Masa Israel Journey Blog

May 07, 2014
By Darya Watnick, Yahel Social Change
At this point in my life, my commitment to Judaism is mostly expressed through social justice and volunteering. When deciding what to do after graduating from college, I realized that I wanted to spend some time in Israel doing something that would enable me to connect to my Jewish heritage.
As a product of the Reform movement, the majority of my connection to the Jewish religion is through mitzvot and tikkun olam. Judaism is more than just observance of holidays and traditions. It is about being a good person and taking care of other people and the world around me.
Yahel is one of the ways I express my commitment to Judaism and social justice. To me, my work with Ethiopian Israelis is more than just coming into the community and helping out. It is about...
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April 29, 2014
By Benjamin Zander
I have seen the past, and it is ugly. Standing at the foot of a mass grave in Glugow Forest in Poland, emotions are swirling. Below the ground we stand on lay the remains of 6,000 Jewish children. I feel invaded, angry, indignant. But when I look at the faces of those who stand with me here, I also feel a sense of strength.
The forest is all but silent except for the chirping of the birds. The sounds they make are a testament to the living, to us. Next to me stands Avner Netanyahu, the son of Israel’s Prime Minister, who is part of our Young Judaea group visiting Poland for a week-long trip to unearth our painful, collective past. Avner is a living embodiment that Jewish history has not been forgotten. The simple fact that he and I stand here today, breathing, feeling, living, fills me with hope.
Standing on the ashes and bones of my people, I arrive at the...
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