In Washington, D.C., Portman attended Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School. Portman learned to speak Hebrew and attended a Jewish elementary school, the Solomon Schechter Day School of Nassau County, New York. She graduated from Syosset High School in Syosset, Long Island in 1999. Portman skipped the premiere of her film Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, so she could study for her high school final exams.
In 2003, Portman graduated from Harvard College with an A.B. degree in psychology. "I don't care if ruins my career," she told the New York Post. "I'd rather be smart than a movie star." At Harvard, Portman was Alan Dershowitz's research assistant. While attending Harvard, she was a resident of Lowell House and wrote a letter to the Harvard Crimson in response to an essay critical of Israeli actions toward Palestinians.
Portman took graduate courses at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in the spring of 2004. In March 2006, she was a guest lecturer at a Columbia University course in terrorism and counterterrorism, where she spoke about her film V for Vendetta.
Portman has professed an interest in foreign languages since childhood and has studied French, Japanese, German, and Arabic.
As a student, Portman co-authored two research papers that were published in scientific journals. Her 1998 high school paper, "A Simple Method to Demonstrate the Enzymatic Production of Hydrogen from Sugar," co-authored with scientists Ian Hurley and Jonathan Woodward, was entered in the Intel Science Talent Search. In 2002, she contributed to a study on memory called "Frontal Lobe Activation during Object Permanence: Data from Near-Infrared Spectroscopy" during her psychology studies at Harvard. This publication placed Portman among a very small number of professional actors with a defined Erdős–Bacon number.
Read more about this topic: Natalie Portman/Jerusalem And Israel
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