This is part of a series by our Conference Coordinator Interns who have been working at Hillel International this summer to plan Hillel Institute: August Convening at Washington University in St. Louis.
What exactly does a Conference Coordinator Intern at Hillel International do? I'm still working on answering that myself. This summer, I am a part of a team of four interns who, simply, help with any number of projects to make August Convening of Hillel Institute a reality. We fill many roles. In just one day, we can be popular music consultants, note takers, subjects to try out new programming, and those people who need to make a little less noise in our office space while there's a meeting next door. Here are some experiences from a typical day at the Schusterman International Center that have been special to my summer.
One of the projects I have spent a great deal of my summer working on is assisting in the preparation for the New Directors Institute (NDI). My first week in the office, I was able to sit in on a planning call between a group of Hillel professionals in the DC office and around the country. Since then, I've been present for several more calls and meetings to plan NDI. Watching a schedule fully materialize from draft after draft was amazing. Besides getting a small taste of the information the new directors will learn as they begin their journey as a Hillel director, I am more inspired to have pride in every project I complete, after seeing how serious the NDI planning team is in their efforts to develop a full, meaningful week for its participants.
Another opportunity I've benefited from this summer is the number of professional development sessions planned for all of the interns in our building. For example, last week we had a session about Jewish leadership and values, which we attended with ten interns from the American Jewish Committee. It's unique for an organization to invest so much time and energy in its interns, and it's not an experience I take for granted. This fall, I'll be returning to the University of Virginia with a greater understanding of what makes my Jewish experience in college possible. I hope to take what I have learned and use it in bettering my Jewish community.
Next week, Hillel Institute will be underway in St. Louis. I can't wait to see the famed Washington University campus for myself, and meet new people in the Hillel family!
Leah Naidorf is a rising senior at the University of Virginia. She is currently a Conference Coordinator Intern with Hillel International at the Schusterman International Center in Washington, D.C.