Torah with Derech Eretz
Beit Midrash and Kollel Alumnus
Shimshon is a native of Holyoke, Massachusetts. From 1971-73 he attended nearby Amherst College, one of America's most prestigious and selective institutions. He decided to take a year off and, as he puts it, "What you don't know, your mazal knows." He attended a kibbutz ulpan, and when a few others at the kibbutz decided to spend some time at a yeshiva he followed. Like other major decisions, he wasn't sure just exactly how conscious that decision was, but in any case a friend who was studying at Neve Yerushalayaim introduced him to Rabbi Refson who literally drove him to Ohr Somayach in Jerusalem and dropped him off at the office.
Two days after arriving at Ohr Somayach Shimshon had an interesting experience: "While attending a wedding in the Old City, Rabbi Meir Schuster z"l saw me and asked me what I was doing in Jerusalem. I told him that I was studying in a Yeshiva — an answer that I don't think he received from too many people."
After two years in Ohr Somayach Shimshon married and spent an additional four years in their Kollel. Realizing that he wanted to settle in Israel, support a family and continue to pursue his scientific interests and talents, he then enrolled in the Jerusalem College of Technology (Machon Lev) and received a degree in Computer Science in 1984. Since then has worked as a software engineer and is currently involved in 'embedded real-time software', while continuing to maintain a serious learning schedule.