Masa Israel Journey Blog

November 29, 2010
 
By Eli Newman, Desert Sports Challenge
 
I decided to join the Desert Sports Challenge program because I loved every aspect of it. I came to Nitzana because I missed the way I felt from the first time I came to Israel. The thoughts of living permanently in a community in the middle of the Negev hadn’t really crossed my mind. All I thought about was getting to learn Hebrew, become as fit as possible, and travel around Israel for 5 months. All of which costs me next to nothing.
 
My favorite part of the program has been learning the languages. There are 100 Russians living as our neighbors. Twenty are in the Russian version of the same Masa Israel program. Eighty are in a program called MIR that prepares Russian high school graduates for the army or an...
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November 24, 2010
 
By Sarah Hindman, Career Israel
 
Sarah Hindman is a senior at the University of Southern California studying film. This article was originally published by New Voices Magazine.
 
The chapel at my Episcopalian boarding school was shaped like a crucifix.
 
I always tried to find a seat in the back corner so no one would see me when the reverend asked us to bow our heads. Instead, when the prayers mentioned Jesus, I would look at the ceiling and say the she’hecheyanu. It was the only blessing I remembered.
 
One summer in college, I again found myself looking at the ceiling. This time, instead of being the only Jew in the room, I was the only one going to Sderot...
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November 23, 2010
By Cara Frazin, Masa Israel Campus Intern, University of Illinois at Chicago
 
On September 15, 2010, I had the rare opportunity to meet Natan Sharansky before the annual Jewish Federation Annual Meeting Luncheon where he was the main speaker.
 
As an active participant with the Levine Hillel at the University of Illinois at Chicago and as the Masa Israel intern for my campus, I spend a lot of time educating people about Israel and promoting Israel advocacy. When I was invited by The Hillels of Illinois to a private meeting with Sharansky before the luncheon, I was ecstatic.
 
I told all my professors I could not make it to class that day because I had to go meet the former refusenik, former Deputy Prime Minister of Israel and now the Chairman of the Jewish Agency.
 
My Jewish and non-Jewish friends alike were amazed at the...
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