Eco-Israel

http://www.masaisrael.org/sites/default/files/eco-israel_1.jpg

Program Description

Eco-Israel offers Jewish young adults the opportunity to embrace permaculture and sustainable living through intensive hands-on experience and coursework on an organic farm. Upon completion of the program you will receive an internationally recognized certificate in permaculture design. Based at the Hava & Adam Eco-Educational farm in Modi’in (located halfway between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv) Eco-Israel allows you to explore how ecology, Judaism, and Israel blend together in a working model of a self-sustaining ecological community.
 
The Hava & Adam Eco-Educational Farm is completely dependent upon the energy, creative resources, and time of its residents. All members of the farm, including a group of young Israelis on a year of service, share responsibility in running the site and making it their home. As a large family, you will cook with your fellow residents eat together and work alongside them.
 
 
For more information, contact:
Israel: +972-54-6773891
 

Featured Photos

Featured Photos

Quiz: What Israeli Food Matches Your Personality?

The Times of Israel: The Gap Year Investment in Israel

The Times of Israel: The Gap Year Investment in Israel

August 11, 2016

By Liran Avisar, CEO Masa Israel Journey

 

For at least a generation, there has been broad consensus on the linear trajectory of education for young people in North America. After graduating high school, college is often considered the natural and only next step.

 

Yet more and more, individuals and families are realizing that going straight to college is not a one-size-fits-all experience. In the halls of academia and in high schools alike, administrators increasingly recognize value in providing students access to immersive, transformational experiences before they make consequential — and expensive — decisions about their futures. Just as higher education itself is a major investment toward a successful future, so too is dedicating time during this brief and influential period in life to discovering one’s passions, values and perspective. As with any big investment, completing one’s due diligence beforehand should be the expectation, not the exception.

 

Gap year programs come in a variety of formats. Some students opt for domestic experiences, working or volunteering at home, while others set off for an organized year abroad. In both cases, studies have shown that students who invest in a gap year experience have higher GPAs, are more engaged with campus activities, and are 75% more likely to report being “happy” or “extremely satisfied” with their post-college careers.

 

Many international gap year programs provide the chance to volunteer or intern while only practicing living independently. The more proactive participants may learn to cook their own meals, coexist with roommates, or glean a few fragments from a new country and culture. The Masa Israel experience, on the other hand, not only empowers its young people to become fully immersed in their local communities, it connects them with a global network of peers they would likely never meet otherwise, who are equally eager to engage in an exchange of culture and ideas.

 

 

Israel is home to an abundance of languages, religions and communities. And on top of that, Israel’s longstanding custom of hosting international guests for extended amounts of time makes its cultural capital uniquely accessible. The expectation that young people from around the world can come here to expand their worldviews, build life skills and discover or refine their interests is weaved into the fabric of Israeli institutions, and the opportunities afforded to gap year participants reflect that.

 

In Israel, young people are exposed to an intense multiculturalism only found in the backseat of Tel Aviv taxis and the ancient stone walkways of Jerusalem, not to mention the smaller Israeli towns in the north and south of the country. And similarly, on Masa Israel experiences, it’s the interactions with thousands of other participants from all over Europe, South America, Australia and elsewhere that make the journey so transformational. Our subsidized, individually tailored programs allow students the opportunity to specialize in their unique interests, gain valuable work experience, and grow as independent young adults. Service and study opportunities provide daily structure, while internship opportunities for our gap year participants in Israel are unparalleled.

 

The truth is, most post-high school internships, no matter where they take place, offer few opportunities beyond fetching coffee, printing and stapling, and organizing Excel spreadsheets. But internships for our gap year students allow them to build real professional skills and tap into actual networks. Because of the mandatory conscription policy, Israelis expect 18-year-olds to be able to handle significant responsibilities, and thus the society is much more dynamic and flexible when it comes to giving young people the benefit of the doubt in a workplace. Additionally, Israel is a global hub for technology and innovation, and it is virtually impossible to avoid the optimistic, entrepreneurial spirit that exists in every sector.

 

 

From behind the scenes of one of the leading organizations for gap year opportunities, I’ve seen first-hand how a student’s taking the time to develop his or her identity before entering the formal structure of college can profoundly enrich personal and professional growth. So, if spending time in Israel in the gap between high school and higher education has not been recognized by American students as an essential investment opportunity, it should be.

