Masa Israel Journey Blog

June 10, 2008
By Sophia Krentzman, Building Future Leadership participant
Shalom everyone. My name is Sophia Krentzman and I am from the state of Massachusetts in the United States of America. I am a third year college student at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst where my major is Anthropology and I am currently studying abroad at the University of Haifa for this semester.
After two short visits to Israel in 2006 and 2007, once with my family and again on a Taglit Birthright trip, I felt that it was essential for me to take the opportunity to connect on a more personal level with the culture and people of Israel. At this point in my life, I am starting to realize just how important Judaism is to me as a culture, a religion, and a way of life.  I feel that getting to know the...
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February 12, 2008
Pardes participant Rebecca Zimmerman shares her experience on being in the eye of the international storm surrounding President Bush's latest visit to Israel, as well as her feelings concerning the level of involvement international players insist upon having in Israeli affairs. 
This past January, President Bush came into down. Boy was it nuts. Downtown streets were closed and most of the hotels in town were booked. I constantly heard the sound of helicopters humming throughout the day and a surveillance blimp hovered over the city. While our neck of the woods didn't feel Bush's presence as much, we went out of our way to avoid the center of town. We were planning to leave Jerusalem for the weekend, but decided that with all of the road closings taking place, we would stay put. You would think I would be used to...
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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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