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.
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!
SWU-MZ Internship Alumni Affairs Coordinator
Born and raised in Toronto, Julian Ross Markowitz took an early interest in advocacy and foreign affairs. While attending the University of British Columbia (UBC) in Vancouver, Canada, he assumed a prominent role in Israel affairs at an often hostile campus. Named an Emerson Fellow in his senior year, Julian led an ambitious media campaign that culminated in the publication of his article, ‘Partners for Peace’, in the University of British Columbia’s leading undergraduate scholarly publication, The Journal of International Affairs. In addition to Israel and near east involvement, Julian was thoroughly engaged in the broader inter-varsity political discourse. He was the sole 2011 recipient of the `Churchill Award`, the highest collegiate honor granted by the Winston Churchill Society for the Advancement of Parliamentary Democracy. Julian joined the StandWithUs team with a diverse set of skills garnered from his work in the fashion industry, and as the Associate Director of Communication for a tech start-up. His return to advocacy was motivated by his desire to defend Israel from her enemies in the ongoing battle of public education.
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 2014-2015 MZ Teens Internship is closed. For more information about the program or to find out when the application period will open next year, please e mail firstname.lastname@example.org
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