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Cody Volkers

Intern at the Jerusalem Institute of Justice (JIJ)

 n/aCody spent six months working at Jerusalem Institute of Justice (JIJ), an agency focused primarily on human rights and religious freedom in the Palestinian Authority and throughout Israel. JIJ stresses neutrality as the utmost concern in the midst of tension throughout the Middle East and encouraged conversation from both sides of the spectrum. Cody's work specifically included weekly meetings inside the Israeli Parliament (Knesset), where he would support and shadow lawyers and members of the JIJ in advocating for reform or certain agendas, and writing a Freedom of Religion report on the Palestinian Authority with a team of interns. He personally conducted interviews with Palestinians in trying to gain an "on the ground" perspective.

"One experience that was memorable was being at the Western Wall (aka Wailing Wall) one afternoon. I chose a spot between two Jewish Rabbi's and went to the wall and began to pray. I had just finished work for the day and had come to the wall to pray, something I did very regularly. I began praying in Hebrew thanking the Lord for the day and the work that had been accomplished. I moved into a time of asking the Lord for guidance about some things I was wrestling with that day specifically, and then I concluded. But, instead of concluding in a traditional "Amen" I said "In the name of Yeshua (Jesus), Amen." The Rabbi on my right caught my eye as I finished my prayer and I could tell he heard me say "Yeshua." It was an interesting encounter as I could see in his eyes his yearning for something more, but just could never vocalize a need for Yeshua. It was a powerful and moving encounter."