The Simon Wiesenthal Center Government Advocacy Internship Program

April 30, 2018

Chicago, Illinois – April 30, 2018 –A group of ten young people will spend part of their summer learning about state and local government and  politics “hands-on,” thanks to the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Advocacy Internship Program. This project is centered on encouraging and educating the next generation of youth to the mechanics of state and municipal government. It serves college and graduate school-aged students in the Midwest Region.

Honorary co-chairs are Cook County Board of Commissioners President Toni Preckwinkle and McHenry County Board Chairman Jack Franks. Introducing a Cook County Board resolution, Preckwinkle said, “…the Simon Wiesenthal Center Midwest Office has played a key role in educating a new generation of residents about the impact of hate and the importance of tolerance locally and globally.”

Participants are between 18 and 21 years of age. They will be selected based on an application process that assesses their interest in public policy, legislation and advocacy to combat antisemitism, fight bigotry, and stereotyping. 

For the summer of 2018, the Simon Wiesenthal Center and Intern Program Committee Co-Chairs, Kathy Posner and Steve Niketopoulos, said that over the summer, the interns will 

  • receive hands-on experience through workday placements in the offices of local and state legislators; 
  • participate in weekly evening personalized workshop sessions with elected officials, top lobbyists and issue-based advocates; and 
  • be partnered with mentors who are successful in shaping front-line policy decisions and who are renowned in their fields, providing the interns with insight and guidance from an insider perspective.

Posner thanked Preckwinkle  and the following state and local officials for accepting interns into their offices: Cook County Commissioner Richard Boykin, State Comptroller Susana Mendoza, Chicago Buildings Commissioner Judy Frydland, Chicago Alderman Brian Hopkins, Alderman Scott Waguespack, State Representatives Lou Lang, Melissa Conyers Earvin, Michelle Mussman, Deb Conroy, Allen Skillicorn, and State Senator Cristina Castro.   

The Simon Wiesenthal Center is a global human rights organization researching the Holocaust and hate in a historic and contemporary context. The Center confronts anti-Semitism, hate and terrorism, promotes human rights and dignity, stands with Israel, defends the safety of Jews worldwide, and teaches the lessons of the Holocaust for future generations. With a constituency of over 400,000 households in the United States, it is accredited as an NGO at international organizations including the United Nations, UNESCO, OSCE, Organization of American States (OAS), the Latin American Parliament (PARLATINO) and the Council of Europe.