Featured Students: Shapell’s Married Couples Program Students Carli and Raffy Gutman

Jan 27, 2016
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Carli and Raffy Gutman are students in the Shapell’s/Midreshet Rachel Married Couples Program.

Carli grew up in Toronto, Canada, and Raffy was born in Bogota, Colombia and moved to Toronto with his family when he was 9 years old. Carli attended community Jewish day schools until grade 12 and then spent a gap year in Israel on a Young Judaea program. Raffy attended Jewish day school in Bogota and went to public school after moving to Canada.

Carli and Raffy GutmanCarli and Raffy met each other while attending Queen’s University in Kingston, Canada. Carli studied biochemisty and Raffy studied chemistry and math. Carli and Raffy both played varsity rugby at Queen’s University and met though a team event. They were later re-introduced at a student-run Shabbat dinner and began dating shortly afterwards. During university, Carli and Raffy attended events run by Hillel and Chabad and slowly began learning more about traditional Orthodox Judaism.

After graduating from Queen’s University in 2012 Carli spent some time travelling and working before coming to Midreshet Rachel v’Chaya from January-July of 2013. At MRC, Carli really appreciated the serious, source-based learning, and intellectual honesty of the teachers. She also liked the fact that MRC has teachers from a wide range of Orthodox lifestyles and hashkafot, each of which are afforded respect by teachers, administrators, and students.

Raffy attended medical school after finishing his undergraduate degree. He took time off after his second year of medical school to study at Shapell’s from July-September of 2013. At Shapell’s, Raffy appreciated, (and continues to appreciate) the connection and trust that he was able to build with Shapell’s Rabbis. This has allowed him to ask questions of all kinds that enhanced his learning and personal growth. He also enjoys how the process used at Shapell’s to teach Gemara has enabled him to approach his personal and profession life from a different perspective.

Carli and Raffy were married this past May and are very lucky to be able to return to Shapell’s and MRC together. Carli is finishing the last semester of her law degree at the University of Toronto while on exchange at Hebrew University and is studying part time at MRC. Raffy recently graduated from medical school and was able to take time off before beginning his residency to return to Shapell’s. Carli shared, “We are very excited to be able to return to Shapell’s/MRC (together this time!) and look forward to the coming months of learning together.”

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