Masa Israel Journey Blog

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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December 31, 2007
Building Future Leadership participant Ella Spivack reflects on her experience at the seminar series, a Masa Israel Community program devoted to the building and enabling of future Jewish leadership.  During the course of the seminar, each participant developed their own personal project to which they applied the skills, support and exposure gained through their experience at the BFL seminar.  
A few weeks ago I was talking with Jonathan Rulnick, the Educational Director at WUJS Arad, about the BFL seminar.  After I explained my project, he asked me a question.  "What did they do at this seminar to get you to actually develop a project?"
I immediately understood his question. I've been to numerous seminars and workshops in the U.S. with a similar aim - to...
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