Meet Alexandra Kadish

“Onward Israel seemed like an amazing opportunity to experience Israel like I’d never experienced it before.”

When I first learned about The Associated’s Baltimore Onward Israel program, an internship and immersive Israel experience for people 19-27, I knew I had to apply. Onward Israel, a program run in partnership with the Jewish Agency for Israel, was in its first year in Baltimore and it seemed like an amazing opportunity to experience Israel like I’d never experienced it before.

I’d fallen in love with Israel on previous trips  – once as a Diller Teen Fellow and again with my high school class – and was intrigued by the idea of experiencing Tel Aviv as a local.

I was placed at the Jaffa Institute in Tel Aviv and lived in Ramat Aviv, near Tel Aviv University.

The work that the Jaffa Institute does is so meaningful – helping underserved children in Tel Aviv/Yafo and beyond, through summer programs, after-school care and more.

I worked in the Institute’s office, assisting with grant writing, donor research and outreach. I felt immediately at home and immersed in my work. The internship offered a great deal of independence and I was encouraged to take on my own projects and trust my own instincts. This taught me to take initiative and helped me grow my professional confidence. I met fantastic people and felt like I was making a difference every single day!  

I think that Israel is the most unique, beautiful and resilient country in the world. Geographically it’s breathtaking; there’re a million things to do and places to see, from hiking in the north to snorkeling in Eilat. The culture is unparalleled and the Israeli people are so strong and self-assured. It’s the only place in the world where I feel a spiritual connection with everyone I pass on the street.

This year our family is coming full circle. My younger brother was so inspired by my experience that he couldn’t wait to sign on for his own Onward Israel journey. Seeing him off brought back such amazing memories that I can’t wait to return. When I’m in Israel, I feel that I am part of something bigger than myself.

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