Onion Peels

<div class="masa-blog-title">Onion Peels</div>

By Ittai Eres, Young Judaea Year Course
 
I hate onions. I really do. 
 
They sit on my tongue like coarse gravel, and biting down on them irks my teeth.
 

24 Hours in Tel Aviv

<div class="masa-blog-title">24 Hours in Tel Aviv</div>

by Sharona Rosen, Young Judaea Year Course
                                                                                     
It is the 3rd of April around 10 P.M.
 

Masa Israel Alumni: Israel Update Webinar with Avi Mayer

Masa Israel Alumni: Israel Update Webinar with Avi Mayer

November 21, 2012 - 12:00

  Online  - 

Avi Mayer, Director of New Media at the Jewish Agency for Israel, will give a briefing on the current situation to Masa Israel alumni.
To join the online meeting=
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2. If requested, enter your name and email address. 
3. If a password is required, enter the meeting password: Shalom18 
4. Click "Join". 
 
To view in other time zones or languages, please click here
 
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To join the audio conference only 
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Call-in toll number (US/Canada): 1-650-479-3208 
 
Access code:809 412 322 
 
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For assistance 
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2. On the left navigation bar, click "Support". 
 

Enduring Love: What I Learned During my Year in Israel

<div class="masa-blog-title">Enduring Love: What I Learned During my Year in Israel</div>

By Shlomo Klapper, Yeshivat Har Etzion

 

Ah!  What a romance! The times we had.  Nothing could go wrong.  Visiting her was Seventh Heaven. All the wonderful places and memories – the Israel Museum, the Kotel, Machaneh Yehudah – imbued with excitement, culture, history and mystery.

 

 

Masa Israel Journey Volunteers from Around the World Join Israel's Public Diplomacy Efforts

Masa Israel Journey Volunteers from Around the World Join Israel's Public Diplomacy Efforts

Masa Israel Journey Volunteers from Around the World Join Israel's Public Diplomacy Efforts

November 19, 2012

By Margot Saffer
 
On Monday, November 19th, The Jewish Agency for Israel and Masa Israel Journey opened an International New Media Center in Jerusalem which isstaffed by volunteers from around the world who are participating in Masa programs. 
The center will allow the volunteers to share their personal experiences of living in Israel under rocket fire with people aroundP the world through social media, in multiple languages.
 
The volunteers were briefed by the Jewish Agency’s Head of Social Media, Avi Mayer, on Israeli public diplomacy efforts and on the use of social media to get one’s message across. Members of the local and international media also reported on the opening of the Center and interviewed the volunteers, with several additional news outlets - IBA news in English, Channel 1 in Arabic, Kol Israel Radio, and Ha'aretz among them – due to visit Tuesday. 
 
Benjamin Dannenberg, a volunteer on the Israel Teaching Fellows program from Connecticut in the U.S. said: “It feels great to contribute in some way, if not to the IDF, then to the state of Israel. We came to volunteer in some capacity. Since we can’t teach now, this is a great way to broaden our message to the world.” 
 
The volunteers come from English, Spanish, Russian and French- speaking countries and are workingin various capacities through Masa, volunteering as English teachers in Israeli schools (ITF – Israel Teaching Fellows) and interning in various government offices (Israel Government Fellows (IGF), and Real Life Israel). Manymembers of the group are living in Be'erSheva and Ashdod where, over recent weeks, they have experienced how difficult life is for residents of southern Israel living under rocket fire.
 
Josh Neuman is a 22-year-old graduate of Penn State University where he studied Political Science and History. It was his experience volunteering at an arts and sciences day camp for elementary school children that made him choose the ITFtrack of the Masa Israel Journey program. 
 
He tells of how, last Sunday, he was teaching an elementary school in Be’erSheva when a siren was sounded. He had to evacuate his students from the second floor to the basement, even having to carry a young girl who was too shocked to run. “I consider myself to be mentally tough, but seeing these children crying and praying and hugging each other for comfort, I almost lost it. But I had to keep it together for the children’s sake.” 
 
