This Week: 5 Hottest Internships

1. Ruder Finn
PR Coordinator: Work with the firm’s executives on landing mutlifaceted clients in international media.
*Creativity is a must. Great computer skills are a plus.

2. Radvision
Marketing and Communications Coordinator: Work with multiple teams to develop, implement and maintain marketing activities for top visual communication technology company.
*Strong writing skills are a must. Great team player is a plus.

3. Flash90
Photographer at News AgencyTake the shots that make the news.
*Ability to multitask is a must. Some Hebrew knowledge is a plus.

4. Israel Sports Radio
Producer and Broadcaster: Edit and produce a radio show that covers the daily triumphs and failings of professional Israeli teams.
*A love of sports is a must. Interest in social media is a plus.

5. Hinuch L’Psagot (College for All)Tutor disadvantaged Israeli youth in English at an after-school program that makes higher education a reachable goal for all.
*Passion for education is a must. Hebrew conversational skills are a plus.

This Week: 5 Hottest Internships

1. Rimon Design House
PR Coordinator: Connect with fashion writers and bloggers worldwide to let them know about this new international fashion distribution agency.
*Self-motivation is a must. Background in PR, and of course, fashion is a plus.

2. Brayola
Web developer: Work closely with the CEO and R&D Team to enhance the site that makes it possible for women to find their perfect bra without leaving their computer.
*Strong knowledge of UI/UX, JavaScript, CSS, HTML/5, jQuery, AJAX is a must. Knowing Zend framework and Unix is a plus.

3. Society for Preservation of Israel Sites
Marketing Coordinator: Prepare marketing material for the organization that literally helps preserves Israel’s history.
*Amazing writing skills are a must.  A background in communications or history is a plus.

4. Tel Aviv University: Departments of Migration Studies and Conflict Resolution
Academic Seminar Coordinator. Invite the movers and shakers in these fields as guest speakers. Help plan innovative curriculum.
*Outgoing personality is a must. A background in social sciences or international relations are a plus.

5. Atlas Hotels Israel
Social Media Account Coordinator: Create and manage unique content for a top international hotel chain.
*Background in marketing is a must. Knowledge and understanding of Social Media techniques is a plus

Alum in the Cleveland Jewish News!

Published in the Cleveland Jewish News on October 2.

Ilana Polster, who graduated early, in 2011, from Shaker Heights High School and is a freshman at Princeton University in New Jersey, is back in the United States following eight months of volunteer work, including three in Morocco and five in Israel.

Both Shaker Heights residents have shared new insight from their journeys.

Polster brought back lessons from her eight months abroad.

“I graduated high school early and spent the second half of my senior year volunteering abroad in Morocco,” Polster wrote for the Career Israel blog. “I returned home when my three-month visa expired, but decided that I wanted to continue volunteering abroad before heading to college.”

“I spent the past summer working towards my emergency medical technician license with the plan of volunteering in ambulances overseas. After my experience in Morocco, I was relatively certain that I wanted to return to the Middle East. I initially chose Israel purely for language reasons – I have a decent comprehension of Hebrew, and communication plays a central role in ambulance work.”

In Israel, Polster volunteered for Magen David Adom ambulance services. Polster, who is studying international relations at Princeton, is one of 1,200 young adults placed in internships through the Career Israel project of the Israel Experience Ltd.

Read more in Cleveland Jewish News.

In Israel Campus Beat: Campus to Career: Graduates Seek Work in Israel

When Joanna Lieberman was preparing for graduation from Cornell University five years ago, her career options were unsettling. Dreaming of a job in the hospitality industry but lacking a degree in the field, she realized she needed hands-on work experience before pursuing a full-time position. Lieberman, along with thousands of other American college graduates, turned to Israel’s growing employment market for an answer.

“People are realizing the opportunities in Israel to get hands-on career experience in industries that are doing cutting-edge work,” she said. “Israel is known for its booming tourism industry and it seemed like the perfect place for me to test out working in the field.”

Lieberman’s hands-on work experience came from working with Career Israel, Masa Israel Journey’s five-month professional internship program that allows college graduates to explore their fields of interest. In addition to a life spent embracing her Jewish heritage, she points to her involvement with Israel-on-campus activities as a driving factor behind moving to Israel after she graduated. Participating in her Hillel’s Israel activities, she said, kept her feeling connected to the country.

Read more in Israel Campus Beat.

Published in the Boston Jewish Advocate: In Tel Aviv, rediscovering Yom Kippur

This article was published in the Boston Jewish Advocate  in September 2012.

by Jill Weiner, Career Israel alumna

For nearly 20 years, Yom Kippur was always the same: Shabbat-type dinner, Kol Nidre services on Erev Yom Kippur, Shacharit in the morning, and the Book of Jonah and Ne’ilah before break-fast. A monotonous and solemn 26 hours of fasting and praying, hoping to be inscribed into the Book of Life.

It was not until I was in Israel that this experience changed for me. During my first time in Israel for the High Holidays, I was studying abroad at the University of Haifa. On Yom Kippur, I went to a synagogue overlooking the hills of Haifa. Right around sunset, a brilliant blue and red shimmered in the sky as father and son harmonized the prayers of Ne’illah. As the echo of their voices bounced off the walls, I sensed that the glowing light held more than the eye could see. Or, maybe I was just hallucinating from the lack of food.

