Staff Spotlight: Sandy Schlenoff


Tell us a little about OTZMA and your role at the company.

OTZMA is a 5 or 10 month program that offers an unparalleled immersive experience by providing volunteer, community service and professional internships opportunities for each participant in 3 different communities across Israel. Backed by 26 years of success, the varied living experiences, top-notch and engaging educational program and exclusive Israeli adoptive family initiative provide an unbeatable opportunity for young adults to experience Israel, make an impact and reap the personal and professional benefits. My position at OTZMA is the North American Director, and I’m based in New York City.

How did you get involved in the volunteer industry?

I can’t remember a time when I didn’t want to work in social services. I was a participant on OTZMA after I graduated college, received my masters in Non-Profit Management and have been working in the field ever since.

What do you look for in a volunteer?

OTZMA looks for volunteers who are independent and self-motivated. Volunteers who are committed to Israel and giving back to the community in a meaningful and impactful way.

How do you ensure your programs are sustainable and mutually beneficial for you, the community, and the volunteers?

OTZMA works directly with local professionals in all of our volunteer locations and have had relationships with these communities for over 25 years. We work with these professionals to ensure that our volunteers are using their skills and talents to meet a real and authentic need in the community.

What makes OTZMA unique?

OTZMA has unparalleled experience in volunteer programming in Israel. For over 25 years, we have been the premier post-college program for young Jewish adults looking to explore their Jewish identity through service and education in Israel. We have an amazing educational program that gives participants the ‘real’ Israel – not as a tourist or a visitor, but as a member of the community.