Eric Silberman (’09) is currently living on Poland on a scholarship from the Fulbright Program. Annually, the program gives grants to 8000 students from around the world, allowing them to spend a year in a foreign country studying a topic of their choice. Past Fulbright scholars have included writers, businessmen, artists, professors, and politicians; forty-three Fulbright alumni have won Nobel prizes, and seventy-eight have won Pulitzer prizes.
Following his studies at Princeton, Eric, is spending the year studying in Poland where he works at the new Museum of the History of Polish Jews in Warsaw. There he helps finish preparations for the opening of the museum, meets the museum’s first visitors, and visits Jewish festivals and Jewish communities throughout the country. He is chronicling his experiences and, in general, the modern Jewish experience in Poland through creative fiction and non-fiction writing.
At Princeton, Eric majored in molecular biology with minors in creative writing and Judaic studies, interests he cultivated during his years at ICJA. He says, “Many of the teachers I had at Ida Crown inspired me to do what I did and study what I studied, such as Mr. Newman and Ms. Gleicher, for biology; Ms. Goldstein, for writing; and Ms. Sennett, for history.”
Eric has previously visited Poland as the recipient of a Dale award and then as one of 15 Princeton students studying with the historian and writer Jan Gross. “My studies in Poland began as a family history project, during my first trip there; my second trip was an exploration of the history of Polish-Jewish relations,” Eric said. This trip is similar in some ways, but also different. “I see my year here as a further exploration of the past but also an exploration of the future of Polish-Jewish relations.”
After his year in Poland, Eric plans to apply to medical school.