Masa Israel Journey Blog

September 18, 2014

Lauren Swersky always had a feeling that she would end up in Israel when it came time for the University of California, Davis junior to study abroad, though she explored all the options available. “I was very involved in Jewish life growing up, and I was always looking for opportunities to go back to Israel,” she explained.


Through UC Davis Hillel, Lauren realized that opportunities to go back to Israel were readily available. So, she followed her intuition and ultimately decided to study in Jerusalem. “I had already experienced Tel Aviv on previous trips and I felt like it was more unique to experience Jerusalem,” she said. 


And experience Jerusalem she did. While observing Yom Kippur during one of her first weeks in Jerusalem, Lauren walked just over three-and-a-half miles from the Hebrew University Student Village on Mt. Scopus to the Old City. Along the way, Lauren heard the Muslim call to prayer for the...

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July 18, 2014

Masa Israel is highlighting the voices of our participants and alumni who are in Israel during Operation Protective Edge to give an authentic look at what it’s like to live and work in the country at this time. This account is from Brian Burchman, a current participant of Israel Way - Tel Aviv Internship Experience



Since I went on Birthright last summer, I knew I wanted to come back to Israel. Through Masa Israel Journey, I was able to obtain an internship in Tel Aviv. For the first several months of the program, Israel was exactly the same as last year; beautiful, fun and relaxed.


However, today is definitely not the same as several weeks ago.  I was not prepared for the current...

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