From the Hilltop to the French Hill

Georgetown in Israel

​After two semesters of trekking to Lau and whining about Leo’s food, summer provides a much-needed escape from the Georgetown bubble. Yet, even while exploring Jerusalem’s Hebrew University, Mount Scopus—my new campus home for the summer—I have begun to put Georgetown in perspective. Located in its nation’s capital, world-renowned and buzzing with cafés and students lounging on the lawn, Hebrew University is actually a lot more like Georgetown than I would ever have thought. Here are some surprising similarities:

1. Call Animal Control
Let’s be honest: no one came to Georgetown for the rats and squirrels. I intentionally bypass Old North to avoid mice Mecca. At Hebrew University, however, cats prove an inescapable presence. Not only do cats roam the library and the student center, but students also maintain an area on campus specifically to feed the cats. Maybe if we took some cats to Georgetown, we’d at least lose one problem.

2. Dead Man Walking
While Georgetown houses a cemetery for Jesuits between Harbin and the ICC, Hebrew U actually boasts two: the British War cemetery and the American Colony cemetery. Nothing like looking at graves for some encouragement on the way to class.

3. Satellite Struggles
If you haven’t heard of the infamous and much-bemoaned proposal to introduce a satellite Georgetown campus, then you probably were living in Hebrew University. Although Hebrew U retains six different campuses depending on subject area, Georgetown students would universally protest the Mount Scopus layout. While the dorms sit on one side of the campus, students have to walk twenty minutes to the library and the academic buildings. Forget about waking up five minutes before class.

4. Campus on a Hill
Both Georgetown and Hebrew U are situated on one of the highest points of their respective cities. What a geographic sense of superiority!

5. The Village People
Rooming in VCW and Village A, I have always lived in some sort of village. Out of all the Georgetown idiosyncrasies, I considered this the most peculiar. Instead of being super confusing to visitors and new students, can’t the university just find some rich people to buy the name and then use the money to put treadmills in some common rooms? Yet, in Hebrew University, my dorm is number 7 in the Student Village. I guess some seemingly unique eccentricities really supersede countries and customs.

Before arriving at Hebrew University, I considered my summer to be a very different, if not completely opposite, experience to my first year at Georgetown. But I guess it just goes to show that no matter where you go as a Hoya, memories of the Hilltop will always travel with you.

Jessica Tannenbaum is a rising junior at Georgetown. Thanks, Jessica!

Photo: horizon2020projects.com