2016 Week 1 – Juliana Harkavy and Jack Fargotstein

Hey ya’ll!! The Memphis TI Fellowship is off to a great start after the first week. Everyone has become adjusted to their new work schedules, and the new living situations. We have had plenty of time to meet new people, considering we are such a great group of young adults. This week was filled with new things for many people, and not just the non-Memphis fellows. For instance, services on Friday night at Temple Israel were new for a few of us from Memphis, myself included. Being a member of Anshei I had never been to Temple Israel services on a Friday night. It was a new environment, but I learned a lot, and I was open to the change.

As a group we have had a lot of fun exploring Memphis. We have gone to the Levitt Shell and listened to some awesome music, where we connected with the Connect TI group of young Jewish adults living and working in Memphis as well. We took a nice tour of the Overton Park area where we learned a lot about the history behind the park. We were also able to go out and enjoy some of the Memphis nightlife. We went to Lafayette’s Music Room one night where we enjoyed new company and live music, along with visiting Beale Street and giving the out-of-towners a little taste of Memphis.

My job is amazing. I am very excited to be working with Porter-Leath at American Way Elementary school as a family services worker. I am super excited to be working hands-on with the families and children that this non-profit organization works with. This opportunity is going to help me find where I want to be now that I have graduated, and it is helping me get a foot in the door for a wonderful non-profit in Memphis.  I already feel more connected to the adult life of working a 9-5 job, and networking, networking, and more networking. I cannot wait to see what else this opportunity has in store for me!

– Juliana Harkavy


On the first night of the Fellowship, all twenty-two of us made it to the rooftop of “The Shrine” building downtown on Madison. We all gazed out into the Memphis skyline and celebrated Havdallah as a group for the first time together. At that moment I knew I was in for a very special summer with an extraordinary group of people. Even though I had grown up my whole life in Memphis, I had yet to take the time and visit the skyscrapers that paint the Memphis skyline I have come to love. In fact, there are a number of activites and things to do in Memphis that I’ve never had the opportunity to experience. I’m unbelievably excited that I get to re-experience my city alongside other Memphians my age who probably feel the same way, as well as with other college students that have never been to the home of Rock-n-Roll.

One of the activities I thoroughly enjoyed was attending the New Memphis Institute Summer Kick-off Party. I met a number of new professional people my age and older that have recently moved to Memphis to start their new careers. I also ran into quite a few familiar faces from high school and just growing up in Memphis in general. The New Memphis Institute really made me feel at home and simply exuded the idea of “southern hospitality.” Another activity that I found insightful was the tour of Overton Park. My whole life I have been playing frisbee, going to the zoo, or just simply going to hangout at Overton Park. However, after going on an interactive tour with the Executive Director of the park I learned so much about the park.

After just one week of the TI Fellowship I can honestly say I have made new friendships, strengthened old ones, and have started falling in love with my city all over again. I can’t wait for the rest of the summer and to see where the Fellowship takes us in the future.

– Jack Fargotstein

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