Canadian Jewish Political Affairs Committee
Intern Blog: The New Kid on the Block

CJPAC is thrilled to work with some of the best and brightest young student activists in the country. It is our pleasure to introduce Rachel Cook, our newest intern at our Toronto office. We look forward to providing you with her weekly thoughts on her time with us.  Check back here often to keep up to date!

Hello, everyone!  My name is Rachel Cook and I am currently in my third year at the University of Guelph-Humber, working on my BASc in Justice Studies. I am so thrilled to be the new CJPAC intern and I am excited to be able to share my journey over the next few months through this blog.

I hope to use my weekly postings as the CJPAC intern to apply what I am learning in school to what I am learning at CJPAC, and discuss concepts I am engaged in that I think apply to my weekly topic.  The theme of my first blog post will be taken from a book I am currently reading called “The Best Laid Plans” by Terry Fallis. I am hoping that I will be able to use this blog to document the unique world of Canadian politics, as well entertain my readers.

But first, allow me to tell you a bit about myself and what brings me to CJPAC. While I am currently living in Toronto, I am originally from an island near Seattle, Washington. I have also lived in Rome, Italy as a Rotary Exchange Student and I lived in Whitehorse, Yukon, for a year after I left high school.

When I was living in Washington State I was very involved in American politics, first as a Young Republican and then as a page for the Washington State Senate in Olympia. Working as a page was an amazing experience for me because I was able to see my representatives at work and get to know their staff on a personal level. I was also lucky enough in high school to attend a Young America’s Foundation conference in 2007, which was an amazing learning experience for me, as well as a way to network with other students across the country.  I am very interested in travel and the way different governments work. It is my dream to study both conflict resolution and Hebrew in Israel someday.  I got to visit Ireland last summer with my class and I loved touring Stormont (the Northern Irish Assembly building) and talking to members of the assembly. I am a ‘linguaphile’ and, so, in addition to English, I speak Italian and Esperanto and I am planning on working on my French to better prepare myself to speak to people from all across Canada. I would also like to learn Hebrew and German when I am done with university and have more free time.

In addition to my work at CJPAC, I am also a Campus Engagement Intern with Hillel of Greater Toronto where I work to engage Jewish students on my campus with Jewish community life and an Assistant Chaplain at Humber College where I maintain the prayer room and plan interfaith activities on my campus.  It is a lot of work but I am really enjoying the people I am meeting and learning from and I like that I am making a difference in my community. When I was younger, I was a member of an Alpaca 4H club and I really loved spending time with the animals and using their fiber for crafts. Additionally, I volunteered at my city’s historical society. I also enjoy gardening — though it is a little hard to do in an apartment!

Until Next Time!

Rachel Cook