Josh said he became extremely angered by the ignorance of the international media, which he had not until that point understood as clearly. He feels that no children anywhere should undergo the kind of trauma endured as a matter of course by the kids in southern Israel. He began his own campaign to update his community back in the Bay Area. “I joined this initiative of the Masa program because I want to help create a network that ensures the flow of truth – of both sides of the story – and maybe balance out the tides of the media war – which is the war itself! Half the battle is won with the support.”
 
Deborah, a Brazilian from Masa's Real Life Israel program, agrees. She has secured a live interview on Tuesday with the largest radio station in Brazil, in which she intends to share "the real story."
 
Meghan, 21, from Paris, also wants to convey to her friends and family back home the Israel that she has discovered since her internship with IGF started three months ago. She graduated from The Sorbonne with a degree in History and Political Science, and is now volunteering at Israel's Ministry of Environmental Protection. 
 
On her social media streams, she finds it difficult to bridge the gap between being accused of being blindly pro-Israel, and conveying what she has personally experienced to be true. “I need to stay. I need to show them [back home] what is happening. I am not going to change my plans because of this. They [the terrorists] will not win.”
 
Meghan was walking with a friend in Jaffa last Shabbat when they heard the Code Red siren. She saw the missile explode after it was intercepted by the Iron Dome. Her terrified mother told Meghan that she had booked a ticket for her to come back to France. 
 
But she told her mom that she feels safe. “We trust the country,” added Meghan. 
 
The International New Media Centre is being opened in coordination with the National Information Directorate, the Foreign Ministry, and the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit. The volunteers will use social media tools such as Facebook, Twitter, Blogs and web comments, among others.Masa Israel Journey is a joint project of The Jewish Agency for Israel and the Government of Israel.  Participants spend 5-10 months in Israel and can choose from a wide range of programs involving volunteer work, studying or professional internships.  Over 10,000 young Jews from 60 countries participate in Masa programs each year. Graduates become" ambassadors" for Israel upon their return to their home countries.

Update from Masa Israel: Community Hotline Established

Update from Masa Israel: Community Hotline Established

November 19, 2012

The safety and security of Masa Israel Journey program participants, staff and partners is our top priority.
As a joint project of the Government of Israel and the Jewish Agency for Israel, Masa Israel programs receive updated information regularly from the Israeli Home Front Command regarding safety and security and are able to respond to official recommendations. Our staff continues to be in touch with every Masa Israel program to ensure information is shared effectively and to assist as needed.
 
As Operation Pillar of Defense began this past week, the Israeli Home Front Command issued an advisory for individuals within a forty kilometer radius of the Gaza Strip. Masa Israel Journey has maintained direct contact with programs operating in the South of Israel and has assisted in relocating participants to Tel Aviv and further north. All Masa Israel program participants based in the South have been relocated outside of the 40 kilometer radius. 
 
Over the last few days, additional areas of Israel have been affected by rocket fire and Masa Israel Journey continues to be in close and continuous contact with all of its programs and with the Home Front Command to monitor the situation. We will make additional policy decisions as needed per the instructions given by Israeli Home Front Command.
 
We are instructing all Masa Israel programs to update participants regularly regarding security and safety procedures and to ensure access to shelters in case of civil defense alarms. Masa Israel is also working with program directors to make psychological and educational resources available as needed.
 
We are encouraging all programs to help participants communicate with their families. Masa Israel has established a hotline for parents, family and community members needing assistance contacting participants or other information. If you need assistance connecting with a family or community member who is on a Masa Israel program, please call: 
 
6 am EST -  3pm EST (Israel Office) 
1-866-864-3279 / +972-2-621-6049
masainfo@masaisrael.org
 
3pm EST - 11pm EST (New York Office)
1-855-462-6272
masany@masaisrael.org
 
These are difficult days for Israel and for Jewish communities around the world. Masa Israel is committed to ensuring a safe and secure Israel experience for all of our participants, not only during these difficult days, but year-round.
 
Please feel free to be directly in touch with us with any questions or concerns.
 
Thank you for your continued support.
 

Security Update From Masa Israel

Security Update From Masa Israel

November 15, 2012

The safety and security of Masa Israel Journey program participants, staff and partners is our top priority.
Masa Israel Journey maintains strict standards for safety and security on all program sponsored activities. Masa Israel has been in touch directly with programs located in the south and many have either relocated their programs temporarily or have placed participants in communities further north.
 
