Attending a Catholic university - Loyola University in Chicago - might at first sound like a strange choice for someone who became a bat mitzvah, was confirmed at a Reform temple, and spent many summers at a Jewish sleepaway camp. The majority of students identify as Roman Catholic, and the university's small Hillel meant I'd likely miss out on the many Jewish opportunities other universities offered.
To say that Judaism has been a constant feature in my life is an understatement. I spent eight hours a day in a Jewish day school from kindergarten through graduation, and went to temple every Shabbat. My family was so active in our synagogue, we received its "Family of the Year" award.
Now when Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them by way of the land of the Philistines, although it was nearer; for God said, "The people may have a change of heart when they see war, and return to Egypt." - Exodus 13:17