Recently a group representing several international Fortune 500 companies, including Ernst and Young, Deloitte, Cisco Systems, Urban Outfitters, Citi Group, Prudential and more, came to Israel and held a career seminar for Masa Israel participants
. The following day they met with several Tikkun Olam participants to tour some of our Coexistence track volunteer placements.
We first visited The Court of Women, a non-profit organization which creates a warm, supportive, alternative environment for girls and women in distress, both Jewish and Arab, in southern Jaffa.
While there, the representatives had a discussion with a panel of our Tikkun Olam participants, discussing why they came to Israel to volunteer, their post-program plans, and how their experience in Israel will further their career goals. The volunteers all had different reasons for coming here, from wanting to strengthen their Jewish identity, to getting hands-on experience in conflict management and social work, or just to be productive and help others before going on to graduate school.
It was a great experience for both our volunteers and the Fortune 500 company representatives. The representatives got to see some of the great work we’re doing in Tel Aviv-Jaffa and understand the type of people who would devote 5 or 10 months to helping others in Israel. They wanted to understand the different skills our volunteers would leave here with and what they could offer to companies as a result of their experience. While the group discussed many advantages of volunteering in Israel, a recurring theme was learning how to be both flexible AND proactive, two critical characteristics when volunteering and living in Israel!
From the volunteers’ perspective, it was great to see that companies are paying attention to the work being done here and that they understand the value both to the people we’re helping, and to the volunteers themselves. It was encouraging to see the excitement the company representatives had for our volunteers, especially as most of them prepare to return home and enter the workforce.