Masa Israel Journey Blog

August 05, 2010
 
By Noam Gilboord, Career Israel, Toronto
 
You never know what experiences will change your life.  Three years ago, I was finishing my undergraduate studies in archaeology when a local Hillel staffer asked me the question no college senior wants to hear.  “So, what are you thinking about for next year?”  While I squirmed to get out a half-decent answer, I hesitantly replied, “I’ve been thinking about going to Israel…but I don’t think I’ll be able to afford it.”  He smiled and handed me a brochure for various Masa Irael programs in Israel – all of which offered generous subsidies.
 
Eight months later, with my passport in hand, I was on a plane to Tel Aviv about to participate in a 5-month program called ...
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August 03, 2010
 
 
While helping female Bedouin teenagers prepare for English college entrance exams through Masa Israel at Ben Gurion University (BGU) in the Negev in August 2008, I met Nesma.  In the coming weeks, I tutored Nesma in English by using Hebrew and Arabic to explain English vocabulary or grammatical constructions.  Despite our religious, cultural, and national differences, Nesma and I developed a friendship.  As we spoke Hebrew, Arabic, and English, Nesma and I soon learned about each other’s lives and families, mine in New York City and hers in a small Bedouin village near Be’er Sheva.
 
Nesma and I engaged in the type of dialogue that I have strived to cultivate for my entire life.  Growing up, my...
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