Masa Israel Happy Hour - NYC

Masa Israel Happy Hour - NYC

February 22, 2017 - 18:00  -  February 22, 2017 - 20:00

643 BroadwayNew York, NY  - 

Join Masa Israel for an evening to remember!

First drink is on us for everyone who registers at www.masaisrael.org/2017HappyHour

Come drink with your friends and hear about awesome opportunities to get back to Israel or to share your Israel experiences.

LOCATION: 

http://www.drinksweetwater.com/

TIME: 6-8PM

 

     Partner organizations: Moishe House Murray Hill, StandWithUs, Hunter Hillel, and Onward Israel

The Forward: The 5 Best Dating Apps To Use While In Israel

The Forward: The 5 Best Dating Apps To Use While In Israel

February 9, 2017

By Amy Albertson

 

Romantic Beach Picnic

Pixabay

 

This piece was contributed by Masa Israel Journey — for more information, click here.

 

We’re sure you’ve heard the news—there is an app for everything. Finding love (or at least a date) is no exception. And in the “startup nation,” we obviously believe in the swipe-to-like revolution. Here in Israel we have not one, but five, popular dating apps to lead us to the good Jewish boy/girl of our dreams. With that many options, it seems silly not to take your chances. After all, what would be better than falling in love in the Holy Land?

Of course not all dating applications are created equally and like with just about everything else, there are cultural differences. Lucky for you we’re here to breakdown Israel’s most popular dating apps.

 

Tinder

Tinder

Courtesy Tinder

 

The pioneer of the swipe-to-like revolution, Tinder, like in most places, is probably the most well-known dating app on the market. I suspect Israelis enjoy it for the same reason as everyone else—it is simple. You swipe right to like, left to dislike, and profiles contain only minimal information. Predominantly visual profiles leave less room for a language barrier initially, but be ready to practice your Hebrew skills as soon as the messaging starts. Ma at mehapeset? What are you looking for? Although constantly debated, Tinder in Israel is not the most recommended place to find true love. Swipers here are most likely looking for something much more casual, so keep that in mind.

 

Jswipe

jswipe

Screenshot

 

We have our own country, so why shouldn’t Jews have their own dating app? We do! Jswipe is commonly referred to as “the Jewish Tinder” because its similar format. However, Jswipe profiles have some extra categories, such as kosher or not kosher and level of observance—super handy things to know when searching for one’s beshert (soulmate). For those of you not so confident with your Hebrew skills, a high percentage of Jswipe users are either non-Israeli or speak English. Who knows, maybe you’ll find a Hebrew tutor in addition to a match? Either way, Jswipe is Israeli tested and Jewish-mother approved.

 

OkCupid

OkCupid

OkCupid

 

OkCupid is basically the yenta (Jewish matchmaker) of the Israeli dating app world. The app matches couples using an algorithm and matches are determined by your answers to specially designed questions. Although the mobile version includes a swiping feature, OkCupid is has a reputation for being the best app for finding a serious relationship. Profiles include a lot more personal details and space for in-depth information. Luckily Israelis love to talk about themselves and tend to fill out a majority of the profile, giving you lots of information to consider before making contact.

 

Bumble

bumble

Bumble

 

The newest addition to the Israeli dating scene is Bumble, known for its feminist features. Like most of the other apps you swipe one way or another to like or dislike. However on Bumble, females have to message first (when set for heterosexual relationships). Additionally, males have 24 hours to respond to a message before the match expires. If you’re interested in dating native Israelis, Bumble might not be the right app for you. A bit new to Israel, it is mostly full of hulnikim (non-Israelis). Yalla, ladies!

 

Jfixx

Jfixx

Jfixx

 

If an Israeli were a dating app, they would be Jfixx. If you are looking to immerse yourself into a truly Israeli dating app scene, this is it. Jfixx is filled with almost exclusively native Israelis and only works in Israel. Pros: you browse rather than swipe, are more detailed profile options than Tinder (including what kind of relationship you’re searching for and those trusty Jewish-specific questions), and has more dynamic options for liking profiles or just specific photos. Cons: the interface is completely in Hebrew and most of its users only speak only Hebrew. Think you have the chutzpah? We say go for it.

 

Amy is Masa Israel Journey’s Creative Content Manager. Originally from California, this Masa alumna and new Jerusalemite spends her days out in the field gathering and creating content for Masa, walking her dog Mindy, and bargain hunting. She’s addicted to social media, coffee, puppies and all things Israeli.

 

 

The views and opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect those of the Forward.

 

Originally published in The Forward

Life as an Introvert in an Extroverted Country

<div class="masa-blog-title">Life as an Introvert in an Extroverted Country</div>

By Alicia Schneider, Masa Israel Teaching Fellow, Rishon Letzion
Read more by Alicia on her personal blog.

Maybe it’s the kibbutznik foundation of the place, or maybe it has something to do with the teamwork ideals instilled during formative years in the IDF, but if Israel were an individual on the introvert-extrovert spectrum, it would undeniably fall under the latter. With that being said, Israel is still a place that attracts everyone, introverts and extroverts alike, so what is it about this land that manages to bring introverted people to an intimidating extroverted country and have them settle in comfortably?

 

A few months ago I moved to Israel, and while I had a few concerns such as the level of my Hebrew and the funds in my bank, I didn’t think to account for the overall personality differences between Canadian and Israeli society, however, that has proven to be the most challenging part of living here. As a self-described introvert who prefers a quiet night in with Netflix and a tall glass of wine, keeping up with the extroverted Israeli lifestyle has been testing.

 

Israel, a country roughly the size of the state of New Jersey, has a population of 8 million people. With over half of the country being desert, that’s a lot of people to cram in to a small space, and trust me, it is definitely noticeable. Like the stereotypical pictures you see of the shuk (market) full of dark-skinned men hollering sale prices and trying to sell you their produce before the neighboring cart gets to you first, Israel lives up to the cacophonic image of a Middle Eastern country. The morning bus ride to work becomes a social activity. Grocery shopping is an opportunity to get scolded by another customer about how she was definitely in front of you in the makeshift line, and a small quiet family dinner is not even a concept that exists here. Often mistaken for rudeness, people’s natural state is loud, assertive, and unapologetic. For this out-of-town introvert stumbling into this type of society, everyday life can seem a little daunting.

 

Yet, with all the balagan happening on every street in every city, Israel, and Tel Aviv in particular, still seem like a safe haven for all those introverted foreigners who come here in search of something different. What is it about this country that appeals to a mass of personalities instead of scaring them away?

 

 

Life as an introvert in Israel can be overwhelming. On more than one occasion, I have felt not only emotionally but also socially exhausted, which is not something I’ve dealt with before. Between constant required activities run through my program, my job as a volunteer English teacher, spending time with my very large and very loud Moroccan family, and trying to maintain a regular amount of personal relationships with friends, I’ve often found myself at the end of the week with no more fuel in my social tank when my roommates ask me where we’re going out that night. If this exact situation were to play out at home in Canada, I would apologize and choose to stay in for the night with a book or a movie almost every time. Yet here in Israel, much to my own surprise, I choose the opposite despite the fact that I’m running on empty, and the question is: why? Why this obvious and sudden change in personality and social habits?

 

I could chalk this up to me constantly coming more and more out of my shell, the Canadian winter affecting my mood or socializing opportunities, or how travelling has made me in to a more spontaneous person, but I don’t think any of those are the right answers for this situation. I’m not turning in to an extrovert, rather, I view myself as an introverted person with occasional extroverted tendencies and I believe that a lot of it has to do with integrating in to Israeli society. 

 

As an introvert in the Western world, it’s easy to stay on the outskirts of the action while still semi-participating. However, in Israel, if you’re not a part of the action the surrounds you it seems as if you’ve missed some crucial part of living here. Back home, when we stand at the edge of a bustling party, back to the wall and uncertain about whether or not to dip a toe in, we’re left alone by our peers. Here in the Holy Land, if you’re at a party and you’re not on the dance floor someone else is likely to pull you in. The difference is that one society is raised with the view that each person is an individual with their own personality type, while the other is brought up with the idea that you’re at your strongest when you’re together. Neither is completely wrong, and neither is completely right.

 

I can’t help but wonder how different my personality might be if I was brought up in Israel instead of in Canada. I’m not for a second ashamed of being an introvert, I’ve grown to recognize my strengths as an introvert and focus on developing those instead of the extroverted traits I lack. It’s appealing to think about who I might be had I been raised in a society that prides communal growth in place of individualized attention. But for now, I’ll have to concentrate on how to move between being an apologetic Canadian and an opinionated Israeli.

 

The Lasting Impact of My Gap Year in Israel

<div class="masa-blog-title">The Lasting Impact of My Gap Year in Israel</div>

By Roxanna Donay, Nativ College Leadership Program alumna

 

Roxanna Donay

Me (right) and a friend from Nativ

(Credit: Roxanna Donay)

 

“I’m not going home; I’m leaving home.”

 

With tears streaming down my face, these were the words I uttered as my El AL flight took off from Ben Gurion airport after my incredible gap year experience in Israel.

 

I had just spent nine months in my newfound home away from home, and as I headed to college, my life was changed forever. On the Nativ College Leadership Program in Israel, a program of Masa Israel Journey, I spent one semester studying and earning academic credits at the Rothberg International School at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and one semester teaching English and volunteering in Yerucham (a small town in the south of Israel). I was able to further my education and gain real life experience — a combination that many other 18-year-olds enter college without.

 

Roxanna Donay and Nativ Friends

Me (center) and my Nativ friends in Jerusalem

(Credit: Roxanna Donay)

 

Like any typical college student, I was waking myself up, eating breakfast, getting to class on time (usually), writing papers, and studying for finals — only I was doing it all in Israel. I was living independently from my parents in a foreign country where I was given the space and the structure to succeed. What my 18-year-old self didn’t know was that I would soon be paying it forward. Upon graduating from college, I started a new adventure and began working at The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles with Masa Israel Journey (a project of The Jewish Agency for Israel and the Government of Israel) helping hundreds of others embark on their own journeys in Israel.

 

Spending a long period of time in Israel means that people truly become a part of the Israeli communities in which they live, and as a result, understand what’s at stake when it comes to the continuity of the Jewish people. Masa Israel provides and connects young adults (ages 18-30) from around the world with leading immersive international experiences in Israel designed to enrich their personal and professional growth. Such experiences facilitate the next generation of young Jewish leaders — whether it’s a gap year program like mine, studying abroad, volunteering, teaching English, interning, or earning a graduate degree, these experiences have profound impacts on the participants/young adults.

 

But what I didn't realize until I returned to Los Angeles was that the journey doesn’t stop in Israel. The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles has built an incredible young adult network where Masa Israel alumni can engage with our local community upon return. Through Young Adults Los Angeles (YALA), the Community Leadership Institute (CLI), Federation volunteer days and more, we each find our niche through social events, professional networking opportunities, leadership seminars, and social action.

 

Nativ Negev Tiyul

Credit: Roxanna Donay

 

The preexisting infrastructure within the Federation system led to a natural partnership between Federation and Masa in order to reach LA’s Jewish community and to recruit potential participants as well as engage alumni. Together, alumni here in LA are continuing to foster the connections to each other, Israel and the larger Jewish community that were planted while in Israel, and utilizing them to strengthen our Jewish community. I have the opportunity to work within the Federation infrastructure to grow Masa’s presence in Los Angeles as a part of a larger effort to reach and connect with young Jews seeking transformative experiences that will forever impact their lives and help them determine their own sense of Jewish identity. I know my own life has been forever transformed, and I am excited to help introduce this impactful experience to others in Los Angeles.

 

Over the last eight years, I have truly come to appreciate the powerful effect of my gap year in Israel on my life, professionally and personally. Not only did I gain an incredible sense of independence and world knowledge at a young age, but I was also able to turn my experience into a career. My work at The Jewish Federation allows me to help so many others discover life-changing opportunities that Israel has to offer.

