WUJS Israel
post-college Israel programs

November 2009 Archives

Seth Felix Helps Tourists at the Moriah Plaza Hotel

Seth Felix, 28, Fresno, Ca

California State University Long Beach, B.A. in Communications

Track: Internship Tel Aviv 

Internship: Reception and Concierge Moriah Plaza Tel Aviv Hotels in Tel Aviv, Israel

I enjoy working with people, which could explain why I am enjoying this internship so much. While working in the Kabbalah, I am always in constant contact with other departments such as security, housekeeping, the business center, three different in-house restaurants, as well as bell boys, and the laundry department. Maintaining great communication with these departments is essential to providing our guests with the best possible stay at the Moriah Plaza.



My favorite part of this internship includes a couple of aspects. First, the reason I am so enthused about the actual position is that I am able to help people and make their day/stay as enjoyable as possible. When I recommend a restaurant to eat at or to visit a particular tourist site, it makes my day to hear their feedback, which in most cases is positive. Knowing that I contributed to their pleasurable experience is what makes me want to come back to work everyday and stay in this industry. Secondly, I love the people I work with. 

At first I was expecting them to look at me as if i was an outsider, not being Israeli and hardly speaking Hebrew. But I was pleasantly shocked of how patient my manager and co-workers were and have continued to be. I try to use my Hebrew as much as possible, but there are those times when I must turn to a fellow employee for assistance. Not only that but when a guest becomes irritated because of my lack of Hebrew knowledge, my Manager is quick to jump in and explain to them to be patient with me because I am in the process of learning Hebrew and that I am trying to make Alliyah... the guest usually changes their tone.

How did you hear about this WUJS Israel program? 

My mom found WUJS for me. Find out more @ Masa

What responsibilities will you have during this internship?

I work at the Kabbalah, or in English in the Reception Department of The Moriah Plaza Hotel. I take on the responsibility as a concierge as well as help guests and potential guests during their arrival, the duration of their stay, and make sure they have a pleasant departure. Every day my responsibilities vary, mostly I begin my day with assigning rooms and making room keys for expected tour groups staying at our hotel.

On a daily basis I can expect a tourist group of 40 people from Germany to the entire Israeli Olympic Soccer team and their entourage. I prepeare their check-ins ahead of time to avoid chaos in the lobby and to ensure their arrival is smooth and relaxing. Another task of mine, during my managerial training, is pre-blocking rooms for group arrivals a day in advance, which creates less stress and a smooth arrival on their check-in day. During my shift I also check guests in and out of their rooms, providing them with information in and around the hotel as well as in the city of Tel Aviv.

What are your goals for this internship program?

I want to gain experience in my current field and hope for a great career opportunity upon my return to the states. I also want to improve my Hebrew, as well as make lifelong friends from WUJS.

Have you had any difficulties settling in?

Yes, we bought vanilla milk by mistake. And on the way home from work the first day, Michal and I ended up in the city of Holon... finally arriving home 2 ½ hours later.

What did your friends say when you told them your plan to come to Israel?

My family was very encouraging, while my friends thought I was CRAZY/INSANE.

Check out photos from the Internships

Jacob Kieval, the WUJS Media Man

Jacob Kieval, 22, Sharon, MA

Wash U in St. Louis, Film and Media Studies

Track: Internships Tel Aviv

Internship: Meirav Productions

WUJS welcomes our new intern! Jacob Kieval is now the WUJS video and media production intern. He is responsible for interviewing, recording and editing video profiles of our students, interns and staff. He follows them in their natural habitats in the office or in the field. This video and media productions opportunity is allowing him to practice his skill and to be in creative control. Jacob's is also interning part-time at Meirav Productions where he can further enhance his technical skills and network within this industry.

Every Friday Jacob posts a new video!

Don't miss out, YouTube - simps500's Channel


What were you doing before you came here?

I was finishing college and then teaching video production at Camp Ramah in New England over the summer.

How did you hear about this WUJS Israel program? 

Google.  I wanted to go to Israel after college, and looked into programs that would get me there doing something cool. Find out more @ Masa: WUJS Intern Tel Aviv

What responsibilities will you have during this internship?

I'm working part-time for WUJS doing the weekly video and interviewing other people at their jobs, as well as other short segments.  

At Meirav Productions, I am an assistant technician, helping to digitize footage on their computers and get it ready for editing, as well as other odd jobs here and there.

What are your goals for this internship program?

I hope to gain work experience, improve my Hebrew, have a good time in Israel before I enter the "real world", and make a lifetime of memories.

