Meet Jordan Katz

The first clue Jordan Katz had that his Onward Israel internship was going to be a special work experience was by way of wardrobe.

Upon showing up for his job at 8thsec, a start-up in Tel Aviv, he initially met with his boss about his responsibilities. Dressed for success in his button down and khakis, he was surprised – and he’d have to admit a little thrilled – when asked, “Why aren’t you wearing shorts?”

It was the perfect introduction to Israeli corporate culture. That relaxed atmosphere, combined with an opportunity to receive hands-on experience at a growing online marketing firm, made this an invaluable international business opportunity – one in which he would grow both professionally and culturally.

8thsec is an online marketing company that builds landing pages, markets online products and specializes in media buying, SEO and social marketing. As part of his internship, Jordan worked with an Israeli shoe company, which was introducing a new brand of shoes, and was involved with launching a website, online advertising and social media campaigns.

“I want to go into business, but I wasn’t in business school and I had no business experience. My boss taught me the ropes, and let me work on all kinds of projects. I doubt I would have had this opportunity at a company in the United States after only completing my freshman year of college,” he says.

This was not the first time Jordan had been in Israel. He visited several times before, on an Associated Family mission with his parents, Bonnie and Neil Katz – in fact, he helped build a playground in Ashkelon – and on school trips at both Krieger Schechter Day School and Beth Tfiloh Dahan Communty School.

It was his friend Evan Fisher that told him about Baltimore Onward Israel. Having just completed his freshman year at the University of Michigan, he realized that this was a chance to gain professional experience while doing what he loves best – traveling.

Onward Israel includes a four day work week, with time off to discover the country. Jordan and his friends enjoyed the Tel Aviv social scene and traveled to Jerusalem, Eilat and Haifa. In addition, the program featured several educational experiences, including hiking in the desert, visiting Tel Aviv start-ups and learning from their entrepreneurs and enjoying a Shabbaton with Onward Israel participants from other communities, such as Boston, Cleveland and New York.

“There’s such a huge start-up culture in Tel Aviv and Onward Israel was a chance to be part of the Israeli work environment, something that tourists don’t get a chance to check out,” says Jordan.

“Oh, and it’s been great to put on my resume,” he adds. “People love to hear about my Israeli experience.”

 

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