2017 Week 2 – Heidi Cowen and Joseph Bloomston

IMG_7850I’ve a feeling I’m not in the North anymore. Everyone I meet is so kind and hospitable! Being a true Northerner, coming from New York and going to school in Massachusetts, I would have never expected to find myself in the South, especially in the (hot and humid) summer! However, I’ve been in Memphis for a little over two weeks now and am absolutely having the time of my life!

It’s also crazy to think that absolute strangers can become a kehila in just two weeks. The cohort has become so close that it feels as if I’ve known them all forever. During the past few weeks, we have done a ton of fun things! We walked on the Green Line, visited the National Civil Rights Museum, went to Jerry’s Sno Cones, canoed at Patriot Lake at Shelby Farms Park, and floated down the lazy river at the Memphis JCC. Plus, ate a ton of good food! But what I’ve loved the most and continue to look forward to are the Friday night Shabbat dinners. Our first Shabbat dinner was at the home of Cindy and Mark Finestone which was lovely, and then our second Shabbat dinner was our first Fellowship Shabbat! I was in the group that organized the evening festivities. I love Shabbat dinner because it is our time to come together as a cohort and reflect on our busy work weeks!

I am interning at New Memphis Institute, an engagement/outreach non-profit organization. It is so great to work for an organization that makes it its mission to retain talented people in Memphis and help the city prosper. In addition, I am gaining experience with different mass communication tools as well as Excel. And, I’m adjusting to an office environment!

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My time here has only been positive and I can’t wait to see what the next six weeks have in store! Time really does fly when you’re having fun!

-Heidi Cowen

Last week in the Temple Israel Fellowship, I was able to travel to Schulenburg, TX for my internship working for Monogram Foods. I am interning in the continuous improvement department of Monogram Foods, which aims at improving the efficiency and quality of the foods that are produced at the Monogram processing plants. While in Schulenburg, I was able to visit the Monogram Pet Treats plant and see how it operates. It was really cool to take a tour of the Schulenburg plant and see all the processes that take place to produce pet treats.

This week in the Temple Israel Fellowship, I had the opportunity to travel to Boston, MA. During this week in Boston, I was able to complete my White Belt training in Lean-Six Sigma, which is a training program with the goal to lower waste and raise efficiency. I had a great time during my White Belt training session, and I learned a lot that will help develop me professionally.

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Next week I will be traveling to Chandler, MN to go through my Yellow Belt training in Lean-Six Sigma. This internship has been a great opportunity for me to network with people all around the country. It is awesome that I will be able to get certified in White and Yellow Belt in Lean-Six Sigma, which will greatly help me grow as a professional.

Although I have been doing a lot of traveling so far for my internship, I have loved my time spent in Memphis. One of my favorite activities so far was getting to take a tour of the National Civil Rights Museum with Rabbi Micah Greenstein. As someone one who grew up in Birmingham, AL, I have been able to witness much of the history the civil rights firsthand. However, what I loved about the tour given by Rabbi Greenstein was how he delved into the intertwined history of Jewish people with the fight for Civil Rights. I am very grateful for this amazing opportunity to be a fellow in Temple Israel Fellowship, and I am looking forward to what the rest of the summer holds.

-Joseph Bloomston

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