LIFE Program
Social Change & Leadership Development
In Israel and India

This was LIFE for me.
"It's not just an internship, it's a program where I learned and participated in group discussions that helped develop our social vision, and our leadership abilities."

"When I first came across the LIFE program, it sounded too good to be true. It has in fact been more incredible than I expected. I have met such inspiring pioneers from all walks of life that have helped me to focus on the goals I want to set myself and to take the necessary steps towards the world I envision for the future. Included amongst the people I've been privileged to meet through LIFE are the other program participants. LIFE has already proved to be a life-changing program with constant inspiration through thought provoking experiences, seminars, conversations, and hands-on projects. I am surrounded by constant support from the LIFE staff and participants as well as the people of the Byrraju Foundation in India who are always concerned with our well being and, as they say, ‘delight’."
Naomi Siegel (USA)

"The L.I.F.E experience for me is a life fulfillment experience in so many ways.it's has everything one can for a several months of internship...studying and expanding your horizons about social justice and Jewish tradition,meeting professionals and learning from them,traveling to new places and exploring new cultures.Making friends from all around the glob,living constantly in an multi-cultural environment whether it's in a classroom in Jerusalem ,at work in India or even in the dorms of your campus.
I see the precious opportunity to do an internship in a successful Indian NGO like the Byrraju Foundation as an important and crucial step towards my growth and understanding of the work in the social justice area.Throughout the program, from day one, we have experienced a daily contact with experienced people in their own profession.So not to mention sessions and seminars,here every thought could be discussed in a no time."
Shachar Reem (Israel)

"If you are looking for a program that provides personal developmental with cultural and work-related learning experiences, then LIFE may be the opportunity for you. I have had the privilege of hearing and meeting experienced and interesting speakers and been given the chance to work for an NGO in the country where the recipients of the work actually live. By working to create change for the better together with the local people in India, I have had the opportunity to learn from them. Living in a mixed group of Israelis and Jewish people from other countries contributes to my development and is a huge learning experience, not only through the opportunity to improve my Ivrit (Hebrew) but through the cultural differences and diverse perspectives within the group."
Deb Frais (UK)
"LIFE is an opportunity that should not be passed up.  If your thinking of working in social services, non-profits or just seeking adventure LIFE will not disappoint you.  The program so far has been very education on so many different levels.  I have learned priceless information about social justice, tikkun olam, varied Jewish topics, environment, water allocation, human rights, community organizing, social entrepreneurship, business management and the best part is were not even half-way through the trip.  While I was never skeptical about joining LIFE, I couldn’t help wonder whether the program's advertisement was exaggerated. It wasn’t. If anything it barley describes how amazing a leadership development program it truly is.  The one thing that never crossed my mind before joining LIFE was what the other people who would join LIFE would be like.  To my delight, every member on the LIFE program is like minded, open to creative thought and rarely holds a grudge.  I couldn't imagine LIFE without the current participants today, they truly add so much character to the trip.  The staff of LIFE is a rock-star team from around the globe and I would promise to anyone that they would not be disappointed with the LIFE experience.  I would recommend LIFE to open minded, hard working and thoughtful individuals with any background.  It doesn't matter what you studied or where you have worked, LIFE encompasses a holistic vision through which everyone can contribute to and grow in the development of social justice and Tikkun Olam."
Josh Zuckerman (USA)

"The LIFE Program impacted me in so many ways-- personally, professionally and spiritually.  I didn't really know what to expect-- I had signed up for it because I was looking to travel, to get some experience working abroad and to find some direction career-wise.  First of all, LIFE is an incredible bonding experience.  My fellow LIFE-ers are friends for, um, life. We had many adventures together-- some funny, some overwhelming, some eye-opening-- and now I look back on them with nostalgia.  I am full of stories from my year with LIFE, stories which have not only come in handy at parties, but have set me apart at networking events, interviews, and other professional activities.  When I returned from LIFE and began looking for jobs, everyone seemed incredibly intrigued by this program and what I had learned from it.

I think each one of us got something different from the program, but I can say that, for me, the LIFE program brought me out of my comfort zone in a number of ways.  I became more adaptable, resourceful and imaginative than I was before the program.  I learned to be a better listener.  Specifically, when I was working in a culture and context that was unfamiliar-- such as I was in rural India with an educational organization or practically on the Green Line with a peace-building organization in Jerusalem-- I had to change my habits.  For example, in India, although I had a bunch of theories about what might improve the educational system in a rural village, mostly from books and articles, I learned to interrupt my tendency to assume, and to simply observe.  In fact, my interviewing skills greatly improved.  My final project from my time in India is one of my greatest achievements-- I pride myself on having collected a number of people's stories, opinions and experiences and then adding my own contributions, creating a final result that is truly useful to the organization where I worked.

My boss in particular was very inspirational to me-- my favorite memories are of watching her conduct field work in middle-of-nowhere villages or taking care of business back in Hyderabad.  She taught me a lot, but one thing that has really stuck with me was something that she said one night while we were working in rural Maharashtra.  I had exclaimed that the moon looked differently than it did at home (sideways, like a Cheshire cat smile, instead of the "sliver" shape that we're used to), and she responded, "That's why I love having foreigners on my team! You guys always see things differently!"  And she was right.  The greatest thing I had to offer was my unique perspective, and my most significant gains were the perspectives of others.

It's very difficult for me to describe my time with LIFE because so much happened in that one year.  I can say for sure that I'd be a different person if I hadn't done the program.  It expanded my horizons in so many ways.  I can't imagine not having the incredible people in my life that I do now, and I can't imagine what my worldview would be without the numerous experiences that rocked my world, making me see even the smallest things differently.  In summary, I think that LIFE changed mine in a very pivotal and productive way."
Lara Sultzman, USA