Guest post by Masa Israel alumnus Natan Edelsburg
Arriving to Israel in August 2006 to begin my year abroad was an extremely scary and exciting time. I was leaving all my friends and starting a new phase of my life, but I was finally fulfilling my dream of being able to living on my own in Tel Aviv, while working in a communications department. I secured an internship at Greenpeace Tel Aviv where I was given a desk inside the communications department to help the team with their daily tasks.
One of my most memorable experiences in Israel was also the point that I knew I wanted to pursue a career in media and communications. The Second Lebanon War had just ended and a Greenpeace ship had planned on sailing from Lebanon to Haifa, the first communication of any kind between the two countries after the war. Not only did I have the chance to go on the boat, but I also helped to prepare the press packets and distribute them to the politicians and media that came on the ship that day. The excitement of the day and the precision that was required gave me my first taste at this career path.
A few days ago, over three years since my experience with Greenpeace, I landed in Israel to participate in a very exciting media program.
Now a communications student at NYU, I have become fascinated by the way new media is revolutionizing the way we disseminate messages. I began to get involved in the world of Twitter through internships and the NYU Communications Club
. One day I engaged in a conversation with David Saranga, the former Consul for Media and Public Affairs at the Israeli Consulate in New York. David brought the Hasbara movement to a new level during his tenure at the consulate. He successfully branded Israel as the technologically advanced, media savvy, sexy and beautiful country that only those who have had the chance to visit truly understand. David secured a MAXIM Magazine photo shoot for Israeli models, organized a Tel Aviv beach party in Central Park in New York in honor of the 100th anniversary of the city and revolutionized political diplomacy by becoming the first diplomat to use Twitter as a platform to host a press conference
, during the Gaza War.
David has given me the chance to serve as his assistant at the 10th Annual IDC Herzliya Conference
, which hosts many of the biggest names in politics from around the world. We will be uploading the messages from the conference and amplifying them through Twitter, Facebook and YouTube for the first time in the conference’s history.
This past week it finally hit me how powerful a term the word “Masa”—journey—really is. I spent the year ‘on’ in Israel falling in love with the language, the people, the culture, the beach and the vibrant and exciting lifestyle that exists in Tel Aviv and Israel as a whole. I know my ‘Masa’ will continue as I move forward on my career path, and I know I will always be looking for the next opportunity to return to the most beautiful country in the world.
Natan Edelsburg is a Masa Israel alum who completed Young Judaea Year Course in 2006-2007 and is now studying communications at NYU’s Steinhardt School.
Natan is currently in Israel helping the new media team upload the content from the 10th Annual IDC Herzliya Conference and amplifying the messages to Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.