- For Employers in Israel
For Employers in Israel
Onward Israel offers exciting resume building opportunities – internships, academic study and fellowships – providing a global, cross-cultural experience in Israel and direct contact with Israeli peers. The ultimate purpose of this initiative is to increase exponentially the number of Birthright and teen program alumni who return to Israel for an identity-building second visit. The intended long-term outcome is a long lasting connection with Israel and a strong commitment to Jewish life and community at the heart of the next Generations.
Onward Israel was established in 2012 and has since brought over 10,000 participants for a personal and professional growth experience. In 2019, close to 3,000 participants completed an Onward Israel program and interned in nearly 1,500 companies and organizations. We aim to keep increase these numbers in the coming years.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, during summer 2020 Onward Israel pivoted to a remote internship model. After a successful experience, we are now offering a variety of internship models featuring both remote and in person internships:
In-person internship: An internship conducted fully in Israel.
Hybrid (remote and in-person) internship: The intern will be living and interning in Israel for part of the program, while a portion will be conducted remotely from the intern’s home country. The program will either begin in Israel and continue remotely, or the program will begin remotely and continue in Israel.
Remote internship: If travel to Israel is not possible or accessible, the Onward Israel internship program will be conducted entirely remotely from the interns home country.
Onward Israel is an umbrella organization working in partnership with a list of organizations/providers who execute the programs. In most cases, these providers take care of the housing, logistics, internship placements, and educational tours. In some cases, placements and education are handled directly by Onward Israel staff. If as an employer you are in contact or approached by an internship coordinator from one of these organizations listed below regarding mid term internships (usually 5-12 weeks of internship) – they are under the Onward Israel Umbrella.
List of our Program Internship Organizers and providers
- Big Idea
- Destination Israel
- Eretz Ir
- Israel Experience LTD
- Forum For Jewish Leadership
- Sachlav – Top Israel Interns
- Way More Israel
- Young Judaea
- Tamid Group
Placement Procedure (what to expect)
The process outlined here is the typical process for internship placement. However, the process might differ based on the particular internship providers mentioned above.
- Apply for hosting an Onward Israel intern (here)
- Once you are in our database we check to see if we have relevant internship candidates for your organization. Please note, we share this information with our list of internship providers listed above. If and when there is a relevant candidate, you will be contacted by either an internship coordinator on their behalf or directly by Onward Israel. Keep in mind you might be approached by many internship providers or not at all, depending on the relevancy of the internship to our potential internship candidates.
- Timeline- most of our programs run during the summer and in most cases the placement process starts in December. Admission is rolling, and applicants can begin their registration process as late as March. This means that you may be contacted regarding candidates a few months after applying for hosting an intern.
- Once we have a relevant candidate, an internship coordinator from either Onward Israel or one of our internship program providers will send you a resume of the candidate as well as the relevant program dates and information.
- If you believe the candidate can be a good fit for your organization we will facilitate an introduction email in order to set up an interview.
- During the interview please make sure to set expectations, reflect to the candidate what his\her internship will look like and what to expect. Share with them the job description, a variety of optional tasks and the work they will be doing. Please also make sure you understand the interns expectations\ interests during this internship. Setting expectations, ongoing communication, a structured job description and a set internship outline and schedule, are the keys for checking compatibility and crucial for a successful internship.
- If you are not sure regarding the intern’s fit or abilities, you are welcome to request him\ her to complete a short task and take this under consideration in the acceptance process.
- After the interview, the internship coordinator will check both with you and with the candidate to see how the interview went and if this is a good fit on both ends.
- You are of course not obligated to accept every candidate you interview. Both you as an employer and the candidate have the right to choose if to move forward or not with the placement process.
- Onward Israel participants interview with at least one company so they also have the choice where to finalize their placement
- If it is a good fit on both your end and the candidate- hooray! you are hosting an Onward Israel intern!! the internship coordinator will send an official email finalizing the placement , additional agreements to sign if necessary and will be further in touch with you towards the beginning of the internship.
- If you have never hosted an intern before – we would like to speak with you before- either via video, or visit you at your office.
What is Onward Israel?
Onward Israel is a United States registered 501(c)3 and an Israeli non profit public utility company which offers mid-length immersive living and resume building experiences in Israel for students and young adults aged 19-30. Participants intern in a variety of Israeli companies and organizations on a voluntary basis (unpaid internships), allowing them to gain work experience and a foothold in the job market. It is an opportunity for them to have hands-on experience and contribute to the company in tangible work and materials.
