Jewish Community Relations Councilof San Francisco, the Peninsula, Marin, Sonoma, Alameda and Contra Costa Counties

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My Experience as a JCRC Intern

August 7, 2020
Posted by: Arielle Rauch, Intern

A Look into a Summer of Face Masks and Temperature Checks with No Music Festivals or Movie Theater Popcorn

This summer I had the fabulous opportunity to be a Kohn intern with Jewish Vocational Service. As part of the internship, I was assigned to the Jewish Community Relations Council. There I worked with my supervisor, Associate Director Hallie Baron, and three of her colleagues: Jewish Community and Education Outreach Manager Jessica Sterling, Middle East Project Director Karen Stiller and Public Policy and Community Building Director Jessica Trubowitch.
 
Of course, summer 2020 has been a summer like no other due to COVID-19. Instead of planning my outfits, taking Muni downtown to the JCRC offices and trying out all the good cheap lunch spots, and then meeting friends after work along the Embarcadero or in the Mission, I have gone to work remotely from home where the biggest clothing decision was: "Slippers or fuzzy socks?" It was a unique and interesting time most of which I spent in front of a computer screen working, with breaks to walk around the neighborhood. Given the challenges of the times, I feel especially fortunate that I was able to have this internship and the opportunity to work at JCRC. Although I worked almost exclusively in Excel, researching and preparing spreadsheets for JCRC community relations efforts, the work I was doing was important and would be used after I left.
 
My assignments for Jessica Sterling were centered around the Bay Area, such as information on the Jewish community in a certain county, or synagogues and their rabbis, or organizing legislative staff contacts throughout the Bay Area. I phoned staff offices for different congress people, state office holders and county supervisors.
 
My work with Karen Stiller was along the same lines, but I had the opportunity to organize contact lists for endorsers and other organizations in connection with Invest in Peace, which is actually an initiative within JCRC. Karen also led a Zoom meeting with my fellow Kohn interns during a very engaging and interesting discussion on consensus building at the Kohn Friday Seminars.
 
My projects with Jessica Trubowitch were a little different. I researched specific political bills and propositions for the Public Policy Committee. I actually ended up sitting in on one of the meetings of the committee, as well. I found this meeting very interesting and saw a side of public policy that I had not seen before.
 
Throughout my eight weeks with JCRC I met many wonderful people who made the space and virtual meetings inviting, welcoming and super friendly. Everyone was genuine and cared about the work they were doing. Everyone helped me have a successful and engaging internship experience. I gained confidence when speaking on the phone with strangers, developed my Excel skills, learned about organizational structures for various levels of government and had my first experience reading over parts of pending legislation. I also got to learn how important time management is when you’re working from home and that sometimes virtual meetings can be awkward, but you end up meeting and talking to someone really cool.
 
I want to give a huge shout-out to Hallie for being a great supervisor, colleague and in general a wise person. There were many times I went to her for advice and she always made the time to offer helpful guidance.
 
Thank you so much for an amazing summer!