I have been very, very busy these past few weeks. Onward Israel is truly a one-stop shop for gaining professional experience, learning life skills, tourist sightseeing, and meaningful Shabbat experiences!
At work, I have been doing everything I can to help my employer to build and fundraise for their future, and to great effect! In fact, the program is looking to expand and reach over 2,000 new students. In order to do this, the program needs two things: money and greater awareness. I believe that I helped to achieve both of these. In part thanks to my efforts during these past few weeks, the Beit Midrash has had its most successful fundraiser ever, raising almost $60,000 for programs next year. And as for the publicity, I have been helping to bring the Facebook and Instagram accounts the program runs up to scratch so they will be competitive in the “market” of Jewish learning and thought.
On a personal and communal level, I have been on many amazing journeys. I have seen sights that I only could have dreamed of. On a three-day weekend trip to Eilat, within a 24-hour period I saw live coral and tropical fish for the first time swimming beneath me and four countries at the same time from the top of a mountain while eating freshly made pita. I have never been so glad to be so far from home.
This past weekend on the Onward Shabbaton, I got to sing in a circle surrounding a bonfire and a lone musician with a ukulele with 100 other young Jews. I experienced the rush of communal Jewish experience for the first time since COVID separated us all. I felt like I belonged to a people and a nation, and by the end of the night my face hurt from smiling so much.
Harrison Rosengard, Brandeis University ’22, is a psychology major interning at the Rabbi Reuven Grodner (RRG) Beit Midrash at Hebrew University through the Boston Onward Israel program. 125 students from Massachusetts colleges have professional internships in their fields of interest in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Haifa this summer. Visit onwardboston.com for more info.
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