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Intern Spotlight – Jess Reiser

Ohio Environmental Council, July 19, 2022

Hi, I’m Jess Reiser. I’m very excited to be at OEC as a summer legal intern. 

I’m from Cincinnati and I graduated from Ohio State with a BA in international relations in 2011. I then moved to Israel where I lived on a kibbutz and in Tel Aviv for close to eight years. I worked in public relations and high tech, and I also coached and played basketball while I was over there. In Tel Aviv, you could probably find me walking on the beach and meeting up with friends trying new restaurants and happy hours. 

Living on kibbutz was a life changing experience. The kibbutz movement started before the creation of Israel as small socialist, mostly agricultural, communities. While the majority of kibbutzim (kibbutz plural) have become privatized, the communities are still there. I was placed on Kibbutz Sa’ad in the south of Israel through a program that housed new immigrants that were going into the military. Kibbutz Sa’ad is known for its carrots and produces about a quarter of the carrots for Israel. They make the best carrot salad with shredded carrots and orange juice, it is delicious. I was placed with a host family that I am still in touch with today. I would go over to their house for Shabbat (sabbath) and holiday meals. The kibbutz lifestyle is all about the community, and it really opened my eyes to a different way of looking at life. Things are more about communal living.  Life moves more slowly on kibbutz. No one is in a rush and everyone knows their neighbors. We could all learn a lot from them. 

I moved back to the states due to family circumstances and started law school at Chase College of Law at Northern Kentucky University in the fall of 2021. There, with friends we started a wellness club focused on mental health and wellbeing called “Equilibrium” meant to give law students a place where they can feel safe and feel their feelings. We’re working on a wellness room for the upcoming semester!

Working with the OEC this summer has been a very exciting opportunity for me! I’ve wanted to break into the environmental world for some time now. That article that came out a few years ago that scientists warned we only have about 12 years left to save the world really got to me. And going to law school was always in the back of my mind, I finally had the opportunity and right motivation to go. I figure working in environmental law is the best place for me to be part of the fight against climate change. 

In my free time that I don’t have as much of since law school started, I like to go on long walks at the park and listen to music or audiobooks. I also like to play Beatsaber on my virtual reality game console. Trying new places to eat is one of my favorite activities. 

-Jess Reiser, Legal Intern