Alumni Spotlight: Hannah August
Meet one of our fabulous Birthright Israel Alumni!
Hannah August was a participant on a Birthright Israel trip in May 2005. Since then, she has definitely left her mark on the world by serving as First Lady Michelle Obama's Press Secretary from May 2011 - December 2013. Read on to learn more about Hannah!
Tell us a bit about yourself (where are you living, occupation, age, where you grew up, etc).
My name's Hannah August - I grew up in New Jersey, and after college moved to Washington DC where I lived for 11 years. I just moved to NYC with my husband and our rescue dog Luna and we're settling into our new city.
What made you want to go on Birthright Israel?
I had always wanted to visit Israel and Birthright gave me an opportunity to travel right after college, something I couldn't otherwise afford.
What was your best experience on the trip?
I remember we went on some really beautiful hikes - I was expecting interesting cultural and religious experience, but the beauty of the land itself was surprising and fantastic.
What impact would you say that trip had on you?
Before the trip, Israel was a bit abstract for me. After the trip, I felt very connected to the country and even more connected to my Jewish heritage.
What have you been up to since your trip?
I went on Birthright right after graduating college - 11.5 years ago! Since then, I worked mostly in politics and government, including as Press Secretary to First Lady Michelle Obama. This past year I've been on what I've called a life sabbatical - taking time off to decompress and refocus. And one of the best things I did during my time off was go to Israel again! This time with the Schusterman Foundation on their REALITY Storytellers trip. Now I'm starting to search for jobs in my new city, and look forward to what the future will hold.