The inaugural iEngage Summer Internship, which I had the good fortune to be a part of, provided a diverse cohort of six undergraduates and one rabbinical student with a unique opportunity to join leading Hartman Institute scholars in intellectual exploration of some of the most pressing questions relating to Zionism, Peoplehood, and Jewish identity. The internship is crafted to create a well-rounded program for its participants, combining academic study with serious research experience.
In order to delve into the research, the most prominent element of the internship program, each intern was assigned to assist one of the iEngage fellows. I was privileged to help Professor Gil Troy with two book projects as well as to perform background research for several of his op-eds. My peers worked with iEngage fellows Noam Zion and Yossi Klein Halevi to perform research for their upcoming books and to help create programming for ixEngage—Christians Engaging Israel. As students attuned to the college climate, we suggested how the iEngage philosophy and curricula could be implemented in campuses across North America. And as part of the effort to bring iEngage to young adults, each intern will organize an iEngage event at his or her respective campus during the coming year.
As interns, we were fortunate to study regularly with the iEngage Fellows, addressing issues that ranged from the history of the settler movement to civil religion in Israel. We were also presented with a full range of intellectual offerings throughout the summer as we took part in the various Hartman programs for visiting rabbis, lay leaders, and academics, at which we heard from distinguished scholars, thinkers, and politicians. Serving as research assistants for and studying with some of the foremost thinkers on issues pertaining to Israel and Judaism exposed us to various modes of research and scholarship that we will be able to apply throughout our academic careers.
Looking back on my experience as an iEngage intern, I appreciate that I had the opportunity to benefit from and contribute to the wonderful intellectual and Jewish hub of the Hartman Institute. I will continue to consider myself a member of the Hartman iEngage community, and am certain that this internship program will grow and develop to serve future cohorts of students in years to come.
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