Noam Fox is studying at Yeshivat Lev HaTorah in Ramat Beit Shemesh. He grew up in Englewood, attended Moriah for elementary school and Frisch for high school. His family davens at Kesher Synagogue. He’s attended Camp Moshava for the past 10 years.
His next stop? Binghamton.
Why did you choose to study at Lev?
I choose to come to Lev HaTorah because of its reputation for being a very warm environment and allowing the students to develop as their own person. This has proven itself to be true. Most of the rebbeim live within walking distance of the yeshiva, so going to their homes for Shabbat is very convenient and special.
What kind of goals do you have for the year?
My biggest goal going into the year was getting comfortable with the Land of Israel, being able to get around and not feeling like a tourist.
What have been some of the highlights of your year so far?
One of the highlights of the year was our school trip to Eilat. Hiking at 4 a.m., bonfires at midnight, and water sports activities. Also, going to rabbis’ houses for meals.
What kind of challenges have you faced coming to Israel?
The biggest difficulty this year for me is learning how to live on my own for 10 months. Whether it’s buying my own groceries or traveling by myself, this has been new for me, but I’m getting the hang of it.
How has your year been different from your expectations?
This has definitely been a culture shock. There is no way anyone can prepare for the amount of learning that we do every day. Never have I ever spent a year just enhancing our Judaism. I definitely wasn’t prepared to sit down all day and learn. It’s a process that gets easier over time, but I’m still getting used to it.
Where is your favorite place to go for weekends/Shabbat so far?
There are so many good places to go for Shabbat. I like to go all over for Shabbat, trying to get to as many places as I can in the country. I have been to Raanana, which feels like I’m back at home in America. I’ve spent a Shabbat in Jerusalem near the Kotel, and also in Tel Aviv near the beach.
Who is a teacher at Lev you connect to especially well?
The teacher I connect to the most is Rav Netanel. He is my morning shiur rebbi whom I spend four hours with every day. He pushes us, gives us sichot on how we can be better, is very personable, and also invites us for Shabbat meals.
Which is one of your favorite classes at Lev?
One of my favorite classes is Rav Machlis’ shiur on the weekly parsha. Rav Machlis is famous for inviting 200 guests to his home for Shabbat meals every week. The truth is that he could be teaching any topic; I just enjoy sitting and listening to him speak, feeling how holy he is.
What are you most looking forward to for the rest of the year?
I am most looking forward to our shabbaton in Tzfat, exploring the country more, and my yeshiva trip to Poland. I am also looking forward to continue my YouTube channel Fox Food Review. It’s a hobby of mine where I go to restaurants and critique their food.