What a Difference a Year Makes: Masa Israel Journey is Changing the Way Young Jews View Israel

What a Difference a Year Makes: Masa Israel Journey is Changing the Way Young Jews View Israel

What a Difference a Year Makes: Masa Israel Journey is Changing the Way Young Jews View Israel

January 1, 2012

Masa helps students strengthen their Jewish identity and develop a lifelong love of Israel.
While a good percentage of Orthodox high school graduates flock to the Holy Land each fall, there are tens of thousands more who don’t even care to go.
Masa Israel Journey is helping to change that.
“I didn’t see much value in spending a year in Israel,” says Sarah Alt, eighteen, who attended public high school in Buffalo, New York. “I figured it was just a year to hang out.” She planned instead to study music at Buffalo State University. Alt was involved with NCSY, the Orthodox Union’s phenomenally successful youth movement. NCSY advisors in her region convinced her that the year in Israel was something definitely worth her time.
Although still wary, she went, thanks to the support she received from Masa Israel Journey. “I was so nervous getting on the plane,” she says. “I was like—what am I doing? I don’t like learning!” After her year at Machon Maayan, she changed her tune. “I just loved seeing the country,” she says. “I gained a great love for learning, for Israel, for my fellow Jew, and for what it means to be a Jew.”

Yeshivat Aderes HaTorah


Program Description

Yeshiva Aderes Hatorah was founded by Rabbi Senter on the belief that every student with a desire to excel in his learning deserves the attention and support needed to truly do so.
At the center of our educational philosophy is the conviction that an individual must be guided in a way that is uniquely tailored to his particular disposition and needs. The yeshiva focuses on working with each individual as a whole. This includes helping them achieve in their studies, ensuring that their physical needs are met, and facilitating an overall sense of happiness and confidence within each and every student.
The yeshiva campus is located in Jerusalem in beautiful new facilities. The campus contains a Beis Medrash, kitchen, dining room, dorm rooms, an exercise room, and a computer room. There is an extremely close connection between the faculty and student bodies. This is enabled by a large number of staff on hand, as well as the limited amount of students per class.
There is an importance placed on extracurricular activities as well. School trips, barbeques, and ball playing are all part of the experience. At the end of the semester, the Yeshiva travels to different European destinations for what always turns out to be an incredible learning experience. These activities are used to rejuvenate the spirit, as well as to create a feeling of unity among students and staff alike.
The Rosh yeshiva places an emphasis on the students continued connection with the Yeshiva. He is in constant contact with the alumni who have returned to the United States by email and phone, as well as group and personal meetings when he is in the States. The students continued growth even after they have left the yeshiva is extremely important to him. The learning experience in Yeshiva Aderes Hatorah is never over.

Hanoar Hatzioni - Shnat Hachshara UK

Program Description


Israel Challenge


Program Description

Israel Challenge is a non-profit ideological organization, committed to strengthening Jewish/Zionist Identity among world Jewry by way of a five-month program in Israel. We offer young people a once in a lifetime opportunity to experience Israeli culture within the framework of service and education. On this program, participants go through their own challenging and rewarding personal journeys in a group environment. 
Israel Challenge offers diverse possibilities for a hands-on experience through instructive and inspirational projects. Our basic five-month curriculum is divided into three stages, allowing each participant the freedom to choose amongst a series of options for each stage. These stages include volunteering in kibbutzim, "Marva" an army basic training course, MDA (Magen David Adom), social volunteering all combined with trips and excursions throughout Israel. Israel Challenge also offer participants a series of specialized courses to choose from: Security-self Defense, Mediterranean Cuisine, Photography, Scuba Diving/Water Sports and more!
Israel Challenge offers each participant a wide array of options, giving each and every one the possibility to "choose his/her own adventure." The program is "tailor-made" to the precise necessities and interests of each participant.
Operated in Spanish. Visit Israel Challenge - English Track for details on the English-speaking program.

A New Year, A New Community

<div class="masa-blog-title">A New Year, A New Community</div>

By Chris Khoury, Michigan State University student, studying abroad at the Rothberg International School – Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Rosh Hashanah. The new year. This was the first time that I observed the holiday, and being in Jerusalem made it all the more incredible. The holiday was eerily appropriate, coinciding with the start of my year-long study abroad in Jerusalem—truly the start of very new year for me.

American students bring Thanksgiving's message of coexistence to the Middle East

American students bring Thanksgiving's message of coexistence to the Middle East

November 21, 2011

This Thanksgiving, holiday traditions and messages are going farther than the family dinner table. 
In fact, they are going all the way to the Middle East as American young adults spending time abroad will be spreading the message of coexistence throughout diverse communities by recreating the Thanksgiving feast from their childhood. 
Masa Israel Journey, a project of the Jewish Agency for Israel and the Israeli Government, sends more than 6,000 young Americans to Israel each year to study, intern, and volunteer, as well as spread a peaceful and harmonious message. Diverse groups of people such as Arabs, Israeli Jews, Palestinians, Europeans, and American peers are all positively affected by the introduction and blending of Thanksgiving traditions.

Michlalah Jerusalem - Mahal Tsarfati


Program Description

This program is operated in French.

Midreshet Harova


Program Description

Midreshet Harova offers an ideal setting for mature and motivated women from Israel and around the world who wish to achieve spiritual and intellectual growth in a religious Zionist framework that combines intimate settings with the resources of a large educational institution. Its open intellectual environment, combined with a wide variety of faculty, is particularly attractive to the creative student interested in exploring a range of ideas and approaches.
Students participate in a full day of learning focused on chevruta study, and development of textual skills that create the necessary basis for continued learning and growth after leaving the Midrasha. Programs focusing on current events and the political situation in Israel are a regular part of the informal education program, as is an annual journey to Poland that serves as the focal point of the Midrasha’s Holocaust education program.

Young Judaea Arts Track Visits Ein Hod

<div class="masa-blog-title">Young Judaea Arts Track Visits Ein Hod</div>

By Rebecca Ehrmann, Buffalo Grove, IL; Section 2 chanicha on Young Judaea Year Course
Those of us on the arts track recently had an overnighter in Ein Hod, an artistic community.

Bar Ilan University Mechina- Pre Academic Program


Program Description

The Mechina (preparatory) Program at Bar-Ilan University is an intensive year of study aimed at preparing participants for academic life in Israel. Mechina consists of intensive Hebrew language study (approximately 25 hours per week), followed by two academic semesters of 30 hours of intensive Hebrew language study plus Jewish Studies, mathematics or statistics, Israeli geography and government, and introductory level academic courses based on possible career choices.
You will apply to a regular department at the start of the second semester. Immigrant students with no background in Judaism must study three very basic noncredit courses as a prerequisite for taking the regular Jewish Studies courses.