Posts filed under '2017 Grantees'

Haley Director, Part 2

This trip has gone by so fast! I can’t believe that I’m flying back to America in a few hours. The second half of the trip was even better than the first half! I experienced a lot of new things and had a lot of interesting experiences while I was here that I will never forget. In my lab, we got the results of my experiment. The first time we ran the gel, the results were compromised due to the use of chloroform as a solvent for the beta carotene. Luckily, my grad student Ronit found a way to solubilize the beta carotene without using chloroform, and we redid the experiment the next week with the correctly solubilized beta carotene. We found out that beta carotene does not affect Complex 3 of the mitochondria like astaxanthin does, and we set up another experiment (to be continued after I leave) that tests the effect on respiration of C. elegans by measuring its lifespan. The last week I was here, I extracted more mitochondria to replenish the stock that was used during the experimentation. I absolutely loved my internship and wouldn’t trade it for the world!

Group photo of people who worked in Haley's lab

Everyone who worked in my lab during my internship.

Outside of the internship, I did a lot of fun things in the last two and a half weeks. The third week of the trip, the Birthright trip from Brandeis was here and a lot of my friends were on it. They had a night out in Jerusalem, and I visited one of my best friends in Mahane Yehuda, Jerusalem’s largest outdoor shuk. We were able to catch up and talk about what we had been doing so far this summer, and it was great to see her after so long. Another one of my friends extended his trip after Birthright to stay for another Onward Israel program, so we have been hanging out and exploring the city a lot!

Haley and her friends celebrating Shabbat at the Western Wall.

Me and my friends celebrating Shabbat at the Western Wall.

One of the highlights of the trip for me was going to the Dead Sea. The fourth Friday of the trip, my camp friends and I took a bus from Jerusalem’s central bus station to the Dead Sea, and we went to a beach/resort that had a pool and areas for us to relax outside of just the typical things you do at the Dead Sea. We got there at 9:30am, and the first thing we did was go down to the Dead Sea and float and cover ourselves with mud. It was nice and relaxing, but all of the cuts and hangnails that I had stung when they hit the water. After we were done in the Dead Sea, we headed up to the resort area and spent the rest of the day by the pool. The pool had parts in the sun and the shade, and we alternated between those spots when we were swimming. We also spent a lot of time in the sun, and I got a really nice tan! We took a taxi back to Jerusalem at 3:30 and spent the rest of the day relaxing in our apartments. That day was so much fun, and I’m so glad I could go!

Haley floating in the Dead Sea

Me floating in the Dead Sea during one of my free weekends.

This internship was an amazing experience, and I’m so lucky that I was able to experience Israel as an adult. I’m so excited to share these experiences with my campers and friends when I get back to America. Thanks for keeping up with my Israel trip! Signing off 🙂

Add comment August 9th, 2018

Haley Director, Part 1

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!

Add comment August 9th, 2018

Recent Comments