Memphis was not remotely on Tess Herzog’s radar as she searched for places to attend college.
“I was ready to go North East and get out of Tennessee,” said the Nashville native, Rhodes College freshman, and a recipient of a 2019-2020 Rhodes College Jewish Community Fellowship.
Lucky for Tess, her high school college counselor told her about the Fellowship opportunity and how she’d be a great match for the program. “I knew a few kids from my high school in Nashville that were a couple of years older than me who attended Rhodes and have introduced me to their friends,” said Tess. Another Nashville high school mate lives in her same dorm.
Tess is acclimating to the small campus, and is happy that a fellow classmate was able to bring her car to school so that they could explore Memphis.
“Memphis seems to be a great city with so much to experience,” she said. “I’m looking forward to my years at Rhodes and getting to know the other Fellows and meet the members of Hillel.”
“Tess is an amazing addition to the Rhodes Jewish community,” said Sophie Bloch, Director of Hillels of Memphis. “She is a passionate, driven young woman who offers a friendly face to other new students and engages in Jewish learning with a contagious sense of openness. It’s been a pleasure to get to know Tess over the course of her first semester and I’m eager to see where the rest of her college career takes her.”
Tess qualified for the Jewish Community Fellowship because of her active involvement as a leader in various Jewish and communal activities. She and her family belong to The Temple in Nashville. She was active in BBYO in her freshman and sophomore years. She served as vice president of her class at Harpeth High School, and in her senior year served as secretary of the school’s ambassadors. As an ambassador she led tours for new students and helped train incoming leaders. Tess also played basketball and softball.
“The Fellowship continues to provide a unique opportunity to recruit Jewish students to Rhodes and to introduce those students to the warm and vibrant Jewish community that exists beyond the college walls,” said Bluma Zuckerbrot-Finkelstein, Chief Strategy Officer for Jewish Community Partners.
“I’ve been so busy and have only been here for part of a semester,” exclaimed Tess. “But it feels like I’ve already been here for a long time.”
Tess attended the first monthly Fellows introduction meeting convened by Rhodes Hillel and is looking forward to involvement with Hillel as the semester progresses.
There are five $10,000 merit fellowships available to first-year students who participate in Jewish life in their communities across the United States. Eligible students must apply for admission to Rhodes for the Fall 2020 semester, be offered admission, and choose to enroll at Rhodes. Fellowship applications are reviewed by Memphis Jewish Federation (MJF), which is managed by Jewish Community Partners. MJF will recommend applicants to Rhodes based on their participation in Jewish life and service, and based on the responses to an essay prompt.