Staff Spotlight: Reuven Remez - Jewish Agency Israel Fellow


What is the name of your hometown?

Photo of Reuven Remez, Duke Israel Agency Fellow
Reuven Remez, Jewish Agency Israel Fellow

Jerusalem - maybe you’ve heard of it!

Why did you decide to come to Duke?
As Duke is a well-renowned institution, I’m excited about the prospect of working with a community and students who are aiming to be leaders in their fields. I’m looking forward to talking, advising and collaborating with the students, and I’m also certain I can learn from them as well, as they present their own perspectives on the various themes we’ll be dealing with. 

What do you want students to know about you?
One of the things I value the most is discourse. I find the act of having a respectful discourse to be very important between human beings. Some people have told me that I’m very “diplomatic” in my conversations with others, but to me, the understanding that discussions are not competitions that have to be won is key.    

Do you have a favorite quote?
“Turn away from evil and do good” (Psalm 34:15). This verse is relevant in contexts other than just positive and negative commandments. One can, and should, apply it towards foreigners and the environment. To me, it only makes sense to have this said right before “seek peace and pursue it”, as it really defines the groundwork required to achieve peace.

Who would you say your are your personal heroes?
My Grandmothers. Seeking a good, secure, and better life for her family, my grandmother on my mother’s side really exemplified sheer will and persistence in her fight to get out of the Soviet Union and make Aliyah to Israel with her family in the 1960's. My other grandma had to deal with lots of difficulties while raising my father almost by her own, all while working and volunteering in organizations seeking to improve to Israeli society.    

What are some fun facts we should know about you?
I’ve been dancing Cuban Salsa for the past 6 years and also just LOVE 90’s music (I even DJ every once in a while), so if you want tips for an upcoming party, let me know!