Have you had any difficulty settling in?

I once ordered way, way too much food at a shuk (market), but this was mainly because the guy kept offering me more and I didn't realize it was costing me more.

What did your friends say when you told them your plan to come to Israel?

"Cool" or "I'm jealous!" or "Well, I'm going to London, so..."

Owning the Stage, by Jacob Hellman

Through my internship with Center Stage Theater, Merkaz Hamagshimim Hadassah, my coordinator Rafi Poch,  told me about a new theater project he wanted to try out through which I could write and possibly perform in a play or two. From day one, I knew that this was going to be a fun new project. I also acted as an artistic advisor for the project; a little administration here, a little organization there. My expectations and goals for participating in this independent opportunity were to get a play up and on the stage, to make new friends, to be on stage (that was more of an afterthought), and to have a great time!
Being involved with 3 shows at once in 3 different capacities was challenging. I was acting and dramaturging in Comedy of Errors, writing Yalp (working until 4am on the first night!), and acting in The Mood Ring. At one point I had rehearsals for all three going on simultaneously. I still don't know how I managed to be in 3 places at once! The most difficult part was writing Yalp, especially at 4am when I couldn't keep my eyes open. Dealing with all the craziness of planning and executing rehearsals, sleep deprivation, eating at odd hours/intervals (midnight canned fruit cocktail and Prigat, anyone?), and just generally being in a million places at once was exhausting, but was altogether a rewarding experience. Rehearsing Yalp was the easiest- once the script was written and tabled, it flowed really well, which is the sign of a good script. After about three read-throughs, my girls were good to go. They rehearsed a bit more on their own, studied the lines together and separately, and there it was! Tal and Elianna are excellent, versatile actresses and it really showed.
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 All of this theatre work required a lot of practice. For Yalp, we had just enough but Mood Ring we didn't have enough! I didn't get it down completely until the final performance, although Elianna and Dale and I were all proud of each other for the work we put into it. We did what we could in the time provided - that's the beauty of the project. It forces quick trust and group bonding under strict circumstances and you find yourself doing ridiculous things you'd never do and really pouring your all into this performance. As the clock ticked on, the adrenaline rush and that golden image of my work on stage really exhilarated me and pushed me through to prevail and succeed. It was definitely a wild and fun experience that I'd do again in a heartbeat.

Masa Building Future Leaders, by Harold Hershberg

Event: Building Future Leaders (BFL) MASA Program

Date: Oct. 29th - 31st

Location: Bet Yehuda, Jerusalem

Sponsor: MASA

Speakers: IIan V. "North American Community"--Yehuda Bar-Shalom "Community Leadership"--Yael Sor "My Vision and Leadership Experience"--Ran Bar-Yoshafat "From a Vision to a Work Plan"

Websites: http://www.masaisrael.org/Masa/English/BFL+Seminar.htm

MAP Events Calendar

Building Future Leadership (BFL) is a unique, professional leadership seminar that enables participants to develop a personal educational-social project for implementation here in Israel or back in their communities of origin. An important part of the MAP, Masa Activities for Participants curriculum, BFL enables participants examine the nature of leadership through multi-cultural perspectives while gaining operative tools for leading programs both in Israel and in Jewish communities abroad,  and to develop personal projects over the course of the three weekend sessions. 


I was accepted to become a participant in this program and I attended this event in hopes to learn more about the Jewish community and to enhance my leadership skills. The goal that I aim to achieve from the BFL program is to create a project that will facilitate strong partnerships between the international legal community and the legal community of Israel.


This event was the first of a three part seminar series that sought to teach the BFL participants about Israeli leaders, trends in Israeli civil society, and of the social-economic issues that Israel currently faces. This first seminar series also included workshops to assist BFL participants to brainstorm ideas on projects that they plan to create. The event has brought to light issues of Israeli society that I have not been aware of prior, and the event has enabled me to view Israeli culture with a different perspective. I have also gained insight on project leadership, and feel energized to pursue the launch of my BFL project. I plan on creating a project that will build partnerships between the international legal community and the legal community of Israel. 


I would recommend BFL to those who want to learn about community leaders in Israel and who also seek to become leaders in their own communities. Since this a MASA program you will have all expenses paid for and enjoy the BFL tours and events that MASA sets up on your behalf. I met participants from: France; Belarus; Ukraine; Azerbaijan; Brazil; and from other countries around the world. Overall, the BFL participants are a diverse group of young professionals, and I am learning a great deal from their experiences. An interesting thought that I had during this event is how the State of Israel is able to connect such a diverse group of individuals and form a common bond.