Summer Internships 2015

Sun-soaked postcards from Bryn Mawr students

A Postcard From: Marisa Rafsky ’16

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capture_3Name: Marisa Rafsky

Class Year: 2016

Internship Placement: I will be working at RespectAbility (in the greater Washington D.C. area) this summer as a Jewish Inclusion Fellow. In addition to acquiring strategic communications and policy skills, I will attend the Israel Commission for Equal Rights of Persons with Disabilities UN meeting and be a panelist for a New York Jewish Educators Conference on the future of inclusive Jewish education.

What’s going on? We’d love to hear how your internship is going!

Working at my desk!

Working at my desk!

As I head into my final week at RespectAbility, now’s the time to reflect on what I’ve done so far! So I live in D.C. and commute daily to Bethesda, Maryland, where RespectAbility is headquartered. In June I headed to New York City often on business. I attended an UN side conference event hosted by the embassies of Israel and Germany on technology and disability. With my UN pass card, I got access to official conference rooms! Later, I was an invited panelist for the Matan Institute’s Jewish education conference. We discussed inclusion strategies for New York area synagogues. This month, I attended events hosted by the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington in Maryland and Virginia. Aside from all the exciting trips, I worked on grant research, helped our Policy Director revise a congressional briefing, and engaged with media experts. This Friday, I will spend my day on Capitol Hill getting press statements on the 25th anniversary of the ADA from key leaders.

How I heard about my internship:

My boss from last summer’s JEVS Human Services internship program received an email from RespectAbility’s President, who requested applications for summer interns. She knew I was passionate about political work in the Jewish community, so she thought RespectAbility would be a great fit for my interests. I applied for the job and the rest is history.

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A Souvenir from my conference

Why I applied for my internship:

When I first entered Bryn Mawr, I knew right away I wanted to major in political science. I just didn’t know what I wanted to do with that degree. Over time, I realized I wanted to use my degree to serve my Jewish community. When I researched RespectAbility, I knew I would have opportunities to learn about Jewish political advocacy. RespectAbility’s Jewish Inclusion work coalesces around the concept of Tikkun Olam, which means we have a shared responsibility to help others. The work gave me valuable insight into what a career in Jewish civil/human rights advocacy might look like. I look forward to using the skills I learned for my upcoming Fall Praxis internship at the Anti-Defamation League in Philadelphia!

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