More than 200 ninth- and 10th-grade girls from eight New York and New Jersey Jewish day schools — including Ilan High School in Deal and Bruriah High School in Elizabeth — all participants in the Center for Initiatives in Jewish Education-Tech High School Engineering Program, made a behind-the-scenes visit Oct. 29 to Google’s NY headquarters. Bruriah graduate and Google software engineer Rachel Geisler organized the event.
Craig Nevill-Manning, founder of Google, NY, welcomed the students and discussed the past, present, and future of Google.
Geisler discussed her education, saying she was fortunate to be able to combine “being a dedicated wife and mother as well as a successful ‘Googler.’”
The girls “traveled” to different destinations using virtual reality inventions, including the new Google Cardboard, which works on mobile devices.
Six Orthodox “Googlers” addressed the visitors, telling them how they handle their roles as software engineers and religious Jewish women. “This was an amazing opportunity for our young ladies to learn from Jewish and STEM career role models,” said CIJE vice president and director Judy Lebovits.
According to Ilan High School CIJE teacher Natalie Aryeh, “The women described their journeys to becoming engineers and the struggles they faced as women in a predominantly male field. It was inspiring for our students to see Jewish mothers and wives succeed in attaining prestigious engineering positions, all while keeping strong to their religious beliefs and practices.”