As a joint project of the Government of Israel and the Jewish Agency for Israel, Masa Israel programs receive updated information regarding safety and security regularly and are able to respond to official recommendations. Our staff is in touch with every Masa Israel program to ensure information is shared effectively and to assist as needed.
 
If you have questions regarding safety and security, please contact us on Facebook at facebook.com/masaisrael, on Twitter at @masaisrael or speak with our helpdesk at 1.866.864.3279 or masainfo@masaisrael.org.
 

BBYO Beyond

http://www.masaisrael.org/sites/default/files/BBYOBeyond.png

Program Description

Beyond is a fresh and innovative program that emphasizes leadership development while combining the benefits of both formal and informal educational experiences. Living in Israel, for either 5 or 9 months, Beyond offers a unique balance of academics, experiential travel, enrichment education, cultural immersion, and community service. Open to applicants of all Jewish backgrounds and nationalities, the program is forward looking and exposes participants to a variety of ideas without advancing a specific religious, political, or ideological approach.
 
The first session of Beyond is centered in Tel Aviv and leverages the city’s many assets – highlighting the innovation of Israel, a taste of campus life at Tel Aviv University, and ample opportunities for exploration.
 
The second session of Beyond is about choosing your own path and making an impact. The core elements include selecting an elective block and a community-based service project in either Jerusalem or in Ethiopia. Together, these experiences are designed to open a window onto a unique aspect of Israeli society and give participants a chance to leave their own personal mark.
 
Although the Beyond year is generally an all-inclusive experience, a number of optional add-ons are available for participants seeking additional enrichment experiences within Israel or beyond its borders.
 

Specialty Tracks and add-ons:

- Community Service Electives – Jerusalem or Ethiopia
- Enrichment Electives – IDF Marva Basic Training, Magen David Adom Paramedic Course, or Volunteering at Kibbutz Kramim
- International Travel Electives – Italy, Spain, and Poland
- Skills Electives – Culinary Arts, Photography & Videography, and Scuba Diving

Highlights

- Choose either a 5 or 9 month experience
- Live in Tel Aviv for the first session
- Combine community service, travel, and cultural immersion in the second session
- Travel opportunities in Israel, Europe, and Africa
- Add a skills elective such as culinary course, video and photography course, or scuba diving course

BBYO starting new gap year program in Israel

BBYO starting new gap year program in Israel

October 18, 2012

(JTA) -- BBYO is launching a new pre-college gap year program in Israel.
The Beyond program, part of BBYO Passport, is in conjunction with Authentic Israel, which runs Birthright Israel programs; Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life; Masa Israel Journey; and Tel Aviv University. It offers an academic experience combined with service opportunities, leadership programming and travel.
 
Registration for the 2013-14 program opens Aug. 22.
 
Beyond participants can join a five- or nine-month experience, both of which are eligible for an automatic Masa scholarship of $1,000, with up to $3,000 more being available based on financial need. 
 
Tel Aviv University serves as the program’s home base, and participants have additional opportunities to travel in Europe, perform community service in Africa, and learn scuba diving and cooking.  

Masa Israel Alumni Leadership Summit

Masa Israel Alumni Leadership Summit

October 14, 2012 - 14:00  -  October 14, 2012 - 16:30

UJA FederationNew York, NY  - 

You returned from Israel last month, last year, 2 years ago…Now what? New York is a big place, and Masa Israel wants to help make it smaller.
Come to the Alumni Leadership Summit to
-connect with other Israel program alumni,
-hone your professional skills, and
-get information on involvement opportunities here in New York!
 
The cost of this awesome opportunity…FREE!! But spaces are limited so sign up in advance by visiting www.masaisrael.org/alumnisummit2012.
Here’s the event schedule:
2:00 Registration & networking
2:20 Greetings
2:45 Breakout Sessions
–How Does My Israel Experience Inform My Career?
–Finding Your Place In the Professional Jewish World
–Get Involved: Where Can I Make a Difference?
3:30 New York Engagement Fair & Networking
 
This event is open to all Masa Israel alumni. Light snacks will be served. You must have an ID with you to enter the event. Thank you to the event co-chairs, Dina Silberstein & Hallie Cohn. Contact Dena Stein (denast@masaisrael.org) for more information.