While participating on a summer program in Israel four years ago, I knew I had to eventually return to Israel to spend a year. I was excited to find out about the UJC Otzma Fellowship Program and realized it was a perfect fit for what I wanted to give to and take away from my year in Israel. I was especially attracted to the idea of spending three months living in either Jerusalem or Tel Aviv while partaking in an internship.
It was an easy decision deciding where to intern and eventually accepting an internship at the World WIZO Fundraising Department in Tel Aviv. After volunteering at WIZO Beit Sherman in Be’er Sheva and the Caroline & Joseph Gruss Afula Community Centre sponsored by WIZO.uk and WIZO Holland, I was familiar with WIZO’s mission in Israel and was excited about having the
opportunity to assist Israelis and WIZO facilities from a different direction. This internship has been my first experience working in an office and specifically in a fundraising setting. I am so grateful to my co-workers for making it such an educational, gratifying, and challenging experience.
My experiences in the WIZO Fundraising department covered a full spectrum of different opportunities. I was able to attend a ‘Sponsor a Child’ fundraising fashion show, visit a day care center in Tel Aviv, and attend a B’nai Mitzvah for forty underprivileged youth. While in the office, I helped write articles about the various WIZO events taking place throughout the country, I translated program proposals from Hebrew into English, wrote thank you letters and kept up communication with important WIZO donors, as well as had the opportunity to design, organize, and write for WIZO’s upcoming fundraising calendar. I gained tremendous work experience, significant organizational skills, and am so grateful for the opportunity to have worked under well educated and hard working mentors.
I am so impressed every day to see the generosity of the WIZO federations throughout the world. It is touching and inspiring observing how WIZO’s ‘chaverot’ in the Diaspora stay so closely connected with the Jewish people of Israel through their events, fundraising, and implementation of projects in Israel. I feel really lucky to have had the opportunity to work for an organization that brings so much good to the lives of Israelis’ and has provided crucial services to Israel since before it’s conception.
Although I am unsure as to where I will be working and living next year, I am sure that what I do will be related and connected to Israel and the Jewish people. I plan on working for a Jewish organization in the future either in education or administrative work. I also know that for sure I will continue to promote and support WIZO wherever I live well into the future.
Jessica Robins-Detroit, Michigan