 

Originally published in The Times of Israel.

Cleveland Jewish News: Financial assistance available for gap years

Cleveland Jewish News: Financial assistance available for gap years

August 5, 2016

By Carlo Wolff

 

Another possible source of money is Masa Israel, an Israeli program that can supplement other gap year resources. A high school student interested in a gap year can apply to Masa Israel for “financial aid above what the normal amount would be,” she said. “They definitely should apply to the program that they’re going on to see if there’s financial aid from the program.”

This one time on my Masa Israel program…

<div class="masa-blog-title">This one time on my Masa Israel program…</div>

Video: Cash Cab episode recently  re-aired on Mako

 

Sometimes living in Israel I encounter things that really jog my memory. Every colorful scene, aromatic walk through the streets, or even just surfing my social media feeds (Thank you #ThrowBackThursday!) reminds me of a good time from my Masa Israel experience. 

 

That is what happened this morning. I opened my Facebook feed to see a suggested video from Mako, a popular Israeli television station. The video was an episode of Cash Cab—in this game show meets transportation service participants have the chance to win money by answering trivia questions on the ride to their destination. I love to test my trivia knowledge, so I pressed play only to see four familiar faces. There they were -- David (Los Angeles), Thalia (Argentina), Dov (France), and Grant (Texas) — friends of mine from my time as a Masa participant on Destination Israel’s Tel Aviv Internship Experience.

 

What!?

 

In the episode they tell the cab driver to take them to beachside club, Clara, and that was the ticket to this trip down memory lane. Clara? Yea, I remember that night! Our whole program was there for a party. When you’re on the program these people become your family so going out to something together was a common occurrence. We were all waiting in line for various groups of us to arrive (you can’t fit 30 people in one cab) when the four of them walk up with huge smiles on their faces, yelling and laughing with excitement.

 

“What’s up guys? What took you so long?”

 

“We just won 4,500 shekel! We were on Israeli Cash Cab!”

 

Needless to say, this was a good omen for the night. We had a great time dancing the night away with the sea breeze keeping things cool; a nice break from working hard at our internships. And of course, we made memories to last us a lifetime.

 

Written by Amy Albertson

 

The Jewish Chronicle: Community Jew'colades

The Jewish Chronicle: Community Jew'colades

The Jewish Chronicle: Community Jew'colades

July 21, 2016

Masa Israel Journey's new Director of Partnerhips in the United States, Jessica Schapiro was featured in her hometown's Jewish newspaper!

It's That Time of Year Again: Shalom U'Lehitraot

<div class="masa-blog-title">It's That Time of Year Again: Shalom U'Lehitraot</div>

Masa Israel Journey and its alumni across the United States are holding their biannual Shalom U’Lehitraot (Hello and Goodbye) Parties in August.

 

As recent returnees say hello, they can expect a warm welcome into a local network of Jewish young adults, united by their shared Masa Israel experiences. Alumni will be happy to share their advice for successful transition back into life stateside.

 

While future participants say goodbye before heading to Israel, they will have the opportunity to answer all of their last minute questions and get the local scoop from Masa Israel alumni who lived it like a local before them.

 

Meanwhile, veteran Masa alumni will reunite to catch up, reminisce about Israel and find out about the exciting local and national opportunities that the Masa Israel alumni network has in store for the coming year.

 

Find a party near you"

 

Twin Cities - Thursday, August 18

New York - Sunday, August 21

Washington DC - Thursday, August 25

Lost Angeles - TBD

 

Want to host a Shalom U'Lehitraot party in your city?

Email RachelM@MasaIsrael.org to get the party started.

 

 

 

Meet the U.S. Regionals

<div class="masa-blog-title">Meet the U.S. Regionals</div>

Masa Israel's Regionals Managers and Representatives are the face of Masa in their communities. Whether advising local young people on program options, building partnerships with local organizations or helping alumni plan events, they are one-stop shops from anything and everything Masa:

 

alt="Jacob Allen"

Jacob Allen

Allen@jfmd.org

Detroit, MI

 

Jacob is the Israel & Overseas Associate at the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit. His portfolio includes scholarships, the Israeli Camper Program, Partnership2Gether with the Central Galilee Region and, or course, recruiting for Masa.

