Hi! I’m Hannah Berger and I am the social work intern at JCUA this summer. Social Work is a very broad field, and encompasses everything from the clinical therapy to community organizing, which I am so excited to engage with this summer. I am currently a graduate student at the University of Michigan, studying Management of Human Services and Jewish Communal Leadership. As part of our education, we have to complete internships and I have the unique opportunity to intern in Chicago during the summer semester. When I’m not working, you can usually find me rock climbing, cooking an elaborate meal, hanging out at the beach, or spending time with my friends’ cats.
A student in the year above me who I deeply admire, Danny Kaplan, used to work at JCUA and recommended the organization to me. I wanted to intern at JCUA because community organizing was something I didn’t feel like I had enough experience with, and I wanted to push myself out of my comfort zone. I’m so glad I did! I’ve gotten to work on a variety of projects that support both our community organizing team and our development team. I’ve gotten to see how organizing money and making sure things run smoothly at the administrative level impacts the incredible work JCUA does on the ground, which focuses on police accountability and immigration reform.
I am especially proud to be supporting JCUA’s work on immigration because of the not-so-recent news about concentration camps at the U.S. border and the accompanying misery we are inflicting on asylum seekers. I am a descendant of Jewish immigrants who fled pogroms in 19th century Russia. I know that most people in this country have similar stories of themselves or their ancestors leaving their countries of origin to create a better life in the United States. It is a potent combination of hypocrisy, indifference, and racism that is creating this humanitarian crisis, and though we’re mostly working at the local and state level, I’m honored to help JCUA make our country more welcoming to immigrants at large.