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.
Bakbuk. Bakak...bottle and cap. Two Hebrew words I will never forget. My name is Zachary Braudy and I work at Herzl Beer. Yes it is a brewery, no I definitely did not expect this is how I would spend my summer. That said, I wouldn’t want it any other way.
What I get asked most often is, “How did you land that internship?” I owe everything to the Onward Israel team. After I was accepted into the program, Chaim immediately began searching for internships in my area of interest, which is start-ups and entrepreneurship. There were a lot of phenomenal options, but one night Chaim emailed me about a slot opening up at a two year old microbrewery called Herzl Beer. He sensed that I enjoyed trying new things, and I couldn’t be happier that he mentioned it to me. Although it does not directly align with what I feel are my professional goals, I felt that this was the once-in-a-lifetime Israel experience that I could never get if it weren’t for Onward. Needless to say, I took it.
Firstly, what kind of beers does Herzl make? Their beers tend to be eclectic. They make up for their small production with uniqueness. A few examples include their Embargo Stout made with Cuban tobacco, Dulce de Asal made with honey, and the six percent “Cappara”, which all of us in Onward Hillel already talked about (hint: the Yom Kippur chicken). Just today they released their new “Bira Lavan” (White Beer), a flavorful, balanced summer lager to sip on hot Jerusalem days. This one may be my favorite.
So what’s working here like? Another common question. There are no set hours. I have left early and late. Lunch breaks are communal. We recline in our work boots around a big metal table and wolf down falafel or sabich. One works until the job is done; until there is no more beer. After the first day I realized that a brewer, even a totally new one, thinks in terms of bottles, kegs, and liters, not time. So what is done all day? In essence, all beer is made by combining hot water with barley malt, then adding hops and later yeast to let it ferment. Additives for flavor enhancement may also be added. The final part of the process involves transferring the newly fermented beer from the large steel vats into bottles or kegs, which are then labeled and boxed. While this part can take a while, it is rewarding and every day I finish with a sense of accomplishment. Today I bottled 46 and 2/3 crates of American Pale Ale. That’s 1,120 bottles! Confucius really said it best: you bottle 1000 beers the same way you begin a journey of 1000 miles, one beer at a time.
I cannot thank Jimmy, Vered, Chaim, Itai, Maor and Onward Israel enough for granting me this incredible, unique, and once in a lifetime opportunity.
My name is Daniela Weisz and I was born and raised in Venezuela, until the age of 7 when my family and I moved to the U.S. I am a Marketing major at the University of Central Florida with a Hospitality Management minor, entering my senior year. We are already halfway into this program and I can honestly say I am extremely lucky to have had this opportunity. It is a rarity in many people’s lives to have the ability to travel abroad and experience different cultures, let alone being able to meet amazing and diverse people, who I can learn from on this program. I will have been immersed in a new culture and have work experience before graduating college.
This summer I am interning at Israel Sports and News Radio, an online radio with topics ranging from Israeli and Jewish sports players, to how current events can be tied into Judaism. My main role is to create content for and maintain the website on a regular basis, edit and upload interviews and be a soundboard for my boss about upcoming projects he wants to do. This internship has already taught me many valuable work experiences I can take with me and use to better my work ethic.