As a pre-law student, my ideal goal for summer plans was to work in some sort of law firm or an organization that deals with family law. However, no matter how many positions I applied for, as an undergrad whose only work experience was in camp and my shul’s groups, I did not have much success in finding such a job. I started getting nervous when Pesach came and I still did not have any set plans. I decided to look into any possible internships even if it was not related to my ultimate career goals because I needed something to do and any resume builder would be helpful.
Shortly after deciding this, I came across an advertisement in The Jewish Link about college interns. Even though I was not studying any of the areas of interest listed in the ad, my father told me to give it a shot anyway because I literally had nothing to lose. Thankfully, Elizabeth Kratz and Moshe Kinderlehrer saw me as someone who would be a valuable team member and gave me the job.
Before I started working at The Jewish Link, I knew that it was meant to be a community paper, but I never thought about the people who produced it. Sure, I would flip through it to see if I recognized anyone in pictures or headlines, or to see if there was anything about the schools I attended. However, I never thought to really look at the names on the masthead or the bylines.
I used to see The Jewish Link as just a paper, but after sitting in the office for six weeks, I have come to see it as something more personal. I now know what it takes to turn all of the ideas behind The Jewish Link into the physical paper that gets delivered to houses all over Northern New Jersey every Friday morning.
There is so much thought put into every article from the writing process to the editing, photos and layout. The same amount of thought goes into the placement of all advertisements and photos sent from schools and camps. Everyone here works so hard to make sure that everyone included in the paper and reading the paper will be satisfied. After seeing the real people that produce the paper, and all of the effort behind the scenes, I can see The Jewish Link as a labor of love: a contribution from community members to fellow community members.
I am also thankful for the chance to interact with so many interesting people in the community, especially when doing research for my article about rabbis and lawyers. At my interview, Moshe and Elizabeth told me that they wanted me to write about what interested me, and they helped me formulate ideas related to law because of my interest in the field. I was able to talk to so many people in the community who have semicha and law degrees. Not only did their insights give me a lot of information for my article, but also helped me understand multiple areas of the field in a different way. The information I learned from these various interviews will definitely put things into perspective as I continue working towards a career in law.
Beyond my gaining an appreciation for the paper, I was also able to improve different skills. I used my organizational skills and enhanced my leadership abilities by coordinating a video for The Jewish Link Facebook page. I was able to use my editing skills in new ways by copy editing all types of articles for different parts of the paper. I was also able to improve my people skills by interacting with my colleagues in the office and through interviews for articles both in person and over the phone.
I would like to thank everyone who works in the office for creating such a warm and welcoming environment for me and the other interns this summer. I would also like to say thank you to Jill Kirsch for her guidance with my various articles and editing. Of course, I need to give a special thank you to Elizabeth Kratz and Moshe Kinderlehrer not only for hiring me, but also for all of their advice and direction throughout my time at The Jewish Link.
As I leave The Jewish Link this summer, I will take the experiences I had, the lessons I learned and the skills I gained with me. I am sure that they will help me in the future and I am grateful for that.
By Esti Ness
Esti Ness is a Teaneck resident, a rising junior at Queens College and was a Jewish Link summer intern.