At the beginning of this month, I drove 13 hours from my hometown in the suburbs of Detroit to Memphis, a city I hadn’t visited since I was 6-years-old. I was coming here as a stranger, not knowing what Poplar was or that flinging toothpicks at Huey’s is actually encouraged. But I’ve been here for almost four weeks now and things are pretty different. I’ve listened to music at the Levitt Shell, enjoyed multiple father’s day festivities with my Memphis friends, and explored Memphis professionally and socially not only with the other fellows, but also with my fantastic internship at the New Memphis Institute. As their Communications Intern I have planned and ran their Summer Experience events, including our epic Kick-Off Party and a network-wide volunteer event last Saturday morning. I have also been given the opportunity be published in multiple Memphis newspapers, helping me practice my writing skills as well as build a portfolio to use when I am looking for a job after graduation.
But the TI Fellowship is about more than what goes on from 9-5; it’s about creating a connection with Memphis. Moving to a new place is hard, but the TI Fellowship made it easier by introducing me to an entire community of accepting, like-minded people who were eager to help me get settled and get to know the city a little bit better, whether by pointing out Ricki’s bakery or teaching me about Pancho’s, Memphis’s famous cheese dip.
This past week the TI Fellowship kept us busy with events that helped us engage with numerous aspects of the community, including religion and giving back. We ended the week with a discussion with Rabbi Adam Allenberg (fun fact: Adam actually attended the same high school as me in Michigan) and then spent Friday night ringing in Shabbat with our first Fellowship Shabbat Dinner. We also got to spend Sunday morning volunteering at the Food Bank and then attended an amazing and delicious networking cocktail hour at Elkan and Laurie Scheidt’s home.
So as our first four weeks come to an end, I’m excited to see what the next six weeks hold!
– Jaclyn Nagel
Three weeks up three weeks down! This past week was extremely eventful, going to the church health center and the Memphis Food Bank in addition to having a discussion with Rabbi Adam Allenberg from Hebrew Union College. Our first event was Thursday evening with Rabbi Allenberg, discussing passages from the torah. This discussion was very educational and interesting, because Rabbi Allenberg was very liberal with the ideology presented and really let us as a group explore all possible interpretations of the different passages. On Friday, we had an event at the church health center learning about how it got started and the overall mission of the place. This meeting was very inspirational and informative. Dr. Scott Morris really engaged us as a group and inspired us all to find our passion in life and follow that path. To cap off the week we had a very full Sunday. In the morning we volunteered at the Memphis Food Bank, inspecting and boxing canned food helping their delivery and pick up services. In the evening we had amazing cocktail hour hosted by the Scheidt’s at their house. The cocktail hour was really great because we were able to network with Memphis professionals in addition to meeting other young Jewish adults living in Memphis currently.
On a more personal note, work has really started picking up and I have become a full-fledged member of the team. It is a great feeling going into work everyday knowing that what I am doing is helping the company. Working for Baker Donelson has been an amazing learning experience so far and I cannot wait to see what else I can learn there. The working environment is absolutely amazing and it is a great experience for me to see how a large law firm works from the inside.
Outside of fellowship activities and work, I was able to spend quality time with the members of the program as well. On Saturday night, a group of us Memphians took some of the other fellows to Rendezvous before going to the New Daisy for a concert that night. It was a great night to spend with the fellows, because we had no events for that night and were able to relax and get to know each other on a more social and personal level.
Week three of the fellowship was an all-around amazing time. We had plenty of events to keep us busy and help network, while also giving back to the Memphis community. On top of all the of the great events planned for us, the members of the fellowship were able to spend quality time with each other and getting to bond even more than we already have.