Israel From The Inside | The Jewish Agency - U.S.

Israel From The Inside

Israel from the inside.
Onward Israel gave Lisa Bolman a chance to bring her ‘Buckeye’ spirit to a Tel Aviv children’s rehabilitation center.

When Ohio State senior Lisa Bolman heard about Onward Israel, a program run jointly by The Jewish Agency and the Jewish Federation of Cleveland, she knew it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Onward Israel, which Bolman discovered through Ohio State’s Hillel, provides an immersive and transformative résumé building experience. Participants spend up to 10 weeks living with peers, while interning in their desired fields.

I thought about my Jewish identity over the course of the summer through all of our programming and travel. This has had the most lasting impact on me.

Onward Israel operates over 70 programs, many in partnership with Masa Israel Journey and participating local Jewish Federations and organizations.

During her Onward Israel experience, Bolman explored her interest in OT, working at the Holland Center, a rehabilitation facility for infants and toddlers with special needs. At the Holland Center, located in Tel Aviv, she observed and assisted with OT, physical therapy, speech therapy and family counseling.

Her experience in Israel gave her a real edge in the application process, “My experience at the global level not only diversifies my résumé, but also has solidified that this is what I want to do with the rest of my life. My internship was a lot more hands-on than most opportunities in the United States.”

Onward Israel also reaches participant on a much deeper, and often spiritual, level as they experience daily life in the Jewish homeland. For Bolman, it was a chance to think deeply about who she is as a young Jewish adult, and what that means to her.

During their downtime, participants go on weekend trips, attend educational programs on Israeli history and culture, and participate in a seminar on the history of the Jewish people.

“I got to see Israel from a local perspective, not as a tourist,” Bolman says. “For two months I got to be an Israeli, assertive and self-sufficient. Navigating Israel made me grow a bit. I thought about my Jewish identity over the course of the summer through all of our programming and travel. This has had the most lasting impact on me.”