Masa Israel Journey Blog

March 28, 2011
By Lee Frankel-Goldwater, Arava Institute for Environmental Studies
Studying abroad can change your life – I know this, I’ve been trying to spend as much time living in different places around the globe ever since I got my first taste out of the US as a teenager.  Each new culture, each mountain is an augmentation of my soul.  But, I’ll also say this, in the desert of Israel at the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies more opportunities to learn and grow have culminated in one spot than I have ever seen or heard of.
In this semester or year long academic program offered to both grads and undergrads it’s all there: a thorough environmental education combined with peace studies, living together with Israelis, Jordanians, Palestinians, and other...
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March 07, 2011
Yahel is a new and exciting addition to the world of Jewish service (and also a Repair the World grantee). Founded by Dana Talmi, the organization, which is less than a year old, is already making huge strides in promoting service in Israel. Their programs work to create a society where “people to work side by side in order to bring about personal and social change.”
Yahel’s Social Change Program invites young adults for a 5-month program where they live and work with the Ethiopian community in Gedera, Israel, combining hands-on volunteer work with learning and cultural immersion. The first Yahel cohort just finished up their first session, and five of the six volunteers decided to stay on for another session. (They were recently joined by three new participants.)
One of those participants, Shoshana...
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March 03, 2011
By Rebecca Crystal, Dance Journey
This past week was only a half-week of dancing, and then we went on a trip to Jerusalem for Wednesday and Thursday.  Though I’ve been there six or seven times before, I never fail to be struck with awe at the beauty and complexity of this amazing city.  The day we went to the Western Wall, it was sunny and beautiful.  I really enjoyed being there with some of my non-Jewish friends here–it seemed like they were really moved and interested, and their experience informed my own. 
We also went to some holy Christian sites that I have never been to before, like the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, which was so magnificent and had many different cathedrals, alcoves, and holy objects. Candles burned all over, and I had this feeling like I really traveled back in time...
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