During the program our participants are provided with housing, 24/7 staff support, insurance and a rich educational program. Israeli companies and organizations are asked to provide Rav Kav/TenBis if possible, professional guidance for 25-30 weekly hours (during remote internships we request 20 weekly hours), a defined contact person, weekly check ins, defined tasks and a physical place in the organization’s offices (during the days in which the intern arrives at the office)
What is the difference between the Onward Israel internship program and the Masa Israel internship program?
The difference between the two programs is based on the duration of the program. The duration of the Onward Israel program is between 5 – 12 weeks, while most Masa programs are 4-10 months long. Masa is an official project of the Jewish Agency for Israel and the Government of Israel, while Onward Israel is a public utility company. Both programs serve as umbrella organizations that accept and engage candidates to participate in their programs on the basis of different requirements. It is worth noting that a large percentage of Onward Israel’s programs are also carried out in partnership with Masa and also benefit therefore from Government funding.
Why should I host an Onward Israel intern?
Young international interns bring a fresh mindset, they are highly motivated, fast learners and eager to study and contribute to the company or organization that hosts them. The interns are excited to learn how the job market works, get to know the Israeli market and strive to achieve as many results and products as possible during their internship. All this works for the benefit of the host company and can be used to promote it. In addition, you will play a crucial and important role in shaping the image of Israel among Diaspora Jewry.
How did the Internship and programs structure change due to Covid-19?
Over the summer of 2020 the program pivoted its format following the outbreak of the coronavirus. Today, the structure of the program can also be carried out remotely if the borders of Israel remain closed (or if it is determined that Onward Israel and our providers cannot safely conduct programs in person). The structure of the expected programs from now on will be either hybrid programs (programs that combine a remote internship and in person internship) or a full in person internship program in Israel.
Important to mention that due to the current reality it is possible for interns to work remotely from within Israel (and arrive at the office when possible) as long as it is explained and finalized with the intern and the internship coordinator beforehand.
What is a remote internship (if programs cannot take place in person)?
Following the outbreak of the COVID-19, we had to quickly make changes to our programs. Because we could not predict what the requirements would be for tourists entering Israel, and whether or not the entry into Israel would be allowed, we switched to a remote internship model. This means the intern stays in his home country and works on a specific project remotely. As for the educational program, that will be provided online to our participants.
Due to the time difference challenge, it should be a project that does not require direct and constant supervision but more of an ongoing task. You as the supervisor are required to set structure and set weekly check-ins , desired communication method, availability as much as possible when the time zones overlap and of course availability for questions and guidance.
The intern works on their own schedule usually from Monday- Thursday, 20 weekly hours. It is very important in this model to provide tasks with a start and finish and tasks that can be done independently.
How long is the internship program? What does a weekly internship schedule look like while participants are in Israel?
Onward internship programs are between 5-12 weeks. The internship is on average 25-30 weekly hours 4 days a week .Onward Israel interns have a rich educational program so normally once a week they have a trip/activity, and sometimes may have to leave early for evening/weekend activities. All this info and schedule will be given to you by the internship coordinator. You can sometimes host participants from different programs (using different organizers) and therefore their schedules may be different and each intern may have a different internship coordinator.
What does hosting an intern require from me?
We will ask you to cover the travel costs of arrival to work (a monthly Rav Kav) if possible as well as TenBis (if provided to the employees of the company of course).
The interns will need a physical place where they can work when they arrive in Israel.
It is possible the intern will work remotely within Israel, though it needs to be discussed and clarified beforehand with the intern and the internship coordinator (e.g., where they will work from, when and if they arrive at the office).
The interns will need a professional supervisor during their time here.
As a supervisor we ask you to :
- Professional supervision for the participants
- Set goals for them according to their professional level
- Set a structured outline and schedule to the internship
- Conduct weekly check-ins
- Guidance, provide professional tools and be attentive to their needs during their work
- Ongoing communication with the intern and internship coordinator who will come visit\ have a mutual meeting during the internship.
- Provide feedback. We would like to conclude the internship process by getting a general review from you about your experience, as we are always trying to improve. We also encourage you to have a final meeting with the participant about the general experience – focusing on things to improve and things to preserve. A letter of recommendation would also be great!
If I would like the intern to start or finish the internship before or after the program dates, is it possible?
