Ayelet Mael Rosenberg ‘08S, ‘10R is currently corporate counsel at Amazon Web Services (AWS), the cloud computing business of Amazon. In her work as a products attorney for different AWS products, she helps the business teams and computer engineers navigate the legal issues related to the development of new products.

Her intellectual journey has been an interesting one, beginning with a major in Studio Art at Stern College for Women with a concentration in graphic design and moving on to a degree in medieval Jewish History from the Bernard Revel School of Jewish Studies.


After Revel, she went to the University of Pennsylvania Law School for one year before transferring to New York University Law School, going on to work at Sidley Austin LLP as a transactional attorney in the Global Finance group for six years and then AWS.


Revel News had a chance to catch up with her to discuss her career as a lawyer and how her education at Yeshiva University influenced her professional and personal lives.


Where did you grow up? Also, please tell me about your background. 

I grew up in Lawrence, New York, in a wonderful Modern Orthodox home. My parents imbued within us a strong sense of Torah U’madda (which isn’t surprising since my dad grew up in Boston with the Rav), where we were encouraged to grow in our Torah knowledge and connection to Judaism while developing other interests and a strong work ethic for any future profession.


 What was your Jewish education like? 


In terms of my formal Jewish education, I went to Hebrew Academy of Long Beach, Stella K. Abraham High School for Girls, Sha’alvim for Women, Stern College and then Revel. In terms of my informal Jewish education, I learned a tremendous amount from my parents and grandparents (some of whom grew up without a strong Jewish community and nevertheless, remained incredibly committed in their observance). I also participated in summer programs such as JOLT, in which we taught unaffiliated Ukrainian children about Judaism and attended Gateways shabbatons that exposed me to discussions about how we know G-d exists and that the Torah is from Sinai.

What convinced you to attend Stern College? 


Beginning around 7th grade, I thought I would be a high school Tanach [bible] teacher (and I’m embarrassed to admit that I began saving my school notes, thinking they would be useful when I’d be teaching those subjects). I therefore thought that there was no better place than Stern College to continue learning Judaic studies and getting involved in extracurricular programs related to Jewish education. If someone would have told me then that I would end up in law school, becoming a corporate finance lawyer, and ultimately working in Amazon’s cloud computing business, I would have just laughed.


What led you to continue your studies with Revel? 


When I graduated from Stern College, I understood that getting a master’s degree in either Jewish studies (at Revel) or Jewish education (at Azrieli Graduate School) would be helpful in pursuing a career in Jewish education. Between the two, I thought I would enjoy learning the subject matter of Jewish studies over educational theory… so I ended up at Revel.


How do you take what youve learned from your studies at Revel and apply it to your role as a lawyer? 

My classes at Revel were probably the most rigorous, intellectually challenging classes that I have taken in my life. I vividly recall a Jewish philosophy class with Dr. Daniel Rynhold where we delved into a Spinoza piece, and I left feeling mentally drained, as if my brain had done advanced gymnastics for an hour. Learning in Revel how to think critically and analytically, in a way that I had not done in any prior educational setting, was immediately applicable and incredibly helpful throughout my time in law school and in my role as a lawyer.

Can you recollect one or two experiences that would give readers a feel for the essence of your Revel experience? 

Sure! While I was student at Revel, I had the opportunity to visit Chicago one Shavuot as an “up-and-coming Torah educator.” I gave shiurim [lectures] at three different shuls and ran one session for teenagers, over the two-day yuntif [holiday]. I developed some of my shiur content based on theses I had written for my Revel classes, morphing my scholarly materials into a digestible and inspiring format. I even remember that Revel connected me with Rabbi J.J. Schacter to review and give me feedback on my materials. Each shiur over the yuntif was really well received, and the entire experience showed me that my Revel education was providing amazing tools to develop content, give shiurim and be involved in communal Jewish education, even if I didn’t end pursuing a career in formal Jewish education.

What is the most satisfying work you do as a lawyer?


Pro bono work. Throughout my time practicing as a lawyer, I have taken on a handful of pro bono cases ranging from helping veterans get governmental rights and underprivileged women file for uncontested divorces to assisting nonprofits in setting up their legal entities and registering as a 501(c)(3) to helping organizations that do amazing work in third-world countries with employment issues. I’ve always felt the importance of doing chesed [charity work] and volunteering, and I love that my day job provides opportunities to use my legal skills and “give back.”

What would you like to say to students considering Jewish studies at Revel? 

If you are someone who likes to learn and appreciates your Judaism and/or Jewish heritage, you should definitely go for it! The classes were wonderful, and no matter what you end up doing professionally, the skills that you gain by studying at Revel will most certainly be helpful for your personal and professional life going forward.

If anyone reading this is on the fence and wants to talk about it further, feel free to connect with me on Facebook or LinkedIn – I’d be happy to talk about it more!


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