Enrichment Day for Masa Israel Program Staff

Enrichment Day for Masa Israel Program Staff

October 28, 2013 (All day)

  Israel  - 

Are you a staff member of one of Masa Israel’s programs? Join us for an enrichment day designed just for you! 
Meet other program staff, share ideas and experiences, and take part in team-building exercises. Learn conflict resolution techniques, marketing skills, and much more.
 
October 28, November 24, December 25

JPost: For Diaspora Jews, interning with government is a 'masa'

JPost: For Diaspora Jews, interning with government is a 'masa'

JPost: For Diaspora Jews, interning with government is a 'masa'

October 21, 2013

By Danielle Ziri

Ever since her Taglit-Birthright trip, 24-year-old Boglarka Palko had been looking for an opportunity to come back to Israel.

“I wanted to either study or work here, but I already have a master’s, so coming to study wasn’t really relevant,” she told The Jerusalem Post on Thursday.

Last year, while thinking about returning to the country, Palko had already figured out her career path: She was working at the Hungarian Foreign Ministry, and she knew she wanted to keep working in the governmental field.

After speaking to workers at the Israeli Cultural Center in Budapest, she was advised to look into a program that would enable her to both keep on doing what she loved while living in the country she had been missing.

Palko is among 24 other young Diaspora Jews who arrived earlier this month to participate in the Israel Government Fellows program, during which they intern in government offices, including the various ministries, the government press office, and the Israel Antitrust Authority, for 10 months.

The program, which is operated by the Menachem Begin Heritage Center in affiliation with the Masa (Hebrew for “journey”) project, is endorsed by the Prime Minister’s Office and begins with a month-long orientation seminar.

While they complete their internships in government offices and policy and diplomacy organizations, participants also attend weekly seminars, which deal with topics such as Israeli politics or culture.

Ulpan, trips around the country and meetings with officials, policy makers and journalists are also part of the experience.

“It is very exiting to work for the Israeli government,” Palko, who is interning at the Public Security Ministry, said. “The things they have to take care of every day are complicated and huge responsibilities.

“Now I see it from the inside,” she added. “I’ve always looked at Israeli politics from a European point of view, and it’s a whole different perspective.”

Palko added that from her experience so far, she feels that she can “really learn from the program,” which provides her with “invaluable experience.”

“People ask me what it is that I like so much about the Israeli political system.

They don’t understand it,” she said. “I tell them I am envious that here you have a very well-functioning democracy.

In some democratic countries, people are afraid to voice their opinions; but here – from the cleaning lady to the prime minister – everyone has an opinion, and they are not scared to express it.

“I think that learning about both historical and current issues, and politics, and interacting with speakers, having debates with them, grants me a very unique opportunity,” Palko added. “I really feel like it was made for me.”

Herzl Makov, head of the Menachem Begin Heritage Center, told the Post that to get accepted into the program, candidates – who must be between the ages of 22 and 30 – have to have at least an undergraduate degree and two years of work experience. Most participants hold degrees in domains such as law, international relations, economics, and health.

“The applicants are usually people who are interested in Israel,” he explained. “They haven’t necessarily grown up with a Zionist education, but they are interested in exploring their relation to Israel. Some are not sure what that is yet.

“They are also people who see themselves working in public service,” he added.

According to Makov, the goal of the IGF program, which is in its seventh year of activity, is to “strengthen the connection of young international Jews to Israel.”

“We found that the connection to government offices is something that gives them quite a good picture of what Israel is, what happens here,” he told the Post. “In many ways, this becomes an aliya program, too, because a lot of them – after experiencing work in Israel, which is always one of the more problematic factors in the decision-making – realize that they can work and live here.”

Makov said that in some of the previous years, the percentage of fellows making aliya was “very high.”

Upon their arrival, all fellows are placed in internship positions, according to their areas of interest. The selected participants are charged close to $11,000 each for the project, an amount that varies depending on their financial ability, the country they come from and the amount subsidized for them by their Masa scholarship. This fee includes accommodations, meals, travel and the cost of the program activities.

The government offices they work for during the 10 months reimburse them for expenses such as transportation, for example.

“It’s a unique experience,” Makov stated. “I think these people go through a formative experience both for them and for their connection to Israel... They go back home with a lot of Israel in their souls.”

Another participant in this year’s program, 23-year-old Yair Cohenca, told the Post that for him, the IGF program is a way to “get a foot in the door of Israel government offices.”

Cohenca, who has a bachelor’s degree in international studies – with a Middle East focus – and architecture from the University of Washington, grew up in Israel and the United States.

His 88-year-old grandfather, who had been an Israeli ambassador in six countries of South America, has very much inspired Cohenca to pursue a career in diplomacy. He is interning at the Foreign Ministry.

“It’s definitely something that runs in the family,” he said, “Even during my university years I engaged very much in international affairs. It was always something that interested me.”

His early childhood in Israel left a mark in Cohenca’s mind.

“I always had this desire to come back at some point,” he explained. “The program for me is also a test to see if I can really live here, independently, with a more mature perspective. It allows me to consider moving back to Israel.

“I want to get a feel of everyday work in the ministry, and I think regardless of what I do in the office, it’s about the experience and the relationships I build for the future,” Cohenca added.

According to organizers of the program, many of the IGF graduates have gone on to work in Israeli and Jewish organizations abroad as well as Israeli consulates back in their home countries.
 
