Masa Israel Journey Blog

February 06, 2008
Women from six different Masa Orthodox programs took part in Masa's 60 Years of Israel, 100 years of Zionism Shabbaton over the weekend of January 11th-12th.  Through lectures, discussion sessions and tours, participants analyzed the history of the Religious Zionist Movement and delved into the complexities of their personal connection with the State of Israel.
The main goal of the Shabbaton was to deepen participants’ understanding of the Religious Zionist movement and the changes the ideology has undergone over the years, while allowing participants to explore their own conception of Zionism and the State of Israel.  
Participants took part in several discussion sessions that revolved around keynote speakers and contemporary issues relevant to the Religious Zionist Movement, while raising questions that focused on their personal connection with Zionism and the Land of Israel, including...
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February 03, 2008
By John B. Boshoven, President of the Michigan Association for College Admission Counseling
I worry when a student comes to me and announces, "I am going to take a year off before college" unless the student has a definite plan for the year. Studies and empirical evidence highlight the virtues of "gap years" with programs that are organized, focused, and goal oriented. Rather than calling this year a "year off," I prefer to call it a "year on.”
Masa (meaning journey) Israel and the Avi Chai Foundation generously sponsored a recent mission to Israel for a group of national college counselors.  We visited five of Israel's seven universities, several "gap-year" programs, and a few yeshivot.
The mission inspired...
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January 07, 2008
By Josh Spiro, Tel Aviv University
A recent talk by popular Israeli authors Etgar Keret and Alona Kimhi drew students to the Hebrew University in Jerusalem from as far as Haifa, Be'er Sheva, Tel Aviv and Arad, through rain that would have made Noah double-check his caulking. If the students were expecting unorthodox opinions, they were not disappointed. At one point, Keret characterized the ties between Diaspora and Israeli Jews as being "like an S & M relationship."
"[There are people who say] we serve in the army, and if not for Israel there would be pogroms in Wisconsin. I find this attitude annoying. There should be a dialogue between us. We are like brothers who have a lot to learn from each other."
The unofficial...
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