Masa Israel Journey Blog

Published : May 03, 2012
DC resident Elissa Gross, a former intern with Masa Israel Journey, recently reflected on her past experience living and studying abroad in Israel. Masa Israel Journey connects Jewish young adults to internship, service, and academic programs in Israel. It is a joint project of the Government of Israel and the Jewish Agency for Israel and is made possible by the generous contributions of the Jewish Federations of North America and Keren Hayesod-UIA. Visit for more information. This is a guest post and thus represents only the opinions of the author; it does not represent a GTJ institutional stance.
Why did I leave to go to Israel during the Gaza War? The answer to this question is simultaneously simple and complicated, personal and universal. As were the nine subsequent months that followed, which I spent in this complex country of chaos and contradictions, resilience and passion.
Published : May 03, 2012
Last week, I attended Masa’s Yom HaZikaron ceremony (טקס) with some of my Pardes classmates. It had been six years since I had commemorated Israel’s two Memorial Days — Yom HaShoah and Yom HaZikaron — in Israel, when I was a participant on March of the Living as a high school student.
I don’t remember connecting especially with Yom HaZikaron that year, especially in contrast to Yom HaShoah, whose importance was especially magnified then as I commemorated it by walking from Auschwitz to Auschwitz-Birkenau to mark the march that those imprisoned in Auschwitz were forced to endure.

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