Feb 9, 2007 — Wurzweiler School of Social Work students interested in careers in Jewish communal service got an insider’s view of the fabric of Israeli society when they participated in a 12-day trip to Israel over the winter break.
“It was a trip with a difference,” says Rachel Jacobson, a first-year master’s student enrolled in the school’s Certificate in Jewish Communal Service Program.
“I’ve been to Israel many times, but I never encountered the country in this way,” says Ms. Jacobson.
Ms. Jacobson was one of six Wurzweiler students who joined a group of students from other schools, including New York University, the Jewish Theological Seminary, and Hunter College on the study seminar to Israel.
The trip was the brainchild of Associate Professor Saul Andron, PhD, coordinator of the Certificate Program. He joined Wurzweiler’s faculty last September to “educate and energize” students interested in Jewish communal work and strengthen the Certificate program.
The Israel trip—coordinated by Lyn Light Geller of UJA Federation— turned out to be “invaluable,” Dr. Andron says, “a real-time educational experience for students committed to professional careers in the Jewish community.”
“We met with professionals ‘in the trenches,’” he says, pointing out that the seminar aimed to provide students with a comprehensive understanding of the social issues facing Israel, the state of its social services system, and the challenges North American Jewish communal professionals face in interpreting and integrating Israel into their work.
“The students met with academics, policy experts, members of the Knesset [the Israeli Parliament],” and representatives of various agencies. They also did on-site visits to places affected by the war “to see how Israeli social services met challenges or learned important lessons.”
First-year Wurzweiler student Steven Mark says “getting to ask any questions you want of people in the highest level of the field in which we’re interested is a better educational tool than 100 classes.”