Nathan Rosenwald of New Jersey interned with United Hatzalah in the Summer of 2015. He made an excellent impression on fellow interns and staff, demonstrating leadership abilities and creative thinking skills throughout his tenure. The following is a guest blog post by Nathan describing his experience at United Hatzalah, things he came away with, and plans for the future:
My first day at United Hatzalah was not the typical first day of an internship. In fact, when the day began I didn’t even know that I would ever come into contact with United Hatzalah or that making that contact would deeply change my life.
I was an American college student living in Jerusalem at the beginning of my two-month journey through the Meor Jinternship program. It was a warm, beautiful summer morning and I was excited to have the opportunity to visit the office of an Israeli technology success story, Glide, as part of the Meor experience. At that moment, I had no notion of the excitement that was about to follow.
As the Glide visit was coming to a close, I was presented with two options: travel home with part of the group to enjoy a half- day off or continue to another visit at United Hatzalah. I was caught a little off guard with this choice because I had no prior knowledge that the second visit would be an option; nothing about it was mentioned when the schedule for the day was announced. But with my background as an EMT in New Jersey and my general interest in helping others, I was beyond content with choosing the latter. The events that followed were quite “bashert” to say the least.
The hour-long presentation at United Hatzalah was awe-inspiring. The way in which cutting edge lifesaving technology and goodhearted people come together to make such as big difference in our world is enough to amaze anyone. As our group was filing out of the office, I had the opportunity to briefly speak with Eli Beer, founder and president of the organization. I congratulated him on doing great work and told him I would love to intern for United Hatzalah during my remaining time in Jerusalem. After a little bit of convincing, I was able to overcome Eli’s initial skepticism and was introduced to Daniel Katzenstein, one of Eli’s trusted coworkers in the office. On only seconds notice, I had a quasi job interview with Daniel. Luckily, it went well enough that Daniel ended our conversation by asking, “When can you start?” Thus began my month-long journey as an intern at United Hatzalah of Israel.
One month removed from these events, and with my internship coming to a close, I could not be more grateful to United Hatzalah for taking a chance on me. Not too long ago, we were strangers. But a month at the United Hatzalah office has caused me to become deeply passionate about the work we do. In addition, the people I have worked with every day for the past four weeks are top-notch souls. Everything culminated on that warm June day into an indescribable internship experience.
I am proud that I have been able to contribute to United Hatzalah’s busy office in areas where manpower was lacking. I have worked closely with Daniel to take some burden off of his plate so he can focus on projects that only he can complete. Chemistry has developed between us that has become quite fruitful in accomplishing tasks that further the mission of United Hatzalah. Most importantly, I have been treated with the same respect and responsibility given to anyone else that works in the office. The overall positive attitude in the office, in conjunction with United Hatzalah’s mission, has made me look forward to coming to work every single day.
Over the course of my internship, I have had countless amazing experiences such as attending ambucycle dedications, leading international groups on tours of our office, and sitting in on important business meetings. But, the biggest “wow” moment of my entire experience was when I had the chance to visit an Israeli soldier that had been gravely wounded by a terrorist in a stabbing attack. Thanks to the quick response of our volunteers, the soldier survived the attack and was able to accept visitors just a few days later. Being able to witness the reunion between the soldier and the United Hatzalah first responders that saved his life was so powerful that words cannot do it justice.
To sum it up, I am extraordinarily grateful to United Hatzalah, and humbled by my experience there. The organization has a noble mission that is executed by noble people. I will take what I have learned at my internship and apply it to all aspects of life. Although I am sad to be leaving United Hatzalah and the people that work there, I am hopeful that our paths will cross again in the future. After all, these things tend to be “bashert.”