• Emerson K.L. – Social Justice & Community Services, Summer 2019

    “This summer I am doing Onward Israel’s themed based social justice and community service program where I am living and interning in Haifa for about two months. One of my placements is with Sindyanna of Galilee, which is a fair-trade, non-profit organization that is led by a team of Arab and Jewish women working together to create social change within Israel. Sindyanna produces olive oil, honey, soaps, Zatar, and other products while creating economic opportunities for Arab women, and assisting local growers and producers. My internship highlight is as follows:

    I was attempting to make this cup of coffee in my office when one of the Arab women weaving baskets in the next room saw my immense struggle and I think her reaction was a mix of heartbreak and laughter watching me completely messing it up. She tried telling me I was not doing it properly but unfortunately the language barrier deemed it difficult. I was motioning to her that I would give up and go back to my work station, but she refused. Instead, she started gathering the Arabic coffee pot and she started to make me a cup of coffee. We stood there, exchanging smiles waiting for this pot to cook. After the coffee was cooked she asked me what my favorite color was in her limited English and in my limited Hebrew I tried responding yellow. She went to another area of the kitchen and grabs a yellow mug for my coffee and starts to fill it up. My supervisor, who speaks Arabic, English, and Hebrew, came in and the woman making my coffee tells him something. My supervisor translated and told me she has a daughter around my age at home and loves to make coffee with her and sit and talk about life over that shared cup of coffee. Seeing the big picture is a daunting task, especially in the world of social justice, but I am going to continue finding joy through the small, daily things, like drinking out of my favorite colored mug or meeting the people who are truly making this experience beyond rewarding.”