Masa Israel Journey Blog

August 23, 2010
By Rachel Olstein, Hebrew University of Jerusalem MA in Community Leadership & Philanthropy Studies, Boston
It was only as an adult, working in the non-profit sector, that I at last discovered my real place in the Jewish community – a place that combines my passion for social justice with my love of Jewish values and the State of Israel.
Three years ago, fueled by a desire to arm myself with management skills for this career, I enrolled in an Israel-based Masters program in Community Leadership & Philanthropy Studies. Today, I am the Director of Volunteer Services at the Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village in Rwanda.
Growing up in a large Jewish community outside of Boston, Judaism was a...
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August 20, 2010
By Laura Marder, University of Haifa
You know you had an unbelievable study abroad experience when it’s time to leave and you’re in a state of shock because your year flew by, exceeding every single one of your expectations. Sounds too good to be true? Well, this was exactly how I felt at the end of my year at Masa Israel’s University of Haifa program.
After my first two years in college, I was ready for a refreshing adventure abroad.  I’d just received my associates degree in education as well as my cosmetology license, and soon planned to move on to Rutgers.  At that point, I was worried that I’d have to choose a career focused on only one of my passions—cosmetology or Jewish Studies, and...
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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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