My name is Aaron Goldenberg. I was born in Johannesburg,South Africa, and raised in Orlando, Florida. I go to the University of Florida (Go Gators) and I’m a huge fan of Israel. I’m chetzi-chetzi (a.k.a. half ‘n half). My dad was born in Tel Aviv and my mother was born in California. When the Middle East meets the West coast you get a sun loving, ocean swimming Patriot-Zionist with a gnarly appetite for shawarma.
At UF, I am studying communications with a minor business in the School of Journalism. My journey to Israel started in July of 2011 when I saw an ad on Facebook for Career Israel. Half a year in Israel working in whatever field I want? Say no more, I was in. Next thing I know, I’m in one of the most incredible cities on the Mediterranean working for the leading documentary film makers: The Heymann Brothers. I have been with The Heymann Brothers for a few months now and I have experienced more in the film industry than I ever thought possible as an intern. I went on shoots with the crew around Israel, I have had the chance to meet several different directors and producers, and I’ve seen firsthand what goes into making full feature films. I wouldn’t have been able to have such an internship anywhere else.
My internship isn’t the only incredible part about my time in Israel. Career Israel organizes trips all over the country and each one of them includes its own unique adventure: Hiking in the middle of the night in the Negev, floating and swimming in the Dead Sea, a tour around the Golan Heights…all unbelievable. However, the most incredible moment was when I looked Prime Minister Bibi in the eyes while he shook my hand right after I had a one-on-one conversation with the Executive Chairman of the Jewish Agency, Natan Sharansky, at the Masa event in Jerusalem.
I have never seen myself as one of those people who would say, “This trip changed my life” and truly mean it…but I can sincerely say that this trip has changed my life. My time in Israel has been by far the best choice I have made in my life. Offer me a million dollars and I still wouldn’t trade it for this experience.