Brittany Walters

I was working at a nonprofit in Washington, DC, when a colleague of mine challenged me to make my life extraordinary. The universe abided and I received an email shortly after, announcing openings for the Israel Teaching Fellows program.

Six months from that point, I can confidently say the decision was both an extraordinary and significant one. I’ve had experiences far beyond anything I could have dreamt for myself, created networks far more reaching than I could have foreseen and become part of a community a world away from home.

Teaching English is a small shred of the experience in its entirety. We are part of the school’s dynamics, sharing in everything from after-school cheerleading practices to Shabbat dinners. Many of us are completely entrenched in our volunteer work, many have taken on research or internships or fellowships. At present, I am studying music as a means of cultural identity retention in diasporic communities. It is an amazing insight into the wide spectrum of Jewish sound and tradition.

Above all, I’ve learned how important our individual stories are in contributing to a greater narrative. Learning a history is integral but contributing to the future through impassioned and inspired work is even more so.

Hometown: Miami, Florida

College: University of Florida

Major: Political Science & African Studies

City in Israel: Petach Tikvah

Fellowship Year: 2013-2014

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