Feature Stories

Global Service Fellow Leading Recovery in the Philippines

Steinberg, one of JDC's two 2014 Ralph I. Goldman Fellows in International Services, distributes supplies to children in an area of the Philippines devastated by Typhoon Haiyan.
Steinberg, one of JDC's two 2014 Ralph I. Goldman Fellows in International Services, distributes supplies to children in an area of the Philippines devastated by Typhoon Haiyan.

For Adam Steinberg — the 28-year-old doctor and Melbourne native who is one of JDC’s two 2014 Ralph I. Goldman Fellows in International Service — his yearlong tour of JDC’s work around the globe is a bona fide game-changer.

“It is making me try to be a better Jew, a better person, a better doctor, a better humanitarian, a better global citizen, and a better leader,” Steinberg said of the fellowship, which is run through JDC Entwine. “All those elements really speak to the essence of what the fellowship is.”

The Goldman Fellowship (shared with Steinberg this year by Sara Reef) is Entwine’s premier leadership opportunity — a paid, professional opportunity to live and work in several overseas locations where JDC is active.

Though he intended to begin his time abroad in St. Petersburg, Russia, Steinberg’s plans changed when the devastating Typhoon Haiyan struck the Philippines and JDC mobilized to respond.

Steinberg was part of JDC’s initial crisis evaluation team, which also included Danny Pins, left, a development and employment expert; and Mike Attison, an emergency field medic and disaster relief expert who has been part of JDC’s work in Haiti and Japan.

Steinberg said he’s proud of the partnerships for sustainable development he’s been able to help cement while working with JDC in the most devastated parts of the Philippines. JDC’s work in the country is focused on education, psychosocial support, livelihood recovery, public health, and disaster preparedness.

He plans to stay in the Philippines at least into the spring.

“What this has taught me about playing an active role the JDC world and the Jewish world and the world I want to be a part of, is that there is something important about responding immediately,” he said. “For me, there’s always been this want to be part of something very hands-on very quickly.”

Steinberg said the responses he’s received from Filipinos have been heartwarming and moving.

“People are amazed here that people outside of the Philippines care about the Philippines,” he said. “I'm proud to be that face for them, to show them that the world and the Jewish people care about places that are vulnerable and sometimes forgotten.”

JDC Entwine Managing Director Naomi Sage said Steinberg embodies the selflessness, passion, and can-do spirit that are key components of any successful Goldman Fellow.

“Adam has devoted countless hours of energy as a volunteer leader within Australia’s Jewish youth movements, and now brings his passion for Jewish life and professional expertise as a physician to the global arena,” she said. “He is a rising star who will no doubt make a difference in the Jewish world.”

The Goldman Fellowship and the broader engagement work of JDC Entwine is critical to defining JDC’s second century.

“It is a very unique way of engaging our generation, and there’s no doubt these kinds of experiences cultivate something special our generation connects to,” he said. “The challenge is to continue to create meaningful opportunities and continue to translate them into meaningful leadership and advocacy experiences.”

JDC’s work in the Philippines is generously supported by Geraldine and Gabriel Sunshine, The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh, the Grossman Family Philanthropic Foundation, the Jewish Federation of Greater Kansas, the Jewish Federation of Edmonton, the Jewish Federation of Greater Vancouver, UIA Canada, the Combined Jewish Philanthropies of Greater Boston, and the Leichtag Foundation.

Tags for this story: Disaster Relief, Youth / Young Adults, Entwine

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