University of Michigan juniors from Metro Detroit share highlights
of their summer internships in Israel

Claire Yerman

Claire Yerman, West Bloomfield
This summer, I moved across the Atlantic to help develop the ocean wave energy industry. By August, living in Israel had unexpectedly become the most instrumental part of my journey.

I worked in Tel Aviv at Eco Wave Power Ltd. as a business development and strategy intern. I spent weekdays meeting with investors, developing multimillion-dollar projects and strategizing global expansion. On weekends, I immersed myself in culture and experiences, including spending time with an Israeli camper I met at Tamarack Camps many years ago and staying at the home of a teacher I had at Hillel Day School.

The full immersion — including public transportation, work culture and terror attacks — forced me to consistently challenge myself. Built from a strong foundational Jewish identity, my experiences further engaged my appreciation for the Jewish state and promoted my own growth and learning in ways I could have never imagined.

Abbey Blender

Abbey Blender, Bloomfield Hills
This summer, I was lucky enough to spend two months in Israel, a place I am fortunate to call my second home. It has always been a dream of mine to spend a summer in Israel and, with the help of Onward Israel, I was able to make that dream a reality.

I spent my summer as a marketing intern at the Heschel Center for Sustainability in Tel Aviv, an organization that focuses on promoting environmentally friendly practices in Israeli society. Through working and living in the suburbs of Tel Aviv, I was able to fully immerse myself in the Israeli culture, which I had not been able to previously experience on guided tours through the country.

Autumn Jacob

Autumn Jacob, West Bloomfield
I spent the summer in Tel Aviv interning for an artificial intelligence company called Neura. Though I have been to Israel many times, this experience of living and working in Tel Aviv offered me a completely different perspective.

As a user experience intern, I was challenged to create simple solutions to reveal the complex features AI has to offer the world. I was so fortunate to be surrounded by all the crazy, talented minds within the Neura family. But beyond my experience working, I was constantly learning the culture of Tel Aviv: crowded bus rides, matkot on the beach, hummus at every meal. I truly miss it all. Looking back at my summer, I left with way more than mud from the Dead Sea or Israeli popping chocolate. I left with the wisdom of Tel Aviv’s culture and incredible relationships that I will forever hold on to.