Top 5 Father’s Day Gifts to Bring Home from Israel

<div class="masa-blog-title">Top 5 Father’s Day Gifts to Bring Home from Israel</div>

As programs wind down and Masa Israel participants prepare to head home, here are a few ideas for last-minute Father’s Day gifts to pick up before heading to the airport:


1. A cheesy tourist t-shirt


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via israeli-T


Stacey Abendstern


Midreshet Bat Tsion

Program Description

This program is conducted in French.

Daniel Spector-IGF

Daniel Spector-IGF

Israel Government Fellows

Born in Massachusetts, Daniel Spector, 22, grew up in a non-traditional home. His family belonged to a reform synagogue but was not very connected to Judaism. That all changed when Daniel first traveled to Israel on Birthright. Daniel found that he identified with Israelis not only on the basis of religion and culture but also in their readiness to discuss issues with a sincerity and genuine passion that he had never experienced before. It inspired him to engage with the issues confronting Israeli society and he knew that he wanted to go back to Israel at some point.


In the year before coming on the Israel Government Fellows program (IGF), Daniel directed his efforts as an advocate for the David Project, tasked with making his experience with Israel part of the conversation at the University of Massachusetts Amherst where he was studying for a Bachelor of Business Administration in Operations and Information Management. He also attended the AIPAC policy conference in Washington DC out of a desire to get directly involved with the political issues surrounding Israel and started teaching himself Hebrew.


Daniel knew that he wanted to gain professional experience by working in Israel. The Masa Israel Government Fellow program caught his eye because it would give him the work experience he wanted, boost his resume, and give him the financial assistance that he needed.


Now, as an Israel Government Fellow, Daniel is interning at the Office of the Chief Scientist in the Ministry of Economy, where he works alongside the Director of the Strategy & Economic Research Unit.




Machon Meir - Womens' French Speaking Program

Program Description

The 2015 Masa Israel Yom HaZikaron Ceremony

The 2015 Masa Israel Yom HaZikaron Ceremony

The 2015 Masa Israel Yom HaZikaron Ceremony

April 22, 2015

On Tuesday April 21, over 5,000 Masa Israel Journey participants gathered at the Armored Corps Memorial Site and Museum at Latrun for the annual Masa Israel Yom HaZikaron Ceremony. Several delegations from Jewish communities around the world joined the Masa Israel community in mourning Israel’s fallen soldiers and victims of terror. 

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Opening of the Masa Israel Yom HaZikaron Ceremony


The annual Masa Israel ceremony is the third largest official Yom HaZikaron service in the State of Israel and serves as the only official ceremony for non-Hebrew speakers. Many of the individual IDF soldiers and victims of terror honored in the touching memorial service, like Masa Israel participants, did not grow up in Israel.

This year’s ceremony commemorated the lives of Max Steinberg, Jordan Bensemhoun, Dana Galkowitz, Philip Musko, Nir Cohen, and Masa Israel alum Michael Levin. Their loved ones and the families of other fallen soldiers and victims of terror attended the ceremony as well.


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The Masa Israel Community remembers Sergeant Max Steinberg


After the lighting of the memorial flame and ceremonial wreath-laying, Natan Sharansky, Chairman of the Jewish Agency for Israel addressed the audience, sharing his memories of observing Yom HaZikaron during his time in prison in Russia. Avichai Mandelblit, Israel’s Cabinet Secretary, spoke on behalf of the Prime Minister’s office.  The father of Dana Galkowitz, a young woman from a southern kibbutz who was killed in a mortar attack, spoke about his daughter and on behalf of the bereaved families in the audience and across the State of Israel.


alt="avichai mendelblit"

Israeli Cabinet Secretary, Avichai Mendelblit


The emotional ceremony also included moving biographical videos about the six above-mentioned young men and women, musical interludes, and prayers. 


Click here to watch the ceremony. 

Masa Israel Teaching Fellows Raise Money for their Schools

Masa Israel Teaching Fellows Raise Money for their Schools

March 27, 2015

Masa Israel Teaching Fellows work in some of the most underfunded schools in Israel. They teach students who lack access to the books and supplies necessary for their education. However, at the December Masa Israel Leadership Summit, seven entrepreneurial Fellows took it upon themselves to bring attention to these issues and fundraise for the schools in which they work.

The December Leadership Summit featured the first ever NU Campaign AcTEEvism Workshop ever. For the first time, NU Campaign’s clients created their own campaign: from choosing a cause, to creating a message, and designing a shirt.


Masa Israel Teaching Fellows' "Education Matters" shirt via NU Campaign

“It’s a totally new idea for NU, where we empower students to be active for things they are passionate about,” explained David Kramer, Founder and CEO of the Israeli crowd-funding platform that creates customized apparel to raise awareness and funds for a cause, charity, event, project, or business.

“David told us about the company and was like ‘I’ve talked enough. Now you guys have to come up with your own design and campaign,’” Marni Balint, a Fellow in Netanya, remembered. “’If I like it, we’ll put it up on the website.’”

Whereas everyone participating in the workshop was a Masa Israel Teaching Fellow, Arielle Goldfarb, Lauren Kivowitz, Marni Balint, Rachel Beckman, Rachel Leeds, Samantha Bear, and Talya Sterling created a campaign for the cause that brought them to Israel – the cause that they are already dedicating a year of their lives to – improving Israel’s education system.

It was also apparent to David that, as Masa Israel Teaching Fellows who work in Israel’s socioeconomic periphery, each member of the group had personally experienced the desperate need for the equal distribution of supplies and resources to Israel’s schools.

Rachel Beckman, a Bostonian who teaches in Petach Tikvah, works with students who do not have the right books or materials for their classes because neither their parents nor their schools can afford them. “As an educator, I am saddened to see that students are left behind or bored in class because they do not have access to the tools they need.”

David also saw a group of passionate young professionals who had a clear mission.  “I just grabbed a marker and started drawing,” Marni explained. “We wanted an open book and then everyone just added to the design.” At the end of the workshop, the NU Campaign founder and CEO took a picture and sent it to his design team. The Education Matters campaign launched one month later, on the NU Campaign website.

For many of the involved Fellows, the campaign only strengthened their resolve to change the lives of Israeli students. “It’s all about making a difference, one student at a time,” said Talya Sterling, a Cleveland native teaching in Petach Tikvah.


For more information and to support the campaign, visit Education Matters.


Betar - Moreshet

Program Description

This program is conducted in French.


Yeshivat Migdal Hatorah

Program Description

Masa Israel's Favorite Purim Costumes

<div class="masa-blog-title">Masa Israel's Favorite Purim Costumes</div>

Purim is only days away, and Masa Israel Journey wants to help you get into the holiday spirit. You've heard plenty from our participants and alumni about their holiday celebrations and Israel experiences. Now, it's time to hear from our North American staff and get to know some of the people who help thousands of Jewish young adults live Israel like a local!



See what programs & funding we have for you: