Gap Year | Masa Israel

Gap Year

Introducing: The 2015-2016 Masa Israel Alumni Fellows">Introducing: The 2015-2016 Masa Israel Alumni Fellows

Posted October 14th, 2015

The Masa Israel Alumni Fellowship is an opportunity for a select few outstanding alumni to represent Masa Israel Journey in their home communities and on a national level.


This exclusive program provides Fellows with unmatched leadership training as well as opportunities for personal and professional development and networking with Jewish communal leaders.


Each fellow will attend the Jewish Federations of North America General Assembly (GA), as well as his or her choice of a major national Jewish conference. Through these events and exclusive shabbatonim, the Masa Israel Alumni Fellowship creates a community of practice and the future leadership of the Masa Israel Alumni Community.


Over the course of the next year, each Fellow will create and implement a unique impact project in order to increase alumni involvement or help recruit new participants to Masa Israel programs in his or her community.


Stay tuned over the next few months, as we highlight an Alumni Fellow every week.


Here are this year’s Masa Israel Alumni Fellows:

 

alt="aaron white"alt="alex willick"

alt="amy altchuler"alt="andria kaplan"

alt="arya marvazy)alt="axel angeles"

alt="erica bergstein"alt="gidon frank"

alt="grant kudert"alt="jennifer handel"

alt="jordan goldschmidt"alt="joshua entis"

alt="molly radler"alt="samantha shevgert"

alt="sarah wesson"

 

What’s Different About Yom Kippur in Israel?">What’s Different About Yom Kippur in Israel?

Posted September 21st, 2015

There’s nothing quite like the High Holidays – or, as the locals call them, the chagim – in Israel.

 

Generally considered the most important holiday of the year, Yom Kippur is a particularly unique day to spend in Israel. Here are just four ways in which Yom Kippur is different in Israel:

 

1. The Country Practically Shuts Down

 

Aardvark Israel - Year

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Program Description

Aardvark Israel Programs offer Jewish students from around the world the opportunity to “MAKE ISRAEL YOURS,” by providing a tailor-made, modular curriculum, so students can build a customized experience in Israel.  Aardvark offers volunteering and internships, the chance to study and earn university academic credit, an opportunity to explore the hidden gems of Israel through trips and excursions, and independent living in apartments in the center of Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.  Our experienced staff and high ratio of staff to students allow Aardvark to cater to the different interests of our international student population.


You can customize your experience even further by choosing one of our

 

Special Interest Add-Ons:


- Israeli Military Track, including Marva basic training in the Israeli Army
- Mind-Body Track (Psychology and Medicine track), including volunteering with Magen David Adom ambulances
- Entrepreneurship Track
- Law and Government Track
- Sea Sports Track
- Social Media and Communication Track
- Nepal Cultural Exchange

Highlights

- Live in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem
- Opportunities for international travel to Europe, Africa and Asia
- Unique internship and volunteering opportunities

  • Main Subject: Experiential Programs, Freshman Year Studies, Gap Year (Programs)
  •  
  • Keywords:
  • Advocacy, Education, Intensive Hebrew Language, Israel/Middle Eastern Studies, Jewish Studies, Social Action / Volunteering 
  • Duration:
  • 4, 4.5, 5, 9, 11.5 Months 
  • Age:
  • 17-21 
  • Language:
  • English 
  • Organizer:
  • Aardvark Tourism Ltd 
  • Program appears on grant application as:
  • Aardvark Israel - Year 
  • Accommodation:
  • Not Included 
  • Meals:
  • Not Included 
  • Program Dates:
  • January 08,2018 - December 27,2018, , $11990   Apply to this program
  • January 08,2018 - June 11,2018, , $19990   Apply to this program
  • January 08,2018 - May 23,2018, , $11990   Apply to this program

Aardvark International

http://www.masaisrael.org/sites/default/files/Aardvark%20International%20Photo_0.jpg

Program Description

Aardvark International combines a dynamic Israel program with travel to EIGHT different countries allowing students to further cultivate their knowledge of the Jewish People’s history in the Diaspora, experience different cultures, and learn about Israel’s place in the international community.  In Israel, the program offers Jewish students the opportunity to “MAKE ISRAEL YOURS,” by providing a tailor-made, modular curriculum, so students can build a customized experience in Israel.  Aardvark offers volunteering and internships, the chance to study and earn university academic credit, an opportunity to explore the hidden gems of Israel through trips and excursions, and independent living in apartments in the center of Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.  Our experienced staff and high ratio of staff to students allow Aardvark to cater to the different interests of our international student population.


Complementing the Israel experience, Aardvark International participants will travel once a month to a foreign country (France, Spain, Czech Republic, China, Ethiopia, Italy, Germany, and Holland.) This program is perfect for students who love to travel and want to have a unique, global adventure.


In addition, students may customize their experience even further by choosing one of our


Special Interest Add-Ons:


- Israeli Military Track, including Marva basic training in the Israeli Army
- Mind-Body Track (Psychology and Medicine track), including volunteering with Magen David Adom ambulances
- Entrepreneurship Track
- Law and Government Track
- Sea Sports Track
- Social Media and Communication Track
- Nepal Cultural Exchange

Highlights

- Live in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem
- International travel to Europe, Africa and Asia
- Unique internship and volunteering opportunities
- Live with students from all over the world
- Earn university academic credit

  • Main Subject: Experiential Programs, Freshman Year Studies, Gap Year (Programs)
  •  
  • Keywords:
  • Advocacy, Education, Intensive Hebrew Language, Israel/Middle Eastern Studies, Jewish Studies, Social Action / Volunteering 
  • Duration:
  • 9 Months 
  • Age:
  • 17-21 
  • Language:
  • English 
  • Organizer:
  • Aardvark Tourism Ltd 
  • Program appears on grant application as:
  • Aardvark International 
  • Price:
  • $ 19990 
  • Accommodation:
  • Included 
  • Meals:
  • Not Included 
  • Program Dates:
  • August 28,2017 - May 23,2018  Apply to this program

Young Judaea Year Course

http://www.masaisrael.org/sites/default/files/young_judaea_year_course%20photo_0.jpg

Program Description

 
YOUNG JUDAEA YEAR COURSE!THE #1 GAP YEAR PROGRAM IN ISRAEL CELEBRATING ITS 60th YEAR!

 

Year Course sets you up for success! In College, in Life!

 

HOW IT WORKS


JERUSALEM ACADEMIC SEMESTER
You’ll live independently, sharing apartments with friends in our modern campus located in the beautiful, central Jerusalem neighborhood of Baka. Shops, cafes and public transportation are all close by with the magical Old City a short walk away. Throughout this semester you will explore Israel’s complex political and social issues as well as Judaism, Jewish History, Art and more through classes, workshops, tours and discussions, all in a unique informal setting.

 

BAT YAM VOLUNTEERING SEMESTER

Make a real difference in Israel living in Bat Yam, an up-and-coming beach town 15 minutes from Tel Aviv. Teach in a school, volunteer in a soup kitchen, train to be a paramedic or choose one of hundreds of other possibilities where your skills and time are most needed.
There’s also an opportunity to sign up for Marva – a challenging 8 week IDF boot camp and push yourself to the limits!

 

SPECIAL INTEREST MONTH

In the last month of your year, you’ll choose from an unbelievable range of options and design your own Special Interest Month! Learn new skills, challenge yourself and boost your resume!

 

  • Backpack Israel’s epic Sea-to-Sea hike
  • Learn to surf in Tel Aviv
  • Take a photography crash course
  • Intern with an Israeli company
  • Study Jewish texts at a Yeshiva/Midrasha
  • Work on a kibbutz

Highlights

 

Specialty Tracks: Customize your year!


Tracks offer you specialized activities to meet your interests and passions led by top Israeli experts that will enrich your year and your resume.

Business: Network, entrepreneurs, start-ups, leadership!

 

Art: Meet local artists, workshops, shows, exhibitions!

 

Medical: Volunteer, meet experts, research, hands-on!

 

Sound: Concerts, musicians, jam sessions, studio time!

 

Sports: Competitions, exercise, meet professional athletes!

 

Tiyulim: Hike, outdoor skills, teamwork, hadracha!

 

Beit Midrash: Jewish texts, shabbatot, inspiring educators!

 

Olami: The world is your classroom!

 

Love traveling? Take advantage of our world travel options to Italy, Greece, Morocco and Poland! See famous world sites and learn the story of the Jewish people live on location!

 

Tikun Olam: Africa volunteering experience!

 


Make a difference in the lives of others with our unique partnership at the inspirational Shalom Agohozo Youth Village in Rwanda. You’ll embark on an empowering, rewarding journey and volunteer with youth struggling with the after-effects of the 1994 genocide and prepare them to take on leadership roles in society

 

  • Main Subject: Volunteer Programs, Gap Year (Programs)
  •  
  • Keywords:
  • Coexistence, Government, Intensive Hebrew Language, International Humanitarian Work, Israel/Middle Eastern Studies, Jewish Studies, Social Action / Volunteering, Spirituality 
  • Duration:
  • 9 Months 
  • Age:
  • 17-20 
  • Language:
  • English 
  • Organizer:
  • Young Judaea Israel 
  • Program appears on grant application as:
  • Young Judaea Year Course 
  • Price:
  • $ 24700 
  • Accommodation:
  • Included 
  • Meals:
  • Included 
  • Program Dates:
  • September 04,2017 - May 29,2018  Apply to this program

Nativ - Hebrew University Track

http://www.masaisrael.org/sites/default/files/nativ%20HU%20Photo.jpg

Program Description

Nativ is a challenging academic year program dedicated to creating and inspiring the Conservative Jewish leaders of tomorrow. Nativ, which means “path” in Hebrew, provides its participants with a unique opportunity to explore new directions on the journey to becoming a Jewish adult. From September to May, Nativ participants are immersed in the rich and diverse society of Israel, exploring the land and enjoying a fulfilling Conservative Jewish lifestyle. The program includes academic university classes, intensive Hebrew classes and innovative leadership training. Nativ enables recent high school graduates to earn college credits for their studies while living in a classroom without walls.

A year of true exploration, Nativ provides the freedom for personal discovery as well as the security of a carefully structured program. This unforgettable experience is created through an intricate balance between academics and volunteer work, learning and teaching, personal challenge and community living. Participants on Nativ return from the year with a stronger attachment to the land of Israel as well as a deeper passion for Judaism, enthusiastic to share with their North American communities what they have learned.

  • Main Subject: Gap Year (Programs)
  •  
  • Keywords:
  • Education, Jewish Studies 
  • Duration:
  • 8.5 Months 
  • Age:
  • 18-19 
  • Language:
  • English 
  • Organizer:
  • United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism 
  • Program appears on grant application as:
  • Nativ - Hebrew University Track 
  • Price:
  • $ 25700 
  • Accommodation:
  • Included 
  • Meals:
  • Included 
  • Program Dates:
  • September 04,2017 - May 22,2018  Apply to this program

Yeshivat Migdal Hatorah

Program Description

  • Main Subject:
  •  
  • Duration:
  • 9.5 Months 
  • Age:
  • 16-21 
  • Organizer:
  • Yeshivat Migdal HaTorah 
  • Program appears on grant application as:
  • Yeshivat Migdal Hatorah 
  • Price:
  • $ 25500 
  • Accommodation:
  • Included 
  • Meals:
  • Included 
  • Program Dates:
  • August 29,2017 - June 11,2018  Apply to this program

What Does it Really Mean to be a Jewish Leader?">What Does it Really Mean to be a Jewish Leader?

Posted January 12th, 2015

 

By Matthew Callman, Masa Israel Teaching Fellow in Netanya

 

 

This past week, over 250 Masa Israel program participants from over 25 countries came together at Hotel Yehuda in Jerusalem for the The Wilf Family Masa Israel Leadership Summit. These five days were full of workshops, lectures, trips, and other interactive activities. The purpose of the summit was to educate the participants and give us the proper tools to become future Jewish leaders. On the last day, in order to tie the summit together, we received an article that lists the seven principles of a Jewish leader. In order to reflect on the summit, I am using those same seven principles to draw the connection between the summit and Jewish leadership.

 

Principle 1: Leadership begins with taking responsibility.

Prior to the conference, we had the responsibility to complete the application process for the summit, and upon acceptance, sign up for the workshops that we would be interested in attending. During the workshops, professionals from around the Israeli community came in to spread their knowledge on various topics. Workshops included the challenges facing European Jews, Jewish philanthropy, proper messaging and branding techniques, how to run a t-shirt campaign, a memorable talk by Tamir Goodman, and the opportunity to visit the Knesset. The workshops were the part of the summit where we would put in the effort in order to receive the message they were trying to send. As for myself, I took the responsible role and took copious notes so, in the future, I can go back and reflect on what I learned.

 

Principle 2: No one can lead alone.

At the beginning of the program, the participants were separated into 11 teams. These would be our homeroom groups, where after each day we would come together and reflect on what we learned. It all started out on Sunday, when we completed various team building exercises at the Biblical Zoo. The purpose of these exercises was to build that atmosphere of a team. Having a unified team, will make leading it easier. Throughout the week, due the extensive workshop choices, some people may have had difficulty deciding what workshops they wanted to attend. Our homeroom groups were then used as the place where everyone talked about the workshops they attended that day. At first, we were strangers when we walked in on day one, but by day five we had many conversations, connected and shared ideas to help each other grow as individuals and leaders.

 

Principle 3: Leadership is about the future. It is vision-driven.

The purpose of the summit was to help us become the future Jewish leaders of our communities. The week started out with some important questions. These questions were not going to be answered during the summit, but they were used to spark an interest in how we can best answer those questions.

Three major questions were asked by Shmuel Rozner of the Jewish People Policy Institute during his lecture:

-Why would one want to be Jewish?

-Why does Judaism need to be continued?

-What role can a Jewish leader play in the world?

These are powerful questions, and they laid the groundwork for the remainder of the summit. They got me thinking and, after reflecting on these questions during the week, as the conference concluded, I asked myself the question: “How can I become the best Jewish leader in my community?” With that question in mind, I can now figure out how I can grow as an individual each and every day in order to make the impact that I know I am capable of making.

 

Principle 4: Leaders learn.

Obviously, we were at a summit, so we were going to do a lot of learning, but learning should never end. During the conference, many opportunities were created to allow us to learn from each other. It never matters how one learns, as long as one is looking for new knowledge. While learning from your peers, you never know what you may find out. People have different views on and interpretations of topics, and they may make a point that you did not think of. It was great to see that, throughout the day, people were constantly asking each other about the workshops they attended and what they learned from them. The open environment at the summit, allowed for the exchange of ideas that will really help people grow as leaders.

 

Principle 5: Leadership means believing in the people you lead.

As future Jewish leaders, who are we really looking to lead? The answer may vary depending on who you ask, but there is one general category that we must believe in, and it is the Jewish people as a whole. The summit gave us the opportunity to envision that. Where else could you find young Jews from all around the world under one roof? Coming from a very Jewish area on Long Island, sometimes I forget that being Jewish in other areas of the world can be very difficult. Hearing some of those stories had a huge impact on me and really opened up my mind to Judaism around the world. Now, when we go back to our respective communities, we will be focusing on not only making our communities better, but also on the worldwide Jewish community.

 

Principle 6: Leadership involves a sense of timing and pace.

Can there only be one leader? Through my experiences studying leadership, there needs to be a group of leaders. Everyone has their strengths and weaknesses, and in order to be the best leader, you must surround yourself with people who not only support you, but also cover those weaknesses for you. Some people may not be ready to be the big time leader, but want to help support their peer. The summit allowed for so many great minds to not only network, but to build personal relationships, too. These connections that were formed, will give all of us the opportunity to grow at their own pace as a leader and find how they can be the best leader they can be.

 

Principle 7: Leadership is stressful and emotionally demanding

This week was not an easy week. We had a very packed out schedule, and a lot to learn in such a small period of time. For me, I got very little sleep because I wanted to take advantage of having so many motivated young Jews all together. Personally, I stepped outside my comfort zone and put myself out there for people to notice me. The summit may have been a roller coaster ride with many highs and lows, but the bottom line is, I am so blessed that I had the opportunity to attend the summit. I have taken so much from it, and I cannot wait to continue on my journey to be the best Jewish leader that I know I can be.

 

 

The following article was used to help me out with this post:

"Seven principles of Jewish Leadership" by Jonathan Sacks, The Jerusalem Post 6/14/2012

**Be sure to check out the article here and read another point of view on Jewish leadership**

 

Read more about Matthew’s experiences in Netanya on his blog.