It was the first night of Career Israel orientation and Courtney was famished.
As she grabbed dinner in the cafeteria of the Kiryat Moriah hostel, she chatted with a new friend she would be sharing a room with for the next three days. Suddenly, she felt someone from behind her grab her arm. Shocked, she snapped around to see who it was and what in the world they wanted.
“No! Stop it! No!” Jean-Paul (J.P.) laughs as he imitates her reaction weeks later. “It took her a minute to process it – she was in complete disbelief.” Courtney, now blushing, playfully hits J.P. on the shoulder as she laughs at his imitation of the surprise that night.
“I couldn’t believe you were on the trip with me!” she exclaims.
It has been close to a year and a half since J.P. was the leader, or ‘madrich’, of Courtney’s Taglit-Birthright Israel:Israel Experience trip to Israel. Courtney went on the trip with her two brothers and the moment she realized J.P. was now on her Career Israel program, she sent a picture of them both with the caption, “Guess who is on my program?”
Courtney reports her brothers were beyond jealous.
When J.P. heard that Courtney would be on Career Israel from Israel Experience Director in North America, Rachel Russo, he knew he had to surprise her. When he saw Courtney that first day of orientation, he quickly made his move and grabbed her arm.
“He loves to reenact my reaction,” Courtney says. “Sometimes, I’ll see him in the hall at Beit Leni and he will just be like, ‘No! Stop it! No!!’ It always makes me laugh.” Courtney thought she was on coming on the program and wouldn’t know anyone, but she is relieved to have a familiar face like J.P. around. “Seeing J.P. day to day makes this program that much better.” says Courtney.
In the next few days, Courtney will be moving to Jerusalem to begin her internship with Professor Hassin at the Hebrew University Psychology Research Lab, Lab Conscious. J.P will be staying in Tel Aviv to volunteer at Ilan – Israel Sports Center for the Disabled. Despite the move, the two promise they will see each other often.
“I am going to miss J.P. so much, but I am lucky that I had this month to get to live in the same city as he does [during Ulpan].” says Courtney.
To learn more about Courtney’s psychology research internship or to apply, click here.
To learn more about J.P.’s sports rehab internship or to apply, click here.