Masa Israel Journey Blog

August 01, 2007

 

By Eric Lightman
 
A year after I left Israel I found myself on my couch, in my low-end apartment in the West End of Richmond Virginia, with the girl I was dating at the time.  An expression on her face prompted me to ask her what she was thinking about.
 
She paused.  “Remember our first date, when I was really nervous and stressed?  It was the three month anniversary of the shootings at Tech.”  She was a Virginia Tech student and an EMT with the volunteer fire department in Blacksburg.  “Being back home for the summer,” she continued, “without my friends from school, is really hard.”
 
I blinked.  And then I held her because I knew I understood.
 
I glanced at my IKEA coffee table and saw, under the removable glass top, my collection of photos I put there when I...
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July 22, 2007
By Rachel Schneider, Nativ
 
While most of my peers are entering college this fall, I am deferring for the year, to participate on Nativ, the Conservative Movement’s year long, post-high school leadership program in Israel for USY alumni.  
 
Many of the people with whom I speak about my plans are amazed by my “daring” and “brave” decision to live in a foreign country for an entire school year.  The truth is, Israel is not “foreign” to me; Israel has always seemed like a place I could comfortably call home.  This feeling of familiarity has been the basis for my decision to come to Israel. 
 
Some people might think that I am overly confident about my decision, but the truth is I am nervous.  I am nervous...
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July 03, 2007

 

By Jess Mauer, OTZMA
 
I was a late bloomer. I was, and although for some hard to believe, shy. And yes, sadly to admit there were many times of social awkwardness in my younger years. But I knew this way of life was not for me, and I slowly began to develop my identity of self. It started towards the end of high school. But really it wasn’t until college that I really felt it, I was finally – cool.
 
Once I began to feel comfortable with my individual self, and as everyone does during this large leap of self-awareness, I took on different traits to see how I could further develop Jess. There was Party Jess, Studious Jess, Social Butterfly Jess, Sexy Jess, and to draw in the topic at hand – Jewish Jess.
  
Now of course each of these strong aspects of my personality have some great and...
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