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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July 30, 2010
By Aimee Weiss, Midwest Regional Director for Masa Israel and USD Hagshama
After staffing a Taglit-Birthright Israel trip this past summer, my inbox was flooded with an onslaught of Facebook photo tags. Participants proudly displayed photos of their Israel experience for all to ogle. Their photographs tell the story better than any words can–except, maybe, their attempts to come up with Facebook photo albums titles that capture the spirit of their experience in 65 characters or less.
How do you describe such an intense trip in one pithy phrase? For anyone who’s had a transformative Israel experience, you know this is just short of impossible. From inside jokes to kitschy statements, participants sure are creative! Here are some of my favorite Facebook album titles. Please enjoy!
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