[thefacebook] Account #4: Zuckerberg’s college roommate is an ordained Rabbi.
The fourth person to open a Facebook account is now a Jewish rabbi. Arie Hasit, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg's college roommate took a career path very different from his classmates: that of religion.
Immediately following the other three founders of Facebook, Hasit was fourth in line to try out the new website. At the time, he was pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Arts at Harvard University, studying history. While his dorm mate, Zuckerberg, is an atheist, Hasit went on to join an institution of Jewish studies to achieve his life goal of becoming a rabbi.
Hasit, through a phone call interview, revealed that opening the account was a very exciting feeling for him back then. He admitted, however, that he never imagined that the “thefacerbook.com” would turn into what it has today. While his other batch-mates eventually started working for Facebook or for other tech company startups, Hasit focused on completing his Jewish education.
Hasit was ordained a rabbi on 14 September, 2016 in Jerusalem. After leaving Harvard, Hasit immigrated to Israel where he studied at the Schechter Institute of Jewish Studies and has also served as the acting rabbi for a Jewish youth group called NOAM. However, his parents wished that he studied computer science. Hasit had no interested in computer science, he felt a pull towards becoming a Jewish scholar instead. In fact, it was his lack of interest in computer science that his offer to help was received with a friendly refusal by Facebook's founders.
The 33-year-old rabbi has also revealed that a lot of people rebuked him for not joining the now business giant after learning that he was the founder's roommate once upon a time. In fact, he admits that he himself has often wondered as to what his life would have been if he had joined them. However, he says that it is in being a rabbi that he sees his life being fulfilled, and now that he has achieved his goal, he couldn't have been happier.
— MadeYouLook (@ShadinaRidgeway) September 21, 2016
As a liberal-minded rabbi, Hasit faces a tough challenge from native Israeli Ultra-Orthodox Jews who are extremely powerful. Rabbis like him are often at odds with this powerful party due to their open stances towards homosexuality and gender equality.
The rabbi is married and is blessed with a baby girl, and will be serving as the rabbi to a small congregation at the Israeli town of Mazkeret Batya.