"IGF changed my life. It's unique because it really puts you to work doing the actual business of Israel. A fellow is directly helping to build the state. Twelve years after my first day of the fellowship, the connections I made are central to my job today."
The IGF Alumni Network is 250 alumni strong. Our alumni are leaders of communities, leaders of industry, policymaking and activists. They carry their IGF experience far past graduation, some of them for over a decade. They recruit one another, they mentor those around them, and they create growing ripples of impact all over the world.
These are some of their stories.
Diane Be’ery, IGF1
VP of Marketing
"IGF was very much a part of my decision to make Aliyah. After IGF, I knew that I could do it. IGF allowed me to bring this big scary goal down to earth and to a practical timeline."
Nir Buchler, IGF2,Senior Representative of the Jewish Agency
"Immediately after graduating from IGF, I called the Jewish Agency in NYC because I was so passionate about my experience. I am now the senior representative of the Jewish Agency for the Southeast. I can say this very clearly, if it was not for IGF I would not have taken this path in my career."
Joshua Henderson, IGF9
Federal Reserve Bank of NY
"IGF created a stronger relationship between myself and Israel. Spending a year in Israel gave me a first-hand experience to understand the day-to-day reality. The issues Israelis face became less abstract, and I saw how they deal with the complexities of the region and sustain a thriving nation."
Jason Reinin, IGF3
Head of Investor Relations, Global Debt Capital Markets
Israel Ministry of Finance, NY
"I would want potential partners to know that IGF changed my life. It's unique because it really puts you to work doing the actual business of Israel. A fellow is directly helping to build the state. My mentor in 2008 is my boss in 2020!"
Eric Silberman, IGF9
Tel Aviv University
'IGF avowedly believes that Israel is special because it ‘is’. I believe in IGF because IGF is one of the only programs I know that loves Israel as she is. IGF does not ask participants to fall in love with a dream. IGF does not present Israel as anything other than real. And IGF believes that to love Israel is not to choose any one group over another, but to choose everyone – all of am yisrael – together."
Victoria Ackerman, IGF1
Scouting & Strategic Alliances
"IGF changed my life. I can't imagine my life without this deeply influential experience. From day one of IGF, every connection I made opened up opportunities that are beneficial to this day, 14 years later. For a girl from South America, IGF was simply invaluable."
Elliot Miller, IGF9
Israeli Embassy to the USA
"You do IGF and you don't realize who you're meeting, who you're working with.
Working now in the embassy in Washington I'm interfacing with so many people I casually met in my time on IGF. 5 years later, I'm still working on the same issues I worked on in IGF, only in Washington."
Jordan Hytken, IGF4
Senior Account Executive
"I had always wanted to serve. When I completed my Birthright trip I immediately started to look for ways to stay in Israel, and I found IGF. IGF gave me that opportunity to really, really contribute."
Laurie Felder, IGF2
International Disaster Response at UMCOR
"IGF gave me a great platform by which to continue and professionalize my career. I have always wanted to work to help people and IGF was instrumental in helping me to do that."
Olga Bermant, IGF4
The Builders Fund
During my time at IGF I interned at Israel's Antitrust Office which gave me great insight into both the public and the private markets; and the unique challenges and opportunities a small, largely isolated market like Israel faces. This initial familiarity helped me navigate my path into the high-tech sector.
Matthew Walker, IGF12
Ministry of Labor Social Affairs and Social Services
"IGF has had a huge influence on my career - my internship allowed me to get my foot in the door of working in a fascinating and rewarding government Department... and eventually become a regular employee in that Department."
Jordan Barpal, IGF8
"While it certainly paid professional dividends upon my return to the U.S., IGF's greatest impact on me was unquestionably personal. Those ten months were filled with one adventure after the next, each one unique, and each one giving me a far greater sense of what it was that inspired and motivated me."
Ben Salling, IGF10
Assistant Policy Officer,
Department of Family and Community Services
"I would not have ever become the Fellowship Director position at AUJS if not for the connections and experience I gained through IGF."
Benjamin Lee, IGF12
Multilingual Communications Professional
"My internship and educational experience during the IGF program had a very strong influence on my decision to draft to the military, the subsequent contribution I made to the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit and my long-term career goals."
Samantha Klazkin, IGF11
Government and Cities Program Manager
"I chose to participate on the program to see how it felt to live and work in Israel, before making the major decision of moving here permanently. I feel privileged to be able to experience living in a country where so many people, some of whom I truly look up to, dreamt of and fought for."
Adah Forer, IGF13
Head of British Press Desk
IDF Spokesperson’s Unit
"Seeing and contributing to the cooperation between the MFA and the IDF inspired me to pursue this next step, and continue shaping Israel's image abroad. I hope to return to the MFA as a career diplomat, and I am so grateful to IGF for giving me the opportunity to experience the diplomatic community and motivating me to pursue this career path."