By: Molly Harris & Piper Riley Thompson
Working as CJPAC interns this summer was a formative and fun experience. This internship gave us the opportunity to better familiarize ourselves with CJPAC’s flagship programs and also to work with the CJPAC staff to launch new initiatives and build off of our ideas. At CJPAC we were never boxed into a specific role or routine, instead, we were encouraged to think big and use our creativity to help develop new material for the organization.
The work environment at CJPAC is really unique. We were encouraged to get to know each staff member’s area of expertise and to seek out work in the portfolios which interested us most. This was both rewarding and enjoyable, and made going to work every day something to look forward to.
Piper: One of my favourite parts of the internship was learning about Canadian politics through a new framework. Previously I had worked with elected politicians, however working with CJPAC taught me how everyday political engagement and community outreach fuels our Canadian political process and is what gets individuals elected to office.
Molly: One of the most meaningful parts of the internship for me was seeing the impact of political engagement on the Jewish and pro-Israel community up close. I loved seeing the intersections between involvement in politics and involvement in other aspects of the Jewish community, which I think CJPAC has tapped into. The values of political engagement and engaging with the community in general are closely aligned, and I felt lucky to be involved in developing programming that brings various aspects of involvement together in ways that cater to those across the political spectrum.
There was never a dull moment working at CJPAC. Whether it was a last minute invitation to go and meet a politician, an impromptu office pizza party or taking a road trip to implement the CJPAC Camp Program across Ontario, we were always kept on our toes!
We were incredibly lucky to intern in an office that was invested in our growth both personally and professionally; not only was our internship tailored to fit each of our strengths, it offered countless opportunities for development and maturation. We can both confidently say that we gained tangible professional skills, networked with amazing people who work in all aspects of Canadian politics, and grew immensely as individuals.
Molly Harris is a Senior CJPAC Fellow and former summer intern. She is currently in her third year at McGill University.
Piper Riley Thompson is a CJPAC Fellowship alumni and former summer intern. She is a 3M National Student Fellow and is currently studying law at the University of Windsor.