Portland teen interns at Jerusalem think tank during Year Course
By JEWISH REVIEW
article created on: 2011-03-01T00:00:00
Lincoln High School graduate Tova Cohen spent last semester as an intern at one of Israel’s most prestigious political think tanks as part of her gap year on Young Judaea’s Year Course in Israel.
The Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs is a politically right-leaning think tank, housed in the former Uruguayan Embassy building in Jerusalem. Its primary work concerns Israeli security issues, democracy, human rights, genocide and war crimes, the Arab-Israeli peace process and nongovernmental organizations.
Cohen was a research assistant to JCPA scholar-in-residence, Justus Reid Weiner, who is an international human rights law lecturer at Hebrew University.
Cohen was given research assignments related to papers and books that Weiner is writing. A recent project concerned violence by Muslims against Christians in the Gaza Strip.
“I was really keen on getting this internship,” Cohen said. “I want to make aliyah and go into politics. This is a right-wing political research institution/think tank. It’s the right way to go for me; it’s what I want to do with my future.”
Cohen said the internship has provided “really good, professional experience” and that it’s “a lot of good, hard work.”
The new semester just began for Cohen in Bat Yam, where she will work with The African Refugee Development Center. Cohen said the decision to go on a gap year has shaped her as a person through her experience in classes, volunteer placements, and her internship.
“To those who want to go straight to college, trust me, this opportunity comes once,” said Cohen. “College doesn’t go anywhere, you’ll go to college just like everyone else with more college credits than the other first year students. This program will set a unique platform for your future. Not to mention it’s so much fun, you get a lot of independence, more so than in college, and make the best friends of your life.”
Year Course is a nine-month program for recent high school graduates who spend a year living, volunteering and studying in Israel. With nine tracks to choose from, Year Course participants may find themselves spending time on a kibbutz, volunteering in a development town, living with an Israeli family, studying in Jerusalem or hiking through Israel’s many beautiful landscapes. Participants earn up to a year’s worth of college credit while forming bonds with Israel. For more information, visit yearcourse.org or call 800-725-0612.