Hi! My name is Sophie Ritt and I am a rising Fourth Year at the University of Virginia. At UVA I am studying Psychology and Elementary Education.
While in Israel I am interning with the women’s empowerment organization, El Halev. El Halev strives to reduce gender-based violence through martial arts and self-defense. Although their hub is in Jerusalem, El Halev holds self-defense classes throughout Israel and around the world.
This summer I have been working as a Madricha for El Halev’s summer camp, as well as helping with administrative work. At the camp, Israeli and Arab girls from Jerusalem learn martial arts and self-defense in a safe and positive environment. I have been given the opportunity to teach a jazz dance class for the campers as well. This is very significant to me as I have always loved dance and it has been so amazing sharing this passion with my campers. One of my favorite moments at the camp so far was catching a few of the campers practicing the dance I taught them during their free time!
I am so grateful to Onward for giving me the opportunity to work with such a special organization. El Halev welcomed me with open arms and I truly believe that the work they are doing is incredibly important and impactful. Although I feel like the end of the summer is rapidly approaching, I know that I will always have a home at El Halev.
The Brody Jewish Center, Hillel at the University of Virginia, is the focal point in a renaissance of Jewish life for the 1,800 Jewish students on Grounds.