 

Roxanna Donay

 

A native of Los Angeles, Roxanna Donay is the Program Director of Israel Experiences and Post Programming at The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles. A graduate of Cleveland High School and University of California, Davis, Roxanna spent the 2007-2008 school year on the Nativ College Leadership program, a gap year program of Masa Israel Journey.

 

 

eJewish Philanthropy: Emerging Adults Choosing Long-term Programs in Israel – Questions Inspired by the Evaluation of Masa Israel Journey

eJewish Philanthropy: Emerging Adults Choosing Long-term Programs in Israel – Questions Inspired by the Evaluation of Masa Israel Journey

eJewish Philanthropy: Emerging Adults Choosing Long-term Programs in Israel – Questions Inspired by the Evaluation of Masa Israel Journey

January 2, 2017

By Alex Pomson and Yehudit Werchow

 

When Masa Israel Journey was launched in 2004, almost all of the five-and-a-half-thousand young people who participated in the program’s long-term Israel-based experiences were under the age of twenty-four. They were taking a gap year or experiencing a semester abroad. Just a few hundred were college graduates.

When Masa Israel Journey was launched in 2004, almost all of the five-and-a-half-thousand young people who participated in the program’s long-term Israel-based experiences were under the age of twenty-four. They were taking a gap year or experiencing a semester abroad. Just a few hundred were college graduates.

 

In recent years, the demographics of those coming on programs has changed. Today, about a third of Masa’s twelve thousand participants are older than 21. Most of this population are post-college and pre-family; in today’s world, what has been coined “emerging adults.” While this change alone is interesting, the implications of this change are especially intriguing and provocative for Masa and for community partners interested in effectively engaging this demographic group.

 

A team from Rosov Consulting is working together with Masa Israel Journey to study the outcomes produced by the different programs for which Masa provides a platform. Having completed a retrospective study of Masa alumni who participated in programs between 2005 and 2014, we have also been studying, in real time, a cohort who participated in Masa programs between July 2014 and June 2015, and who are now between six and twelve months out of the program.

 

Within this cohort there are more than 1,500 participants who were post-college and under the age of thirty at the time they came to Israel for between four months and 12 months. Based on an analysis of their self-reported participation in Jewish programing and educational experiences before they enrolled in Masa, 65 percent of this population was previously engaged in a relatively limited way in communal Jewish activities or in Jewish educational offerings such as camps, supplementary schools, day schools and youth groups. The one (almost) common denominator among the group is that 85 percent of them had visited Israel at least once before.

 

What makes this cohort so unique is that their choice of a Masa program does not fit with popular perceptions of post-college millennials and of the programs in which they participate. Jewish programs in North America that attract Jewish millennial participants tend to be self-curated, short-in-duration, easily accessible, and ask for a low threshold of commitment. Often, these programs don’t trumpet their Jewishness.

 

Post-college Masa programs call participants to put a great deal more skin in the game. The programs are at least four-months long. Whatever their programmatic content, they require investing time in different mandatory curriculum components such as learning Hebrew as a second language, participating in a diverse range of Jewish experiences, engaging in social action work, traveling the land, and learning about Israeli society, culture and history. By definition, there is no disguising that these are Jewish programs. Although subsidies are available, sometimes covering full cost, these post-college offerings range in price between $5,000 and $15,000. The access bar is quite high.

 

When surveyed about their reasons for coming on one of these programs, the participants’ interest in personal and/or professional growth loomed large. Gaining work experience and getting to know oneself were strong motivations, as was the desire to have fun and experience adventure. Participants were not primarily drawn to Israel by a search for Jewish experiences. What pulled them to Israel was a curiosity about the country and the opportunity to experience living there; what Masa’s messaging calls ”living like a local.” They saw Israel as a site for their own personal and professional development.

