From September 2011 – February 2012 I relocated to Jerusalem, Israel from Melbourne, Australia to broaden my experiences and career prospects before embarking on a journalism career. Along the way I was able to explore and learn an immense amount about my religion that I’d never explored before.
The posts published in this portfolio while in Israel have been mainly dedicated to showcasing the journalistic pieces I worked on at my internships, and at home (my apartment in Israel), as well as my thoughts about my experiences and travels in the motherland.
My experience in Israel has been filled with many amazing experiences. After one week of orientation and three weeks of intensive Hebrew classes we started our internships; Judaism learning for the Pardes ‘yeshiva’ participants; and Jewish arts and culture classes for the arts track.
I started out at Jerusalem Challenge, a youth organisation based in Jerusalem that focuses on bringing Israeli’s and non-Israeli’s together. Additionally, the organisation delves into the underlying cultural issues that arise in Israel, such as community, volunteering and living experiences. I produced and transcribed an interview with Forum Rechavia, which can be viewed here. I was also in charge of the social media side of the organisation.
I left that internship after a successful interview to intern at Jerusalem Post newspaper – a Jerusalem based newspaper and news site published in English. I got to work mostly independently on general news and arts & culture stories. My role was to interview sources, write up stories and submit them. Along the way, journalists and editors helped me to hone in and improve on my journalistic skills. I was there for a bit over two months, and even had some articles published! The articles can be viewed on this website, and also in print or on www.jpost.com. I also learnt how to fact check articles after reporters submitted the stories, and learnt how to enter data into the photos archives. I also attended weekly editorial meetings.
As part of participating in the arts track (arts and culture field trips, lectures and film classes, working on your artistic specialty) for part of the program I was matched with a journalist as a mentor. My mentor, Suzanne, is a journalist who works as a freelance writer for the Jerusalem Report (a branch of the Jerusalem Post newspaper). My mentor guided me throughout the program on how to improve my journalistic skills.
In the last month of the program I decided to present a written piece at the arts exhibition which was held for the arts track artists. The showcase allowed the interns (from Jerusalem and Tel Aviv), and learning track participants to see what the artists had been working on over the past four months of the program. My mentor guided me through the ideas stage, to the draft stage, and the final product. However, final editorial decisions were my responsibility. The story I presented focused on a Dutch Righteous Among The Nations individual by the name of Mrs Pieternella Van Rangelrooy, and the issue of helping others during the Holocaust. Currently residing in Australia, the gentile, who turned 100-years-old this year, and her husband hid Jews in their house during World War II. This article will be published in Melbourne’s Jewish Holocaust Centre bi-annual publication, Centre News. I’m also submitting the story to major publications.
Prior to arriving in Israel I also had a freelance piece published on arts and culture guide Jerusalem Blueprint which can be viewed here.
The meetings with my mentor, and the publishing of my stories in Jpost have enabled me to realise the capabilities and potential I have to kick-start a journalism career. Over the five month period of living in Israel their work together with me has helped me to improve all round as a journalist.