Masa Israel Journey Blog

September 06, 2016

Being born as an Israeli meant that growing up, my connection to the land was already there. It felt special in my American private schools to be seen by others as an Israeli. The identifier carried an air of exoticness and mystery. And in my ultra-religious elementary school, even awe. But although Israeli by birth, I had lived in America since I was two years old. I felt connected to the land of Israel and its history, largely due to my religious education, but very disconnected from the people and the culture, the "reality" of Israel, so to speak. It was not until I went to the Rothberg International School at The Hebrew University on a gap program through Masa Israel, that I felt that I could begin to understand the society and my place in it.


As a college freshman, I lived on my own...

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August 30, 2016

And so, one by one the goodbyes commence. Doors are closing and I’m currently in this limbo where none are yet opening. Goodbye to school, to Petach Tikva, to Masa Israel Teaching Fellows, to Israel Experience, to my volunteer project with the Petach Tikva Department of Environment Education, and to my friends and family in this special country.


The first farewell was at Yeshurun for the end of the school year. The week before our last day, one of the 7th grade classes we work with threw us a surprise party! We walked into the classroom unsuspectingly, only to be bombarded with 30 students and balloons, singing, food, and an Israeli style מסיבה (meh-see-ba: party).


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August 30, 2016

Originally published on Finding Florentine on October 2015 by Rachel Ethridge, WUJS Alumna '15


My life in Israel has always had an end date.

If you've met me since I've moved here you know that on February 7th my butt will be seated on a double decker plane headed out of the Middle East towards the city where I left all of my friends, lovers, long sleeve shirts, good sushi, and deep dish pizza.

For a lot of people interning and living alongside me, this program is a trial run for their future lives as Israelis. When I touch down in the states, they'll be making aliyah (moving to Israel with a lot of perks from the government), an act of immigration I have never considered, one they all know the answer to when they hear new friends ask if I would ever make the move....

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