Masa Israel Journey Blog

December 15, 2014

By Danielle Meyers, Masa Israel Teaching Fellow in Be'er Sheva


A handful of Israeli fifth graders file into a small room and choose their seats at one of of two-top tables in front of them.


I smile at them with a million dollar American smile. "Welcom to English class!" They shyly smile back, knowing they've been specially chosen to take part in my classroom activity. In about 30 seconds, I came to the realization that I had the honest and full attention of these adorable kids. They were hooked form the moment they heard me speak English.


Fascinated by all things pop culture and digital, the children I teach are overwhlemingly curious about things involving English-isms. Questions of Ariana Grande, the IPhone 6 and Instagram flutter through the classroom as I try to draw order and start a productive lesson.


Although they are...

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September 18, 2014

Lauren Swersky always had a feeling that she would end up in Israel when it came time for the University of California, Davis junior to study abroad, though she explored all the options available. “I was very involved in Jewish life growing up, and I was always looking for opportunities to go back to Israel,” she explained.


Through UC Davis Hillel, Lauren realized that opportunities to go back to Israel were readily available. So, she followed her intuition and ultimately decided to study in Jerusalem. “I had already experienced Tel Aviv on previous trips and I felt like it was more unique to experience Jerusalem,” she said. 


And experience Jerusalem she did. While observing Yom Kippur during one of her first weeks in Jerusalem, Lauren walked just over three-and-a-half miles from the Hebrew University Student Village on Mt. Scopus to the Old City. Along the way, Lauren heard the Muslim call to prayer for the...

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