Onward Israel, a follow-up experience to Birthright Israel and other peer-trips to Israel, provides students with an immersive, transformative experience in Israel to both deepen their connection to Israel and to enrich the continued development of their Jewish identity. Onward places students in tailor-made internships based on their personal and professional interests. The 8-10 week internship is complemented with a robust schedule of weekly educational activities that include professional development sessions, day trips throughout the country, and various lectures about the nuanced and multi-dimensional aspects of Israel. Learn more about Onward Israel at onwardisrael.com.
The Hillel International Internship program of Onward Israel is based in Jerusalem for the summer and includes thirty-eight students from Hillels across North America. In this series we highlight the experiences and personal reflections of student participants from the Hillels at the University of Central Florida, Ohio State University, George Washington University, and Penn State University.
Onward Israel is a program made possible through the support of leading philanthropists and is implemented by the Jewish Agency for Israel.
My name is Grant Goldberg and my internship for this summer is at the Lone Soldier Center in memory of Michael Levin. The Center’s goal is to be a support system for lone soldiers as they make their transition into the IDF, life during their service, and preparation for life after the military. They provide this support in many different ways from hosting shabbatons to counseling and advising to providing lone soldiers with furniture and other necessities to make every day life off base more comforting. The Center was made in memory of Michael Levin, a lone soldier from Holland, Pennsylvania who served in the Paratroopers. Michael was killed in action during the Second Lebanon War in August of 2006. The Lone Soldier Center was created in honor of Michael by a group of lone soldiers who both knew Michael and were inspired by his story.
I will be doing a multitude of tasks for the Center. The first task they gave to me is to design a handout that will advertise the projects in need of funding for The Center. I’ve also helped out with deliveries of furniture and other amenities on the weekends and some maintenance work around the office. The part I have most enjoyed is being able to sit down and talk with all the soldier who come into The Center to hear their stories and be a sounding board for them. This internship has been a life changing experience that has answered a lot of questions for me, and exceeded all expectations I had for this summer.
My name is Josia Klein and I am from Westerville, Ohio. I am a rising Junior at THE Ohio State University, where I am currently studying English. In addition to this major, I have minors in Professional Writing and Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. These academic interests have translated into my internship for the summer, where I am working with Koren Publishers Jerusalem to do proofreading, copy-editing, and spell checking on a wide variety of different types of books.
Apart from my academic endeavors, on campus I am involved with an organization called She's The First, which strives to bring education to girls in third world countries. I am also very involved with my social sorority, Kappa Alpha Theta, where I currently serve as the Service and Philanthropy Director. I coordinate all of our volunteer opportunities and plan exciting fundraisers to support our community.
In addition to these hobbies, I love to travel. I studied abroad in high school, living in Israel for a semester my sophomore year and took a trip to Europe. I've also studied abroad in Australia and I spent my winter break in South America.
I love that this trip has allowed me to combine all of my passions: reading and academics, service and philanthropy, and traveling the world! Our first month has flown by, and I cannot wait for the upcoming four weeks.