Our New Center For Jewish Studies Intern: Sophie Tamayo


Sophie Tamayo

I’m Sophie: a second year Legal Studies major, Jewish Studies minor from San Diego, California. As a first generation university student, I really appreciate all of the opportunities available here at UCSC and find myself trying to absorb every experience I can.

I  am the middle child of three girls, and I really emphasize my gratitude for the privilege of being able to receive a higher education. Growing up in a split household, I struggled with understanding my cultural background and identity; my mom, being Jewish (non-practicing for the most part) and my dad, Catholic and Mexican made it difficult to explain to my classmates for example why I had both a menorah and Christmas tree up during the holiday season.

Prior to my arrival here, I had dabbled in everything from cheer to show-choir to mock-trial, wanting to gain every experience I could in the hopes of finding my Identity. It wasn’t until I came UCSC and began taking classes in Hebrew that I began to connect with a culture that I had always felt close to. I started going to Shabbat dinners at Chabad House, did more activities, and began to feel a sense of community that I hadn’t felt before. This is when I decided to pursue the Jewish Studies Minor.

I am extremely fortunate to be able to work with the Center for Jewish Studies and look forward to planning events and promoting the amazing classes available. Jewish studies has been such an important part of my educational and personal development and I want to inform fellow students about this transformative field of study. Along with this internship, I will be working as a fellow for both the Israel Coalition on Campus and the Diarna institute for Summer 2019. In the future I really hope to incorporate my passions for Legal Studies and Jewish Studies to learn more about ways I can make a positive impact on my community.


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