So....yea, I have not posted in quite some time. I've officially been in Israel for around 5 weeks right now and a part of me is in major disbelief at how quickly the time is going. I feel as though I made so many mental lists of things I wanted to do and yet, I don't find myself doing a great deal of them. But here are some snapshots of what I have been doing:
Today I began my 3rd week working at Marom Philanthropy and Business Group. I've become more clear on what our company does, which is consulting and resource development for non-profits, as well as CSR consulting. WHAT is that?!? Yea, I had no idea at first either, so let me explain in context of my job. I research information about foundations, charities, philanthropists, etc. to see what type of profits and/or programs they give funding (usually in the form of grants) to. The next step is making contact with these people and hopefully submitting grants to them. The other part is CSR, which stands for corporate social responsibility. This essentially is if/how a corporation invests part of it's profits in social endeavors. So far it is pretty interesting. I've been learning a lot about rich Jewish people and different Jewish and Israel non-profits. Everyone in my office is extremely lovely, including my fellow intern Connie (whom I am naming because I can imagine she will reappear at some point in my posts).
The Dead Sea
This past Thursday our program took a group trip to the Dead Sea. Anyone who went on Birthright with me knows that the Dead Sea and I are not good friends. Nonetheless, the trip was pretty fun. We took a brief hike in Ein Gedi, which I am great friends with, and then spent a few hours at the sea. I did go in the water for a couple minutes but spent most of my time soaking up sun on the shore.
This weekend I went to a Masa Shabbaton seminar on Security and Diplomacy in Israel. It was a bit of a blast from the past to be listening to speakers and participating in group discussions about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, BDS, and other concerns of the state. But I realized something: this is truly my passion. I always am thirsty to be learning new information, to challenge myself to think about everything I'm told regarding the issue, and I believe that I play an important role in educating others. I think that we all have the potential to play this role, but I'll save my speech. I'll keep most of it to myself because I try to avoid politics on this blog, but I came to many realizations about the security situation in Israel, the current peace negotiations that are happening, what I foresee as possible solutions and possible problems for the future, etc. But there is one thing I will say, even though it might seem bold and rash to some: If there is no Israel as a sovereign Jewish state, the destruction of world Jewry is close behind. Israel is not only a physical place to go as Jews if we need to, it is also a symbol of hope that we are strong and we deserve our nation just like anyone else, that we have something that is ours to live, and even die, for. Israel and the Jewish people go hand in hand, we are part of each other, and if one is gone so is the other.