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My Davis Story: Zoe Light, Class of 2012


Dear Davis Friends,

When I graduated from Davis in 2012, with plans to attend Walton High School, I truly had no concept of what my journey would look like. Today, I share my Davis Story, from Israel.

During my high school years, I fell in love with a Jewish youth group (NFTY) and ultimately served as regional President. While attending the University of Oregon, where I double majored in Environmental Studies as well as City Planning, Public Policy, and Nonprofit Management with a minor in Legal Studies, I led pro-Israel efforts on campus and became a Sunday school teacher. The Masa Israel Teaching Fellowship brought me to Israel for a year to teach English to 4th, 5th, and 6th-grade students who were Russian and Ethiopian immigrants. Though the pandemic hit and 2020-2021 was not the experience I expected for my year in Israel, once the program was over, I couldn’t bring myself to book my ticket back to the United States. I have made Aliyah and currently work in Tel Aviv as a Grant Consultant for innovative small businesses seeking non-dilutive funding from U.S. government agencies. 

During my childhood, I had no idea how vital the foundation I was receiving at Davis would be. I remember being in Morah Sigal's Middle School Hebrew class, wondering if learning Hebrew would matter. Today I use it to order my lunch, when going to the doctor, and to build friendships. The Jewish knowledge I received at Davis prepared me well for the difficult moments, like being scared during BDS Movement activity at my college campus, and also thoroughly prepared me to enjoy the happiest moments, like confidently knowing the prayers over wine and challah I eat at the beach on Shabbat, as I am sitting on a chair with my feet dangling in the Mediterranean Sea. 

Davis solidified for me what it means to be part of a Jewish community; first by being connected to the other students and families, and ultimately seeing how we are connected to the people who came before us as well as to Jewish people all over the world.

It is so fun to live in Israel now and get to know people who went to Jewish schools in Argentina, London, the Netherlands, and Australia. Our learning and knowledge are similar despite being from places far across the world.

One of my most memorable moments in Israel was meeting up with the Davis Class of 2022 when they were here this past spring. It felt like just yesterday that I was a Davis student, sitting in my tie-dye blue T-shirt, eating the final delicious meal of my own eighth grade Israel trip. However, this time it was ten years later, and I was sitting at the table with my teachers, catching up with them in Hebrew. It was so special to see Señora Evelyn's face when I surprised her, and it was so lovely that she remembered so much about me and my family after an entire decade.

So many teachers helped prepare me over the years, and I now understand that all the lessons, including the most challenging grammar lessons (Ms. Fields), have been highly beneficial. A special shout-out to Mrs. Schleicher (who will always be Ms. Chick to me), who consistently checked in and cheered me on throughout the years. 

Mazel tov Davis Academy on your 30th anniversary!

My Davis story (and the attached photos) begins in Kindergarten and takes me to today, buying my groceries from Shuk Hacarmel.

Zoe Light
Class of 2012





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