Arie Hasit , 33 from New Jersey who was Mark Zuckerberg’s roommate at Harvard University, achieved his dream Wednesday when he was ordained at the Schechter Rabbinical Seminary in Jerusalem.

Hasit admitted to occasionally wondering what might have been had he joined the tiny startup that Zuckerberg and three other friends were working on.

Zuckerberg’s net worth has been estimated by Forbes magazine at over $55 billion.

In 2004, Hasit became Facebook’s fourth user, after Zuckerberg and co-founders Chris Hughes and Dustin Moskovitz.

As the site became popular at Harvard, Hasit said he approached them and offered to help. Hasit, a student of history and modern Hebrew with no interest in computer science, was gently rebuffed.

‘They were like, “Arie, we like you and you’re our friend,” and that was definitely true, we’d continue to hang out socially, “but no, you don’t have anything to offer here,”‘ Hasit recalled.

He took their comments in stride — and continued to ignore his parents’ urging that he study computer science. He was busy leading a Jewish prayer community on campus and writing for the Harvard Political Review.

Zuckerberg dropped out of Harvard at the end of that school year and moved to Silicon Valley. Hasit graduated in 2005 with a double major in history and Near Eastern languages and civilizations. He wrote his thesis on Israeli hip-hop.

‘The real question was, was he going to be the Israeli hip-hop professor or a rabbi?’ said Zach Bercu, who studied at Harvard and met Hasit through the Jewish community. ‘I don’t think there was another route.’

While watching Facebook grow from a distance, Hasit immigrated to Israel after graduation and enlisted in the army, where he worked as a spokesman to foreign media. He never bragged about his famous college roommate, but word eventually got out.

‘People said, “You’re nuts. What happened to you?”‘ said Aliza Landes, a fellow American who served with Hasit. During her time in the military, Landes founded the Israeli army’s social media desk. Hasit, she said, did not get involved.

Hasit did experience a moment of brief stardom. Benjy Rutland, an officer in his unit, said he remembers Hasit’s delight when he watched The Social Network, a Hollywood film about Facebook’s launch at Harvard, and caught a glimpse of a minor character in the film wearing a skullcap and playing drums.

Hasit, himself an amateur drummer, said it was a ‘plausible’ representation of him.

‘He was happy there was something he could sort of hang his hat on,’ Rutland said.

Although he didn’t become a founder, Hasit said he has managed to cash in somewhat on the global phenomenon born in his college dorm.

Source : AP/

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