Masa Israel Journey Blog

November 29, 2010
 
By Nikki Avershal, OTZMA, Philadelphia, PA
 
OTZMA is more than Americans volunteering in Israel. More than the educational opportunities presented by intensive Hebrew classes and new cultural immersion, OTZMA staff organizes weekly educational days for participants.
 
In these short but intensive one-day trips around the country OTZMA participants (cleverly nicknamed OTZMAnikim) jump from place to place, lecture to lecture absorbing an unbelievable amount of information.
 
Our first education day was spent in the South of Israel in the Negev desert. We began in Be’er Sheva, the largest city in the Negev with an introduction by to the region by LeePerlman,the Director of Programming and Planning for the Israel and Overseas Global Operations of the Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA). He...
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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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