 

Evidently, most participants found what they’re looking for. Six months after they returned home, their knowledge of day-to-day life in Israel and Israeli culture had increased three-fold, they were twice as knowledgeable about ways to be involved with Israel, and their sense of connection to Israel and Israelis had increased significantly.

 

Given their relatively unengaged backgrounds and the relatively high bar for entering the program, it is worth learning more about what attracts these people to Israel and what exactly accounts for the ways in which they change and grow during their time in the country; especially as regards their connection to Israel and its relationships to their personal and professional growth. What we learn might have profound implications for Masa and for others seeking to deeply engage this population. If the access bar was lower, might that make programs more appealing? Or is the high bar of entry part of the appeal? Is the special attraction to live like a local in Israel, or is it to live abroad somewhere familiar enough from a previous experience that just happens to be the one Jewish state in the world?

 

For the moment, speculatively, we point to a paradox: the participants’ previous experience in Israel has set in motion a desire to come back and gain a deeper appreciation of what living in the country involves. At the same time, a perceived deficiency in that previous experience – being too tightly controlled and too heavily mediated – nourishes, they have told us, a desire to discover Israel for themselves. They have been both inspired enough and frustrated enough to want to return.

 

Millennials may be the most studied population cohort in human history but there is still much more to learn about their drives and desires, particularly when it comes to their relationship with Israel and their engagement with the country and the Jewish people.

 

Alex Pomson is Managing Director at Rosov Consulting

Rabbi Yehudit Werchow is Director of Education, Masa.

 

 

Originally published in eJewish Philanthropy

Top 16 Masa Israel Moments of 2016

<div class="masa-blog-title">Top 16 Masa Israel Moments of 2016</div>

 

Each year we find ourselves turning the pages of the calendar more quickly, and what packed pages they are. Here at Masa Israel we have had yet another amazing year of programming and events, both in Israel and across the globe. Now in our 13th year, we’ve surpassed 120,000 alumni, and have begun a number of great new initiatives.

 

Take a brief look at the Top 16 Masa Moments of 2016:

 

1. Make Your Journey Matter Gap Fair


On February 21st we hosted a back-to-campus fair for our Gap Year participants bringing representatives from Israel Advocacy and Jewish campus organizations to show participants the many opportunities available to them when they return from their year in Israel.

 

2. Samsung Tel Aviv Marathon with #TeamMasa


On 26 February over 100 Masa participants, alumni, organizers, and staff participated in the annual Samsung Tel Aviv Marathon as part of the first ever #Team Masa. 
 

3. Masa L’Maaseh  


In March, 40 of our Yeshiva students went on the first Masa L’Maaseh, a four day journey , cosponsored by Yeshiva University and WZO, to explore Israel's ever-changing landscape as they visited places and met people that are driving a positive change in Israeli society, while enjoying an exciting group experience with participants from many different Jewish Studies programs. 
 

4. Yom Hazikaron Ceremony at Latrun


This May 5,000 participants and Masa partners mourned Israel’s fallen soldiers and victims of terror together at our impactful Yom HaZikaron (Memorial Day) Ceremony at Latrun, the largest English language ceremony in Israel.
 

5. Ventures in the Capitol: JLM Young Professional Night


May 30th over 200 post-college & academic participants gathered at JVP Media Quarter in Jerusalem for a night of professional development sessions with top Israeli professionals, followed by a networking cocktail hour with top Israeli companies.
 

6. Culture Shuk


With a dozen performers, authors and artists, from legendary author Amos Oz, to Ethiopian hip hop sensation Café Shahor Hazak, 1,000 participants took an inside look at Israeli Culture. 
 

7. Global Program Fairs


From Brazil to Berlin, the UK to Ukraine, our global team of Regional Masa Representatives have spoken to tens of thousands of potential participants at their events and fairs throughout the world.
 

8. MasaID


In partnership with the Genesis Philanthropy Group, Masa takes thousands of Russian-speaking participants on 5 day journeys to explore Israel and Jewish peoplehood and identity through experiencing land, history, and people.
 

