Jonah Feitelson ’15, with funding from the Summer Internship Support Fund established in 2005 by John G. Rice ’78, is interning this summer at the National Economic and Social Rights Initiative (NESRI) in New York City. NESRI is a non-profit organization that promotes movements for what it deems essential social and economic rights, including education, healthcare and housing.
NESRI often works from the bottom up, helping communities facilitate grassroots initiatives that fight for government and private sector support of human rights. For example, as Feitelson notes, NESRI has played a large part in the universal healthcare movement in Vermont and the housing crises in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina.
Feitelson, a government major and economics minor, says he became interested in social and economic rights after taking classes at Hamilton like “Economic Development” and “Politics in Africa.” However, he also has a strong interest in visual media as demonstrated by the number of film classes he has taken at Hamilton and in high school.
Feitelson is interning in the communications department at NESRI, which is a perfect confluence of his interests since it allows him to combine his passion for video with his newfound interest in social and economic rights. “Specifically,” Feitelson says, “I work a lot with videos, including advertisements for NESRI, and organizational videos for the Dignity in Schools campaign and the Health Care is a Human Right campaign in Maryland.”
Feitelson knew he wanted to work for a non-profit organization with a domestic focus and was lucky enough to stumble upon NESRI after searching through various non-profit opportunities on idealist.org. Given his interest in pursuing a career in the non-profit sector after graduation, Feitelson says, “I'm hoping to learn skills and techniques for grassroots community organizing and to get experience working for a non-profit.”
NESRI appears to be a perfect place to intern for someone with Feitelson’s post-grad interests since it works closely with so many other non-profits and community organizations. Feitelson says, “there are tons of people coming through the office every day who work on different human rights campaigns across the country.” And, as NESRI asserts on its website, “These partnerships are the seeds and building blocks of change.”
Jonah Feitelson ’15 is a graduate of the Millbrook School, NY.