Masa Israel Journey Blog

September 16, 2016

My experience at Tel Aviv University was incomparable to any other internship or abroad experience I had in the past. I spent seven months living in Tel Aviv, in which both the semester abroad and internship portion exposed me to new and exciting aspects of Israeli life, culture, society, and religion. 


I chose to study abroad in Tel Aviv for a specific reason. Ever since my first visit to Israel in 2011, I have been curious about the intricacies that plague Israel's political, social, and economic sectors. In 2011 when I traveled to Israel with a youth group, we were brought to Rothschild Boulevard to see the social justice protests taking place. For miles, we saw tents, makeshift houses, posters, and protesters. I recognized that Israel was not just a state that I was expected to love as a Jew, but...

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September 13, 2016

I think that the best way to find out who you truly are as a person is to spend a significant amount of time outside of your comfort zone or to live away from home. For me, my junior year abroad at Tel Aviv University was that experience. Unlike most Diaspora Jews, I have no family in Israel nor do I have any Israeli family living in the states. What I do have was a deep love of Israel, Zionism, and Judaism - these are all values that were instilled in me as a kid.


During my time studying abroad at Tel Aviv University, I made some of the amazing friends who I am still in touch with today. I already spoke Hebrew fluently, but I improved my accent and learned a lot of the slang - though I have come to terms with the fact that I will never know all of the army slang.



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September 12, 2016

Over Passover break this past year in Israel, I was watching the movie, "Tangled" and eating ice cream. I wasn't paying attention because my ice cream was really tasty, until I heard this sentence, "I've been looking out a window for 18 years. What if it's not what I dreamed it would be"?


I realized that that is a fear that I had before going on Netzer Olami's gap year program through Masa Israel. I have quotes from my 9th-grade angst teenage diary saying, "I hate high school. I can't wait to go to Israel on my gap year.”


So apparently, by 15 I had already decided to go on a gap year.


Anyways, this year is something that I had been anticipating and building up in my head for over five years. What if it weren't everything I thought it would be? What if it was a waste of time?


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