Imagine a world where you can get an amazing, resume-building internship while still being able to have the time of your life and go bowling in the White House or camping outside the Supreme Court? These were just some of the meaningful experiences for Josie Roth, a rising sophomore studying economics and public policy at Vanderbilt University. Josie interned at the Interfaith Alliance this summer through an internship program called Machon Kaplan.
In a competitive world, college students are skipping the lax summers of sunbathing and vacationing for preparing for life after graduation. Internships are the go-to way to easily gain the experience that is critical for career success after college. This program, however, is finding meaning in a world of redundant internships. Machon Kaplan is a DC-based program sponsored through the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism that is changing the game on internships. They describe themselves on their website as:
An internship program for undergraduate students interested in Judaism and social justice. Based in Washington, D.C., it provides students with a meaningful social justice internship, the opportunity to engage in academic study related to their internships, and a community of like-minded students with whom to share their experience. Students learn, through study and action, the interrelationship of Judaism and American ideals, as well as the interaction of the organized American Jewish community and the U.S. government.
The program not only gives teens a meaningful Jewish internship, it allows them to explore the city of DC. When interviewing Josie, she told me about her adventures visiting the White House, meeting Jewish Liaison Chanan Weissman, and camping outside the Supreme Court before their final rulings of the year.
Programs such as this are changing the game on how college students get ahead during the summer time. Josie, who grew up on Jewish youth organizations and Jewish summer camp, stresses the importance of being able to find meaning in an internship, whether professional or spiritual (or both). Josie talked about how she personally loved being in DC during such a historic time, “The night before the Supreme Court announced their final rulings for the year, I camped outside the building with some people on the program. In the morning, because we were some of the first in line, we were able to go inside the chamber to hear the Justices read their decisions and dissents! Justice Breyer read the majority opinion for Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt about fifty feet away from me, which is a moment I’ll probably tell my grandchildren about.” She also loved talking about her tour of the White House which included meeting the White House Jewish Liaison and bowling in the Truman Bowling Alley (for which she got amazing Instagram pictures.
So if you’re beginning to think of plans for next summer and want an internship that not only gives you practical life skills but can also help you connect with your Judaic identity, check out this awesome program!
#MachonKaplan #DCSummer #InternshipSeason #MakeaDifference