Masa Israel Journey Blog

October 28, 2010
It was while working as a youth director at Temple Beth Sholom in Florida that Miami Beach-native Josh Laurence decided to spend a year studying at the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies
“After first traveling to Israel with Birthright, I definitely wanted to return,” says Josh.  “Then the opportunity presented itself in the form of Pardes’ year program—my mentor, Rabbi Robert Davis encouraged me to do it, my friend Miriam Farber registered, and the financial support from Masa Israel made it possible.”
Living in Jerusalem, Josh spent his days taking courses in Talmud, Torah, Social Action, Rambam, and Jewish Law.  “I’d never taken part in such intense text study and the...
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October 26, 2010
By Lauren Eisen, Career Israel
Am now a resident of Tel Aviv! I’m sitting at a café across the street from our apartment building. Between sips of ice-coffee and bites of Israeli salad, I notice that the music playing is Erykah Badu. This brings a smile to my face, along with the realization that this is a city that I can dig.
And it’s not just the music that is endearing the city to me (although since I’ve been here, I have heard Van Morrison, Al Green, Leonard Cohen, Sade, Thievery Corporation and Erykah Badu playing in various cafés and Laundromats around the city).  It’s the people, it’s the energy…and ok, so maybe it’s also the beach!
After Jerusalem, Tel Aviv feels like the cold shower that snaps you awake from a dreamy sleep. ...
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October 22, 2010
By Melissa Rosenbaum, Young Judaea Year Course, New York
My alarm was set for 8:45 on Monday October 4; I was packed and ready to leave for 10 days of isolation at the Beit Yehudah Hostel in the outskirts of Jerusalem for the Magen David Adom training course.
The Medical Track was participating in this training course in order to become first responders for MDA (Magen David Adom), the Israeli Red Cross organization. The eleven of us arrived at the hostel filled with nerves because we really had no idea what to expect. We were told it was going to be grueling, at times difficult, but most of all exciting. While we sat in the lobby waiting for registration, many questions were running through my head: 
Will the language barrier prevent me from learning important material?...
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