Masa Israel Journey Blog

March 02, 2011
By Tamar Friedman, Huntingdon Valley, PA, Nativ
The past few weeks have been jam-packed. First, we had Israel today seminar, which was three days where we could choose what aspects of Israeli society to learn about. The first day I was in the group that went to see Gush Etzion, learned about its history, and talked to “Settler Bob” about what it is like and what is the significance of living in a settlement. The second day I chose the Israeli society option. We went to Meah Shearim to talk about the Chareidi community in Israel, then went up to Lod to learn about an organization that helps the local community know and obtain their rights, and then we listened to a speaker who helped to start a political and social organization in Jerusalem.
My favorite part of the day was going to Lod because we met with someone...
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February 28, 2011
Seth Engelbourg, Sharon, MA, Young Judaea Year Course
Week 1
For those who don’t know part of the kibbutz track on Year Course is hiking for three weeks on different segments of Shvil Israel (The Israel National Trail). We were assisted all three weeks by our very adept, knowledgeable and all-around great guide Yoash, who provided us with a vast array of geological, historical, zoological, and botanical facts and stories. We were also accompanied by our logistics person Harel for the 1st and 3rd weeks, and Reuven for the 2nd week.  Quick vocabulary to make reading this easier, a “har” is a mountain, a “nachal” is a river canyon, an “ein” is a spring, a “maale” is an ascent, a “givah” is a hill, and a...
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February 21, 2011
Post courtesy of Tikkun Olam Tel Aviv-Jaffa
This past Shabbat, three of our volunteers joined the Masa community for a Shabbaton hosted by Kibbutz Kranim in the Northern Negev. The weekend opened with a tour of two Bedouin villages in the Negev and a discussion of modern Bedouin culture, led by Bustan, a NGO that works for cooperation and social justice with Bedouin and Jewish communities in the Negev. Dor Friedman, a student at Ben Gurion University, gave an overview of the differences between recognized and unrecognized Bedouin communities, and how the larger plans for the Negev will impact these traditionally nomadic communities. The villages, recognized and unrecognized, were both faced by intense poverty and lack of services, but the group was impressed by the leadership and hope shown by the Bedouins who spoke to the Masa participants.
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