Masa Israel Journey Blog

August 12, 2010
Abraham's Daughters, written by Masa Israel Journey alum, Elissa Lerner, is a new play featured at this summer's New York Fringe International Festival. The play tells the story of the intersection between college and religion in a way that many of us can relate to.
The plot begins on the first day of freshman year with Sarah waiting for her roommate to arrive. All she knows is that her name is Ranya and that she might be from the Midwest, which leaves Sarah and her friend Will from Jewish summer camp somewhat mystified. But when Ranya shows up wearing a headscarf, it's clear that she's actually from a well-known Muslim neighborhood in Michigan. Both Ranya and Sarah become friends with Kate, a Methodist girl from South Carolina and go on to experience all the firsts of freshman year – frat parties, hook ups and fights.
"What’s interesting in a...
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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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