Spotlight: Dan – #39

Tell us something about yourself?
My name is Dan. I’m half Zimbabwean, half South African, half Israeli, and I grew up in Sweden but am now living in the Netherlands.

What are you studying?
I did my bachelor’s in Aberdeen, Scotland, and I’m now pursuing my research master’s in biomedical science at Erasmus University in Rotterdam.

And what does Jewish identity mean to you?
Wow. I’m still coming to terms with what that means to me, I think. It’s the first year that I’ve really let myself be part of a community, so I’m still figuring it out. But objectively speaking, I would define Jewish identity as an ethno-religious group with a very tight-knit community that is all about enjoying life.

Where do you see your future? Netherlands, Sweden, Israel, Zimbabwe?
For now, I think Israel or Australia.

What do you say about Chabad on Campus?
So far, it’s been a very pleasant experience. I mean, you guys – Esty and Yanki – host a lot of events for us where we can meet other students and get in touch with our roots. It’s a good environment for people who are used to that kind of stuff and for people who are new to it. So it’s been a great experience for me so far, and I’ve met a lot of lovely people through it. It’s always worth the train ride to Amsterdam.

And who do you enjoy meeting more, the Dutch or the international students?
My answer will be biased, because I’m an international, but I like meeting all, I think. I’ve made both Dutch and international friends, actually.

“I hope that we can build a more tight-knit community and really get to know one another a lot better”

How did you enjoy the Chabad on Campus Shabbaton in Prague?
Yeah, it’s been a phenomenal experience so far. Phenomenal? Yeah, it really has. I mean, I’m spacing on the name now, the end of Shabbat, what was that called? The Havdalah ceremony. Yes, that was something I’ve never experienced before in my life, and that was really interesting. Very festive, wonderful, and it’s really nice that you guys bring people together from all across Europe.

What would you like to wish the Jewish student community in the Netherlands?
I wish that we all prosper in our academic and professional lives, and I hope that we can build a more tight-knit community and really get to know one another a lot better than we currently do.

Suzan

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