 
Photo: courtesy

Gillian Bodgas

Gillian Bodgas

Recruitment Systems Manager

Samantha Robins

Samantha Robins

Recruitment Manager

Jennifer Rheuban

Jennifer Rheuban

Washington DC Regional Representative

Rachel Skoff

Rachel Skoff

Recruitment Manager

Masa Works Provides Career Counseling to Job Hunters Interning in Israel

Masa Works Provides Career Counseling to Job Hunters Interning in Israel

Masa Works Provides Career Counseling to Job Hunters Interning in Israel

October 7, 2013

Masa Israel Journey announced a partnership with Jewish Family Services of Columbus to launch Masa Works, an initiative aimed at providing post-college Masa participants with the skills to land a job back home. 

 Each year, hundreds of college students and graduates distinguish themselves from their peers in a crowded job market by gaining serious work experience in Israel through Masa, immersing themselves in all sectors of the Israeli economy including education, law, medicine, business, arts, non-profit, and governmental agencies.

 

 However, many interns still lack practical guidance in translating their experience abroad into a compelling resume.

 

 This fall, 45 young adults interning in Israel will receive high-quality, one on one career counseling and hundreds more will participate in career skill-building workshops and webinars.

 

 "Interning in Israel is a unique, impactful experience, but it's hard to explain how it shaped me not only as a person but as a productive member of society, and a skilled worker," said Grace Parker, a Masa Career Israel participant recently accepted into Masa Works. "This program is a good opportunity to really distill my experiences for future interviews."

 

 This common sentiment prompted Masa Israel, a joint project of the Government of Israel and The Jewish Agency for Israel, to team up with Jewish Family Services of Columbus, a workforce development organization with 25 career strategists. "Masa Israel Journey changes people's lives through unique cultural and internship opportunities, and Jewish Family Services changes people's lives through helping them understand how these experiences will assist them in finding meaningful employment opportunities," states Jennifer Marshall, Chief Operating Officer of JFS.

 

 Masa will use the program to grow its network of employers in key US cities who recognize the value of hiring Masa alumni, building on a process started in 2011, when Masa brought 13 representatives from Fortune 500 companies to Israel to help Masa expand their internship offerings.

 

 "A lot of young adults are worried that coming to Israel for a five-month internship would be considered 'time off,'" says Avi Rubel, Executive Director of Masa Israel Journey, North America. "Yet we know from our numerous alumni who go on to get great jobs that it helped differentiate them from their peers and it's in actually 'time on' in every sense."

 

 Participants were selected to join the program based on an application process. Each participant will undergo an initial needs assessment to review their background and understand their unique skillset, resulting in an Individualized Employment Plan to ensure their professional goals are both identified and addressed.

 

 Additional components of the program are one-on-one coaching, personal brand development, resume creation and enhancement, interview preparation, training in effective usage of social media, job placement assistance, and local occupation information based on each participant's city and field, all to help each participant achieve their objectives.

 

 "I'm hoping to build my social media presence," added Parker, who interns at the Institute of Terrorism Research and Response. "There are avenues like LinkedIn where you can reach out to people and make connections beyond just submitting resumes, but I haven't developed that ability yet."

 

 Masa has partnered with JFS of Columbus in the pilot year of Masa Works because JFS offers a successful similar job assistance program, Growing Jewish Columbus. The program, which runs in conjunction with the Jewish Federation of Columbus and OSU Hillel, works to retain Jewish young adults in the region by providing employment services, building a stronger, sustainable Jewish community.

 

 "There are many more cities in the US struggling to attract and retain top talent, including Cleveland, Detroit, Baltimore, and even Chicago and Miami," Rubel says. "We want Masa Works to be an outlet to help those Jewish communities draw in exceptional young adults."

 

 Masa hopes to involve many other Jewish communities and Federations as the program develops. According to Masa's annual alumni exit survey conducted in August of 417 recent returnees who participated in post-college and study-abroad programs, 84% of respondents said they are interested in working for a Jewish organization. Masa Works could serve as an effective channel to connect alumni to opportunities in the Jewish world while giving them the tools to ensure they get noticed by employers.

 

 "Interning for the Peres Center for Peace prepared me for all aspects of the workspace I would go on to encounter in my job," says Daniel Cohen, a Career Israel alumnus who went on to work for the Jewish Theological Seminary before entering grad school. "While people in my program did get jobs, very few got them right after getting home. Having a program like Masa Works to provide professional resources could close the gap between Israel and working."

 

 

 For more information, visit http://works.masaisrael.org/

 

 

"Grace" - a Masa Israel Teaching Fellow's first day in the classroom

<div class="masa-blog-title">"Grace" - a Masa Israel Teaching Fellow's first day in the classroom</div>

 
I officially started teaching today. As my teaching partner, Brian was out of the country in order to attend a wedding in the States, I was by myself. I was worried that my students would have forgotten about me—seeing as I only visited them twice last month—but I had no reason to be worried as my students remembered me.
 

Yom Kippur Souls

<div class="masa-blog-title">Yom Kippur Souls</div>

 
God made Adam out of clay, and clay we remain. Bodies are doughy and malleable, and every morning you wake a fresh, blank slab. You can’t quite remember exactly what you are, what you look like, how it feels to be you; so every day you change, slowly, subtly, until your original self is forgotten.
 
 

TCB - Magic - Modern Art Digital Communication

http://www.masaisrael.org/sites/default/files/Magic.jpg

Program Description

This program is conducted in Russian.