Masa Israel Journey Blog

October 10, 2006
Below is the text of Kaela Frank's speech delivered at Prime Minister Edud Olmert's residence, October 9, 2006. 
Good afternoon Prime Minister Olmert and esteemed guests. My name is Kaela Frank and I am honored to be here today representing the 437 chanichim from North America, England, Scotland and Puerto Rico that are currently on Hadassah’s Young Judaea and FZY Year Course, one of Masa’s largest programs. Year Course is a nine-month program that offers a variety of experiential, volunteer and academic opportunities in Israel.
I am currently involved in the Jerusalem Studies component. We can take classes for credit in Hebrew language, Zionism, contemporary Israeli politics, philosophy, Jewish texts, Jewish history and Israeli dance. All Jerusalem studies are augmented by educational...
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June 12, 2006


In February 2005, Sergei Chashkin participated in a Birthright israel trip departing from Russia.  By November, Sergei was living in Ramat Hasharon, a suburban community north of Tel Aviv, and participating in Masa-affiliated music program at the Rimon Conservatory.  The academic level and quality of the music studies at Rimon were a primary consideration.  There were other programs in Israel that aroused his interest, sparked by the first visit, but at 20 years old, following three years studying architecture in Russia, he felt he had to pursue his professional goals and not just indulge in the whim of travel and fun.
Sergei grew up in Ekaterinburg, the capital of Ural in Russia, the son of a Jewish mother, and grandson to two Jewish grandparents.  Sergei has a brother, five years his senior.  As a child, he attended a Jewish day camp...
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May 31, 2006
Pictured: Brian Goldfarb and his adoptive parents at the Masa Gala, May 2006
Many Masa-affiliated programs include relationships between adopting Israeli families and young people from abroad spending an extended period of time on a program in Israel.  The Cohen-Ahdut family at Moshav Shekef, adjacent to Kiryat Gat has "adopted" Brian Goldfarb, a participant in Otzma
Brian Goldfarb, the "adoptee" – a 23 year old young man from Skokie, Il is quick to credit the Chicago Jewish Federation for his participation in Otzma.  The photographic imagery comes naturally into the story of his relationship with the Cohen-Ahdut family, in light of his bachelor's degree in Photography and Anat Cohen-Ahdut's artistic inclinations.  Anat is the mother of the host family, an artist and a...
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