At Lamidbar

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Program Description

At LaMidbar is a five-month Masa Israel program designed for 21 – 30 year olds. You are invited to join a unique desert community and undertake a personal journey of deepening your understanding of yourself and your place in the world. Guided group meetings provide a forum for raising questions, listening, and dialogue.
 
The two program tracks, the Farm Internship and the Art Apprenticeship, provide an arena to learn a new skill and work with the land or with natural materials, as well as serving as a basis for observation, connection and growth arising from our daily interactions with people and the environment. The Farm Interns will join a Kibbutz work-team: organic agriculture, goat husbandry, goats’ cheese making, organic vegetable garden, organic date cultivation. The Art Apprentices will work closely with a master craftsman in metal-smithing, stained glass, ceramics, carpentry, or weaving. Both tracks will converge one day a week to work on a group green building project.
 

Highlights

- Immersion in a unique community 
- The inspiring desert atmosphere of the Negev
- Focus on reflection and personal learning from your experiences
- Ecological building in desert conditions
- Learn a practical, hands-on skill (organic agriculture, goat herding, cheese-making, natural materials)
-Apprenticeship with a master craftsman
 
 

Under-reacting Like an Israeli

<div class="masa-blog-title">Under-reacting Like an Israeli</div>

 

By Danielle Blustein, Masa Israel Media Fellows

 

 

Videos

Hear participants talk about their daily life, take a virtual tour of your favorite program, and watch your semester of year in Israel unfold in front of you

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400 Emerging Jewish Leaders Gather in Jerusalem for Masa Israel Leadership Summit

400 Emerging Jewish Leaders Gather in Jerusalem for Masa Israel Leadership Summit

400 Emerging Jewish Leaders Gather in Jerusalem for Masa Israel Leadership Summit

March 12, 2013

This week, nearly 400 students, interns, volunteers and gap year participants from all over the world have gathered in Jerusalem for an intensive week of social activism and community organizing training at the Masa Israel Leadership Summit.
Now in its third year, the Masa Israel Leadership Summit provides training, tools and networking opportunities to young adults who are in Israel for five months to a year on gap year and post college programs and have demonstrated a commitment to leadership. By partnering with renowned educational organizations such as Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life and PresenTense, Masa Israel is providing cutting-edge programming for summit attendees, and valuable contacts for them when they return to campuses and Jewish communities in their home countries and pursue leadership roles.
 
Participants are exploring topics focusing entrepreneurship, social activism and community organizing strategy within the context of Israel and Jewish engagement, with the curriculum facilitated by staff and educators from Hillel, Teach for America, Moishe House, Sixth & I Synagogue and others.
 
A joint project of the Government of Israel and The Jewish Agency for Israel, Masa provides over 100 enrichment activities each year for participants and alumni that inspire these young adults to join the next generation of Jewish communal leaders. In a 2010 study by Dr. Steven M. Cohen and Dr. Ezra Kopelowitz that surveyed over 13,000 young Jewish adults, a full 45% of those who participated in both a short-term and long-term program in Israel were “seriously considering or have considered a Jewish career,” compared to merely 12% for those who completed only one short-term program in Israel.
 
Prior Masa Israel Leadership Summit delegates have gone on to become interns and professionals at Hillels, Jewish Federations and nonprofit organizations, and have actively continued developing their ideas for innovation in the Jewish community through PresenTense fellowships and the ROI Community.

Originally published in E-Jewish Philanthropy

Masa participants revel at Israeli mega-cultural event

Masa participants revel at Israeli mega-cultural event

Masa participants revel at Israeli mega-cultural event

February 26, 2013

The youths, part of over 200 Masa Israel Journey programs being held throughout the country, were the guests of The Jewish Agency for Israel's three-day Board of Governors meeting, also being held in the capital.
JERUSALEM, ISRAEL - More than two thousand Jewish youth from around the world packed into Jerusalem's International Convention Center's halls Monday evening to attend a series of master classes and performances held by some of the country's top entertainment, literary, and artistic talents.
 
The event, which hosted parcipitants from over 200 Masa Israel Journey programs being held throughout the country, coincided with The Jewish Agency for Israel's three-day Board of Governors meeting, which also took place in the capital.
 
Masa Israel Journey offers young adults between the ages of 18 and 30 immersive, life-changing gap year, study abroad, post-college and volunteer experiences in Israel, connecting them to programs that meet their interests, offering scholarships, providing expertise, and supporting them throughout the entire process.
 
The evening opened with a screening of the award-winning Israeli film, Fill the Void, and a master class held afterward by the film's starring actress, Irit Sheleg. 
 
Later, performing in more intimate halls alongside one another, some of Israel's top cultural icons shared their perspectives on Israeli culture with the Masa participants.
 
The performers included music, poetry and prose, by classically-trained pianist and composer Shlomi Shaban and singer and guitarist Yali Sobol of the band Monica Sex; a solo show by indie groove diva Karolina (Keren Avratz), songs by pop sensation Harel Skaat, a reading by award-winning author Etgar Keret, a dramatic performance by a troupe from the Vertigo Contemporary Dance Company. 
 
The evening was capped by a scorching performance in the main auditorium by hip-hop and reggae singer Mooke and his band, who raised the roof and brought the audience to their feet and rocking in the aisles for the entire set.
 

Exploring Community Far Away from Home

<div class="masa-blog-title">Exploring Community Far Away from Home </div>

By Jillian Hoenig, Shaalvim for Women
 
Does our unity make us a community, or does our being a community unite us?
 
What does it mean to be a community?
 
To be a state?
 
To be a nation?
 
What connection do we have with one another? 
 
 My friend Ariel and I were in Sanhedria looking to hail a cab.
 

Rejuvenated Jewish Pride

<div class="masa-blog-title">Rejuvenated Jewish Pride </div>

By Rachel Manoucheri, Bnos Chava
 
I have been an Orthodox Jew my entire life. 
 
I studied in the most prestigious religious institutions of Los Angeles, and spent last year at the Masa Israel-accredited Bnos Chava, an academically rigorous seminary in Jerusalem.  
 
During my free time, I toured the streets of Jerusalem, and began to comprehend the identity of each Jewish sect.
 

An Encounter with the Kabbalist

<div class="masa-blog-title">An Encounter with the Kabbalist</div>

By Jordana Skurka, Hebrew University 

 

I sat apprehensively with my palm held up to a microscope, under the watchful gaze of the Kabbalist, a religious mystic and spiritual guide. Before privately meeting one-on-one with the holy man, I and the other visitors had been informed of his uniquely powerful insight.

 

 

Defining Growth

<div class="masa-blog-title">Defining Growth </div>

By Orah Gidanian, Me'ohr Baeis Yaakov
 
My goal when deciding to spend the year in an institute in Israel was the classic one- I wanted to grow. 
 
I wanted to mature and expand myself from experiences that I would not be privy to otherwise. 
 
Except I don’t think I truly knew or understood what the word meant or what it was I meant when saying “I want to grow”. 
 
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