Masa Israel Journey Blog

July 28, 2011
By Shoshana Wineburg, Yahel Social Change Program
Several weeks ago, I walked leisurely down Shapira Street, taking in the neighborhood that I had spent a year volunteering with—the neighborhood that in three weeks I would leave. I was a participant on the Yahel Social Change Program, a program that works in collaboration with a grassroots NGO that does community empowerment with the Ethiopian Israeli community in Gedera, Israel. The majority of our initiatives centered in Shapira, one long street containing 22 housing projects and approximately 1300 Ethiopian Israelis.
As I walked home, I stopped at the big parking lot where the neighborhood kids always played. I put down my things and started kicking a ball with the kids. I realized I knew...
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July 19, 2011
By Kyla Meyerson, South Africa, Israel By Choice
As I lie on the beach of Kibbutz Ma'agan Michael feeling the beaming sunshine, listening to booming Israeli music and the pinging of Israeli beach bats, I acknowledge the buzzing energy of this astounding country. Seriously, what more could you possibly wish for? This has been such a fun weekend visitng my South African friends who are staying on the Kibbutz. We've spent time reminiscing and catching up on the past few months that we've spent in Israel.
We think about our friends back at home who are probably sitting at their desks, stressed out and studying for uni exams while we have learnt basic life skills that could never be learnt through a lecture or university course. I cannot begin to explain how fortunate I am to be here; enjoying the freedom, these...
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July 19, 2011
By Caylee Talpert
The sun has not yet fully risen, yet there is a buzz in the usually quiet desert landscape. It’s 5:30 a.m. and students are slowly beginning to emerge from the caravans and tents where they slept the night before. They sleepily spread chocolate spread onto their Matzot, while sipping Turkish coffee as they prepare themselves  for another day of hard work in the hot desert sun. Despite the fact that most only made it to bed a few hours before, they wake up voluntarily, ready to spend another day “getting their hands  dirty” in the true sense of the word as they lay the bricks for a new set of  houses.
If the unsuspecting visitor were to happen upon this scene, it would not be surprising if he began to wonder whether he was witnessing a desert mirage. Perhaps he will pinch himself and wonder whether he has traveled back in time and...
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