Our group’s Onward Israel professional internship journey began on June 8. I headed to JFK with three friends from Boston, where we boarded an overnight flight. By the next evening we were settled into our cozy Jerusalem hotel, where we will be living for the summer, and by the afternoon after that my group was already out of quarantine exploring the streets of Jerusalem.

The first 24 hours truly involved a whirlwind of emotions. I was excited to be back in the Jewish homeland, anxious about meeting new friends and surprised about the comparatively fewer COVID restrictions here in Israel versus back in the U.S.

2 – Moving into Lev Yerushalayim by Aviva Weinstein
(Courtesy photo)

We decided a visit to the beach was in order to begin our new adventure, so we packed up a few items and spent the long weekend in Tel Aviv visiting friends and my sister, and of course relaxing on the beach. This was a good way to get ready before my internship begins next week! I’ll be interning at the Ethiopian National Project, working with Ethiopian Israeli youth.

One of my favorite aspects of Onward is how independent I get to be in traveling places and meeting people. We went in the ocean both days to escape the heat of Tel Aviv and got the chance to walk around Shuk HaCarmel and the Nachalat Binyamin artists’ alley.

3 – Exploring Jerusalem – Shlomo Warren in pink – by Aviva Weinstein
(Courtesy photo)

Once Shabbat was over, it was finally time to make our way back to Jerusalem. After a bus ride, a train ride and a few stops on the light rail, we made it home to the heart of Jerusalem. My suite mates and I hung out for a while until it was time to get ready for our internships to begin the next day and go to sleep.

Aviva Weinstein, Brandeis University ’23, is an anthropology major interning this summer at the Ethiopian National Project through the Boston Onward Israel program. ENP works with Ethiopian Israelis across Jerusalem. 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.