Who am I? Dvir Shatil
Age: 26
Year: 3

The facts: Many third-year students at the Faculty of Law choose to participate in exchange programs as part of their degree course. Other students decide from their first year to combine law studies with another field of interest. But Dvir’s story must surely be unique. In the middle of her degree she has decided to take time out to pursue patisserie studies at the renowned Cordon Bleu cookery school in Paris.


Why law? “In high school I used to watch lots of television series such as ‘Law & Order,’ and I was really attracted by the legal side of the stories – the court hearings. I was fascinated by the different strategies the lawyers employed,” Dvir recalls. “In the army, as an adjutant in a combat battalion, I was exposed to all kinds of problems that face soldiers from diverse socioeconomic backgrounds. I learned a lot about the economic situation in Israel, and particularly about the problems people encounter in securing the rights to which they are entitled. After I learned about the social niche in the legal world, which seeks to provide knowledge and tools for social change, I realized that this was an area where I could contribute and grow personally.”


A second hearingDvir’s decision to embark on patisserie studies in the middle of her degree course was a brave one by any standard. “I suppose I was nervous about it,” she recalls. “I have been interested in the field of patisserie for the past ten years or so, and I progressed from occasional baking to learning new things. I love the creativity and enjoyment that this field offers, as well as the concentration and precision it demands. Over the past couple of years this hobby has become an important part of my life, both in terms of the amount of time I devote to it and in terms of my thoughts about future work in the field.” In order to make her dream come true, Dvir has said goodbye to the Faculty of Law – although she promises that she will return – and headed for the famous Cordon Bleu school in Paris. “Something that is nice and comfortable in my own little kitchen can smash into pieces at the school, where the pressure is great and they already expect professional standards,” she explains. “I was also worried about moving to a new country where I don’t have a very strong command of the language, but I managed to overcome my fears.” As mentioned. Dvir has no intention of abandoning her law studies. “I am still not sure whether I should find a patisserie internship here in Paris or return to Israel in the early summer and find work in a patisserie that I can combine with my law studies. At the moment my goal is to combine both worlds, at least until I complete my degree, because I’m not willing to give up either field.”



Who am I? Adam Shahaf
Age: 28
Year: 4

The factsAdam is studying Law and English Literature and is chairperson of the Ofek student group at the Hebrew University, which is faithful to the spirit of the Labor movement. In his second year he coordinated the Gal Project, which used legal tools to promote social issues, and at the beginning of the year he worked for the Labor-Meretz list in the municipal elections in Jerusalem.


Why law? Adam chose to study law because he wanted to understand the “rules of the game” and gain tools for changing the status quo. He explains that he decided to combine his law studies with English literature because “I believe that reading offers us a chance to reach new realms of the human experience.”


A second hearing“Politics isn’t a dirty word,” Adam insists. The Ofek student group meets once every two weeks to discuss issues relating to the Israeli political reality, such as the labor market, civil rights, and religion and state. The group runs several projects, including social and cultural evenings, political debates, and tours of Jerusalem providing an acquaintance with the political situation in the city. Adam is also involved in efforts to promote direct employment at the university, rather than the use of contractors. Through the Ofek group he provides services such as the inspection of students’ salary slips.



Who am I? Matan Mehaber
Age: 20
Year: 3

The factsMatan, a native Jerusalemite, came to the Faculty of Law through the army reserve program for academics. After completing his degree, he is scheduled to serve in the Military Advocate General’s Office. For the moment he is living with his grandmother. “She lives very close to the campus, so it’s convenient in terms of access,” he explains. “I benefit most from this arrangement because I have someone to spoil me.” He is very pleased with his decision to join the academic reserves. “I think the experience of being an army reserve student at the Hebrew University is one of the best tracks you can choose. Within the reserve system, I think the law track is one of the most interesting and worthwhile. That’s true both in terms of your actual military service and in terms of the springboard it provides for civilian life.”




Why law? “My legal background came from movies and television series,” Matan confesses. “They caught my imagination and I started to see myself as a criminal lawyer defending his clients. I felt this was something I could do and it inspired a sense of justice in me.” Matan’s plans began to change a little after he began his studies and encountered new fields. “Two months into my first year I fell totally in love with the contract courses, and later with corporate and property law. I gradually found that I was focusing more on private and commercial law. The lesson I’ve learned is that it’s important to keep an open mind and not to be stubborn about things. In the final analysis,” he concludes, “it’s simply interesting to study and I find that I really enjoy the courses.”  


A second hearingIn addition to his law studies, Matan joined the Hebrew University’s debating club. “I think that’s one of the best decisions I’ve made since I began my studies,” he remarks. The debating club has a proud tradition as the oldest club of its kind in Israel that has chalked up many successes over the years in competitions in Israel and abroad. “I’ve participated in several competitions in the Israeli league and I reached the final stages twice. In general I think we represent the team honorably.” Matan does not find himself alone in the team, which includes several students from the Faculty of Law who are attracted by the opportunity to hone their debating skills. “For law students, and particularly for those who are interested in litigation, I think this is a great platform for acquiring vital skills such as quick thinking, public speaking, developing logical arguments, and self-confidence. Of course not all the students come from the Faculty, so it’s also a great opportunity to meet students from other fields who bring fresh approaches.” After a positive experience in his second year, Matan decided to remain active in the club in his third year and was appointed its chairperson. “This is a more special opportunity. Apart from the general debating experience, I have also gained interesting tools in management, organizing events, and representing the debating club and the university as a whole in contacts with various bodies. To sum it up, this activity has really helped me and has been a great complement to my law studies.”




Who am I? Aya Schwartz
Age: 26
Year: 4


The factsAya lives in the Rehavia neighborhood of Jerusalem. She is the social involvement coordinator in the student union and volunteers as an instructor in the Acharai (“After Me”) association, an educational and social organization that promotes young leadership and encourages social involvement by young people ahead of their army service. Aya has also worked as an instructor in the “Women’s Circle” project operated by the Office of the Dean of Students.



Why law? Aya believes that law studies provide a useful and important education for her future path. “The Faculty offers the best lecturers, fascinating studies, and a wide range of projects and opportunities for action,” Aya explains. “I see my experience here as a milestone in my life. During my studies I’ve met people who had a lot to teach me, and not only in the academic sphere.” 

A second hearingAya is one of the founders of the “Adopt a Grandparent” project, which is currently in its fourth year. The project aims to respond to the problem of loneliness among elderly people by arranging weekly meetings with a student in the elderly person’s home. The hope is that the project will bridge the generation gap and encourage a respectful attitude toward Israel’s growing elderly population. Over 40 students are participating in the project this year in Jerusalem, and activities have also been launched in Rehovot. The project was developed by the student union’s Entrepreneurial Center and is supported by JDC-Israel, the student association, and other bodies.