Haley Director, Part 1

August 9th, 2018

Hi everyone! I’m Haley, and I’m super excited to be sharing my experiences in Israel with you! I’m in Jerusalem as part of the Onward Israel Camp Counselor program, which gives summer camp counselors the opportunity to have an internship for five weeks in Israel before returning to camp and working as a counselor. This is a unique program because everyone here is working at an overnight camp across America. The majority of our internships are in Jerusalem, and we are living in apartments in the Bak’a neighborhood of Jerusalem. Part of the program is matching us with internships that are relevant to our majors and our interests after we complete our undergraduate degree. I am a biology and chemical biology major with a minor in Spanish, and the program gave me an internship based on my interest in genetics.

Group photo of Onward Israel program participants

Everyone on my Onward Israel program!

My internship is in a genetics lab at Hebrew University, and I have been working there for two and a half weeks now. There are two other interns in this lab, and we are all working in different labs helping a masters’ student complete projects. My project is on the effect of beta carotene on the respiration of cauliflower mitochondria because my grad student did an experiment with a different carotene pigment and found that Complex 3 of the mitochondria was lost. Last week, I harvested the mitochondria and prepared them for the experiment, and this week, we cast the gel and ran the experiment. The work week here is from Sunday to Thursday, so we normally have Fridays and Saturdays off.

Grantee Haley with two lab techs

Two of the lab techs and I taking a “mito-selfie” with the mitochondria we harvested.

Not only am I doing a lot in my internship, I have a lot of time to explore Israel and see what it has to offer. The first weekend we were here, it was Shavuot, so we had a three-day weekend. I decided to visit one of my friends who lives outside of Haifa, who would pick me up Friday night. She is an Arab Israeli, so I got to experience Ramadan with her and her family. It was a really cool experience, especially because I’d never been to an Arab village in Israel or experienced Arab culture firsthand. We did a lot of fun things that weekend, like go to the beach and go shopping around her village, and she showed me her favorite shawarma place (so of course I had to try some!). Onward had programming for us last Thursday through Saturday, so we all had work off on Thursday to take a tour of Haifa and go on a retreat at a kibbutz in the Galilee. That weekend, I hiked Mount Arbel and visited an anthroposophical kibbutz before celebrating Shabbat with all of the Onward groups currently in Israel. Right now, it’s just us and two other groups – one from Montreal and one from Toronto. We all learned about each other and participated in a variety of activities that expanded our viewpoint on the world.

Haley and friends clambering over rocks

Me and my friends hiking Mount Arbel (I’m in the back in the Nantucket tank top).

Another part of our program is meeting with the Israeli shlichim (counselors) that are coming to our camps as international counselors this summer. Last Monday, I met three out of the five shlichim that are coming to my camp, and we got dinner with two of them on Tuesday because they were in Jerusalem getting their visas. My camp friends and I spent a long time talking about what to expect at camp and getting to know them, and we’re really excited to see them again and spend time with them at camp.

Haley with her fellow program participants and Israel representatives or shlichim

All of the Onward participants from my camp and three of our Israeli shlichim!

This has been an amazing experience so far, and I’m so excited to see what the rest of this experience has in store!

Entry Filed under: 2017 Grantees

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