Posted March 6th, 2012
By Avi Rubel, Masa Israel North American Director
Masa Israel was proud to be out in full force at AIPAC's Policy Conference this week in Washington, DC.
Of the more than 13,000 participants there were approximately 2,000 young adults--a very large number of them Masa Israel alumni.
It is wonderful to see that the growth in Masa participation is leading to activism and helping to ensure that a significant number of American Jewish young adults are educated and empowered to represent Israel effectively on campus and in our communities.
Jonathan Etra, current Masa Israel participant on Young Judaea Year Course, spoke to the AIPAC Plenary via Skype on Sunday morning
Masa Israel subsidized participation of 10 Masa program alumni at the conference, chosen based upon their demonstrated Israel advocacy leadership in their communities. One of the Masa-AIPAC scholarship recipients, Arsen Ostrovsky, a member of New York's Russian community and Career Israel alum, said of his experience:
"The single greatest achievement of Masa Israel Journey (and Israel programs generally), is to create, nurture and cement the connection between Israel and young Jews around the world. I came back from Masa wanting to learn how I could be a better Israel advocate in the community.
AIPAC is an unparallelled 72 hours of learning and networking precisely how we can achieve that. As my first AIPAC Policy Conference, it has not only met, but it surpassed all my wildest expectations--first class world speakers, government leaders, seminars and participants from around the world and all walks of life. As a result, I will now be a more effective advocate for Israel, and the importance of the U.S.-Israel alliance."
Together with the Washington DC Federation, we also hosted a reception for alumni attending AIPAC Policy Conference as well as other DC-area alumni.
More than 120 participants came for an informal networking and shmoozing event, enjoying the chance to unwind, and reminiscing about their semesters at Tel Aviv University, Knesset internships through Israel Government Fellows, and service work in Israel's periphery through Otzma.
A group of Birthright alumni also came to learn how they too can return to Israel for immersive experiences.
Masa Israel is committed to training the next generation of advocates for Israel and looks forward to continuing partnerships with a variety of community organizations to help pipeline our alumni into positions of activism and leadership.
For more information, please contact Masa Israel's Alumni Division Director Rachel Sales at email@example.com