9. Masa Desert Project


This summer part of our Masa Ambassador’s team set up shop in popular Taglit spots Kfar Hanokdim and Han Hashayarot to share with over 750 Taglit-Birthright groups how they can get back to Israel.
 

10. The Matzpen Program


Focusing on building capacity in the field, our educational department implemented a series of day-long seminars for our program organizers. The curriculum focuses on pedagogical principles, skill building, current trends and issues in the field of education, and best practices for identity building in emerging adults.
 

11. My Masa Mega Event


Over 3,000 Masa participants gathered in Jerusalem for our annual My Masa event to kick-off our 2016-2017 year of programs. Word on the street is that this was one of the best events yet!
 

12. MITF Levinsky Teaching Certificate Program


With a class of 18, this October marked the beginning of our new English Teaching Certificate Program for MITF participants in partnership with Israel’s Ministry of Education and Levinsky College.
 

13. Partnership with The Forward


People are talking about Masa and The Forward decided they want to as well. This year we officially began a partnership with their new lifestyle section, Scribe. Check out 2 articles by Masa participants here and here.
 

14. JFNA General Assembly


Our alumni delegation networked with GA goers, and helped spread the word about Masa at our awesome expo booth. We also held an inspiring meeting with Natan Sharansky and a very well-attended (and fun!) joint VIP reception with Onward Israel. 
 

15. Masa-GLI Global Leadership Summit & Tracks


This November our Masa-GLI Leadership Accelerator put on another successful Masa-GLI Global Leadership Summit, in Jerusalem, with generous support from the Wilf Family Foundation. We are particularly proud of the growth of the exposure tracks which allow participants to take their training into the field. Here are this year's tracks: 

  • FSU Participants Masa-GLI Leadership Fellowship, with support by the Genesis Philanthropy Group
  • Hillel Masa-GLI Leadership Fellowship 
  • JFNA Masa-GLI Leadership Fellowship
  • WUPJ / HUC-JIR Masa-GLI Leadership Fellowship
  • Israel Dialog Masa-GLI Leadership Fellowship
  • WeWork Masa-GLI Business & Innovation Leadership Fellowship
  • Masa Influencers

 

16. North America Career Development Delegation


This November our Director of Business Development International, Adi Barel, and Director iof business Development North America, Adi Hila, hosted career development professionals from North American Universities for a week in Israel, taking them to visit various professional development programs, and immerse themselves in the Israeli start-up ecosystem.

 

Written by Amy Albertson, Creative Content Manager, Masa Israel Journey
 

 

The Forward: 8 Foods You Didn't Know Jews Eat During Hanukkah

The Forward: 8 Foods You Didn't Know Jews Eat During Hanukkah

The Forward: 8 Foods You Didn't Know Jews Eat During Hanukkah

December 8, 2016

This piece was contributed by Masa Israel Journey — for more information, click here.

This year, like every year since I was a child, I started counting down the days to Hanukkah before the first blow of the shofar on Rosh Hashanah. I just can’t wait for the one week when it’s socially acceptable – and dare I say expected – to eat fried foods every day. Most Americans crave the smells of pine trees and gingerbread — I crave the smells of latkes and jelly-filled donuts

 

In recent years, especially after meeting my Sephardic husband and participating in a Masa Israel program, I’ve come to learn there’s much more to Hanukkah than latkes and donuts. For example, we included rice in this year’s Pesach meal (which in my book is a total win #AshkenaziProbs) and during Sukkot we ate pumpkin-filled samsas (the Bukharian version of Samosas).

 

If you’ve ever been in Israel during Hanukkah, then you know every bakery window from the North to the South are filled with more flavors of sufganiyot (doughnuts) then one can imagine. But you probably didn’t realize Jews around the world also eat these delicious treats during Hanukkah:

 

Keftes De Prasa

 

Keftes De Prasa

Wikimedia Commons

 

Keftes are any form of fried vegetables or other ingredients (ie: croquets, patties, pancakes, fritters) in Sephardic cuisine. Keftes de prasa are fried leek patties - Imagine a latke, but swap the potatoes for leeks - traditionally eaten on Hanukkah. For a Syrian twist on the keftes de prasa, sauté the leeks in spices like allspice and cinnamon.

