Leadership Training Program: Empowering the Next Generation

Leadership Training Program: Empowering the Next Generation

April 5, 2011

Masa Israel Journey’s Building Future Leadership program gives young adults tools and connections to make a difference in their communities
(New York, NY) – This week, 500 exceptional young adults will participate in Building Future Leadership, Masa Israel Journey’s intensive, weeklong leadership program in Israel.  Chosen from nearly 10,000 individuals from all over the world who are studying, interning, and volunteering in Israel, Building Future Leadership prepares young adults to fill leadership positions when they return to their campuses and communities.
With young adults’ increased interest in Jewish communal work following their time in Israel, Masa Israel, a joint project of the Government of Israel and the Jewish Agency for Israel, is committed to helping its alumni stay involved. Jewish campus and communal organizations are now actively seeking Masa Israel alumni to take leadership positions upon their return home.  Organizations involved in the Building Future Leadership program include the Jewish Federations of North America, the Israel on Campus Coalition, Hillel, PresenTense, and AVI CHAI.
“Masa Israel’s Building Future Leadership is one of the important ways that we are preparing young Jewish adults for future leadership opportunities following their immersive Israel experiences,” said Masa Israel’s North American Director, Avi Rubel.  “I believe that the growing pool of Masa Israel alumni will play a decisive role in connecting their peers to Israel and in strengthening their home Jewish communities.”
Building Future Leadership’s weeklong events include discussions about critical issues facing the Jewish people, leadership skill development sessions focused on entrepreneurship, public speaking, and networking, trips to the Knesset and Yad Vashem, and meetings with social activists and community leaders.  Participants can choose to focus on Israel education, Israel advocacy, social justice and tikkun olam, or Jewish peoplehood.
In the workshop, “From Vision to Reality,” participants will also be able to outline a project they hope to pursue in their home communities.
Last year, Jordana Gilman, a Nativ gap year participant, created a project focused on bringing interfaith programming to campus and connected with Cornell’s Hillel rabbi so that he would anticipate her arrival.  Now as chair of interfaith programming and Jewish education and culture at Hillel, Gilman is planning a civil rights seder.
“It was truly a growing experience for everyone, and it personally made me very excited for the next year,” said Gilman. “I came out of the conference with some solid, realistic, ready-for-action program plans and college-level leadership techniques.”
The Building Future Leadership program will take place in Jerusalem from March 6 – 11, 2011. A follow-up meeting will take place on May 23, 2011.
For more information about Building Future Leadership, contact Masa Israel’s Director of Public Relations, Rachel Trager at (917) 371-5569 or racheltr@masaisrael.org and visit www.masaisrael.org/bfl.

Meet Masa Israel

Meet Masa Israel

Masa Israel’s team combines professional expertise with volunteer passion to connect young Jewish adults to 5-12 month immersive, life-changing experiences in Israel. Masa Israel participants will change the world, and we are proud to help them on their journey!

In the words of Nativ

<div class="masa-blog-title">In the words of Nativ</div>

By Tamar Friedman, Huntingdon Valley, PA, Nativ
The past few weeks have been jam-packed. First, we had Israel today seminar, which was three days where we could choose what aspects of Israeli society to learn about. The first day I was in the group that went to see Gush Etzion, learned about its history, and talked to “Settler Bob” about what it is like and what is the significance of living in a settlement.

For Participants

For Participants

Welcome to the Masa Israel Community. Make it yours.
Congratulations! You’ve chosen a program, your bags are packed, and you’re ready to take the next step on your Masa Israel Journey.
As you prepare to join more than 10,000 young Jewish adults from 42 countries who are about to embark on the journey of a lifetime, we encourage you to take a look at the adventures that await you. Join the Masa Israel Community at community.masaisrael.org and share your excitement with fellow participants from your program and all the other programs. Connect with alumni from previous years to get advice before, during, and after your trip.
The Masa Israel Community offers additional seminars, concerts, lectures, and other extracurricular activities throughout the year. Add another dimension to your program, build new networks, and reconnect with old friends. 

