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StandWithUs MZ Teens Internship

In 2012 we partnered with the MZ Foundation to inaugurate the new StandWithUs-MZ Teens Internship program. The MZ Teens program is a high school leadership program that prepares students for the challenges they may face regarding Israel in college and in their communities. Students participate in a year long program that includes 2 national conferences, ongoing educational online workshops, and they receive guidance and funding to run programming in their high schools and youth groups. Students are encouraged to participate in positive campaigns that inspire their peers and educate people about Israel. The MZ program staff is comprised of former StandWithUs Emerson Fellows and youth professionals.

Upon completion of the program, participants will be prepared to comfortably take the reigns of leadership the moment they start college and they will be automatically part of the StandWithUs MZ Alumni Program. The Alumni program will keep the students on track to continue their Israel advocacy efforts, provide them with new and exciting opportunities for advanced Israel advocacy, and funnel them into our college-level Israel advocacy program upon their entrance into college. Students will continue to receive support from StandWithUs throughout their college career and beyond. For more information, contact Miri Kornfeld, director of the MZ Teens Internship program at MiriK@standwithus.com.

If you would like to find out when to apply for the MZ Teens Internship, please click HERE.

MZ Teen Photo Galleries 

High School Program Director
Miri Kornfeld, originally from Denver, Colorado, immediately found her passion for promoting Israel on college campuses when she began attending UCLA. Her involvement in Israel advocacy remained her top priority, and she became the president of Bruins for Israel, UCLA's pro-Israel organization, in her senior year. Upon graduating, Miri joined the StandWithUs team and successfully coordinated screenings of a positive film about Israel, Israel Inside, on 50 college campuses across the U.S. and Canada. In addition, she gave presentations at high schools and to high school clubs in the Los Angeles area, educating students about Israel-related matters and events occurring on academic campuses. Now the director of StandWithUs' national high school program, Miri focuses on promoting education about Israel to high school students, providing them with the support and tools they will need to become leaders and Israel advocates on their future college campuses and in their communities.

Midwest High School Coordinator
With a rich cultural tradition of supporting Israel and the Jewish people, Vida Velasco has always had a personal passion for Israel. She left her career as a successful real estate broker in Manhattan to focus on Israel advocacy. Vida lives in Chicago and has been deeply involved in bridging the evangelical Christian and Jewish communities with the common cause of supporting the Jewish state. She is committed to supporting young leadership and is thrilled to be on the cutting edge of training the next generation as part of the StandWithUs team!

Northeast High School Coordinator
Josh Warhit grew up with a strong sense of Jewish identity in suburban New York, but only after visiting Israel for the first time as a teenager did he realize what a tremendous role Israel played in his life. He went back to Israel every year, and after graduating from the University of Rochester in 2012, he made Aliyah and enlisted in the Israel Defense Forces. After defending Israel ideologically as a student on campus and physically as a combat soldier, Josh joined the StandWithUs team to advocate for Israel on a larger scale and help students become effective pro-Israel leaders in their communities.

Southeast High School Coordinator
Rayna Rose Exelbierd was born and raised in Memphis, Tennessee. She graduated from Florida Atlantic University with an International Business Degree. Rayna spent a gap year studying in Israel and has continued to travel there and participate in advocacy programs. At FAU, Rayna was a StandWithUs Emerson fellow, and held many leadership roles in various Israel organizations and groups on campus. Upon graduating, her passion became her career.

Pacific Northwest High School Coordinator
Don earned a B.A. from Northeastern Illinois University in History & Education, with a specialty in adolescent development. After working in the Chicago Public School system as a high school teacher, Don moved out to California to experience the sunshine and earthquakes. Originally born in the Galilee region of Israel, Don grew up in Skokie, IL which is famously known for having the largest concentration of Holocaust survivors outside of Israel.

Southwest High School Coordinator.
Liz Brough returned from a high school trip to Israel with a desire to share her new found knowledge of the Israeli culture and people with her peers. This motivated her to gain a degree in Jewish Studies and Bible from the Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, Illinois. During this time, Liz was very active in the pro-Israel community in the greater Chicago area. Liz also served as the vice president of Kesher, the pro-Israel student organization on her campus, organizing events and actively promoting Israel awareness to her peers. A native of the Hoosier state, Indiana, Liz Brough is delighted to share her love of Israel with her favorite age group, high school students, and equip them with the tools to become Israel advocates in their schools and communities.

