Masa Israel Journey Blog

August 17, 2010
 
By Budokan Israel participant Jordan, 18, Baltimore
 
I’ve been to Israel only once before my stint with Budokan, and that was for a month long high school senior trip. I knew by the end of that trip I needed to spend more time in the land of my people, but I wanted a unique Israel experience; and boy did I get it! In the five months I spent on Budokan, we travelled all over the country, “served” for a week in the IDF, lived with Zionists, pacifists, and Christian Arabs, and met AMAZING people. Not to mention learned self defense from some of Israel’s best martial arts instructors.
 
Also, I’m glad to say, we all got in better physical shape. However, for all the physical changes experienced, they do not compare in the slightest to our mental and emotional growth....
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August 12, 2010
 
By Ariella Kristal, Nativ
 
I always found it quite convenient that the academic year and the Jewish year started at the same time. My family would gather together to celebrate the High Holidays, discuss plans for the upcoming year over festive meals, and then disperse back to our respective towns and states as soon as the last shofar blowing was over. This past year I took a gap year and went on the Masa Israel-sponsored Nativ College Leadership Program in Israel. I left for Israel in September and I was a bit anxious; not only was I about to create a life for myself in a foreign country, but I was also embarking on this journey on my own during a time when I usually found myself surrounded by my family and closest friends.
 
About two weeks after my arrival in Israel, I felt the holiday season permeate the air in a way that is...
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August 12, 2010
 
Abraham's Daughters, written by Masa Israel Journey alum, Elissa Lerner, is a new play featured at this summer's New York Fringe International Festival. The play tells the story of the intersection between college and religion in a way that many of us can relate to.
 
The plot begins on the first day of freshman year with Sarah waiting for her roommate to arrive. All she knows is that her name is Ranya and that she might be from the Midwest, which leaves Sarah and her friend Will from Jewish summer camp somewhat mystified. But when Ranya shows up wearing a headscarf, it's clear that she's actually from a well-known Muslim neighborhood in Michigan. Both Ranya and Sarah become friends with Kate, a Methodist girl from South Carolina and go on to experience all the firsts of freshman year – frat parties, hook ups and fights.
 
"What’s interesting in a...
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