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Faces of Federation

Meet the Onward Israel Summer Interns of 2017

Every summer, The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles sends 20-25 Jewish college students and young professionals to Tel Aviv for eight weeks to intern with companies and organizations suited to their professional interests. Participants not only gain international job experience, but also bond as a cohort and learn more about Israeli society through touring days across the country, supplemental programming and lectures, and Shabbatons with all Onward cohorts.

This year’s Onward Israel group members shared with us their summer experiences. Read below to learn more about three of them!

Conrad Petlin, Thousand Oaks

Internship: Video Editor at Showbox

Why did you decide to participate in Onward Israel this summer?

I wanted to spend a summer in Israel so I could not only experience life abroad but also spend time in this region specifically.

What have you learned from your internship?

I think the biggest thing I will take away from my internship is the importance of time management. Being able to complete a project in a quick and timely manner is a valuable skill to have in any environment. Although I don’t think my workflow is refined to its fullest potential, recognizing that I have room to grow is the first step toward improvement.

Can you share with us some adventures or experiences from the Onward Israel program thus far?

I don’t have one favorite moment – I have found the trip in its entirety to be a remarkable experience. I spent plenty of time exploring Tel Aviv, sharing time with my cohort, lounging on the beach, and indulging in Israeli hummus and pita. I enjoyed every moment of this adventure, and I know I’m going to find it particularly hard to forget the things I learned, the people I met, and the adventures I had the privilege to be a part of.

 

Rachel Sass, Irvine

Internship: Reut Institute

Why did you decide to participate in Onward Israel this summer?

I wanted to come to Israel this summer to learn about Israeli culture and immerse myself in it.

What has been one of your favorite moments so far?

A great moment on this trip was going to Yafo and seeing a local band play at the night market.

What have you learned from your internship?

During the course of my internship, I did a lot of research about the relationships between different Jewish communities worldwide, and I learned a lot about how people experience Judaism differently inside and outside of Israel.

 Can you share with us some adventures or experiences from the Onward Israel program thus far?

One of my favorite memories this summer was shopping at the shuk and then making Shabbat dinner with the whole group.

 

Dani Gross, Los Angeles

Internship: Maskit Fashion House

Why did you decide to participate in Onward Israel this summer?

I wanted to spend my summer abroad in Israel this year, but I also wanted to keep busy and work somewhere. Onward Israel allowed me to gain work experience in my field of interest, as well as live like a local in Tel Aviv.

What has been one of your favorite moments so far?

One Saturday afternoon, I walked from my apartment to Old Yafo. I walked through Shuk HaCarmel and there was nothing but one packed restaurant and many stray cats. I thought that was pretty cool because just the day before, on Friday afternoon, it took me more than ten minutes to walk from one end to the other. That day, on Shabbat, it maybe took me two minutes to walk through the whole thing. Although Tel Aviv is a secular city, it was cool to see the shuk so empty on Shabbat.

What have you learned from your internship?

I learned about the amount of dedication and hard work it takes to be an Israeli startup, especially working at a fashion design house that is a revival of a previously established company. Everyone works hard and oversees so many different things at once. It was crazy to see how everything gets done behind the scenes. I knew that success does not come easily, but this summer helped me truly understand the meaning of that phrase.

Can you share with us some adventures or experiences from the Onward Israel program thus far?

On my breakout session, I met a lot of people from other various Onward Israel cohorts. After that weekend, I had started to see some of the same people everywhere throughout Tel Aviv, whether it was during the day at a restaurant or at the beach or out at night. I met up with a girl from my breakout session, who introduced me to a cool bar that had live music performances. I also got to see and chat with many people at Onward Connections Day, which was a memorable experience.

 

Applications for Summer 2018 are now open! To learn more about Onward Israel, visit www.JewishLA.org/onward or email OnwardIsraelLA@JewishLA.org.