WUJS Israel
post-college Israel programs

October 2011 Archives

Tuesday's Siyur (Trip) = The Bike Olympics

The Tuesday field trips are quickly becoming our favorite part of the week!


This week we toured the famous Olympic Museum that credit some of the most famous Olympic athletes. The modern appeal of the museum and the new age technology set the museum apart from any other. This museum was not like a typical museum filled with ancient artifacts and synopsis to read. Instead, there were voiceovers and live human graphics. In the first room we sat in the middle on the floor while there was 3D graphics surrounding us on projector screens. They focused on premiere athletes throughout history. The athletes mentioned were Michael Jordan, Mark Spitz, and Larry Bird to name a few. Nadia Comaneci was the first Olympic gymnast to earn a perfect ten score seven times in a row. While other athletes like Abebe Bakila ran his cross country marathon barefoot and finished first.

      We moved on to another room, where we got to the roots of theOlympics and what it meant for Israel. The first Israeli athletes that put Israel's name on the map for recognition within the Olympics were Oren Smadja, Michael Kolganov, and Yael Arad.  Yael was the first 16 years old to win a gold medal. The seats we were sitting on rotated and a chilling effect began to set in as the lights dimmed.  A female athlete who was competing during the terrorist attack on the Israeli athletes told us her story. Eleven were killed and only a day was taken off to mourn the loss. In an epic triumph Israel wasn't going to be defeated and the remaining athletes fought in honor of their fellow athletes who were killed. The last part of the museum is interactive where we were taught the fundamentals of becoming a premiere athlete. Participants got to measure their reaction time, their strength, and their concentration levels. It was fun to see how we measure up to the best athletes in the world. We didn't even come close!


 The field trip didn't stop there. Next stop was a bike ride in Park Hayarkon.  We had a typical Israeli tour guide who wasn't afraid to flirt with girl as his long ponytail frolicked in the wind.  The girls blushed and giggled and were thoroughly entertained. The bike ride was nice and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves. We were able to interact, talk and get to know one another while enjoying beautiful surroundings. We passed a zoo, memorial sites, and ended the ride by the beach and through the namal (port).  Everyone was exhausted afterwards, so all in all I'd say it was a fun day! Stay tuned!

By:Lindsey Urell 

Another WUJS Success Story!

Unemployed? Not Anymore!  

By: Hallie Newman, New York

 After my obligatory post-college freak out "what am I going to do with my life"? I hopped on a plane to Israel.  Well, it wasn't quite that simple. After digging through my savings, I eventually made it to Israel, hoping to fill in some blanks in my life.

In January of 2010, I packed my bags, headed to JFK airport and landed at Israel's Ben Gurion Airport with an open return ticket.  After a few months of personal exploration throughout the country, I ended up in Tel Aviv's Florentine neighborhood to begin my five months on Young Judeae's WUJS Internship Program. I chose an internship in communications with Zalul, an Israeli environmental organization that is focused on cleaning and restoring the country's waterways; rivers, and shorelines.

Throughout my five months at Zalul, I had the opportunity to work on a variety of projects and really build my skills in environmental communications and marketing. I wrote for Zalul's English-language blog, keeping all international donors abreast of what was going on in our organization, and Israel's environment as a whole. In addition, I assisted with all community events in which Zalul took part; beach cleanups for students who were spending a year in Israel, Earth Day festivities and gala fundraisers.

After WUJS, I elected to remain in Israel for a little while longer to travel and soak up the Tel Aviv energy.  When I finally booked my return flight, I came home to the same trepidation I had left the States with ("will I ever be employed?!") Except this time it was different, I felt more focused. While the job market was still slow, I knew exactly what type of job I was searching for. I applied for every environmental non-profit communications and marketing job I could find.

Eventually, I got an interview and a few days later I was offered the job. My would-be boss was impressed with my experience at Zalul; much of what I would be working on at my new job, I had learned from my time at Zalul. Just a month after I returned from Israel, I began my work at a New York-based environmental organization as a Marketing Coordinator, where I still work today.