Masa Israel Journey Blog

Published : May 22, 2012
By Miriam Wasser, B'Tzedek LIFE
Okay, confession time: I’m a little addicted to timed writing exercises. I use them to warm up before writing, in order to get ideas and inspiration flowing. But I also do them because when you write for ten minutes straight—no stopping—the good stuff starts to come out. Through these exercises you can obtain a level of honesty that only happens when you’re forced to keep the pen moving.
Flipping through my writing notebook the other day, I found a list I made last May, around the time I decided to apply to the LIFE program. The list was titled What I hope to get out of B’tzedek LIFE. Besides some of the more obvious things like getting to go to India and making new friends, some of my goals for...
Published : May 21, 2012
By Rachel Smith, Tikkun Olam in Tel Aviv-Jaffa Coexistence Track
As part of my year on Tikkun Olam in Tel Aviv-Jaffa, I am learning in BINA’s secular yeshiva. A secular yeshiva. What does that even mean?
Answering that needs a bit of history first. The whole idea of BINA and the question of Jewish pluralism in Israel more broadly goes back to the Status Quo, which in Israel refers to the specific political agreement between the religious population and secular political parties to preserve the Jewish character of the state while allowing the secular to proceed as they wished.
When Ben-Gurion made the agreement with the ultra-Orthodox back in 1947, it meant that Shabbat would be the Israeli day of rest, all state...

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