Posted by: RaeAn | 15 June 2010

Jewish World = Small World

This will relate to my upcoming trip to Israel. I promise. It won’t even take that long to get to the connection.

So, as you may or may not know, I currently work for a nonprofit on Capitol Hill as Office Manager & Internship Coordinator. So, basically, I fix copiers, order office supplies, clean the break room, and hire interns. (Guess which one is my favorite part? If you guessed the break room cleaning, give yourself a high-five! …in the face. Seriously? What’s wrong with you?)

All failed attempts at humor aside, I really like the intern coordination. I like talking to enthusiastic, bright people, and most of the applicants to our internship program really fit the bill. I hired my first class of interns for the spring semester, and while I did all right, I was still learning the whole HR thing. I’ve since learned a lot about hiring and matching personalities to jobs and vice versa.  Now, for the summer class of interns, I think I did a fantastic job. They’re all smart kids (at least the ones who’ve started so far — we have a few more starting next week), and they’re fun. I like ’em.

Where did I find these winners, you ask? Well, I’ll tell you. Lots of different places. American University’s internship fair, or UMD’s green-jobs fair, or, or Global Experiences, or the Washington Center, or the Dartmouth fellowship program, or… well, a bunch of places. There are some places where we actively recruit, and some that approach us with applicants, and some that find their way to us via friends or family. We have a lot of interns, considering how small the organization is. I love it. They bring fantastic energy to the office.

One of our interns we nabbed from the Machon Kaplan program at the Religious Action Center (RAC), the Reform Jewish lobbying organization, which focuses on social justice and progressive politics with a Jewish conscience. I’ve heard a bit about and from the RAC for years — having been very active in NFTY as a teen, and interested in politics, I managed to weasel my way into a lot of info sessions on what the RAC does and even considered applying to be a Legislative Assistant with them. (I didn’t for many reasons. Reasons which are not relevant here.) Long story short, I’m a fan of the RAC.

So one of our interns comes to us from their summer internship program. The MK program requires a meeting to gauge the goals of each internship, so the summer program coordinator called me to schedule such meeting. We had this meeting today. I met with the MK coordinator, Bess; the intern; and the intern’s staff director.

I greet Bess, then I gather the intern and his staff director, and we all head into the conference room. She asks if I know about the RAC and the MK program, and I say yes, due to NFTY, blah blah blah, plus, I’m about to start at HUC.

And she says, “You’re doing your year in Israel?”


“When do you start?”

“Oh, in two weeks.”

“That’s so exciting! I just finished my year in Israel for HUC!”

…..yes. I had a meeting at work with a current student at the tiny little grad school I’ll be attending. (Maybe HUC isn’t that tiny, but 60 people in my entire class vs. UMD having 30,000 students? In comparison, HUC is the size of a pinprick in my head.)

She also knows the guy I’ll be getting my apartment from (he’s in her year at HUC), and they’ll both be going to the LA campus… as will I.

The world may be small, but the Jewish world? Itsy-bitsy.

This was the first Google Images result for "itsy-bitsy." Why? No clue. But it amused me, so here she is. She almost looks Israeli, nu?

So that is my small-world story for the day. I’ll be in Israel, so I’m sure there will be more. It’s crazy when you have that many Jews in a small space. Everyone knows everyone’s sister, brother, cousin, uncle, or best friend from first grade or something. Jewish Geography? Yes, please.

Maybe I’ll come up with a board game for it. See if I can win it by the time I finish my year in Israel. Make it like Bingo:

I just marked off Alef-Shtayim! WOOHOOO!

Yup. Israel Bingo. Copyright me. Suggestions welcome. We need to make like 60 different boards to hand out to the rest of my class and see who gets Bingo first. Maybe just one more board… one that’s fair to the married/partnered folk. I happen to be single as a snail but not everyone is so lucky. (Kidding! Kinda.)

I’m in a weird mood. It’s starting to hit me that I’ll be in Israel is 3 weeks and in a month, I will have started classes.

The Countdown:

Today is June 15, 2010.
10 days to Atlanta.
20 days to Israel.

It’s really happening. Hello, small world: here I come.


~ Rae



  1. FYI, the picture result is probably due to the song “Itsy-Bitsy Teeny Weeny Yellow Polka Dot Bikini”. It’s from the 60s.

  2. Ha. Actually, it’s not:

    I know the song. 😉 But it’s Cindy Crawford and an article on how she’s still hot. Teehee.

    But she *is* on a boat in the Mediterranean, so there’s *some* connection to Israel. Maybe. Kinda. Sorta.

  3. But she IS wearing an itsy bitsy teeny weeny yellow polka dot leopard print bikini…

  4. Err, the “polka dot” was supposed to be crossed out in that last comment but it stripped the HTML.

  5. I wonder if I can change any settings to allow HTML in these comments. Not sure about that, though. I’d have to fiddle around a lot to even find where such a setting might be.

    But yes. It is an itsy bitsy teeny weeny yellow(?) leopard print bikini. Of sorts.

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