British graduates join Israeli Foreign Ministry


Two Oxford University graduates from London have joined Israel's Foreign Ministry after gaining experience on a high-flying interns' scheme.

Danielle Abraham, from South Woodford, and David Goodstone, from Finchley, are recruits of the Israel Government Fellows programme, which offers work placements in Israeli ministries to diaspora Jews under the age of 30.

Ms Abraham has been made a policy adviser to Mashav, Israel's Agency for International Development Co-operation. Mr Goodstone became director for public affairs at the Israeli Consulate in San Francisco in January.

They are part of an elite group of 20 to 30 fellows selected each year for the programme, which is run by the Menachem Begin Heritage Centre in Jerusalem.

Ms Abraham came to the Foreign Ministry on a placement 18 months ago after working for the British Red Cross and the Home Office. "I was looking to gain more experience in the field of international development," she said. "I also wanted to experience living in Israel for a prolonged period of time and wanted to get as close to a real-life Israeli experience as possible."

An Israeli work environment was "quite a shock. It is opposite in every way possible to an English office. This meant that I had to adapt pretty quickly, especially to Israeli office etiquette, which means not being too English and polite."

Earlier this year she participated in a United Nations Development Programme meeting in New York after Israel had become a board member.

"The opportunity to represent Israel at the UN really was a once in a lifetime opportunity," she said.

The director of the fellows' programme, Paul Gross, who is himself a graduate of it and previously worked in Israel's embassy in London before making aliyah, said: "Danielle and David have secured important positions in Israel's Foreign Service. I have no hesitation in predicting that both will prove to be stellar appointments."

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