Sarenka Smith is a participant on the Career Israel Summer Internship Program, with an internship in Journalism. She is completing her BA in Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins.
Career Israel has provided me with the remarkable opportunity to intern at The Jerusalem Post, the world’s top English-language daily newspaper covering Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World. My major at Johns Hopkins University (creative writing) coupled with my interest in sociopolitical issues (particularly those pertinent to the Middle East) has made this internship a worthwhile experience.
At the Post, I have learned valuable tools that are crucial to any newspaper/journalism professional. I have learned to use the online database, upload articles onto the Jpost website, moderate talkbacks (readers’ comments), copy edit, and even report. The most exciting job I was given was the opportunity to cover the Israeli Presidential Conference, hosted by Israeli president Shimon Peres. The conference welcomed scholars, politicians, and activists from all over the world. Because it was an international media event, it focused on vital issues, decisions, and initiatives that must be implemented in order to guarantee a ‘better tomorrow’ for the State of Israel and the Jewish people. I was able to see Tzipi Livni, Bibi Netanyahu, and Shimon Peres speak; I even received a press pass so that I could report back to Jpost. In early August, I will attend another international conference, ‘Wikimedia,’ that focuses on sharing knowledge and information via the internet.
In addition to my internship, I, along with my peers on the program, have explored Tel Aviv, a city that truly never sleeps. My roommates and I have sampled some of the best restaurants in the city, stumbled upon countless trendy bars, and exhausted the city’s shopping districts- some of which are less than a block away from our housing! I have taken wonderful trips to Yaffo, Jerusalem, and even a hike/camping trip near the Sea of Galilee. In the past two months, I truly feel as if I live in Tel Aviv. I know the bus routes, can recommend the best streets in the city, and my Hebrew has improved remarkably. Just a few days ago, two friends and I went to Haifa to see the finale of “Kochav Nolad”, the Israeli version of American Idol.
There is never a shortage of excitement, or things to do, in Tel Aviv. Living fifteen minutes away from the beach always guarantees a relaxing evening after work, and our apartment’s location in central Tel Aviv is ideal for college students. I called my parents yesterday, and told them I truly do not want to come home. The past two months have gone by too quickly, and I have really relished my time here. It is impossible to describe the experience I have had this summer, but to sum it up in a word–it has been unparalleled. When I leave, I will be counting the days until I return.