My name is Esterina Trachtenberg. I grew up in a Haredi, Lithuanian family in Jerusalem and went to a Haredi school. But I always dreamt of working in medicine and conducting scientific research.
I left my home and community about fourteen years ago with a question, as we speak about going out from the Haredi world in Hebrew: yatzati be’sheela. Since then, I have had the privilege of fulfilling several dreams: I have worked as a nurse, studied at the Technion, and enrolled in the prestigious Ph.D. program in neuroscience at Tel Aviv University. Who would have believed…
During the pandemic, I had to suspend my research as I was assigned to work as a nurse in an isolated ward at a nursing home. The situation was difficult, the staff was collapsing, and the residents were at risk for their age and dense cohabitation. Therefore, I felt obligated to step in and come to the rescue despite my research workload.
During that crazy time, when I could barely breathe and worked harder than ever, I drew strength from our fantastic community. It is truly inspiring to see our community members strive to be at the forefront in all areas. We have the strength to go as far as possible. Shkoyach! (May your strength be extended!)