Insider-Outsider and Still Learning

Posted on March 5, 2018
Gary Opolsky is participating in the Canadian Friends for Hebrew University program – Learn! Experience!  Volunteer!  Gary has a unique perspective and he took a few moments to share his experience.
From Gary:
Bottom line -great experience!
Please note that I’m basically half Israeli given that I speak the language so my perception may be different from the rest of my fellow travelers.
Notwithstanding I have been learning a lot from my new friends, the Hebrew University Business students we are working with in English.
I have to tell you that the level of proficiency is very high. Sometimes I don’t even know why they need the help but if they feel it is worth while then great.
For me the best part has been seeing a slice of life different from my own.
One discussion I had with a student was about the haredi (ultra-orthodox) and the government and the games they play and the student gave me an explanation of how things work, why the religious want the yeshivas to get the $ etc.
Another PhD told me about his work using actuarial tables to calculate pensions and we had a long discussion.   Because I am in the insurance world I even connected him to an actuary in Israel to discuss his paper. He was very pleased.  This student is giving a talk soon in English on the topic and I will help him prepare.
This experience is all very rewarding for me. The psychic pleasure is high.