Onward Israel Internships for North American Camp Staff


“Onward Israel” (OI) offers six-week Israel-based work internships to Diaspora young adults. The custom-developed internships – based on each participant’s studies and career interests – offer an opportunity to reside communally in apartments in Israel with other OI participants. Participants experience the rhythms and lifestyles of Israelis through the internship’s exposure to an Israeli work environment and to the extra-curricular cultural programming and volunteering opportunities offered as part of the program.

Because most OI programs are scheduled for the summer (when college students have the most flexibility to participate), the Foundation for Jewish Camp (FJC) worked with OI on a variation for counselors who can also return to work in their camps during the summer. OI “Start-Up Intern” for camp counselors offers a five-week intensive internship and Jewish identity formation program from early-May to mid-June. The goals are to (1) provide an informative and exciting learning experience while living in Israel; (2) allow the participants to return to work in camp and earn money instead of possibly taking a US-based internship; and (3) deepen their understanding of what life is like in Israel in ways that cannot be provided during shorter programs. The participants also meet with the incoming Israel staff delegation and return to camp as advocates for the experience. The program is in partnership with the Shapira Family Foundation.

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