July 20, 2024
Search
Close this search box.
Search
Close this search box.
July 20, 2024
Search
Close this search box.

Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

A Jewish Link Summer: An Intern’s Perspective

It wasn’t easy to start working here.

I should clarify that statement. It wasn’t easy to start working at The Jewish Link as a summer intern because of one of those descriptors. Specifically, the “summer” part.

I have always loved being a writer, and throughout high school I enjoyed working on the school paper. When I thought about my summer plans throughout my gap year this past year, I knew that I wanted to be writing during the summer. The Jewish Link was my favorite of the Jewish newspapers that I read at home. If I could pick any local newspaper to work for, that would be it. But my summers have typically been spent at Camp Ramah in the Berkshires—previously as a camper, and in recent summers as a counselor. I was not ready to leave the camp world behind just yet. Deciding to opt for having my (kosher) cake and eating it too, I decided to work as a counselor for one month and intern at The Jewish Link for another.

When I arrived at The Jewish Link toward the end of July, it was a bittersweet introduction. I was still upset about leaving my friends and campers, as I left camp early for the first time in years. But when I got to The Jewish Link office in Teaneck and began to get acclimated, I was surprised at how quickly I felt comfortable. When I arrived there were five other interns, who explained what I would be doing and showed me the ins and outs of the office. During my first day, I was given my first assignment and entrusted with a future article and interview. The very first question I was asked—by interns and staff alike—was, “Do you have any pitches?” I was so surprised, I kept answering no. I hadn’t expected to get to choose what to write about, especially not on the very first day.

As the summer passed and the number of interns in the office decreased, I found that I was being given increasing responsibility when it came to the assignments I received. At the same time, however, I was still given the freedom to choose what to write about. I appreciated that Elizabeth Kratz (associate publisher and editor), Jill Kirsch (senior editor) and Moshe Kinderlehrer (co-founder and publisher) thought that the interns’ input was just as important as what any typical contributor had to say. When I suggested and submitted articles, there was always a healthy amount of criticism. As someone who hopes to study writing in college, I appreciated that my work was critiqued and that I was always told directly what needed to be fixed.

Now it is nearly the end of the summer. I am the final intern in The Jewish Link office. As I write this, I am extremely aware that in a mere week and a half I will be moving into my freshman dorm at college. It is hard to believe that it has been four weeks since I arrived here and got settled at my first desk (I am currently on my third). In my short time here, I believe that my writing skills have improved, which was to be expected. However, I also improved in areas that I previously had not given much thought to. I learned how to conduct a proper interview. I learned how to correctly research an article to find as much accuracy as possible and make sure that readers read the truth and nothing less. I learned how a newspaper office handles the stress of organizing the events of each constantly changing week into a coherent, readable document.

My time at The Jewish Link is over for the summer, but I hope to return one day. Though I started apprehensively, I am extremely grateful that I was able to experience a month in the life of a Jewish Link staff member. Because that is what I felt like—a staff member. Thanks to The Jewish Link, I worked as more than just a typical intern. It wasn’t easy to start working here. But it isn’t easy to leave, either.

By Ariella Shua

 Ariella Shua is a graduate of Rae Kushner Yeshiva High School and the Nativ Program in Israel. She is a rising freshman at Johns Hopkins University and a Jewish Link summer intern.

 

Leave a Comment

Most Popular Articles