The program dates which you will be informed by the relevant internship coordinator are the dates the relationship between you and the intern is under Onward Israel and the specific program provider. All logistical\ legal\ educational aspects are covered in that period of time. If you would like the intern to begin before\ continue after the program, first check with the intern if possible, inform the internship coordinator and notice that in these cases all the relationship aspects between you and the intern are entirely on you and the intern. Onward Israel is not responsible or held accountable for anything regarding the internship in time frames that are not the set scheduled Onward Israel program dates.
Can I choose my intern?
Yes! In order to ensure a good match along the way we encourage you to examine the participant’s match in a video interview and prepare questions in advance.
Please make sure the participant gets a good understanding of what he will be doing and his\hers main daily tasks. In addition, participants may be asked to do a short task related to the role they will be asked to perform in the internship to check their level of performance.
Please keep in mind that the intern as well is interviewing at more than one place and can choose who to move forward with. Also if you choose not to continue with a candidate of course it’s okay, we will do our best to try and send you another candidate but that cannot be guaranteed.
What is the likelihood of having an intern placed with me and how do I increase my chances of hosting participants soon?
While we host many participants, they come from many fields of study so we cannot predict when and if a participant will come to intern with you. The main cohort of Onward interns arrive during the summer so highest chances to host an intern during that time. The placement and matching process begins around January. Also important to keep in mind that Onward participants arrive from around the world and are mostly not familiar with the Israeli work culture. The more information they have about your company and the internship opportunities with you, higher chances they would like to intern with you. Participants are likely to interview with more than one company and thus have an element of choice regarding their placement.
There are many ways to increase participants’ chances of becoming an intern in your company :
- Fill in as many details as possible about the company and the position in this link
- Offer several positions in your company (and list each one in the link above).
- Have a elaborate internship\ job description
- Contact the placement coordinators of Onward Israel, and update them about your needs (so that as soon as a participant who matches the profile arrives, they will connect with you).
- While connecting with the participant – be quick to respond, give as much information about the place (you can add photos of the office) and examine its suitability thoroughly (a good match will ensure a successful experience on both sides).
- Move forward in with the interview process as fast as possible, set the interview and if there is a match finalize the placement- the sooner the better.
- Provide a successful and enjoyable experience for the attending participants, in order for them to recommend your internship to future participants.
Do the interns speak Hebrew?
The majority of Onward Israel participants do not speak Hebrew, and those who do are mostly fluent in speaking rather than reading and writing.
Can I host more than one intern?
Yes! We would be happy for you to host more than one participant in your company, it is also a better experience for the interns. Make sure each participant has a structured job description and internship outline, a physical working space (for when they actually come to the office) and 25-30 weekly hours of workload, close supervision and guidance to each intern.
Avoid a situation of hosting too many interns or having a few under one supervisor. Take as many as you have actual work for and are able to manage and supervise.
From the moment a connection with the participant is made, are they obligated on their part to intern with me?
No. Both you and the participant are not committed, up to the stage where you both express the willingness to work together. After the interview you both can accept or decline the placement. If you both accept we see this as a mutual commitment to the placement. At the same time the participant can interview with other companies, and you can interview other participants. We recommend that both you and the participant make a decision quickly after the interview, to ensure the placement.
Preparing for your Onward Israel Intern
Prior to the participant’s arrival, we recommend that you prepare and send them information and background about your company as well as materials that assist them in preparing for the internship.
In case the internship begins physically in Israel-
- Set a time of arrival for the first day (please keep in mind the first encounter with public transportation in Israel can be not easy so they might be late. Also stay available for them if them if they for instructions)
- Make sure to show the participant all the “ must knows”- his\ her desk, restroom, kitchen, copy machine and safe space (merchav moogan)
- Notify regarding relevant dress code
- Prepare the office space where the intern will be sitting
- Introduce them to relevant people in the company and their titles
- Go over the internship layout\ job description – main tasks\project the intern will be doing for the duration of the internship or at least the first few weeks
- Inform regarding any upcoming meeting\ events they will be attending
- Go over their program schedule, see when they have trips\ leave early etc. The internship coordinator will also be in touch with you throughout the program.
Please keep in mind that due to the current situation at any time the intern can be put in quarantine and therefore the tasks will be adjusted to a remote setting.
In case the internship begins remotely –
- Set a video call for the first day of internship
- Set the outline for the project- main tasks and deadlines
- Set dates and times for your weekly check-ins (preferably the same day\time every week)
- Define preferable communication methods, especially when the time zones overlap.
- If needed to be introduced to other team members\ departments make sure to set video calls for that.
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