Springboard Blog

Springboard Blog

More than an Internship: Reflecting on a Year of Growth, Challenges, and New Friendships

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Our first Springboard Social Media interns just wrapped up their first year on the job! Check out what they accomplished, what they learned, and where they’re headed next.

Social Media Interns

What were some of the most memorable experiences you had as a Springboard Social Media Intern?

“As a Social Media Intern, one thing we did was go to different community events, including 18 Under 18, or Israel Solidarity Day, and a USY chapter cooking event. We had assignments, such as taking pictures, making own Instagram posts, videos, and spreading the word about upcoming events in the community. We got to see different aspects of the Jewish community from behind-the-scenes and everything it takes to put on events.

-Emily Fridland, Incoming 10th grader, Glenbrook North High School

“I made Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat and Twitter posts, wrote blog posts and interviewed the honorees of the first ever 18 Under 18 Event. I went to Israel Solidarity Day and got to ask people why they love Israel and then take pictures of them. I got to see all different types of answers of why teens love Israel.”

-Evie Katz-Palka, Incoming 10th grader, Buffalo Grove High School

What are some of the main skills or lessons you learned?

“Coming to the realization that posts that lack quality content won’t aid in impressing others. Working behind the scenes has allowed me to fully understand the complexity of how our message effects not simply our community, but the world around us. Further, the WHY is so very important, so by explaining the ‘why’ through our media, we show who we are rather than what we look like on the outside.”

-Maddie Brim, Incoming 11th grader, Stevenson High School

“A skill I had to learn was how to take criticism. Criticism isn’t always negative, but I realized that learning how to deal with it and to use it to better yourself as a person is a crucial skill. Submitting my posts and seeing that I needed to change my execution of a graphic or the format of an interview, helped me to to make my posts better and more informative.”

-Avery Hessel, Incoming 10th grader, Vernon Hills High School

“During our monthly meetings, we covered different professional development topics. One meeting we talked about quantity and quality when it comes to social media posts. We discussed the difference between making a post that gets a lot of “likes”, but doesn’t have any real impact, like causing people to show up to an event, vs. making a post that may not get many “likes”, but gets people to actually act on it, for example, signing up for a School Break program. My fellow interns and I decided that quality, and the impact of our posts, was as important, if not more, than quantity, and something we should be focusing on.”

-Evie

“I learned how much time and work truly goes into making all these posts and social media type of stuff. I learned that you have to do your part in a group to make the whole group succeed otherwise everyone will fail. We learned also many different ways to edit our posts and how to create them as a whole.”

-Emily

 

Share one highlight of your internship:

“Overall, my favorite part was meeting the other interns and being a part of a team. When one of us had a question or needed some insight, the others were there to help. At one point, we all worked together on a Chanukah post and it was so much fun getting to work all together.”

-Evie

Community is vital to how we become who we are, so without working with this community I wouldn’t have been as involved as I am. I am so happy to be with the Chicagoland Jewish community! Whether it's meeting all the different types of people or being able to broadcast the innovative skills I’ve learned, I could never express my gratefulness for the place I found within the community.”

-Maddie

“Apart from being a madricha at the Chabad of Vernon Hills, this was my first real job. This was the best hands-on learning experience for me as a freshman. I was able to work on my professionalism, cooperation, time management, patience, and social media navigation.”

-Avery


What’s next?

“As a result of me getting involved in this internship, I have applied to the Diller Teen Fellows program. Diller is a fellowship for high school students interested in exploring topics in leadership, Jewish identity, social justice, and Israel. Each of these topics are extremely important to me as a growing Jewish teen and activist. I was also introduced to Or Tzedek, which is a program that provides opportunities for teens from across the country to learn about and take action on current social justice campaigns, which I will be participating in this summer. I am also hoping to attend more events that I learned about, such as Israel Solidarity Day, Good Deeds Day, and CHUSY.”

-Avery

This coming fall I am going to Israel to study for a few months and cannot wait. Because of this internship I know who I am and what my role in the Jewish community is.”

-Emily

 

Final Thoughts?

“I’m so thankful for this feeling, and I want to thank the teen engagement community at JUF for giving me the opportunity to not only become better engaged with my community through social media platforms, but allowing me to grow to become the person I am today.”

-Maddie

“This has made me a more independent and hard worker. I have been able to work in all different styles from blogging to social media. I have learned so much and will be able to use these skills in the future. I would like to thank Springboard for giving me this amazing opportunity.”

-Evie 

Camp TOV: Learning Jewish values through doing

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By AVI SHAPIRA

Avi Shapira

Last August, with only a few weeks left of summer, I was fortunate to participate in JUF’s Camp TOV, specifically for teens. I learned about the program through friends who had participated in prior years. Traveling around the Chicago area with a group of Jewish teens (and with fun counselors!) while learning about and the wide variety of social service organizations our JUF/Federation supports seemed like a fun opportunity.

Since I was very little, Jewish values of repairing the world (tikun olam) and acting with kindness (gemilut chasadim) have been woven throughout my studies at Chicago Jewish Day School and at home with my family.

Camp TOV gave me an up-close, hands-on opportunity to put those values to work by volunteering at a variety of non-profit organizations. Together we were able to make a meaningful difference for those in need, and I was surprised to learn that these organizations are there to help anyone in need, not just people in the Jewish community.

I also enjoyed Camp TOV because it was a unique opportunity for me to meet new teens from across Chicago and the suburbs, who I wouldn't have otherwise had the opportunity to meet. Together with a new group of friends, we stickered bags at The ARK, sorted books at Bernie's Book Bank, visited with the elderly at CJE SeniorLife, and prepared food packages at Feed My Starving Children.

My favorite parts were learning about philanthropy and making phone calls for a fundraising phonathon as well as visiting the Pushing the Envelope Farm where we learned about caring for our environment through a Jewish lens.

Camp TOV gave me a taste for what lies ahead as I consider which JUF programs I want to be involved in next as a high school student!

          

Registration for JUF’s Camp TOV and JUF’s Mini Camp TOV is open to entering 7th-12th graders from metropolitan Chicago. For more information and to register, visit www.juf.org/camptov.

Avi Shapira is an eighth grader at Chicago Jewish Day School and a participant in JUF’s Camp TOV program.

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