Meet Aliana Baskin
“I love getting up every morning knowing that I have a purpose of teaching children English,” said MITF fellow Aliana Baskin.
This year with MITF is Aliana’s third time in Israel, and she is enjoying every minute of it. As someone who has always been interested in helping others, Aliana was confident that MITF would be a great fit.
“It was actually my aunt who sent me the notice about this opportunity. She knew I was looking for ways I could continue to help people by empowering and inspiring others,” she said.
After graduating from the University of Arizona with a degree in social work, Aliana was a member of AmeriCorps, working in a women’s shelter. She also interned with the Arizona Coalition to End Sexual and Domestic Violence. In addition, she had a job assisting people obtain healthcare and realize their rights under the insurance plans.
Teaching English to students in 2nd through 6th grade at the Amital School in Jerusalem’s Har Choma neighborhood has cemented Aliana’s interest in pursuing a helping profession. “I had hoped that I would be able to figure out what I want to do with my life, and I have. I now know that I want to go back for my masters to become a licensed social worker,” she said.
Aliana, who grew up in various parts of California and went to Camp Ramah in California since age 13. She attended a Conservative synagogue with her family, observed Shabbat and holidays, and attended an intensive Hebrew school program from the ages of six to 14. These were certainly factors in her choosing to apply to MITF with Ramah Israel.
Aliana, 23, loves living in Jerusalem for the year, saying, “It is a place that brings me peace in my heart.” She shares a large apartment in the German Colony neighborhood with nine other women from the program, with whom she has become close. The women host Shabbat dinners, and six from the group went to the beach in Ashdod together.
Recently, Aliana participated in the MASA leadership conference. “I gained a lot of knowledge about how to be an effective leader” she said about the event.
Aliana may have her sights set on starting graduate school, but in the meantime, she is very much enjoying her time with MITF with Ramah Israel. “I love being in Israel and feel so privileged to take part in this opportunity,” she said.