HEBREW NAME: David Yrachmael
HIGH SCHOOL: Amesbury High School, ‘20
CURRENT SCHOOL: The State University of New York at Oswego (SUNY Oswego), ‘24
MAJOR: Broadcasting, hopes to be a sports broadcaster after graduation
FAVORITE JEWISH FOOD: The charoset that my mom makes for Seder.
FAVORITE JEWISH PERSON(S): My former rabbi, Avi Poupko, who was my rabbi when I was going through Hebrew school and who was the rabbi for my bar mitzvah. The other is Ron Pressler, a long-time member at the synagogue [Congregation Ahavas Achim, Newburyport], who was an influential figure for me while I was growing up in the synagogue.
FAVORITE JEWISH HOLIDAY: Passover, because I get together with family and extended family to read the Haggadah and feast.
FAVORITE MOVIE: “Catch Me If You Can,” with Leo DiCaprio and Tom Hanks
FAVORITE SONG: “Chicken Fried,” by Zac Brown Band
FAVORITE SPORT: Baseball
What was your Jewish background growing up?
I grew up in an interfaith family, and am Jewish. I went to religious school and was bar-mitzvahed. It was very interesting for me because my grandparents on one side of the family are Episcopalian, so I also grew up celebrating their holidays as well, Christmas and Easter, mainly, and even went to church with them a few times. I also celebrated many of the Jewish holidays as well, going to High Holiday services every year, lighting the menorah with my mom for Hanukkah, having a Seder with family and extended family, as well as others.
How has your Jewish identity shaped you as a person?
My Jewish identity has made me much more accepting as a person. I think because I am Jewish, and [the Jewish religion] is a minority in the U.S., I think that I am accepting of all other types of people around me. Judaism also preaches acceptance, and this has been part of me since I was young.
What has it been like going to school during the pandemic and what lessons has it taught you about school? Life? Perseverance?
Having my freshman year of college in the pandemic was different. With all the COVID rules in place, it was much harder to meet new people. In the first semester, I also had four of my five classes online, so only one in-person class, [which] made it much harder to meet people. Taking classes online was also very weird, especially because one of my classes was asynchronous, meaning there was no meeting times, I was just assigned work and had a deadline to meet it. Doing school in the pandemic has definitely taught me to be more outgoing, because I wouldn’t have met people if I stayed to myself all the time.
Have you been to Israel or have a desire to travel there, or are you involved with any Jewish groups or activities you would like readers to know about?
I went to Israel in the summer of 2018 on the Y2I trip through the Lappin Foundation. It was one of the greatest experiences of my life. Being there was so much fun, and I met so many new people. One of my favorite parts of the whole thing was being at the Western Wall on Shabbat.