Beginning My Year Abroad

As I’m about to embark on this journey as a Ralph I. Goldman fellow, I feel nervous yet overwhelmingly excited for the year of adventure and learning that lies ahead.

On Thursday, I depart New York City for St. Petersburg, Russia. I’m sure you’re probably thinking: “Why would anyone fly to Russia in November of all times?!” Although the temperature is almost freezing (literally), I’m looking forward to immersing myself in an authentic Russian experience!

Over the next six weeks I’ll be learning about JDC’s work in the Former Soviet Union, specifically being exposed to welfare, community development, and relief work.

At the end of December I will head to Israel for two weeks where I’ll be meeting with the legendary Ralph I. Goldman who just turned 98 years old. I look forward to gaining valuable insight into many issues facing the global Jewish world as he has been instrumental in writing our history.

In January, I’ll head to Shanghai for three months where I’ll be helping JDC organize the first Limmud conference in the city. Come May, I’ll be heading to Eastern Europe and in June will end my fellowship by conducting a study at Camp Szarvas in Hungary.

I will be seeing and learning a lot in the next nine months and throughout the entire time I look forward to sharing my experiences with you all.

Follow me here on this blog, and on Instagram: @shaungoldstone. Learn more about the Ralph I. Goldman Fellowship at

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