The leaders we engage on campus become leaders within society after college. Read how IEC has impacted their lives and how they contribute to the world around them.
Hillels Around Chicago/University of Illinois Chicago
For nearly three years I was one of the IEC Israel Interns at the University of Illinois- it changed my college experience and ultimately my career choice. The internship provided me the opportunity to educate Jewish and non-Jewish students about Israel and all that she offers to the world. I organized so many events with a variety of different topics, from Israeli sports to Middle Eastern politics. I helped mobilize students who supported Israel to combat anti-Israel events and organizations on campus effectively. Through combatting anti-Israel sentiment on campus, the most important aspect of the internship was building coalitions with other groups on campus, especially the political and non-Jewish organizations. The last year of my internship I organized an event for Adod Leshem, director of the documentary “Voices from El-Sayed” that educated my campus about the deaf community in the Negev. The Speech and Hearing Sciences Department at UIUC cosponsored the event and we were able to reach over 200 students (most of whom were not Jewish).
Working as an Intern opened my eyes to the great resources the IEC provides to college students. I am currently an Engagement Associate for the Hillels Around Chicago for the Jewish United Fund. I am excited to continue to educate students at colleges and universities about important Jewish issues.
Campus Engagement Associate
Interfaith Youth Core
The Israel Internship gave me an opportunity to develop thought-out and innovative programming on my campus. I had the opportunity to showcase the diversity of Israel and engage my peers in constructive conversations. Through this position I brought nuance to a conversation about Israel that was missing on my campus and challenged myself and the student body to think critically. As an Israel Intern I not only built partnerships with groups on campus, but I also developed long lasting relationships with Interns from other campuses (that continue today).
My past Hillel Director often reminds me of how much fun she had at Sephardi Party. The program aimed to teach the Loyola community about Sephardic culture and to explore the complexity of Jewish migration and culture. A scholar of Ladino spoke about the language, free food was provided, relevant music was played, and participants danced. The event was hosted on the first floor of the student center at Loyola where students, staff, and faculty pass often- so over 100 people attended.
For the last two years I have worked at the Interfaith Youth Core in Chicago. I travel to campuses across the country and partner with students, staff, and faculty who are committed to making interfaith cooperation a priority on campus. This internship strengthened my leadership skills and taught me how to develop smart programming on campus. The internship experience helps me be successful in my work because I understand the need to develop smart programming that sparks meaningful conversation on campus.
Manager of Communications, Bitcoin Magazine
As a pro-Israel advocate, former Congressional staff member, and graduate of Wheaton College, I am forever grateful to the Israel Education Center for the opportunities and support they provided during and following college. I first got involved in pro-Israel activism right before the start of my freshman year at Wheaton College after attending the Christians United for Israel Washington, DC Summit. When I started at Wheaton, I immediately joined our campus group, Tikvaht Israel. The IEC was instrumental in providing opportunities for our campus group by facilitating speakers to come to campus and flying myself and other students to the nation’s capitol for the JCRC Washington, DC Advocacy Fly-in. My motivating experience lobbying in support of Israel during the DC Fly-In played an instrumental role in my final decision to work for a member of congress and handle his Middle Eastern policy portfolio. After graduating with a BA in Political Science from Wheaton College, I immediate started working in Washington, DC and eventually landed a position in the office of Congressman Peter J. Roskam (IL-06) where I had the privilege of handling his Middle Eastern policy portfolio and additionally serving as staff assistant, scheduler and until most recently, legislative correspondent. It was an incredible opportunity to work for Congressman Roskam as he continued to work to strengthen the US-Israel relationship.
In April, I chose to take a position as Manager of Communications for Bitcoin Magazine. Bitcoin is a digital, decentralized, cryptocurrency, and is in fact, growing in prominence and utility in Israel. To date, I have had the privilege of interacting with Israeli business leaders involved in the Bitcoin currency and have been able to draw yet another connection between the US and Israel. Support for the Jewish State of Israel is essential. JUF and the IEC provided me with valuable tools to serve as a pro-Israel activist on campus and have a jumpstart into a career on Capitol Hill where my legislative focus was pro-Israel and Middle Eastern policy and continue on to this day to stand in support of the US-Israel relationship.
Law School Graduate
As the Israel Intern at UIC, I had the privilege of working with the campus community and the IEC to put together programming and at the same time, respond to anti-Israel activity on campus. During my two years I helped bring speakers to discuss a broad range of topics including human rights and Israeli culture. The highlight of my experience was organizing a response to an anti-Israel event on campus. I was extremely proud of how students came together and showed solidarity with Israel.
Since I finished my internship, I have graduated from law school and returned to Chicago to begin my career. I gained invaluable experience organizing events and fundraising which continues to help me professionally today.
Law School Student
As a non-Jewish leader on campus, I learned so much from my internship with the Israel Education Center. This internship gave me the opportunity to bring expert speakers onto my campus and discuss the importance of supporting Israel. Through the IEC I was also able to travel to Israel with other non-Jewish interns. This trip allowed me to engage with the issues and become more informed through talking with Israelis, visiting an IDF military base, and discussing with experts in their field. I am currently attending law school and continue to take away the knowledge I gained from my internship when discussing the issues with my fellow peers to this day.
I’m really happy that I had a chance to be an Israel Intern for the IEC. It was a great opportunity to meet many interesting people, to learn from them and to share my knowledge. The internship provided me with an opportunity to be able to lead and organize group events. I learned what intercultural issues existed on campuses and the best way to solve them. Having this internship improved my communication skills to a higher level.
While working as an intern, I also became president of Hillel at College of Lake County. We only had 10 members, but I wanted to spread the word about our club and about Israel. I decided to invite the International club, the biggest club on campus, for a networking lunch event. We provided Israeli food and made a power point presentation about Israel. There were approximately 60 people that attended the event with different cultural backgrounds. I was surprised to discover that majority of them didn’t even know where Israel is located. After our presentation many of the guests shared with me that they wanted to visit Israel as soon as possible. I was really happy to hear that. Because of that event we made many friends from other clubs and received recognition on campus.
Now I’m working as Financial Intern at Insignis, Inc. The Israel internship impacted me in many ways. I now have the experience to communicate with different types of people. I learned how to propose my ideas properly and how to bring them to life. I continue to advocate for Israel and I now know how to effectively handle the topic.
As a non-Jewish student leader, the internship experience with the IEC was a phenomenal way to work for a cause in which I believe. The country of Israel is a key part of our public life as Americans, and being able to advocate to my fellow students on its behalf was a privilege. My time as an intern also gave me the opportunity to learn even more about the issues I care about, and to create events that educated my classmates about the same. The staff of the IEC was incredibly supportive and encouraging throughout my internship, and it was a privilege working with them on Israel 's behalf.
I most enjoyed working with my campus' ROTC program to bring Dr. Amos Guiora, an Israeli Defense Force expert in counterterrorism operations, to campus to speak on the morality of warfare. By far one of our most successful events, Dr. Guiora's lecture showed he was highly competent in his field. The talk was relevant both to those heading into the military and to those concerned with how war ought to be fought.
I am a Legislative Correspondent on Capitol Hill, where I draft issue response letters for a U.S. senator. One of my primary issue areas is foreign affairs: my time as an IEC intern allowed me to learn the history and importance of the U.S. / Israel relationship in great detail, and I regularly draw on that knowledge in my job.