Gray Academy Internship Program Connects with JFM

by Stu Slayen | Aug 25, 2017
From January to April, Jochebed Seyoum learned about legacies and convinced her classmates to leave one.

Seyoum, a recent graduate of Gray Academy of Jewish Education, was enrolled in the Jewish Community Internship course at the school. The course teaches students in grades 11 and 12 about Jewish organizations in the city and then sends the students to various organizations to work as interns while job-shadowing community professionals.

Seyoum worked at the Jewish Foundation, alongside Zac Minuk, Director of Marketing and Communications. 

“I learned how a foundation works and what endowment funds can do,” says Seyoum, who will attend the University of Manitoba in the fall. “And I learned so much about our community and the organizations that keep it together.”

For Andrew Kaplan, the Gray Academy teacher who led the course in 2016–2017, the internship program helps students understand how the community works, shines a light on how they can contribute, and even gets some of them thinking about careers in Jewish communal service.

“The students learn that there is more to the community than our school,” says Kaplan, who also teaches debating, public speaking, film, and English. “The course gives them greater knowledge about the community and some helpful work experience.”

Community organizations, says Kaplan, have largely embraced the program and have given the students important assignments. For example, one student interning with B’nai Brith helped to develop a Holocaust education program for rural schools.

Seyoum used her term at the Foundation as an opportunity to launch the Class of 2017 Endowment Fund. She helped to develop the messaging, design a poster, and convince Student Council to hold a “Casual Day” to raise money to launch the fund.

“Invest in a legacy that will live on” was Seyoum’s message on the poster. Her fellow grads answered the call. No doubt future graduating classes will, too.

Want to make a gift to the ‘Class of ’17’ Endowment Fund? Contact Rob Berkowits, Director of Development & Gift Planning, by email at [email protected] or by telephone at 204.477.7522 or toll-free from the US/Canada at 1.855.284.1918.