The Alliance: Through the Eyes of an Intern

July 12, 2013 | Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit

It was late April when Lisa Soble Siegmann called to inform me that I would be the JOIN intern for the summer in Federation’s Alliance for Jewish Education. I was overwhelmed with excitement to learn that I would be working in a department alongside many of the people that fuel and empower the Jewish community I am so passionate about. While I admit, prior to my interview, I was not completely aware of what exactly the Alliance does, I was happy to learn how active and instrumental the Alliance is in the Jewish community, something I was desperate to be a part of. In my three short weeks working at the Alliance, I have learned more than I ever anticipated, along with finding myself to be a useful team member, which is something every intern can only dream of. I have had the opportunity to be a vocal component in the start-up of new programs in the Alliance, such as Jbaby Detroit! (Stay tuned, we’re expecting!), SPARC (Single Parent Alliance and Resource Connection), and FedEd’s Foundations. In addition, I have been able to help plan important events taking place this August like the community-wide Summer Splash event and the S.E.E.D. conference for Jewish Educators. I feel like an important asset here, as my opinions and viewpoints truly matter.

There is a great sense of community working here at Federation, as every department works together towards a common goal, which is to take care of the needs of the Detroit Jewish community. Before working here, I never truly understood how present Federation has been throughout my entire life. Whether it was attending a congregational preschool and onto Sunday school, going to Tamarack, involving myself in BBYO, attending the Frankel Jewish Academy or having an active role in MSU Hillel, Federation fuels all of these different agencies to succeed in our community. I have grown to appreciate what Federation does for not only me, but the thousands of Jews in Detroit who use Federation’s services.

What I think has been most eye opening to me is that while Federation is an organization aimed towards philanthropy, raising and allocating funds for the community, that is not all that is done here. Federation really has evolved into an organization whose goal is to engage and connect us to the Jewish community. Whether it is through educational or social programming, everyone in the Detroit Jewish community can find their niche through Federation, and I think that is what makes our community so unique and amazing. My appreciation for Federation has grown immensely in the three weeks I have been here, and I cannot wait to see what is to come in my next five weeks! I cannot express how grateful I am for the JOIN program and the opportunities it has brought me this summer!

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