Creating Technology for Social Change

Internship opportunity with Grassroots Jerusalem

Grassroots Jerusalem co-director Micha Kurz sends word of his team’s internship opportunity in new media, with a goal of creating four interactive maps this summer–of streets and housing in Jerusalem, of schools and health statistics, of local stories (using multimedia), and of grassroots organizations and other local resources.

Interested? Check out the full description:

Grassroots Jerusalem – MIT New Media Internship Application 2011

Organizational profile:
Grassroots Jerusalem sets out to provide an “Evolving Map” of the current grassroots activities and organizations working in the Jerusalem area. We provide a picture of what is currently happening on the ground, the pending urgent issues, the local solutions and where support is needed to further the work.

Grassroots Jerusalem does not discriminate between Israeli or Palestinian initiatives, nor does it categorize according to religion or political affiliation (although they may be mentioned). We believe that everyone is entitled to their piece of the puzzle, and their own opinion. What interests us is what is being done, not what is being said.

Grassroots activists recognize that despite the many cultural differences, and contrast of political opinions, we still have much in common. Human rights, justice, nonviolent communication, social and environmental sustainability are just a few of the values we share. Grassroots organizations have a connection and knowledge of Jerusalem from the “bottom up”. These provide the fertile ground on which to build relationships. We recognize the impracticality of true peace, so long as our mainstream societies fail to address the urgent community issues that are often neglected by top-down approaches.

The goal is not to push certain political agendas, or create umbrella organizations and coalitions. Our goal is:

  • To shed light and realize the vast network of some (very special) everyday people, stepping up and finding creative solutions for age old “unsolvable” challenges.
  • To help each other grow and evolve. To be more efficient in our separate goals, and more effective in our collective outcome.

With a clear view of our resources: people, funding, professional consult, global outreach, original ideas, inspiration and spirit, we recognize ourselves for what we are, and realize the true potential we can only reach together. Together we take steps towards creating an organic, grassroots strategy geared for the reality we wish to share.

Job Description

Background: Grassroots Jerusalem has been working on a community needs assessment and organizational profiling project designed to inform the organization’s overarching objective of creating an interactive map of Jerusalem that reflects community values, rather than top-down views. The new media intern will work as part of a team on producing the online interactive maps based on the field work done in the communities. The goal is to create four interactive maps:

  • an accurate street and housing map of Jerusalem;
  • a rich data map with information such as the number schools, health statistics, etc.
  • an unconventional interactive map that uses multimedia to tell personal stories of people in the communities that reflect larger issues; and
  • a map of grassroots organizations working in Jerusalem to address community needs (with links to individual organizational profiles).

The new media intern’s role will focus on the technical aspects of creating these maps. This may include flash or HTML5 programming, graphic design, audio/video editing, etc. This is a great opportunity for someone who is tech-savvy, knowledgeable and interested in open source tools and new media possibilities with community development and social change in mind.

Upon arrival in Jerusalem interns will undergo an orientation designed to not only introduce them to the layout of the city and the technologies essential to the project, but will also provide tools to deal with and better understand the dynamics and challenges that exist for international students working in a conflict area.


  • Work closely with the Grassroots Jerusalem new media journalist to:
    • extract themes, narratives and issues from community meetings and needs assessments and organizational profiles
    • brainstorm ways to present this information using the online digital platform in an engaging, effective and accessible manner that reflect the community’s views and values
    • work from concept to creation of the digital maps (with a focus on the technical side of things – programming, editing, graphic design, etc.)
    • participate in community events and relationship-building as part of the research necessary for creating the story-telling map
    • ●●

  • Assist Grassroots Jerusalem staff in uploading multimedia content and data to the website using Ushahidi or other online tools
  • Address and troubleshoot technical issues as they arise
  • Assist Grassroots Jerusalem where needed, as directed and requested (i.e. producing photographic and video materials)

Person Specification: The successful candidate will have:

  • A minimum of 2 months experience living/working in a developing world environment
  • A passion for international development, community organization and human rights
  • Proven web programming skills for interactive projects using tools such as HTML5 or Flash
  • Strong knowledge of open source tools
  • A proven ability to work independently with minimal supervision
  • Excellent communication skills and ability to work in a team

Commitment: Interns will need to be in Jerusalem and ready to begin work on June 12th and will need to be available until August 12th. Interns are welcome to stay longer, but need to be aware of the orientation week as it is a required component to this summer’s work.

As this is an intern position there is no salary, but the Grassroots Jerusalem staff is committed to helping their interns take advantage of the variety of funding they qualify for through their educational institutions as well as providing form letters geared to help interns reach out to their friends, family and local organizations for financial support.

How to apply: Please email the following items to

  • Resume and cover letter (max 2 pages)
  • On a separate page please answer the following questions to the best of your ability:
  • ●●


  1. Please describe the extent of your international experience and how you believe this experience will contribute to your feeling prepared to live in Jerusalem this summer.
  2. ●●

  3. What types of experience have you had working in a team on a common objective? What do you enjoy about working in this manner? What did you find most challenging?
  4. ●●

  5. What do you believe makes you an excellent candidate for this internship opportunity?
  6. ●●

  7. What kind of support do you require of the Grassroots Jerusalem staff in order to feel you will be able to work the most effectively this summer?
  8. ●●

Due to the high volume of applications only selected applicants will be contacted.