 

Born and raised in the Detroit metropolitan area, Jacob holds a B.A. in International Studies with a concentration in Comparative Culture and Identity, and Hebrew and Judaic Cultural Studies from the University of Michigan. He is passionate about enhancing the relationships between Israel and the Metro Detroit Jewish community.

 

alt="Mirit Balkan"

Mirit Balkan

MBalkan@JCFCleve.org

Cleveland, OH

 

Mirit is the I-connect Manager at the Jewish Federation of Cleveland, connecting local young adults to Israel programs, like Masa. Since January 2011, Mirit has established herself as the "to go" person for local community members looking for long term Israel experiences. Working with Jewish educators, Israel Fellows on campus, students and their parents are just part of her portfolio.

 

Born and raised in Israel, Mirit served as a sharp shooter sniper in the IDF. She holds an MA in Interdisciplinary Democracy and a certificate in Peace Building and Conflict Studies. Before moving to Cleveland, Mirit worked at Walt Disney World, The Gilo Center for Citizenship, Democracy and Civic Education at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and the Yithak Rabin Center in Tel Aviv. Mirit and her husband Yaron have three children Aya, 3; Romi, 8; and Ori, 10.

 

alt="We're Hiring in Florida! Apply Now,"

 

alt="Ariel Biel"

Ariel Biel

ABiel@MlpsFed.org

Minneapolis, MN

Ariel is a Program Specialist in the Israel Center of the Minneapolis Jewish Federation, assisting 18-30 year olds on finding the right Israel program, to have transformational experiences in Israel- studying, interning, and/or volunteering.

 

While earning a B.A. in Child Psychology, with a minor in Hebrew, from the University of Minnesota, Ariel served as a Community Advisor, a Hebrew teaching assistant. and an Ambassador for Hillel. Her passion for being in Israel was kindled by her first visit, on Birthright. After graduation, Ariel participated in the pilot year of Masa Israel Teaching Fellows, teaching English to elementary school children and volunteering with at-risk junior high and high school students at an agricultural boarding school in Rishon LeZion. She returned to Minnesota where she worked as a Jewish educator and helped start the Twin Cities Masa Israel Alumni Group.

 

alt="Roxanna Donay"

Roxanna Donay

RDonay@JewishLA.org

Los Angeles, CA

 

Roxanna (though everyone calls her Roxy) is the Program Director for Israel Experiences & Post-Programs at the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles.

 

Born and raised in sunny southern California. Roxy caught the travel bug after her first trip to Israel as a teenager and has been collecting stamps on her passport ever since. After her gap year on the Nativ College Leadership Program in Israel, Roxy went on to study Psychology and Human Development at the University of California, Davis. Since graduating she has spent many years working and volunteering for various Jewish organizations such as Hillel, Camp Ramah, United Synagogue Youth, and the Builders of Jewish Education. She is passionate about Israel and helping people find the right Israel experience for them.

 

 

alt="We're hiring in Washington DC! Apply Now"

 

alt="Guy Lowicz"

Guy Lowicz

GuyLo@MasaIsrael.org

New York, NY

Guy is the regional representative for Masa in the New York metropolitan area. He came to Masa after interning for Hillel because he saw the work at Masa as his way of representing his country, Israel.

 

Born and raised in Israel, after completing his IDF service, Guy left Israel and started jumping around the globe. After backpacking in South America, working in aviation security in Hong Kong, and studying International Affairs at The George Washingtong University, he settled in New York to start recruiting for Masa. Before working at Masa, Guy bartended for 12 years, on 3 different continents. Although he has traveled to more than 15 countries, now he can barely stand taking the NYC subway.

 

alt="Marisa Ouchowski"

Marisa Obuchowski

MObuchowski@Associated.org

Baltimore, MD

 

Marisa is the Israel and Overseas Engagement Associate at The Associated: Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore, where she is very excited to engage local young adults and connect them with Israel and overseas opportunities. 

