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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