The second time I was in Israel for the High Holidays, I was on Israel Experience’s Career-Israel, a five-month internship program that placed me in a pre-school with blind and vision impaired babies.

On the few weeks leading up to Yom Kippur, I lived in Tel Aviv, one of the most secular cities in Israel. Many stores, restaurants, and tourist attractions are all opened on Shabbat. Sheruts (small service buses) run 24 hours. Though families can be seen walking to synagogue on any given Saturday morning, it is more likely to find a family walking to the beach. The dorms where I resided were stationed smack in the middle of the city. I could walk to the shuk (outdoor market) or jump across the street to a coffee shop. Everything I needed was within a 10-minute walk.

Having grown up in Lexington and studied at a university located near farmland, I was excited to be in the city. The noise of the metropolis never disturbed me and I barely glanced at the crowded sidewalks and loud Israelis. Every morning, I heard conversations, ambulances, and laughing children right outside my window. Only once, during Yom Kippur, did this not transpire.

On this day, there were no stores open nor were any cars being driven. Complete silence captivated the city. As Kol Nidre services ended, a sea of white overtook the intersection of Dizengoff and King George. The crowd began singing in the middle of one of the busiest intersections in Tel Aviv. When Ne’ilah approached, the small one-room synagogue where I was praying quickly became too crowded. Congregants overflowed outside, standing and praying to G-d one last time.

Whether American, Russian or Israeli secular, religious or fervently Orthodox, everyone was turning towards G-d, chanting the songs of Ne’ilah. Everyone was having a heart-to-heart with G-d.

The chanting and harmonizing of the melody created more than just music. It created a community in which we were able to connect both to one another and to a higher being. The passion and fervor that flowed from the congregants’ hearts as we sang the somber Aveinu Malkenu made the hairs on my arms rise. And while I was cold from sitting beneath the air conditioning and the lack of food, these chills were something more soulful. G-d was here.

Tekiah Gadolah blasted from shofars across Tel Aviv, signaling the conclusion of Yom Kippur. The bustling city was now free from sin, rejuvenated for the coming year.

Career Israel alumna Jill Weiner is from Lexington and is currently working at a pre-school in Newton.

This Week: Top 5 Hottest Internships

1. Hewlett Packard
Computer Science Engineer: Work alongside HP engineers to maintain cutting-edge printer software.
*Intermediate programming skills are a must. Computer science major is a plus.

2. Weitz Center for Development Studies
Academic Coordinator: Take part in managing courses in sustainable development for students throughout the developing world.
*Interest in developing countries is a must.  Social media savvy is a plus.

3. Jerusalem Venture Partners Media Lab
Analyst: Examine Israeli startups through data analysis and intensive research.
*Familiarity with Israeli startup scene is a must.  Some Hebrew knowledge is a plus.

4. Similar Group
PR and Social Media Coordinator: Spearheading and managing the social media and PR activities for a hi-tech startup in Tel Aviv.
*Passion for technology is a must. Exemplary writing skills are a plus.

5. African Refugee Development Center
Educator: Raise awareness about the plight of the African refugees in Israel and support African refugee women who have faced trauma.
*Background in social sciences are a must. Fundraising experience is a plus.

Making the Switch from Law to Medicine in Israel

My name is Nina Baker and I was a recent participant in Career Israel, a Masa Israel-accredited internship program.  I majored in Anthropology at Bucknell University and then worked as an Intellectual Property paralegal at the firm Kirkland & Ellis in New York City for two years.

After realizing medicine is actually where my interests lie, I quit my job and enrolled in the Post-Baccalaureate Pre-Health program at NYU where I satisfied the pre-med classes required to apply to health schools.  My decision to come to Israel was twofold: I wanted to gain hands-on experience in the world of medicine and therapy, as well as have the opportunity to shape my Jewish identity.

I interned at the Israel Sport Center for the Disabled in Ramat Gan.  I worked very closely with patients afflicted with cerebral palsy at the day center where they are provided daily activities.  In addition, I observed physical and physio therapies for the disabled athletes.  This internship allowed me to not only have hands-on patient experience, but to learn about therapies I didn’t know existed.  These experiences are invaluable when applying to health schools as well as figuring out which path in medicine I would like to follow.

The opportunity I was awarded through Career Israel allowed me to experience Israel in a way Birthright couldn’t.  Not only was I exposed to the Israeli medical world, but I also learned about religion and the state as well as other hot topics in Israel.  My favorite experience was the four-day cross-country hike, called Yam L’Yam, which I did with several other participants during Pesach break.  I hiked 80 kilometers from the Mediterranean Sea to the Kinneret.  Though it was the most physically challenging thing I’ve ever done, I was able to see and experience so many different types of terrain Israel has to offer.  It was a great way to feel a connection with the land of Israel in a way that listening to a lecture can’t offer.

The picture above is from the day we finally made it to the Kinneret.  I am holding a small bottle of Mediterranean Sea water.