 

She holds a BFA in Graphic Design and Computer Imaging from Ohio Wesleyan University. After college, Marisa traveled on Birthright where she fell in love with the sites, people, and culture of Israel, and three weeks later she returned to Israel with WUJS Tel Aviv, program of MasaAfter returning to Baltimore, she worked as a graphic designer and marketing manager for a Jewish day school and as a part-time swim coach at the local JCC. As an alumna of Birthright and Masa, she understands the meaningful impact of peer-travel and immersive Israel programs and looks forward to providing others with the same transformative experiences.

 

alt="We're Hiring in Chicago! Apply Now."

 

J-Wire: Dream job for Oliver

J-Wire: Dream job for Oliver

J-Wire: Dream job for Oliver

July 1, 2016

By Hayley Hadassin

 

A graduate of Melbourne’s Bialik College has landed a dream job in New York as Product Manager at LifeBEAM, an Israeli Start Up company taking the athletic and Artificial Intelligence market by storm.

Oliver Rose recently completed his Bio Medical Engineering degree and needed industry experience to make it in the competitive job market. He decided to take a break from his studies and apply for a Masa Israel Internship through the Zionist Federation of Australia’s Israel Program Department.

 


Masa Israel Journey offers young Jewish adults between the ages of 18 and 30 a range of 5-10 month Israel experiences including life-changing gap year, study abroad and volunteer programs as well as professional internships in all field and industries. Masa Israel also offers very generous grants and scholarships for eligible applicants. Oliver, an engineering student decided a Masa internship at an Israeli start-up would be a great opportunity to gain hands on learning experience. ‘“I wanted work experience where I would not be repeating the same task over and over. I wanted to prove my creativity, learn about starting and growing a business, and to make a lasting impact. Israel’s start-up culture was the perfect opportunity.”
Oliver selected to intern at LifeBEAM – a leader in bio tech and bio wearing technology. Oliver was thrown into the day-to-day operation of the business, integrating himself into the company and was tasked with researching relationships between LifeBEAM sensors and body functions, designing trials in the nearby Olympic Centre and developing the user experience. He also acted in a support role for the Chief Operations Officer, helping to re-design the company’s website, analyse website traffic, manage customer support, and oversee product deliveries. Over the 6-month internship he gained invaluable experience from leading start-up minds and was mentored by his bosses and colleagues.

 


“Israel is a hub of social, commercial and technological innovation offering exciting internship opportunities that are simply not available at comparative companies and organisations in Australia” says ZFA Israel Program Coordinator Sarit Braver. ‘Masa Israel internships provide young Jewish adults the opportunity to live in Israel like a local and gain professional experience in their field. Israel has so much to offer in terms of business development, growth and industry advancements and these companies and organisations are eager to recruit interns from around the world. With Masa Israel being a project of the Israeli Government and Jewish Agency it has the connections and network to offer impressive internship placements at some of the country most impressive companies such as Teva Pharmaceuticals, Jerusalem Post and even Google”

 


The benefits of a Masa Israel internship are not only the work experience opportunities but the social ones as well. “I made friends for life, learned to live independently, and grew up emotionally. Masa added tremendous value to the internship program, by providing enjoyable educational and cultural activities, including weekend tours around Israel, during which our group of 40 grew very close. I made friends from all over the world and will never forget swimming in the desert oasis at Ein Gedi, or rafting down the Jordan River.” said Rose.
“These Israel-based internship programs are a fantastic, but untapped resource for the Jewish community. They provide valuable experience in a country that has the leading edge in so many fields. The 6 months I spent living and working in Israel was one of the happiest and most successful times of my life.”

 


Upon returning to Melbourne to complete his Biomedical Engineering Degree at Melbourne University, Oliver was offered to a job with LifeBEAM. He has watched and been a part of the company’s growth from its early stages. His move to New York will see him take up a full-time position as Product Manager, working directly with the CEO on their latest product, Vi, the world’s first true Artificial Intelligence Personal Trainer. Vi is a virtual trainer who lives in bio sensing earphones, finds your ideal path to fitness and coaches you in real-time, a product that is sure to make waves in the virtual reality market and become one of the most highly coveted products in the fitness market.

 

Originally published in J-Wire, Digital Jewish news daily for Australia and New Zealand.