When introducing myself in a Jewish setting, I nearly always say, “I am a product of the URJ.” I attended 13 summers at URJ summer camps, I spent a semester in Israel on the URJ Heller High semester in Israel program, and was a participant on URJ Mitzvah Corps. In college, I was a URJ Service Corps Fellow and participated in the UN Foundation and Religious Action Center’s Partnership with their Nothing but Nets Malaria Fellowship. I basically took advantage of everything the URJ offered. Each of these programs introduced me to a new aspect of my Jewish identity. I learned about leadership, responsibility, prayer, tikkun olam, friendship, independence, work ethic, public speaking, how to ask questions, the list goes on. These programs shaped who I have become and the values on which I stand.
When it came time to select a field of study however, I categorized my love of camp and passion of tikkun olam and Judaism as a hobby. This was until I participated in The Nachshon Project fellowship during my junior year in college. The Nachshon Project allowed me to use my experience as a camp counselor and my excitement around my academic accomplishments to learn and explore what my future could look like. It was the first Jewish program that I participated in outside of the URJ, and it gave me a new lens with which to look at this world. It paved a new path to a career in the Jewish professional world, and grounded me in my beliefs.
Continue reading Emily’s blog.
Emily Rothstein was a fellow in The Nachshon Project’s first cohort. She grew up in Kendall Park, NJ and spent her summers at OSRUI. After graduating from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Emily moved to Los Angeles where she served as the LA Teen Coordinator for Challah for Hunger. Emily is currently pursuing a dual-degree in Jewish Nonprofit Management from HUC-JIR and in Public Administration from the University of Southern California, as a Nachshon Project Graduate Fellow.