Sign In Forgot Password

Boys and Girls Club Summer Internships Come to a Successful Conclusion

09/22/2023 10:09:58 AM


By Betsy Abramson

It’s a wrap! In partnership with the Jewish Federation of Madison, the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Dane County, and Centro Hispano, the Racial Justice Action Team just completed its third year of placing high school and college students from the Boys & Girls Club and Centro Hispano in businesses and organizations with top leaders from the Jewish community. 

This year, while we had nine generous and enthusiastic employers eager to host and financially support an intern, the Boys & Girls Club had so many exciting opportunities for students that they only needed five of our sites to host students. As with 2021 (six students placed) and 2022 (11 students placed), all were wildly successful in helping students develop new skills while gaining exposure to the real world of work. Employers similarly were very enthused about the opportunity to benefit from the diverse perspectives, skills, and energy of these young scholars. Thanks to the following Jewish community members and their organizations who hosted them:

Joe Loehnis, Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra
Michael Ross, Madison Youth Arts
Carousel Bayrd, Community Justice Inc.
Marla and Larry Frank, Frank Productions Concerts Live
Rabbi Bonnie Margulis, Wisconsin Faith Voices for Justice

Let’s hear about the experiences from the young scholars themselves:

  • "The team here [at the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra] is the best and they always make me feel accepted and welcome, and they treat me like they would any other! I feel like my internship has definitely helped confirm a lot of things on what I like and dislike, and what I work best with. For example, on concert nights [Concerts on the Square], I essentially take over the Kids’ Area and I’ve noticed that engaging with children is something I probably wouldn’t mind working with in the future!"
  • "There is so much love and community between all of the workers at my internship [at Madison Youth Arts]. There are many places of growth, as well, and ways to improve and move up both personally and professionally." 
  • "The internship [at FPC Live] was amazing, I got to me a lot of great people and watched some great shows. This internship taught me a ton about the music/entertainment business and has inspired me to continue my education in marketing."
  • "I value new learning experiences as well as being in a workplace that is understanding and accepting. I think that my internship [at Community Justice, Inc.] holds these values right on the spot. I very much enjoyed this internship. I've gotten to work on different projects, and I work with fun people! A highlight at CJI would have to be getting to help Spanish-speaking clients. I knew that there were not a lot of Latine/Hispanic or Spanish-speaking attorneys in the legal field, but seeing the lack of them made me even more motivated to keep pursuing this career." 

The employers were just as enthusiastic and grateful. Rabbi Bonnie Margulis, executive director of Wisconsin Faith Voices for Justice (WFVJ), wrote: 

“WFVJ is deeply grateful to Temple Beth El and the Jewish Federation of Madison for funding to allow us to hire an intern this summer. Our intern focused on a project to create a series of toolkits on immigration justice and the Dane Sanctuary Coalition. This toolkit will empower congregations to engage in education, advocacy, and volunteering for immigration justice and the work of the Dane Sanctuary Coalition. Hiring an intern has given us the needed capacity to move this project forward.”

For the last three years, Temple Beth El has received a generous $10,000 grant from the Jewish Federation of Madison’s Cheryl Rosen Weston Fund to support the project and the 22 students we placed. We are now passing the names of all 11 generous employers from the Jewish community to the Boys & Girls Club to continue and expand the Jewish community’s involvement in offering these summer internships. If you know of or work for a business or organization that would be interested in hosting a student for up to 20 hours/week for 6 weeks next summer, please contact Betsy Abramson ( or 608-332-7867).

December 10, 2023 27 Kislev 5784