Rachel Klapper: Journalism and International Affairs / Holocaust Representation


Rachel Klapper
Journalism and International Affairs / Holocaust Representation
B.A. June 2009
Magna cum Laude
Baruch College/Macaulay Honors College
CUNY BA/BS Alumni Association Scholarship
Baruch Hillel Leadership and Advocacy Award
Phi Eta Sigma, Sigma Alpha Delta and Golden Key Honor Societies
Dean’s List

In her own words:

“As one of few people in the world lucky enough to have created and studied my field of concentrations, Journalism and International Affairs, coupled with Holocaust and Genocide Studies, I have applied to and been accepted by IDC (Interdisciplinary Center) Herzliya in Israel to study Government and Counter-Terrorism in their Thesis track.

As a published collegiate writer in Jewish Political Studies Review for the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs–thinktank of Israel’s Foreign Ministry, at which I interned for three years–as well as my positions as managing editor of Hakesher Jewish magazine on campus, and contributing writer for Baruch College’s literary magazine Dollars and Sense, I realize that global journalism, despite its vicissitudes, continues in a trajectory of direct effect on politicians and legislations. As a graduate and an alumni advisor for Write On for Israel journalism-based advocacy training program of The Jewish Week at Columbia University, as well as former Diamond intern and speaker on behalf of  AIPAC: the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, I have developed relationships with politicians through lobbying and interning, both here and abroad in the Middle East.   As their former intern, I maintain ties with the 11th Permanent Israel representative to the United Nations, as well as Israel’s recently appointed Ambassador to the United States.  My career ambitions have magnetic proclivity to the heated journalistic task of International Affairs in the field of Ambassadorship or Political Representative.

I was simultaneously challenged in channeling my passions into a confident academic career.  I therefore pursued double areas of concentration through the extraordinarily encouraging CUNY Baccalaureate, as a Macaulay Honors scholar at Baruch College: Journalism and International Affairs, for a vehicle of political activism and articulate communication of 22nd century geopolitical humanity; and Holocaust and Genocide Studies, to remind the world of Santayana’s ominous quote, “those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

In my CUNY Baccalaureate admissions essay, I wrote of my awareness that ninety percent of an iceberg develops under the water: on my surface, one might be impressed because at 21 years old, I am on a first name basis with my Senators as well as former Prime Ministers and Parliament Members in Israel.  But the magnitude of my hopeful career, like the mass of an iceberg underwater will come through scholarship, intellect, and proactive education.  This is why CUNY Baccalaureate is the greatest opportunity offered to me yet.”  My statement is truer now than I could have ever anticipated.

It was an academic struggle since the onset of my career in the Baruch Honors College, since there are limited non-business classes offered, especially for a Middle Eastern concentration. There are two genres of Journalism offered as majors in Baruch, and while both “Creative” and “Business” Journalism are excellent fields, they do not delve enough into the massive task of Journalism regarding international affairs. But with admission to CUNY Baccalaureate, which put me in charge of my education, and trained mentors and professors as the facilitators of individualistic study, I was determined to maximize CUNY BA/BS’s pedagogical breadth in order to chase my dream, and destiny, of combining concentrations in Journalism and International Affairs, and Holocaust and Genocide Studies into a proactive, meaningful, and serious career. Despite the fact that grades were sometimes more challenging, I enrolled in 17 Honors courses through my academic career, almost double Macaulay’s requirement. Most of them were IDC– interdisciplinary-because when challenged most, in an interdisciplinary environment, one learns the most.  CUNY BA’s mission has deeply affected me.

Now, the next step in making my career aspirations a reality, is striving for academic expertise in IDC Herzliya.  Many aspects of this Masters are comparable to the incredible experience of CUNY BA/BS.  The best part about CUNY BA/BS, the Macaulay Honors, and Baruch College, is the diversity of its students:  my peers represented more than 192 UN accredited nations.  In fact, Baruch College was named most diverse campus according to U.S. News and World Report.  An inextricable part of my education was networking a worldly group of friends and amongst them, I practiced becoming a proud pro-Israel leader on campus, through dialogue with German students about the Holocaust, teaching Asian Christians pro-Israel advocacy, appointment as President of Hillel’s Koach committee, and developing confidence in initiation of leadership projects through intensive academe.  IDC Herzliya is proud of learning from its international students, like I am at CUNY. As a Masters student, I look forward to forging forth on this path of open-minded appreciation, networking, learning, working part time, and bringing the experience back to the United States, further on a path of making effective world change.

I am a proud American patriot and pro-Israel student, but an even prouder graduate of CUNY BA.  I can make the program as proud of me as I am appreciative of it.”