Wow! We can hardly believe 2015 is already coming to a close and we’re sure you’re all reminiscing on the year that has passed. Both in terms of achievements and experiences, here at Masa Israel we have had a pretty incredible 2015. Let’s look back on this year and recap our 10 best Masa Israel Moments!
1.Our 2015 AIPAC Policy Conference Delegation
A group of 30 Masa Israel alumni represented us at this year’s annual AIPAC Policy Conference in Washington, DC. The group heard from leaders across the political spectrum and connected with Masa alumni from various programs.
2. Culture Shuk
In May participants experienced a real treat at this year’s Culture Shuk in Jerusalem. Over 2,000 participants explored Israeli arts entertainment and technology, through interactive exhibits and panels. Highlights of the night included a great lecture by Prepex founder Tzameret Feurst, Israeli author Etgar Keret, gold medal Olympian Keren Leibovitch, and a fun performance by RedBand.
3. Yom Hazikaron Ceremony
Over 5,000 participants came together for our annual Yom Hazikaron ceremony. The event took place at Latrun’s Yad La-Shiryon—Israel’s official memorial site for fallen soldiers from the armored corps, as well as one of the most diverse tank museums in the world. The emotional evening included speeches from The Jewish Agency for Israel Chairman of the Executive, Natan Sharansky representatives of The Prime Minister of Israel, and family members of Israel’s fallen soldiers and victims of terror.
4.Masa Mobile at Birthright & Onward Stops
Road Trip! This summer the Masa Mobile, filled with our Masa Israel ambassadors and awesome swag, drove around Israel informing Birthright and Onward participants of their many options to get back to Israel. Over the course of the summer we reached more than 30,000 Birthright participants in Israel!
5.MyMasa Opening Event
We kicked off our 12th year of Israel programs in October with the MyMasa Opening Event at Jerusalem’s Teddy Stadium. Over 3,000 Masa Israel participants, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Jewish Agency for Israel Chairman of the Executive Natan Sharansky, and many other special guests joined us for the celebration. We topped off this exciting night with an exclusive concert by Ivri Lider and Avraham Tal!
This November, 250 of our most impressive participants gathered in Jerusalem for the Masa-GLI Global Leadership Summit, Leadership from the Inside Out, courtesy of the Wilf Family Foundation and the Genesis Philanthropy Group. They spent 5 days exploring topics of leadership development as they took part in a variety of workshops and stimulating discussions. Speakers Eli Groner, Director General of the Prime Minister’s office, Dr. Einat Wilf, Author and Former Member of Knesset, Alan Hoffman, Director General of the Jewish Agency, and many more shared their wisdom and leadership journeys with our participants.
7.Jewish Federations of North America General Assembly/Alumni Shabbaton
This year we sent a 50 person delegation of alumni and young Jewish leaders to the JFNA General Assembly in Washington DC. The group met with colleagues, mentors from local Jewish Federations, and leaders of the Jewish world such as Hillel CEO Eric Fingerhut and Natan Sharansky. We made enough of a splash for the Prime Minister of Israel to give us a shout-out during his speech!
8.Masa Israel Receives the Begin Award!
In late November we celebrated our successful year, receiving the Begin Prize for our 11 years of service to the Jewish State and the Jewish People. We continue to work extremely hard to fulfill our mission of connecting young Jews around the world to Israel, to each other, and to their sense of Jewish purpose.
9.Hanukah at Knesset
The holiday season was made extra bright when 150 of our participants joined Michael Oren and other MKs at the Knesset for a public lighting of the Menorah. What could be a better Hanukah gift than a selfie with MK Michael Oren!
10.Masa Israel Professional White Night - TLV
On December 22 our Masa Israel Business Fellows hosted over 150 of our academic and professional development participants and over 15 of Israel’s industry leaders and professionals at our first annual Masa Israel Professional White Night - TLV. We heard from Soda Stream CEO, Daniel Birenbaum, and Tel Aviv Municipality’s Eytan Schwartz in addition to many other local business leaders. We wanted to give special thanks to our partners at Gornitzky & Co, Secret Tel Aviv, Expert Executive Recruiters and Nefesh BeNefesh for making this event such a success!
Masa Israel thanks its dedicated staff, organizers, partners and amazing participants for making 2015 such a wonderful year! Here’s to another great year of top notch Israel experiences, connecting thousands of young Jewish people from around the world. Don’t want to miss another moment? Or share your Masa Israel moments with us? Connect with us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram.