Jewish United Fund (JUF)

Internship Location: Chicago, IL
Organization Type: Nonprofit
Policy Areas: Hate Crimes; Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions; Gun Safety; Anti-Semitism

This summer, I worked as an intern in the Government Affairs Department of the Jewish United Fund (JUF). JUF provides life-saving services when needed most. Working in the Government Affairs Department, I dealt with local government issues and legislation. Included in my duties was conducting a criminal justice audit on advocacy being made in relation to mass incarceration. I researched criminal justice efforts throughout Cook and Lake county and developed a plan that would enable JUF to help with already-established advocacy. I also mapped JUF’s agencies based on the new Federal, state, and local district/ward redistricting. I have been able to sit in on meetings and coalitions, as well as meet with diplomats and alder people to work on community engagement and building relationships to continue advocating and pushing for legislation that betters society. I have had the pleasure of attending meetings at the Skokie Police Department to discuss hate crimes in Chicagoland, and how we can improve communication between the community, law enforcement, and the Prosecutor’s Office. I have learned so much from my internship experience. I have learned how to be a team player and work towards a goal collectively; how to conduct research and communicate with others professionally in order to solve important issues that affect society. I have developed a better sense of awareness and the ability to judge myself based on my actions instead of my intentions and have been forced to adopt the skill of flexible leadership. Even if not made a team leader, I know how to use my resources and be successful. In my internship, there is one detail after another, and these details make the job of my supervisor (and the overall department) easier. Most importantly, I have learned the importance of finding meaning in the work. Dealing with sensitive issues that currently affect society not only fulfills a moral obligation, but motivates me to choose a career that strives for improving the lives of others through policy.