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
2012-2013 MZ Teens Internship
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.
East Coast High School Program Coordinator
Raised in Chicago, Tahli Hanuka always had a strong Jewish identity and passion for Israel, but she did not know how to channel this energy at first. While attending the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana, she became more involved at Hillel and became a StandWithUs Emerson Fellow, receiving training from StandWithUs to gain the necessary tools to speak up and advocate for Israel. She quickly became a powerful pro-Israel leader in her community. She continues her work with StandWithUs as its East Coast high school program coordinator!
Central U.S. High School Program 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!
West Coast High School Program Coordinator
Sarah Gipoor graduated from American Jewish University with a BA in business. She founded the Jewish club at her high school and the Genocide Fellows Program when she attended Hofstra University in New York. She worked with teens in Israel advocacy at the Bureau of Jewish Education of Orange County as the program director of the Israel Advocacy Committee for Teens (I-ACT) for two years. She also attended Alexander Muss High School in Israel and participated in Tel Aviv University's overseas program. She was born and raised in Southern California but returns to Israel as often as she can.
Pacific Northwest High School Program Coordinator
Yvonne Bartlett, originally from Bredasdorp, South Africa found her voice in Israel advocacy while studying vocal performance at Portland State University. While attending PSU, Yvonne became active in CHAI, a pro-Israel student group. Yvonne devoted much of her time to promoting Israel through educational events and one-on-one meetings with student leaders. Yvonne has been a guest speaker at several pro-Israel events and has enjoyed working with many pro-Israel organizations. Upon graduating, Yvonne is thrilled to continue her passionate work in truth-telling and Israel advocacy and is excited to be joining the StandWithUs team as the Pacific Northwest High School Program Coordinator!
MZ Alumni Coordinator
Sheree Asher was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. Sheree moved to Israel at age 19 to complete her undergraduate degree at the IDC Herzliya. Sheree has always been passionate about Israel and foreign affairs. She completed her degree in Government, Diplomacy, and Strategy with an emphasis on Counter-Terrorism, Homeland Security, and International Relations. Sheree devoted much of her college time writing for the Avantgarde Magazine. She attended several events including the Herzliya Conference and the International Conference on Counter-Terrorism. Sheree also participated in the StandWithUs Ambassador’s Club at IDC Herzliya, this program focuses on Israeli public diplomacy and teaches students to represent Israel around the world. This past summer, Sheree was also a staff leader on Birthright and enjoyed spreading her knowledge about Israel with young adults. Upon returning to the U.S., Sheree is eager to join StandWithUs and work with the next generation of future leaders.
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 nomination period for the 2015-2015 MZ Teens Internship is OPEN! Please CLICK HERE to nominate up to 20 students for the program. Please note: You MAY NOT nominate yourself for the program. You MUST be nominated by a teacher/adviser/rabbi/community leader. Please e mail firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions
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 email@example.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
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!