Masa Israel alum Joel Wanger (left) with colleagues from the Hillary for America, Nevada team 

In the competitive world of political campaigns, resumes from political science majors with internship and campaign experience are a dime a dozen. For Masa Israel Journey alum and Hillary for America Nevada Regional Organizing Director Joel Wanger, his year as an Israel Government Fellow in 2011-2012 made all the difference.

“Israel Government Fellows gave me unique experiences to have on my resume that set me apart from other political science students who were applying for the same types of jobs,” Joel, who is originally from Crofton, Maryland said.

During his time in Israel, Joel served as the Social Media Fellow at the Shalem Center. He helped draft and plan communications for the opening of Shalem College. In January of 2012, the Northeastern University alum took on a new Israel Government Fellowship and served as the Content, Invitees, and Special Guests Committees Fellow at the Israeli Presidential Conference. He recruited speakers and organized panels for President Shimon Peres’s annual Israeli Presidential Conference.

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Joel (right) and the Hillary for Nevada team meet Hillary Clinton at the 2015 NALEO Annual Conference

Through his fellowship, Joel had the opportunity to network with important political, academic, and cultural figures from Israel and around the world. The Masa Israel participant community in Israel and our worldwide alumni network allowed Joel to form new personal and professional relationships. “The connections I made through the Masa Israel Leadership Summit have helped to enhance and strengthen my network of like-minded Jewish leaders across the country,” Joel said.

All of Joel’s networking and organizing experiences in Israel clearly paid off. Shortly after his return to the United States, Joel secured his first presidential campaign job, as an Obama for America Field Organizer in Nevada.

When it comes to Israel, Joel was always confident in the President’s commitment to the United States’ relationship with Israel. “President Obama, by the numbers, has been one of the most supportive presidents in terms of monetary support and support for the relationship between our two countries,” Joel said. Similarly, Hillary Clinton’s policy credentials inspired him to return to the Battle Born State to campaign for the former Secretary of State. “Hillary has always been a huge supporter of the relationship dating back to her time in the Senate and as First Lady.”

As a result, Joel is making a conscious effort to take part in outreach to the Jewish community for Hillary for America. He knows how to speak to the Jewish community’s values.

In fact, it is Joel’s connection to Judaism that motivates his work, every day. Having grown up in the Reform movement, Joel has committed his life to the pursuit of tikkun olam, or repairing the world. “In doing this work, I’m living my Judaism,” Joel said. “I’m making the world a better place by supporting the candidates and issues that I think will make the world a better place.”

Joel also sees the community as a built-in support system when he travels to new states for a campaign. As a political campaign organizer, Joel has lived in five different states over the past four years. From interns bringing him matzo ball soup on late Friday nights at the office, to volunteers inviting him into their homes for High Holiday meals, Joel knows that wherever he goes, he can count on the warmth of the Jewish community.

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