Masa Israel Journey Blog

December 13, 2010
By Christina Healy, University of Haifa
It was just another Thursday. After my Hebrew class ended at noon, I met up with another researcher from the Sign Language Research Lab and we headed to lunch. Usually we automatically angle toward the cafeteria, but today we were in the mood for a baked potato, so we headed downstairs to the coffee shop. After paying, I turned toward the dining area and stopped short, staring out the window. With my arm outstretched, “smoke…fire” was all I could utter. The Carmel forest was alight.
An hour after the fire began, the flames were already high enough to see from campus, and the smoke towered over the university.
Having grown up in southern California, I have seen more than my fair share of...
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December 13, 2010
Being constantly surrounded by texts, and basing the vast majority of my education this term at Pardes on those texts, has made me think a lot about issues of how we understand texts. Specifically, I have reflected on just how much is lost from a traditional Jewish text (Chumash, Talmud, etc.) when it is read exclusively in a language other than Hebrew. This contrasts quite severely with how Western Analytic philosophy is taught at universities in the Western world these days (at least in my experience).
As is the case with the texts we study at Pardes, most of the texts studied in the course of obtaining a degree in philosophy were not written in English. However, no time is spent learning to read and understand the original languages, and barely any mention is even made of the fact that much is undoubtedly lost through studying the texts...
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December 10, 2010
By Ari Rockni, Career Israel
After graduating from the University of Wisconsin’s School of Business with degrees in Marketing and Risk Management & Insurance, I wasn’t sure what my next step in life would be. Having participated the previous year on the study abroad program, Semester at Sea, and visiting 14 different countries while circumnavigating the globe on a ship, I knew one thing for sure. I wanted to spend more time abroad. However, I wasn’t looking to teach English or do volunteer work. It was very important to me to partake in something worthwhile; something where I can gain useful experience and apply some of the concepts I studied in college.
Growing up in a conservative Jewish family which has always been involved in pro-Israel organizations, I became involved with AIPAC, America’s leading pro-Israel...
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