Tamar Roth

Tamar Roth

Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies
Tamar (Fall ’12) had only planned to remain at Pardes for the Elul Program, but ended up staying for the entire Fall semester – much to her own surprise!
Having grown up in the Golders Green Synagogue community, Tamar became a leader of her local Bnei Akiva youth group, taking on the role of madricha at the age of 15. Her father, Benedict Roth, was himself a Pardes student in the ’89-’90 Year Program and returned to Pardes again for the 2012 Summer Program – so he’s quite proud of his daughter for coming to learn at Pardes after completing high school!
The young woman has been very pleased to note that her Jewish community in London has gradually been creating more opportunities for women to participate in communal ritual, as women’s megilla readings are now fairly common, and they are given a Torah scroll at shul to dance with on Simchat Torah. By the time Tamar herself leined Torah at home for her bat mitzvah during Shabbat minchah, this already seemed less unusual to her friends and neighbors than had her sister’s Torah leining several years prior.
At the age of 16, Tamar joined a Masorti youth group on a month-long trip to Israel instead of traveling with her Bnei Akiva group. Tamar found the Masorti participants very open to discussing challenging issues, such as Israeli politics and the existence of God; but had to be particularly cautious about halakhic issues on the trip such as fasting on Tisha B’Av and waiting between eating meat and dairy.
All in all, Tamar still recalls the Masorti group’s non-judgmental attitude very fondly; and when she became the rosh (head) of her Bnei Akiva chapter at seventeen, her priorities were informed by this spirit of open-mindedness. Today, despite her occasional frustrations with certain aspects of the group, Tamar is still committed to shaping Bnei Akiva, and hopes to work as madricha this coming summer before she begins her university studies.
Toward the end of high school, Tamar decided that rather than attending a traditional seminary in Israel the following year, she would do something a bit less conventional. Meeting Shmuel and Judy Klitsner during their visits to London had inspired her to apply to the Pardes Elul Program, as she was moved by their brilliance and passion for Judaism, and their groundedness in modern society. After all, she’d always wanted to study Talmud!
Experiencing Jerusalem with Pardes brought Tamar a sense of calm that she hadn’t expected. When Shabbat ended at the first community Shabbaton of the year, Tamar was surprised to find that she felt sad at its passing - her madrichim used to tell her that they were sad whenever Shabbat would come to an end, and for the first time, at the Young Judaea Youth Hostel with her Pardes friends and community, she understood.
Over the course of the Fall semester, Tamar greatly enjoyed her Gemara courses with Meesh and Yaffa, and enjoyed sharing what she learned with her family back in London. Now, she is off to study Arabic full-time through Givat Haviva, as she continues her gap year adventure. And as much as she’s looking forward to a acquiring a new language, Tamar knows that the inspiration and friends she found at Pardes will always stay with her… hopefully she’ll come back to visit for Shabbat in the Spring!


Hear participants talk about their daily life, take a virtual tour of your favorite program, and watch your semester of year in Israel unfold in front of you

Mayanot Women's Prorgram

Israel Our Home

<div class="masa-blog-title">Israel Our Home</div>

By Ahuva Dachs, Bnos Chava
The gift I brought home from Israel, A Jerusalem stone engraved with “Im Eshkacheich Yerushalayim Tishkach Yimini” “If I forget thee O Jerusalem, let me forget my right hand" - Psalm: 137, rests above the fireplace in my house and serves as a constant reminder of how my year in Israel transformed my view of Israel as being the Jewish homeland into it being “my” homeland. 
This past y

Divrey Chaim

Program Description




Program Description

jInternship connects Jewish college students, recent graduates and young professionals with internships hosted by top Israeli companies and Jewish learning programs. jInternship has partnerships with hundreds of companies in Israel, so you're sure to land an exciting international internship in your field. The program runs in cooperation with premier peer-based Jewish trips to Israel, meaning you'll have a blast while learning tons about Israel and Judaism.  
jInternship offers numerous sessions so you're sure to find one that fits your schedule. And the heavily subsidized prices and additional scholarships opportunities mean it will fit your budget.

For more information, contact:

Jeff Suowitz, USA Jitnernship Coordinator
(p) 248 914 1138


Netzach Sarah


Program Description

Netzach Sarah offers a 10 month program for Russian-speaking young women.

Students are offered an intensive Hebrew ulpan course, classes in Jewish history and philosophy, and a course in business management, in addition to a varied extracurricular program including touring and hiking all over Israel.


For more information, please contact:

Levi Gidlevitch


Turn Up the Music

<div class="masa-blog-title">Turn Up the Music </div>

“Excuse me!” I screamed from the back seat of the Dan bus heading to Hof Yerushalayim, Jerusalem Beach, in Tel Aviv.  “Can you please turn up the music!?” 
“Mah?” the bus driver asked.

Yeshivat Ma'ale Gilboa


Program Description

At Yeshivat Maale Gilboa, a diverse group of educators have created a unique Torah institution for post-high school students, committed to rigorous study, intellectual openness and social consciousness. Based on the belief that talmidei chachamim have a responsibility to contribute in all branches of society, the teachers at Maale Gilboa have created a broad program that addresses the needs of the contemporary student. Committed to full involvement in modern Israeli life, Maale Gilboa - as a shiluv yeshiva - obligates its Israeli students to serve a full tour of military service, as is expected of all citizens.
By training a new generation of outstanding Torah scholars who see their place in the modern world, Yeshivat Maale Gilboa is spearheading a new and important message: that devotion to Torah enriched with intellectual openness strengthens both our religious world, and society as a whole.

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=
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
To join the audio conference only 
Call-in toll number (US/Canada): 1-650-479-3208 
Access code:809 412 322 
For assistance 
2. On the left navigation bar, click "Support". 

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.