Masa Israel Journey Blog

Published : January 17, 2013
This is a story of three individuals from three different continents that were united by Masa Israel/Oranim in one of the most amazing and beautiful cities – Tel Aviv.  Daniel Galan Romano from Argentina, Aaron Sternlicht from the United States, and Zhenya Dobrovinska from Ukraine/Germany came on Israel Way Oranim's 5 month Tel Aviv Internship Experience program to take a break from real life and explore Israel and their future careers.
Daniel is a graphic designer who chose to do his internship with soccer website FTBpro, and Aaron is a social worker whose internship involved helping African refugees at the African Refugee Development Center.  In spite of contrasting interests, Daniel and Aaron formed a strong bond.  They met in Hebrew Ulpan being the only two guys amongst a group of beautiful girls. They were lucky.  They constantly shared ideas, life experiences and hopes for their future.  
One day Daniel shared a business idea with Aaron; a dream social network where people would share the dreams they have from their sleep.  After some time brainstorming in the Dizengoff dorms the idea was turned into a mobile application called IceDreamApp.  Today IceDreamApp is a dream platform that allows people from all over the world to record, share and analyze their dreams.
Tel Aviv, the heart of Israel's start-up nation, was the perfect place to encourage the two young entrepreneurs.  They immediately became a part of Israel's start-up community by attending conferences and networking events.  As part of the Tel Aviv Internship Experience, Masa/Oranim provided professional speakers and workshops in addition to an intensive 5 day Leadership Summit in Jerusalem that motivated the participants to turn ideas into actions.  Daniel was both amazed and excited by an entrepreneurship workshop lead by Ariel Halevi, the CEO of Debate Company, which helps develop leadership and communication skills.
After the summit Daniel and Aaron asked their friend and fellow group participant Zhenya to join IceDreamApp.  Zhenya has a lot of knowledge in working with new companies because of her internship with DreamIt Ventures Israel, a company that helps start-ups.  They also got support from program organizers and Oranim participants who were interning at various companies, and took advantage of the various resources.
Many people have ideas that never come into fruition, but Aaron, Daniel, and Zhenya turned their dream into reality.  IceDreamApp invites all the dreamers of the world to meet your mind.
Show your support and “like” them on Facebook @ IceDreamApp and visit their website, and check out the app in the App Store!

Published : January 17, 2013
By Aryeh Younger, Yeshivat Har Etzion
Following my senior year  in high school, I decided to study at Yeshivat Har Etzion, and throughout the year,  I made many efforts to traverse the country, to discover the history and culture of the world’s newest and most original democracy.  
It was during those travels that  I came to several personal epiphanies that increased my interest and appreciation for the Holy Land. 
While climbing the famous Masada mountain, the mythologized stronghold of the Jewish fighters against the Roman occupation, I took a moment to stare out into the sand-filled abyss. 
During this moment of self-contemplation, one predominant thought ran through my mind. 
I was standing on the very same earth that  my ancestors did years ago. 
This very idea remained with me for weeks to come, and I repeatedly attempted to analyze it. 
What was this profound feeling of being part of history; it surely wasn’t something that I could articulate in words alone.
America, in all its greatness and splendor, stands unique in the world in that it is truly a melting pot of different cultures – and thus lacks a homogeneous one of its own. 
This aspect of American society does not find its counterpart among the other nations of the world.  
That said, Israel proves to be an exception. The Jewish people, with all their diversity and utter inability to agree on the most agreeable and basic of decisions have learned to live peacefully together. 
For it is in this air of overwhelming diversity that a unique, special brand of modern culture has been forged.
This new culture, filled with millennia of history and tradition, has found its place in the 21st century, without losing its feeling of originality and, ultimately, its relevance. 
Returning to the feeling that I experienced on Masada, I will conclude with the following thought:  No other nation in the history of the world, ancient or modern, has equaled the resolve and determination of the Jewish people, to preserve their history and tradition in the face of intolerance and oppression. 
That said, religion alone does not define the Jewish people – especially because most Jews are secular. 
No, it is the tenacity of the Jewish nation in preserving its  own history, which I became aware of during my time in Israel. 

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