By Leah Paz, Career Israel
A few months back when I was just starting the Career Israel process, I said that if I could intern with an organization like Save a Child’s Heart (SACH) then I would be unbelievably ecstatic. And here I am a month into my internship, and interning with Save a Child’s Heart is even more perfect than I ever imagined. SACH is an Israeli-based international humanitarian project with a mission of improving quality of pediatic cardiac care for children from developing countries who suffer from heart disease. SACH, as well as my position there, encompasses the variety of interests that I have including non-profit work, health and human rights, public relations, working with college students, and working in a Jewish/ Israeli based organization. (Yes, I have a lot of interests). I am completely confident that this is exactly the right internship for me.
My role at SACH is to work on campaigns, and that involves a few different things. I am going to have a hand in planning a few fundraising events in Tel Aviv, such as a fundraiser at a bar coming up on November 18 and targeted at people on Career Israel and other similar programs. I am also going to be coordinating with Jewish communities at universities across the United States to encourage them and to support them in hosting their own campaigns. This may sound like a lot of responsibility, and I think so too! One of the most exciting parts of this internship is how much of a role I feel I am playing in an organization that I so admire.
After I have spent a few hours in the office I head into the house to spend some time with the children who live there before and after their life saving heart surgery. It not only provides me with such a well-rounded understanding of this inspiring organization, I always leave work in the absolute best mood. Whether I spend time building Lego towers with 4-year-old Mubarik or learning how to count in Amharic from 7-year-old Lidiya, both from Ethiopia, it’s amazing to get to know first-hand the children that SACH is helping. On Tuesdays I go to Wolfson Medical Center in Holon to the Palestinian cardiology clinic to interview the children who come from Gaza and the West Bank to be examined for evaluation, prepared for surgery and for follow-up post surgery. Children are children, no matter where they are from, and SACH knows this. This organization is dedicated to the concept of Tikun Olam and is passionate about making the world a better place by saving the lives of children, no matter their origin, because everyone deserves to live a healthy life.
SACH is only one of the extraordinary Israeli based non-profit organizations that should receive more recognition for the incredible work they are doing. For the past few years while I was at UCLA, the pro-Israel community has hosted a fundraiser for SACH. Now I have realized that this event was something that could and should be so much bigger! Israel is an innovative and progressive country, and Save a Child’s Heart is a prime example of the remarkable things that happen here. My goal on campus was to make it known that Israel is more than the war torn country we see on the news, but a country that is breaking barriers and changing the world for the better through the unmatched humanitarian aid projects such as SACH. That was my aim on my campus and now I get to take that goal on at a much larger scale. And I’m discovering more and more each day that this is something that I want to continue to work on, beyond the conclusion of Career Israel and this internship.