Meet Molly, JFSLA Volunteer Intern

Molly Knopf, a senior from Occidental College in Los Angeles, became an intern with the JFSLA Volunteer Department during the summer of 2022, and has decided to continue her internship experience at JFSLA through the next school year. 

“I had a wonderful experience as an intern during the summer. It just felt right to continue growing and working in this role which is meaningful to me,” said Molly. “I have learned so much from JFSLA, made connections, met so many wonderful people, and became really interested in community and nonprofit work.”

During the summer, Molly, an International Relations major, found the opportunity to apply for a JFSLA intern role through InternLA, a donor-funded internship program designed to encourage students to gain real work experience with LA nonprofit organizations. “I saw JFSLA among the nonprofits I could apply to, and I was intrigued,” said Molly. “As someone who was raised Jewish, the values of JFSLA heavily aligned with what I believed in. Given JFSLA’s focus on helping people and making a direct impact on people’s lives, it seemed like an incredible organization that I was really interested in working with.”

As a JFSLA intern, Molly is in constant contact with volunteers about their shifts, connects volunteers with staff, participates in volunteer and program planning meetings, helps run reports and maintain the volunteer database, Better Impact, and supports volunteer events, such as last summer’s Volunteer Appreciation event.

Molly has enjoyed working with other departments and teams to help better serve JFSLA clients. She helped the Senior Nutrition Program conduct a survey at the Grab and Go meal site at West Hollywood and contacted volunteers to help at the reopening of the dining centers. “When I help programs, I see the impact the program has on the community, and the clients communicate to me how much this means to them,” said Molly. “It’s an incredibly rewarding experience to work for an organization that helps people improve their lives.”

It was a no-brainer for Molly when Joyce Williams, JFSLA Director of Volunteers and Training, asked if she was interested in continuing her internship. Joyce mentioned to Molly that a previous intern was able to continue working during the school year through a fellowship offered by the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life at Occidental College. After hearing about the program, Molly applied to the Values and Vocations Fellowship and was able to continue to intern at JFSLA.

“Everyone’s so kind. I enjoy working with the Resource Development team, the Communications team, JFS Executive Vice President Susie Forer-Dehrey, and everyone working toward the same goal of fundraising and helping the community receive the tools they need to improve their lives,” said Molly. “This is my first real step into the professional world, and Joyce has been a great supervisor who has taught me so much. I feel very lucky.”