The 105 Israelis who applied for employment at the United Nations
through its Young Professionals Program failed the entrance exams last year.
Sources familiar with the testing procedure said that December's exams, which covered statistics, administration, humanitarian aid and communications, were particularly difficult.
The Young Professionals Program is geared towards candidates under the age of 32 who are interested in junior positions at the UN. Only a handful of Israelis have succeeded in passing its entrances tests over the past few years.
Most staff members join the UN by responding to wanted ads that are published on a daily basis. And yet, only 60-80 of the UN's 70,000 employees are Israeli.
Dr. Inon Schenker, a global health adviser, postulates that many talented candidates are influenced by the longstanding disdain cultivated within Israel
towards the UN, based on the belief that the global body is biased against the Jewish state.
Schenker, who has worked for the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization and the World Health Organization – is seeking to remedy the negative sentiment with his initiative, titled "Think Global."
The private project, which was launched three years ago, is meant to promote the UN as vibrant place of work and to consult potential candidates.
The organizers of the initiative are to hold a seminar on June 28 in Jerusalem, during which they intend to introduce job seekers to the opportunities that await them at the more than 30 agencies, organizations and foundations functioning under the UN.
Employment terms offered by the international organization are often lucrative. Entry level positions pay $4,000 and educational expenses for employees' children are paid for. Tax exemptions and paid vacations are also part of the package.
And the variety of positions is endless; the UN employs translators, television producers, judges, lawyers, teachers, medical and mental health professionals and information technology experts, among many others.