Masa Israel Journey Blog

February 03, 2015

By Chef Chanah Auerbach, Masa Israel Volunteer Alumna


“A person is like the tree of a field…” – Deuteronomy 20:19


Tu B’shvat celebrates the birthday of trees; the beginning of the season in which the earliest blooming trees in Israel emerge from their winter sleep and begin a new fruit-bearing cycle. The New Year for the trees provides us all with an opportunity to do a little self-reflecting:
- An apple tree produces apples, what can I bring into the world for others to enjoy?
- Am I connected to a warm and nurturing community?
- How can I best live a “fruitful” life?


In my personal life, I am a gourmet living food chef. By eating a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds, I am able to feel more connected to the Land on which I live.  Daily, I try my hardest to help people...

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February 02, 2015

By Shoshana Frank, Tel Aviv University Graduate Student


It was the beginning of a new year, 2013, and I felt I was at a crossroads in my life.  I had been out of college for one and a half years and my chosen career path had come to a screeching halt when the FAA froze hiring air traffic controllers just before my graduation.  Despite having a successful personal and commercial banking career and being very active on a volunteer basis in my hometown, I felt something was missing.  I decided a Birthright trip might help me clear my mind and focus on my next steps.  Arriving in Israel in late June something immediately fell into place; much to my surprise I suddenly felt like a missing piece had been found.  Never did I expect the Birthright experience to have such an impact on me; but when I stood in front of the Western Wall, the tears just...

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