Community Photos

  • Building Future Leadership 2012

Hiking Shvil Yisrael with Year Course

<div class="masa-blog-title">Hiking Shvil Yisrael with Year Course</div>

Seth Engelbourg, Sharon, MA, Young Judaea Year Course
Week 1
For those who don’t know part of the kibbutz track on Year Course is hiking for three weeks on different segments of Shvil Israel (The Israel National Trail).

connect with fellow participants and alums

Sandstorms and Kibbutniks: Israeli Society Shabbaton

<div class="masa-blog-title">Sandstorms and Kibbutniks: Israeli Society Shabbaton</div>

Post courtesy of Tikkun Olam Tel Aviv-Jaffa
This past Shabbat, three of our volunteers joined the Masa community for a Shabbaton hosted by Kibbutz Kranim in the Northern Negev. The weekend opened with a tour of two Bedouin villages in the Negev and a discussion of modern Bedouin culture, led by Bustan, a NGO that works for cooperation and social justice with Bedouin and Jewish communities in the Negev.

Gap Year

Intrigued by the opportunity to spend a semester or year experiencing another culture, volunteering, interning, studying, developing your Jewish identity or having an adventure before you head off to college?
A gap year in Israel with Masa Israel Journey offers college-bound high school graduates the opportunity to acquire a global perspective and to gain a taste of independent living all while having an incredible Israel experience.
Many leading universities in North America encourage admitted students to defer entrance for a semester or a year to explore their interests before deciding what to study in college.
Israel offers thousands of years of Jewish history, cities that fuse the ancient with the modern, a variety of ethnic communities living side by side and global leadership in many of today’s most relevant fields—it's the ideal place to take a year "on" before college.   
Your gap year program awaits. Find it here.

Getting Together Before Saying Goodbye

Getting Together Before Saying Goodbye

Getting Together Before Saying Goodbye

December 9, 2010

After spending 2010 in Israel on various Masa Israel Journey Gap-Year programs, 150 participants from the 6 Zionist Youth Movements and Israel By Choice gathered in Be’er Sheva at the annual “Sikkum Seminar.”
The seminar was run by the Zionist Federation of Australia (ZFA), supported by the Pratt Foundation, in partnership with the Australian Zionist Youth Council and Masa Israel Journey. Philip Chester, ZFA President, said that “the support of the Pratt Foundation has been integral in making this seminar possible and we thank them for their commitment to this important project.”
“Sikkum means conclusion or closure, but really we were opening the participants up to the concept of translating their Israel experiences into personal and communal practicalities as well as exposing them to some of the core communal elements that they will be encountering upon their return” said seminar coordinator Dara Podjarski.
The seminar began with a ceremony at the Pratt Foundation’s Park of the Australian Soldier and Military Cemetery in Beer Sheva, which commemorate the Australian victory in World War I that took place in that city. The park represents the relationship between Australia and Israel while simultaneously commemorating history. At the ceremony, Brandon Alter, speaking on behalf of Israel by Choice, said that this generation must learn a lesson from the heroic charge of its fellow Australians “and stand up for our beliefs and Israel’s right to exist.”
The main aim of the seminar is to prepare the participants for their return to Australia/New Zealand and an active role in community life. The two days were spent discussing the roles and challenges that they will face, engaging in round table discussions with ex-youth movement bogrim, ex-shlichim and community leaders, covering a range of macro and micro issues and looking closely at working with key communal partners such as AUJS, schools, communal organisations.
The seminar concluded with a guest speaker (Nir Tsuk, Director of Ashoka Israel), who provided deep insight into the power of youth and brought home the idea and the power of being a changemaker.
Yigal Sela, ZFA Israel Office Director, describes it in the following terms: “They have spent the year peeling away at every layer: from the Jewish world at large, to their local Jewish community, to their youth movement and their inner-self. Sikkum seminar is about putting those layers back together and becoming whole again.”
Upon return, these 150 participants will make valuable contributions to the Jewish community for the years to come.

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