 

Recipe Here

 

Bunelos

 

bunelos

Wikimedia Commons

 

Buñelos (also known as bimuelo, birmuelo, bermuelo, burmuelo, bonuelo or bunyol), are fried balls of dough finished off with a sweet topping, like orange or anise glaze. Originating in Spain, these sweet treats can also be found in South American, Middle Eastern and Indian cuisine. From Egypt to Ecuador, Sephardic Jews traditionally eat buñelos on Hanukkah, while their Christian and Muslim neighbors eat them on Christmas and Ramadan.

 

Recipe Here

 

Sfenj

 

sfenj

Wikimedia Commons

 

Sfenj is the Arabic word for sponge and perfectly describes these yeast doughnuts that Jews of North African descent eat on Hanukkah. Finish off these bad boys by covering them in sugar, soaking them in honey, or sprinkling them with orange zest.

 

Recipe Here

 

Cassola

 

Cassola

Alessandra Rovati

 

Cassola is popular amongst Italian Jews during Hanukkah and is more or less known as the unofficial Christmas dessert of Italy. However, let it be known the Jews invented this baked ricotta cheesecake, which over time turned into large sweet ricotta pancakes.

 

Recipe Here

 

Pasta Latkes

 

Pixabay

 

That’s right, pasta latkes are a thing.. A gift from the Romanian Jewish community, substitute fine egg pasta for potatoes, fry until golden, and voila!

 

Recipe Here

 

Kibbet Yatkeen

 

Kibbet Yatkeen are the Syrian community’s version of latkes. These bad boys are made with pumpkin and bulgur instead of potatoes. If you get your hands on them, be careful they may come with a kick!

 

Recipe Here

 

Frittelle di Riso Par Hanukkah

 

Frittelle di Riso Par Hanukkah

Flickr

 

The Italians dominate the Hanukkah food game with another decadent dessert. Frittelle di Riso par Hanukkah, otherwise known as Italian Rice Fritters, are a sweet alternative to the savory latke.

 

Recipe Here

 

Gulab Jamun

 

Gulab Jamun

Pixabay

 

Gulab Jamun, you probably can’t pronounce this decadent treat, and that’s okay. Gulab jamun, pronounced more or less like goo-lab-ja-mon is commonly eaten by Jews of Indian decent during Hanukkah. Gulab Jamon is a dairy-based sweet made of milk solids that are formed into a dough, rolled into balls, fried and then soaked in a sugary syrup. Is your mouth watering yet?

 

Recipe Here

 

Whether you’re looking for sweet or savory, members of the tribe around the world have plenty of tasty alternatives to your usual Chanukah nosh. Now, you just have to decide where to start.

 

Originally published in The Forward

 

To learn more about the Masa Israel Journey, click here. 

Jewish Federation of Cleveland: Daniella's Gap Year Experience

Jewish Federation of Cleveland: Daniella's Gap Year Experience

December 6, 2016

Getting ready for high school graduation can be a stressful time. Many students wonder what they will study and where they'll go to college. There’s one more option to add to the list that takes the pressure off: Masa Gap Year.

 

Daniella Israelstam

Daniella Israelstam (second from left) spending time with friends while on Masa Gap Year in Israel.

Masa Gap Year is a program funded through the Jewish Federation of Cleveland’s I-Connect initiative, helping young adults, ages 18-30 pick their perfect Israel travel experience.

 

“This is a life changing experience for the children who participate,” said Beachwood’s Loren and Keith Israelstam, whose daughter, Daniella, spent 10 months in Israel exploring and growing in a safe and nurturing environment.

 

“Daniella approached us about it. She knew she didn’t want to go straight to college after high school,” said Loren. “She was going to Israel. She was going home.”

 

During those 10 months abroad, Daniella had the opportunity to tutor Israeli students in English, farm a green space at a local high school, and work at Save a Child’s Heart, a non-profit organization which provides life-saving cardiac surgeries and procedures to children around the world.

