How Young Leaders are Going Global

Tags: Federation, Young Adults, Israel, Overseas PR

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Article reprinted with permission from Crain's Cleveland Business.

Traveling the world is something many people dream of: Seeing the Eiffel Tower light up in Paris, posing with the Leaning Tower of Pisa in Italy, walking the Great Wall of China – there are so many choices of places to go, things to see, and people to meet.

It’s no surprise that Cleveland young professionals return home with more than just photos of food, beaches and quaint villages on their brag-worthy Instagram page.

Take Jon Sender, for example. A born and bred Clevelander and Case Western Reserve University student, Jon studied abroad in Israel during his spring semester. Before departing, he set three goals: develop fluency in another language, immerse himself in foreign culture, and learn about global entrepreneurship.

Fun Fact: Israel has the highest concentration of startup companies in the world, apart from Silicon Valley, making it a global leader in future technology. While Jon spent most of his time on the Hebrew University campus in Jerusalem, he also interned at OurCrowd, an Israeli venture capital firm.

His five-month experience abroad allowed Jon to live like a local. His particular program was made possible through Masa Israel, a program funded through I-Connect, an initiative of the Jewish Federation of Cleveland (Check it out here.) Jon made it his mission to immerse himself in the culture. “Before going abroad, I never traveled overseas for an extended period of time. I made my time count by living with locals and enrolling in courses that were not taught in English,” he said.

Jon came back to Cleveland inspired to connect with other young travelers, just like him. He launched the blog, Plane2Plane, a breakdown of each step of the overseas travel planning process – from cost analysis and scholarship searches to a packing list and preparing for the plane ride.

Jon’s No. 1 tip? Go overseas! “You’ll gain a new appreciation for the world, gain a greater knowledge of different cultures, and even see your own culture through a new lens.”

Rebecca Golsky is the manager of communications and public relations at the Jewish Federation of Cleveland.

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Learn More: Federation, Young Adults, Israel, Overseas PR