Southern Region High School Program Coordinator
Heather Viniar discovered her love for Israel as a child, growing up in an Israeli-American household. She earned a B.A from Stony Brook University in History, as well as her M.Ed in Curriculum and Instruction from Florida Atlantic University, and her MA in Holocaust Studies from the University of Haifa, in Israel. Her thesis is about American high school students' attitudes of the Holocaust, and how those attitudes are associated with their perceptions of the State of Israel. Heather has always been passionate about educating students about Israel and is dedicated to ensuring that students are both knowledgeable and able to have informed discussions in support of Israel.

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If you would like to be a partner in growing our numbers of MZ Teens, we have naming opportunities available. Please contact Gary Ratner at; Garyr@standwithus.com, or call us at 310-836-6140 ext 101.

The application period for the 2015-2016 MZ Teens Internship is now closed. The application period for the 2016-2017 MZ Teens Internship program will open in the spring of 2016, around Passover time. For more information about the program, please read the information below. Feel free to contact highschool@standwithus.com, with any questions about the program.

Eligibility to Apply for the MZ Teens Internship:
- Must be Jewish
- Must be junior or senior in high school during the upcoming school year
- Must have been to Israel before
- Must have already demonstrated your passion for Israel
- Must be articulate and respected by your peers
- Must be recommended by a teacher, mentor, community leader...etc.


MZ Teens Internship Requirements:
- Coordinating at least 3 Israel programs throughout the year (can include screening a film, bringing a speaker, organizing an Israel celebration, etc.)
- Attending monthly online educational sessions with your fellow-interns
- Attending two mandatory conferences in Los Angeles (all expenses paid) - one before school starts and one at the end of the school year.
- Starting a pro-Israel club at your school if none exist, or be active and reinvigorate an already existing pro-Israel club.
- Recruiting MZ interns for next year


For more information about the MZ Teens Internship click HERE.

If you are interested in applying for the StandWithUs MZ Teens Internship you must be a high school junior or senior, and have a track record of Israel connection and leadership, and you must be recommended to us by a teacher/mentor/community-member…etc. Please have this teacher/mentor/community-member e mail highschool@standwithus.com with the following:

1. Student's name
2. Student's e-mail address
3. Student's phone number
4. Name of person making the recommendation
5. What organization they work

Current interns:

On this page, you will find all the information you need to plan, implement, and report about your events.

Before Your Event Begins

Please contact your high school program coordinator to discuss the content of the program.

CONTENT: Does your high school program coordinator need to book a flight to come and make a presentation? Are you making the presentation? What will the program look like? What is your timeline to prepare for the event? These are all questions you should discuss with you high school program coordinator before the program date.

MONEY: If you need funding for your program, please speak with your high school program coordinator about submitting a grant request. We cannot retroactively approve grant requests, so make sure you have approval before you buy materials. Please also look into finding outside sources of funding (such as your synagogue, local federation, or JCC). Your high school program coordinator can help you explore this possibility.

MATERIALS: If you need StandWithUs booklets or swag for your program, please give us AT LEAST two weeks’ notice so that we can ship you materials without having to rush the order. Any shipments with less than two weeks’ notice may result in our charging the institution hosting the program for expedited shipping.

MARKETING: Create a flyer or a Facebook event. Get the word out there. Always send your high school program coordinator the link to your Facebook event or the flyer.

During Your Program

INTRODUCE YOURSELF: Always introduce yourself at the beginning of any event you plan as a StandWithUs MZ Teen Intern. Remember: you are a StandWithUs representative in your community!

PHOTOS: Please take AT LEAST four good pictures of the program. Action shots are great. Tell the story of what is happening at the event. We do not need photos of StandWithUs materials on tables. Don't be afraid to stage a photo if necessary. If your event is during Shabbat and you cannot take pictures, please let your high school program coordinator know in advance so that we know not to expect photos from you.

SIGN-IN SHEETS: It is useful to have sign-in sheets to keep track of who attended your event so that you can report about numbers and can invite past attendees to future events.

After Your Program

REPORTING: You have one week to fill out a program report to evaluate your program. Please note, if we do not receive a program report from you, we cannot reimburse you for any funding for the program. You can find the program report here.

PICTURES: Please send at least four GOOD photos to your high school program coordinator. Please note, if we do not receive photos from you, we cannot reimburse you for any program funding.

INVOICES: If you need money for the program, you must find an outside organization to front the money, and StandWithUs will reimburse it pending receipt of your photos, pictures, and flyer from the event. We will need an invoice from the organization that fronted the money. Please note, we cannot reimburse individuals.

If you have any questions, contact your high school program coordinators. They would love to help you!

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