Hillel International selected a handful of highly qualified college students for a two-month summer internship program, where students have the opportunity to work with non-profit professionals, learn under skilled mentors and receive professional development.
Students chosen hail from Washington to Venezuela, with religious observance from secular to Modern Orthodox, and are placed in departments ranging from advancement, communications and strategy and measurement.
Here are some of their stories.
Jesse Isserow | Virginia Tech, 2018
Away from his home and friends, Jesse Isserow sought a new community at Virginia Tech his freshman year. Jesse, the son of two ordained rabbis, found that home at Hillel. There, he made friends, develop leadership skills and explore his Judaism.
“I developed the skills and confidence to become a leader,” said Jesse about his Hillel board experience his freshman year. He is now the vice president of administration and marketing at Hillel and the treasurer for his fraternity, Alpha Epsilon Pi. During the summer, Jesse is working as a development intern for Hillel International with plans to continue development work locally at Hillel at Virginia Tech.
Rashel Mikhor | University of Maryland, 2017
Rashel Mikhor’s Jewish journey has spanned across three continents and four cities. Rashel was born in Caracas, Venezuela, raised in a Modern Orthodox home in Boca Raton, Fla. After taking a gap year in Israel where she studied at a seminary, Rashel was excited to continue her Jewish journey at the University of Maryland.
She knew she would go to Hillel for her kosher meal plan and Shabbat services. That was a given. But to Rashel’s surprise, Hillel became the place that helped her grow as a leader, student and Jewish person. Rashel participates in Justice for Juniors, a mentoring and tutoring program for at-risk youth in the Washington, D.C. and Maryland areas. Rashel participated in an Alternative Breaks trip to Mississippi in spring 2015. There, she volunteered at the Sally Kate Winters safe house, painted a school and toured civil rights exhibits.
“I was in awe of how much Mississippi has changed and influenced me to continue to represent my Jewish roots, and do my part for tikkun olam—repairing the world.”
Jamie Eisner | Wake Forest University, 2017
Jamie Eisner was born in southern Virginia and grew up in a small Jewish community. Eisner attended a Jewish day school, became a bat-mitzvah and continued to practice Judaism throughout high school and into college.
Once she reached college, Jamie was determined to connect with other Jewish students at Wake Forest University. She joined Hillel and quickly became involved; now she’s the president. Two of Jamie’s presidential initiatives included planning a welcome banquet during orientation for freshmen and their parents, and a graduation ceremony ritual for Jewish students, all to attract a larger Jewish community to Wake Forest.
Jeremy Duchin | American University, 2017
Born and raised in Dallas, Jeremy Duchin grew up with a strong connection to Judaism through his family, holidays, Camp Young Judaea and USY. After Jeremy’s senior year of high school and participation in Nativ College Leadership Program, Jeremy became a more observant Conservative Jew and knew Hillel would be an important part of his college life.
The beginning of freshman year was soon upon him, and so too was his opportunity to continue his Jewish journey. American University orientation was on a Saturday, and Jeremy was unable to move into his dorm before then. Hillel found Jeremy an upperclassman from Dallas to stay the weekend with until he was able to move in Saturday night. This student met Jeremy at the airport and took the Metro back to the Hillel office with him, sharing advice on the way back about living in Washington, D.C. Jeremy felt like he was right at home.
At Hillel, Jeremy has led Shabbat services, weekly Jewish learning, co-chaired the fall retreat and most recently was a Shabbat intern. This fall, Jeremy is the First Year Students of Hillel (FYSH) program coordinator. He is matching up freshmen in Hillel to mentors to introduce them to the Jewish community and help them settle in to Washington, D.C. Said Jeremy, “It’s a great opportunity for new students to get matched up with a returning student so that they already know a familiar face when they get to campus.”
Ryan Goldberg | Virginia Tech, 2017
After participating in Hillel at Virginia Tech’s First Year Students program, Ryan Goldberg became close with the Hillel staff, students and met many of his future brothers in Alpha Epsilon Pi. Ryan learned about Hillel at Virginia Tech’s annual Daniel Pearl Music Day concert. The concert aims to use the power of music to bring diverse groups of people together and overcome intolerance. This message resonated with Ryan and he later became involved in this event by joining the committee his freshman year.
“Seeing 500 Hokies come together because of something that I helped plan was the most rewarding experience,” said Ryan. During his sophomore year, Ryan became head concert chair where he managed the finances, promotions and logistics. Through Hillel, Ryan has combined his passions for music, marketing and business by organizing this annual concert that has featured many top hip-hop and electronic musicians.
We at Hillel International appreciate the work our interns have done for us all summer, and can’t wait to see what they will do next.