Local YU Rockland and Passaic students participate in summer internships
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Local YU Rockland and Passaic students participate in summer internships

Trivia Beck, left, Chani Grossman, and Rochel Hirsch (Photos courtesy YU)
Trivia Beck, left, Chani Grossman, and Rochel Hirsch (Photos courtesy YU)

Summer internships provide valuable career opportunities. For many Stern College students who are passionate about public service, they’re a way to put their talents to work building a better world, on both the local and global levels.

“Each summer, Stern College students dedicate themselves to internships to serve their communities and also to countless others in need,” Dr. Joseph Luders, Stern’s David and Ruth Gottesman professor of political science, said. “They work tirelessly to bring about a positive impact in hospitals, law offices, advocacy organizations, and elsewhere. They are a great credit to Yeshiva University in their many vital contributions, and I am personally very proud of them.”

Whether they’re helping impoverished children get the heart surgeries they need, fighting health care fraud, or advocating for environmental sustainability, here’s a few ways students are making a difference. Several local residents are among those students.

Tzivya Beck, a native of Monsey, native who will graduate with a degree in political science in the fall, applied for an internship at the New Jersey attorney general’s office in preparation for her studies at Harvard Law School in 2018. At Harvard, she will focus on public interest law; her internship at the attorney general’s office gives her exposure to the area as she investigates cases relating to government and health care fraud. The cases typically employ the False Claims Act to prosecute people who defraud the state government.

“One week, interns including myself went to a nearby United States District Court, where we watched a gang leader being sentenced for his crimes of murder, attempted murder, and racketeering,” Ms. Beck said. Afterwards, we met with Judge Greenaway, who serves on the U.S. Court of Appeals, Third Circuit, to hear about his experiences serving as a federal judge. After eight weeks working alongside interns and deputy attorney generals, I know that I will have a lot to look back on once this internship is over.”

At Stern, Ms. Beck has enjoyed her courses on the Middle East and the Arab-Israeli conflict, taught by former Israeli Deputy National Security Adviser Dr. Charles Freilich, as well as fundamental political science courses Dr. Luders taught. “During my sophomore year, I took a course that provided a comparison between talmudic law and U.S. law, which foreshadowed my decision to learn Talmud in the Graduate Program in Advanced Talmudic Studies at YU before pursuing a law degree in 2018,” she said.

Rochel Hirsch, a junior from Passaic who is majoring in history and Judaic studies, also spent her summer at the office of New Jersey’s attorney general, working with Ms. Beck in the government and health care fraud section of the Division of Law: “I wanted an internship that would allow me to gain exposure to law and give me insight into the workings of the government,” she said.

Like Ms. Beck, Ms. Hirsch learned about the opportunity from pre-law adviser Dassy Chelst. “I’m considering a career in law, so this internship is a great opportunity to explore the public service side of the field,” Ms. Hirsch said. “During weekly seminars designed to introduce interns to the attorney general’s wide range of responsibilities, I also get to learn about other divisions’ work.”

Chani Grossman, a Jewish history and biology major from Monsey, is fulfilling her dream of working behind the scenes at a museum with her summer internship at the Museum of Jewish Heritage — A Living Memorial to the Holocaust in Manhattan. “I chose the museum because I’d visited it and been very impressed and I’m very passionate about Holocaust education, which is a very strong focus of theirs,” she said. Her responsibilities range from reading tour evaluations to preparing group activities and administrative tasks. She also organized a summer conference for teachers at Jewish schools to learn more about European Jews before the Holocaust.

“One of the best parts of working at a museum is that you get to go to the galleries whenever you want, which has been incredible,” Ms. Grossman said. “I also got to go to lectures held at the museum, which were always fascinating. Another of my favorite things was being able to interact with student groups and see what they thought about their experiences at the museum. Many of the students come in with almost no knowledge of the Holocaust and to see the amount of information and insight they’ve gained is incredible.”

Her internship’s focus on education fits well with her fascination with Jewish history, which has flourished at Stern. “I’ve had such great Jewish history professors — Rabbi Dr. Ephraim Kanarfogel, Dr. Jeffrey Gurock, Dr. Ronnie Perelis — and I’m looking forward to having even more when I start taking courses at the Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies this fall,” Ms. Grossman said. “I’m also really enjoying the experience of working on my senior honors thesis with Dr. Perelis, especially as I get to work on a period of Jewish history — 1970s Argentina — that I knew little about before, but relates closely to my family history.”

For more information about the program, go to www.yu.edu.

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