Since I can remember, I have always wanted to live and volunteer in Israel. UJC’s Project Otzma provided the opportunity for me to do this within a comfortable framework for ten months. The part that attracted me most to the Otzma program was the internship that took place during the third track. Before joining Otzma, I was contemplating a career in fundraising and/or marketing, but had little experience in either field. WIZO gave me this necessary encounter through my internship, which I would have been unable to obtain in America.
Having already volunteered in WIZO’s Beit Sherman Be’er Sheva center sponsored by WIZO.uk during my first track of Otzma, I felt connected to WIZO and wanted to be more involved. This internship was a perfect match, fitting both criteria.
The World WIZO Fundraising Department internship program in Tel Aviv has been a wonderful and unparalleled experience for me. Esther, Mickey, and Annette could not have been more welcoming and provided great insight into the field through their mentoring. I felt that I was an integral part of their team and my time was valued.
The staff entrusted me with responsibilities such as correspondence, writing articles, attending site visits, helping to coordinate the annual “Sponsor A Child” luncheon, input into grant proposals, and even working on some translations. Occasionally my assistance was needed to answer phones and take messages. I learned a great deal and my skills were utilized effectively.
One of my biggest contributions to WIZO has been through the conception of WIZO’s premier fundraising calendar. This project has been a tremendous undertaking and has involved a myriad of drafts and even more countless hours spent on its assembly. The calendar has been a big challenge and a lesson in patience, perseverance, and cooperation. I am anxious and excited to see the final result and the fruit of our labors.
Because of my time in Israel and with WIZO, I have decided that I want to enroll in a graduate program in Israel, studying non-profit fundraising. I now have a better understanding of the importance and complications of fundraising; however I have seen that the benefits from this work are immeasurable. I now have a profound appreciation for all the women working so tirelessly for Israel through WIZO. I am thankful for this opportunity and encourage others to volunteer with this special organization.
~ Allison E. White (Atlanta, Ga)