In 2009, Marissa Schwartz took advantage of the gift of Birthright Israel through the Chabad of Dartmouth with close friend Jenna Pfeffer. Years later, thanks to her firsthand experience of the country and culture, she is now Director of Business Development for My Israel’s Miracle, a haircare line featuring organic ingredients from Israel with a goal to share great things about Israel. Marissa can directly see her experiences from Birthright Israel play out in her career every day.
“Part of my daily tasks is to connect with different facets of people who have an affinity towards Israel. As I learned from Birthright, Israel’s culture is made up of so many different components, different sects of people, cuisine, the army, music, iconic sites, holy places, etc. Because Birthright was able to give me such a comprehensive understanding of Israel’s culture, I can take this macro view with me as I target different connections and partnerships for My Israel’s Miracle. I tap into each facet a bit differently, but I come from a place of familiarity and understanding,” says Marissa.
Even ten years after her trip, she still remembers lessons she learned like you should “become the advocate you wish to see in the world and the honorable code of the IDF.” Marissa also remembers at many points during her trip grasping a better understanding of the disconnect between Israel portrayed in US media and the truth. “I was overwhelmed with this feeling of I wish I knew this sooner…I wish I understood this sooner, that is why when I returned from Birthright I became an advocate for Israel, the IDF, Israeli culture and Jewish law. I shared my findings with friends, colleagues, peers, and family. I became the advocate I wished to see in the world thanks to my experience on Birthright Israel.”