These past two weeks have been filled with so many different experiences. For starters, we had our first overnight trip with the Boston Onward program. We traveled to the Negev and listened to an Ethiopian immigrant tell her story, a Bedouin woman about her life experiences, and we were privileged enough to listen to a Palestinian and Israeli talk about what the current conflict means for them. We all learned so much. The following week I traveled with Onward to Masada and the Dead Sea for a day trip, which was amazing. Other than sightseeing and exploring new cultures, my friends and I have been eating all the hummus you can imagine here in Israel. I love going to the shuk and finding the most obscure hummus I can.

Negev by Natalie Hallagan
(Photo: Natalie Hallagan)

In terms of my internship, I have been getting to know my coworkers better and I feel very comfortable at my workplace. I work at a nonprofit and I have been helping volunteers pack and distribute food for the nearby community and I have been educating the volunteers on the Jaffa Institute’s mission. My internship is hybrid, so on the days that it is remote I like to travel to different cafes nearby and taste-test their coffee…my personal favorite is Citizen’s Garden! This upcoming week we have our first Shabbaton, which is very exciting. I can’t wait for what’s in store!

Natalie Hallagan, Lehigh University ’24, is a public health major from Needham interning at the Jaffa Institute nonprofit 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 for more info.

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