Masa Israel Journey Blog

November 27, 2013
By Jasmine Granas, Tikkun Olam in Tel Aviv - Jaffa 2013-2014 participant
"Are you Jewish?" As soon as as someone asks me, the exasperation starts to build in my stomach. Sometimes I just want to scream, ‘I don’t know! Stop asking me!’ Am I the only person in the world who doesn't have an immediate answer? To most people it may seem like a simple, black and white question with a simple, black and white answer. Okay, there is the issue of whether one’s mother is Jewish, and other considerations that can make the answer complicated for some people. But ever since I landed in Israel to participate in Tikkun Olam in Tel Aviv-Jaffa, a volunteer & study program run by BINA & the Daniel Centers, everyone around me seems so sure that they are Jewish -- which I admire and wonder about, yet...
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November 18, 2013
By Ben Ackerman, Tel Aviv University
This past week, I attended the General Assembly for Jewish Federations of North America held in Jerusalem. When the counselor from the administrative office at Tel Aviv University first asked me to go as a Masa representative, I had no idea what she was asking me to go to. I just figured that whatever it was, it’d be a fun, free six days in Jerusalem. I agreed to go with no expectations or prior knowledge of anything and had so many questions that I was almost embarrassed to ask: What’s Masa ? What’s a Federation? What goes on at the GA? Is it just a giant room filled with Jews schmoozing? I showed up at the Jerusalem Gold Hotel on Thursday and soon discovered that I was the only...
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