Masa Israel Journey Blog

September 02, 2007
By Erin Kopelow
Nativ director Yossi Garr is standing atop a picnic table. In front of him congregate the record 104 Nativ participants (2 more will be joining the following week), who have just graduated high school and have come to study and volunteer in Israel for one year.
Yossi has dragged his heavy eyed participants, who landed in Israel only a few hours ago, off their buses in order to assemble here by the road that leads to Jerusalem. Although the participants are tired, they are obviously excited and as they stretch their legs conversations begin to ripple though the crowd emitting an energetic hum.
Yossi has stopped at this particular location for a reason. In front of us, he explains, lies  Jerusalem. Behind us Tel Aviv.  To our right is the Castel, a Crusader fort which saw...
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August 30, 2007
10) With your eyes open.  
Especially at first, be aware of what’s going on.  Drivers are crazy and people tend to walk right into you without saying sorry.
9) Buy a map.  
It’s good to have an idea of where you’re going, especially if you’re going to take a taxi.  They are known to drive in circles for extended periods of time when the meter is running.
8) When you’re waiting for a bus, forget everything you’ve ever learned regarding manners and being nice to old people.  
Push and get yourself on that bus before all seats and standing room are gone.  (Yes, people stand in the buses, even the intra-city ones)
7) Respect the traffic lights when walking.  
You can get fined here for j-walking (...
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August 26, 2007
Name: Shana Dorfman
Age: 23 
Hometown: Santa Rosa, California, USA
Program: OTZMA
Date of arrival: 2 months after graduating university)
Hobbies: Writing & running
How did you get to OTZMA?
I was on Birthright in January of that year, 2006, and I was in Haifa with my aunt, and she was an adoptive mother for a participant, and she introduced me to her and she told me about the program, so that's how I found out.
How much family do you have here?
My dad's whole family lives here, they all made Aliyah in the 60s and 70s.  All his cousins and aunts and uncles.
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