Commencement, YU News will feature one remarkable graduate from each school, reflecting, in their own words, on their time here, their passions and their dreams for the future.
Meet the Class of 2013.
Name: Michal Auerbach
School: Samuel H. Wang Yeshiva University High School for Girls (Central)
Hometown: West Hempstead, New York
Passion: Fertility science
What experience made the deepest impact on you during your high school career?
When I think back on my time at Central, I think of an AP Biology course taught by Mrs. Ruth Fried, one of my teachers. I loved it and I really appreciated the way she taught it, emphasizing how science and religion can work together. Science can be another way to think about how involved G-d is in every facet of everything. There are so many things that could go wrong in a human body but, most of the time, they don’t. That class showed me that G-d is in every detail of human biology, and it’s important for people to learn as much as they can and interact with His world in an educated way, which is the whole concept of Torah Umadda. That bio class just made me want to learn more and more.
How did you decide you wanted to pursue fertility science?
Two summers ago I interned at YU’s Albert Einstein College of Medicine. I wasn’t 16 yet, so I couldn’t be in a real laboratory setting, but I was able to shadow doctors. One day I was following doctors in this fertility clinic in Jacobi Hospital. The way the doctors interacted with their patients, showing such incredible middot [character], and I thought those middot were so important not only in a career but also in day-to-day life. I thought, ‘This is such a cool way to improve people’s lives.’ That’s when I decided I wanted to become a fertility specialist.
What other extracurricular opportunities did you have at Central?
I’ve been captain of the debate team since 11th grade. I joined at first because I was pretty shy as a freshman and I wanted to get into speaking out more. I also found debate was a good opportunity to educate myself about everything that’s going on in the world, because you have to research all these really cool topics. I recently debated on illegal immigration, whether the United States should provide amnesty or not. It’s so easy to be ignorant about these things otherwise.
I’m pretty sure I want to go into medicine. But this year I also decided to participate in mock trial, because how do I know I don’t want to be a lawyer? I wanted to see what that was like. So I tried it. Preparing cases was a totally different experience for me… I think what made mock trial such a great experience, though, was that I was completely immersed in that environment—we were in a real courtroom and I really got a sense of what it would be like.
What’s one of the most important lessons you’ve learned over the past four years?
Something I’ve been working on in myself is patience, because that’s important in everything. Not everything turns out the way you want it to instantaneously. I’ve been participating in a program called “Sunday Smiles” at Hebrew Academy of Nassau County that’s taught me a lot about patience—it’s a Hebrew school program for children with special needs. Together, despite many difficulties, we’re able to make beautiful art projects with the kids. The most rewarding experience for me is knowing I helped someone learn the Hebrew letters.
Looking back, what achievement or accomplishment are you most proud of?
I’m proud that I was able to participate in so many extracurricular activities and still make the honor roll and balance everything. When I realize how much I’ve done here, I’m really proud of each experience. I’m so grateful to have had all these opportunities in high school. I couldn’t have pursued my interests in science, Torah or anything else to the same extent anywhere else.
What will you be doing next year?
Next year I’m going to be studying at Michlelet Mivaseret Yerushalayim and then enrolling in the S. Daniel Abraham Honor’s Program at Stern College for Women. Stern has a lot of connections and opportunities at Einstein. It’s the right place for me.