 

“There are several benefits of the Gap Year program to take advantage,” said Mirit Balkan, who runs I-Connect at the Federation, who recognizes that some high school seniors finish their final year feeling exhausted and not as ready for that ‘next big commitment.’ “Gap year is an energizer allowing students to further prepare for their first year in college,” she said.

 

Daniella Israelstam

Gap Year participants can earn up to 30 transferrable university credits, allowing them to get a jump start on their college career.s the pressure off: Masa Gap Year.

 

According to Michael Novogratz, president of Fortress Investment Group, when it’s time to prepare for the working world, more often CEO’s will hire applicants who have experienced life overseas through a work-abroad program.

 

"We interview a lot of kids, and they always want an internship at Goldman Sachs," Novogratz said. "I tell them, ‘I'm a big fan of the Gap Year. Go do something different. Create a story where you learn something."

 

According to Loren, “Children grow up; they become more independent,” while on Gap Year. “Every Jewish child should be able to experience a year in Israel with their peers from around the world; they should have that same love of Judaism and they should be doing it together.”

 

For information on Masa Israel’s Gap Year Program, please contact Mirit Balkan at mbalkan@jcfcleve.org or 216-593-2921.

 

Israel experiences like Daniella's are made possible by your generosity to the Campaign for Jewish Needs. Join us as we aspire to leave no community member behind in Cleveland, Israel, and 70 Countries around the globe. Donate today.

 

Originally published on the Jewish Federation of Cleveland blog

8 Need-To-Know Hebrew Phrases To Learn Before Going to Israel

<div class="masa-blog-title">8 Need-To-Know Hebrew Phrases To Learn Before Going to Israel</div>

 

Living abroad for any period of time can be intimidating, especially if you don’t know the local language fluently.


Here at Masa Israel we understand the struggle and therefore we came up with 8 words/phrases that will make your Masa Israel journey a smooth ride. Oh and not only will you know the local slang, but Israelis will think you are literally a local.

 

Let’s get started with our first local Hebrew lesson:

 

1. Achi/ Achoti = Brother/Sister

A.k.a. Bro, Dawg, Homie, Girl, Gurrrrl, etc…

 


2. B’emet = Really?


A.ka. For real tho?

 


3. Mesiba = Party

 


4. Motzash = After Shabbat

 


5. Mehamem = Gorgeous

 


6. Metzuyan = Excellent

 


7. Sababa = Cool

 


8. Yalla = Let’s go!


A.ka. Hurry, Get Moving

 

 

To learn more about Masa Israel and the programs we offer, click here.

 

The 8 Must Follow Instagram Profiles from Israel

<div class="masa-blog-title">The 8 Must Follow Instagram Profiles from Israel</div>

 

Doing a Masa Israel program is more than just going back after birthright, it’s actually experiencing the REAL Israel. It’s an actual journey! You will make friends from literally all over the world, see and feel things that are not found anywhere else, and you will want to keep coming back for more. 

 

So enough of us trying to convince you to live your life or even get experience for your career, this time we will let our participants show you what this “journey” is all about. Follow these Instagram accounts to get the real deal from food to places you never even knew existed! 

 

1. @whatwouldjulieorder

 

Participant: Julie Deutsch
Program: Career Israel

 

2. @kirilltrukhin

 


Participant: Kirill Trukhin
Program: Masa Tlalim

 

3. @tatianaitskova

 


Participant: Tatiana Itskova
Program: Betar Mabat

 

4. @davidjozef

 


Participant: David Jozef
Program: Top Israel Interns


5. @roo222

 


Participant: Rachel Schwartz
Program: Career Israel


6. @syrbrs

 


Participant: Ben Slutzky
Program: Israel By Design


7. @stasykh

 


Participant: Anastasiia Khodyrieva
Program: PMP Nativ Technion


8. @vainer91

 


Participant: Ariel Vainer
Program: Lej Leja
 

 

To learn more about Masa Israel and the programs we offer, click here.