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.
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.
by Mara Kurlandsky
I went on Career Israel from 2009-2010. I interned half at Beit HaTfuzot, the Museum of the Jewish Diaspora, and half at Omanoot: Israel through Art. I loved living in Tel Aviv, but to be perfectly honest, I suspected at the time, and thought for a while after, that my time in Israel had been at best, a fun way to spend time while applying to grad school, and at worst, a bad financial decision. I had already spent 8 months traveling after college and going back to Israel (I spent my junior year abroad there) was a way to continue avoiding the real world.
My experience ended up playing a large part in securing my dream job. I just finished my M.A. in Museum Studies in Washington, DC and I’ve started working at a very well-known museum exhibit design firm, which happens to be redesigning the new permanent exhibitions at Beit HaTfuzot. I couldn’t have gotten the job without my master’s degree, but my edge was definitely my experience at Beit Hatfuzot as well as the ability to read Hebrew.
I’ll be working on a number of different projects that alone would have been enough to make the job fantastic. But getting to work on the Beit Hatfuzot redesign – with the possibility of travel to Tel Aviv for work – is a dream come true. And for that, I’m grateful for my Career Israel experience.
Published in the West Bloomfield, Patch.
For some young people living through the global recession, looking for work doesn’t stop at the airport gates. Ariel Disner, 22, graduated from Michigan State University in spring 2011, but had a difficult time finding work using her business administration/pre-law Bachelor’s degree. When the opportunity arose for her to intern in Israel, Disner said, she couldn’t pass it up.
Disner is Jewish, a a 2007 graduate of Birmingham Groves High who had participated in the Birthright Israel tour program which allows American Jewish youth an all-expenses paid vacation in Israel. However, immersed in her new culture in Tel Aviv, Disner shared that her internship was a far different from any vacation.
1. What are your impressions of working in Tel Aviv compared with taking a tour?
Prior to my internship in Tel Aviv, I had only been to Israel once before on Birthright and wow, was my experience different. Don’t get me wrong, Birthright was an amazing experience, but it by went so fast. Covering all of Israel in just 10 days, my time in Tel Aviv was slim. We of course went to the beach and saw the major tourist spots, but something was missing. After I graduated from Michigan State University, I was lost. Not sure what to do I decided to sign up for Career Israel, a five-month internship program. Living in Israel was truly amazing. Unlike a tour, I got to experience work, culture and religion through Israeli eyes while making lifelong friendships.
2. What do you hope to get from this experience?
I feel my experience abroad will look outstanding on my resume as opposed to staying at home and working. From experience, employers love hearing about the time I spent abroad and want to know if I can bring that international experience back home. By interning in Israel, while simultaneously learning to navigate the culture and learn Hebrew, employers are impressed with the fact that I can immerse myself successfully in another country. In my opinion, any college grad can score an internship, but by interning abroad I often go to the top of a company’s competitive list. Read more here.
Former Career Israel participant, Scott Frankel, has created From the Diaspora, an educational documentary about 8 young Jews from around the globe making aliyah. Contribute to his Kickstarter campaign and get a discount on the DVD today!
More than 60 Career Israel alumni attended this year’s first annual alumni reunion in the center of Tel Aviv. We were so excited to hear about the amazing things our alumni are doing–working at innovative, Israeli start-ups while living it up in Tel Aviv.
After some reconnecting and schmoozing, we let alumni know about an amazing promo that we have right now. For every friend that they recruit for the September 5th session, they get $100 back!
Want to find out about more CI alumni opportunities? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.