Canadian Matthew Korsch, age 29, is certain that there is no other program like Career-Israel. "You step off the plane with a job, an apartment, travel and learning opportunities and a ready-made network of friends. What more could you ask for?"
Matthew, who has a BA in history and completed a post-graduate public relations program, was working as a bank spokesperson in Toronto, but yearned to explore a career in politics and government. He had been to Israel only once before, and barely knew Hebrew, but was eager to take on a significant challenge. Career Israel was able to place Matthew as a parliamentary assistant to Knesset member Yoel Hasson, where he uses his public relations and language skills to help Knesset Member Hasson convey his ideas in English and French, and takes part in varied projects.
Matthew is grateful for the extraordinary opportunity to work day to day in one of the most closely watched legislatures in the world, with a front seat to history in the making.
Carla Joseph, 29, views Israel from the perspective of an animal of another species. She is a marine biologist (she earned her BA and MA in Sao Paulo Brazil). Since she arrived in Israel in February, she has traveled from the Jordan River to the Golan Heights to study the diet and genetics of otters. Career Israel has given Carla the opportunity to visit Israel for the first time and advance her academic interests through a project under the auspices of the Israeli branch of the International Otter Society. Carla feels every day offers her rich new learning experiences on a range of levels, and is hoping to extend her stay and continue her research.
Matthew and Carla are among some 37 young Jewish adults advancing their careers and gaining immersion in Israeli life through MASA's Career Israel program, an Israel Experience venture whose partners include the Education and Aliyah Departments of the Jewish Agency. The five month professional internship program was launched in September 2006 and is expanding rapidly.
The program is unique in its appeal to recent college graduates with loose (or minimal) affiliation to Jewish community life. Career Israel is targetted to talented young adults interested in a challenge which combines professional advancement and travel. Key groups of candidates include Taglit Birthright Israel participants and alumni. Career Israel participants are provided with acommodations in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, a Hebrew study program, tours and extra curricular enrichment activities. An on-line internet database and search engine was launched in March, and three specialty tracks are being developed for the fall, when 65-70 participants are anticipated. The tracks will focus on the fields of journalism and media, medicine and the environment—but opportunities abound in a range of fields, from architecture, law and business to education, psychology and archeology.