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As discussed in my most recent blog post, there are many tasks and accomplishments from this summer that have supported my learning goals. My academic goal for the summer was to gain knowledge on how to create social change after participating in a service corps. After reading and updating many of the alumni biographies, I recognize that many alums continue working with organizations that are dedicated to social justice. My career goal was to learn how to utilize certain aspects of the service corp and apply to social entrepreneurship. After scanning an article about social entrepreneurship, I gained a stronger understanding of the complexities of social entrepreneurship. I am more confident in presenting my ideas and realize the importance of detail and organization in any given task. I will use these skills during the rest of my time at Brandeis and beyond. I also learned that there are many other jobs that would also fit my interests. I am now more open to learning about other careers geared toward creating social change.

After having completed my internship I want to learn more about working with philanthropists. Since I worked in an organization that focuses on domestic issues, I would like to expand my knowledge on how international organizations work and create change. I want to take on an international experience. My advice to a student interested in an internship at AVODAH would be to understand that one can learn so much from the smallest of tasks. In this industry and field it is important to understand the amount of time, energy, and commitment required to work in the non-profit world.

My concept of social justice has been both reinforced and altered. I’ve always understood the importance of social justice and social change in the world, but never knew the strong connection it has with Jewish values. I’ve learned that in order to be an effective problem solver one needs to truly stand up and push for what they believe in. This is not the end of my involvement with AVODAH, as I will be helping them with recruitment throughout the year. 

 - Danielle Mizrachi ’15

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As I reflect on my academic, career, and personal goals created for the summer, I realize how much I have already learned at AVODAH. I started my internship when the organization was having their big NYC event and initially thought that the rest of my summer was going to be as fast paced and interactive as my first few days there. I soon understood that this was not true and was put to work the next week creating surveys, evites, and sending out emails using mail merge. Although this wasn’t as vigorous as helping with the fundraising event, I learned more about the inner workings of AVODAH. The most prominent of what I learned is the amount of time, energy, and commitment required to achieve the transformative results of such a wonderful service program.

My academic goal for the summer was to gain knowledge on how to create social change after participating in a service corps. One of the responsibilities I have as an intern is to read and update many of the Alumni biographies. Through this I recognize how one is able to create social change after a service corp; they continue working with organizations that are dedicated to social justice. Although now the answer seems obvious, it is through this internship that I really understand how those who join AVODAH are able to find their own way of continuing to fight for change.

My career goal was to learn how to utilize certain aspects of the service corp and apply it to social entrepreneurship.  An article that I was given to scan spoke about social entrepreneurship and how it can exist in the non-profit, for-profit, or corporate sectors. I was unaware of the complexity of this career path. While at my internship I discovered another type of job that was appealing to me. Another intern at AVODAH is part of a program called CLIP, which takes students and places them in non- profit internships. The students meet once a week for a panel and discuss how one can use their Jewish identity to create social change. I was able to attend one week where my boss was speaking on the panel. A Brandeis alum was also a speaker, and told us about his job at JP Morgan working with philanthropists to find organizations in order to donate money to. Because of this, I have become more aware that there are other jobs that are just as fitting for me as social entrepreneurship.

 

What was made clearer to me this summer is the strong connection that exists between Jewish values and social justice. Both aspects have played important roles in my life, and to be able to experience this daily is exciting. I am already truly satisfied with all that I have learned up to this point and believe that I contributed to the growing organization in a positive way. Right now I am proud of being able to give meaningful input during our AVODAH meetings. I am more confident in presenting my ideas and realize the importance of detail and organization in any given task. I continue to learn and appreciate the amount of skills I am gaining and am excited for what is to come.

- Danielle Mizrachi ’15

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AVODAH is a Jewish Service Corps that engages participants in service by placing them with anti-poverty nonprofit organizations. They also focus on group-building skills since corps members live together. I gained so much more insight on the incredible accomplishments of the organization when I arrived at the office in New York City. Its mission puts great emphasis on the importance of continuing to create social change throughout one’s life even after their year of service. I am working as the program intern, and am predominantly responsible for improving the alumni program. This involves reaching out to alumni that have lost touch with the organization, working on the monthly newsletter and the alumni resource website, sending out important messages to alumni, and completing other important paper work. I found out about this summer opportunity through a Hiatt Career Center information session on my floor. I applied for the internship on B.hired over winter break and was contacted for a phone interview. After two sets of interviews the woman I now work under emailed and congratulated me on receiving the internship.

My first week at AVODAH was both an exciting and unique experience. My first day at the Jewish Service Corps was hectic since the organization was holding their biggest fundraising event the next day.  I was immediately put to work, stuffing bags and name tags, and was scheduled to help run the registration table at the event. Although this was nerve-racking since I would be one of the first people to greet the attendees, I knew it was a wonderful opportunity to meet others who held similar values for social justice and social change. I was working throughout the whole event but enjoyed it as much as everyone else.  The genuine passion everyone held for AVODAH was inspiring and I was so grateful to be a part of the event.

In just two days I felt a part of the staff at AVODAH. They were very welcoming and thought of me as a valuable helper. The next day, after doing some post-event work, I sat down with the woman I was going to be working with for the rest of the summer. We had a two and a half hour conversation of the goals for the alumni program. Feeling even more informed about the service corps, I began working on the alumni program. I expect to learn much more from this summer internship. It has only been the first week and I feel as though I have gained a great deal of knowledge about how service corps works and the importance of maintaining a strong alumni network.

- Danielle Mizrachi ’13

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