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Volunteer Internship

Sharon Zaidenrais

Sharon Zaidenrais

In 2009, I received my Master's Degree in Nonprofit Administration (NPA) from John Carroll University, Ohio. For the last five and half years, I have worked for two outstanding organizations, both of which provide programs and services to children and adults with disabilities. I am not new to fundraising OR seeing firsthand the outcomes charitable contributions have on the lives of those who need help.

In the beginning of 2011, I started looking into buying a house. A single, 27 year old woman, buying a house on her own – I felt EMPOWERED! While discussing my dream house with my realtor, I realized that I had actually been dreaming of living in Israel for quite a while and knew if I bought a house without trying Israel first, I would regret it for the rest of my life.

I stopped my home search, quit my job, picked up my life, and came to Israel where I got an unpaid internship at World WIZO. To many, this move was five steps backwards. To me, this was a dream come true.

Being in the country I love, working for an organization that works endlessly and tirelessly and for people I am connected to by over nearly 6000 years of history – is something I could NEVER regret!
On top of that, it was the previous organizations where I worked that my passion for helping others truly began, but it was my five months at WIZO that absolutely confirmed that I am doing exactly what I’m supposed to!

For the last five months, I provided fundraising support to this internationally affiliated non-profit. I translated grant proposals and follow-up reports from Hebrew to English, significantly helping to improve my Hebrew speaking skills. I developed content related to fundraising and programmatic marketing, assisted in coordination of logistics and web and printed marketing materials and developed content for the World WIZO quarterly electric and paper copy newsletters. The fundraising department really allowed me to take the lead and be creative in the marketing process, while guiding me in an area of fundraising I had very little experience in – communication with sister organizations worldwide.
One phrase that I heard countless times over the last five months of my internship is, “WIZO Family”. I didn’t fully realize how powerful this term was until my last day as a volunteer, sitting in on the 25th EGM Conference in a sea of hundreds of women from all around the world, working together towards the same cause, passionate for the same things I am, hopeful, as I am, that we ARE creating a new tomorrow for the Israeli children and women - I now very much feel a part of the WIZO family.
Thank you to Esther Mor, Mickey Dahav and Annette Crandell on providing me with this wonderful opportunity! I look forward to keeping in touch and seeing the great impact WIZO has on Israel and on the Diaspora.


Sharon Zaidenrais-USA