Features

Alumni Update: Abby Fisher

By Emma Jonas ‘23, Opinion Editor

Former Helios Editor-in-Chief and 2019 Heschel graduate Abby Fisher is now a junior at Wesleyan University. She is an English major, a decision which she remarked should come as no surprise to any of her Heschel teachers, and is minoring in Jewish Studies. Fisher joyfully added that she has not devoted her time in college to preparing for a specific goal for her future. “One thing that felt really stressful throughout high school was this pressure of how my work was going to look to the people other than my teachers evaluating where I wanted to go next.” The current lack of pressure allows Fisher to experiment with her course load. For example, she takes French, advanced Hebrew, and Arabic, three language courses that do not relate to her major.  She noted that she loves being in an intellectually rigorous but non-competitive environment.  

In her free time on campus, Fisher acts as the Limmud Kesher (Jewish Learning Organizer) for Wesleyan’s Jewish Community Organization. There is no Hillel on the Wesleyan campus, so Jewish life is completely student-led. Fisher uses all of the knowledge she gained at Heschel to facilitate events such as teaching fellow students how to read megillah or wrap tefillin. Fisher shared, “I am so thankful to Rabbi Dahlia for making such an impact on me in terms of pushing me to wear tefillin or teaching me how to lead davening because now I can teach others who are interested how to do so.” Fisher also tutors two high school students, who are planning to transfer to Jewish Day School, in Tanakh.

For the past year and a half Fisher interned for Lilith magazine, a Jewish feminist magazine. She spent her time running its social media pages, conducting interviews over Instagram Live, and writing articles. Fisher said that all of the skills she developed while working on Helios prepared her for the position. Fisher has also written a short story that will be published by jGirls magazine, a young Jewish women’s publication.   

Fisher spends time studying over Zoom with Svara, which describes itself as “a traditionally radical Yeshiva dedicated to the serious study of Talmud and committed to the Queer experience.” She shared that the textual skills she built in Talmud classes at Heschel now help her take part in this intensive Talmud study. 

Reflecting on the transition from high school to college, Fisher offered that “Heschel requires an obscene amount of time management, and using those skills in addition to getting sleep has been a game-changer in college.” She also acknowledged that some of her peers struggle switching disciplines from class to class but the dual-curriculum at Heschel made it easy for Fisher to do so.  

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