A Graduate School Loan Makes a Dream Job Possible: Julia’s Story

Client artwork, (age 6) "Me and Daddy in his wheelchair"

Client artwork, (age 6) “Me and Daddy in his wheelchair”

Julia Ellis set her sights on a career of helping people. She had been working in the psychology field for years, and was intent on a master’s degree in counseling psychology, specializing in expressive art therapy. But when she investigated various student loans and financial aid programs, she was faced with high interest rates, all of which would leave her in tremendous debt for years to come.

Julia recalled a conversation she had with a friend, who had told her about Hebrew Free Loan. At the time, Julia couldn’t believe such an organization existed. “I remember thinking, What? A loan with no interest? How is that possible?”

Looking at the website inspired Julia to find out more. “From my first meeting, I knew Hebrew Free Loan was investing in people. At a bank, you’re a number. Here, I was a person,” she said.

Embarking on a new career can be a frightening step. The personal attention, enthusiasm and caring support from the Hebrew Free Loan staff gave Julia strength as she made the leap.

Today, Julia works as a bereavement counselor for adults and children. She uses dance, movement, poetry, drama, and music to help people deal with loss. Her loan to Hebrew Free Loan is paid off, and the experience of taking out the loan was rewarding. “The gift of Hebrew Free Loan is not just financial. It’s about the faith the Jewish community has in me.”