Pratik Thakker

Pratik Thakker

Digital Marketing & Website Manager

Masa Israel Alumni Fellow of the Week: Sarah Wesson

<div class="masa-blog-title">Masa Israel Alumni Fellow of the Week: Sarah Wesson</div>

alt="sarah wesson"Born and raised in Stowe, Vermont, Sarah Wesson was a Masa Israel Teaching Fellow in Rehovot during the 2013-2014 school year.


Introducing: The 2015-2016 Masa Israel Alumni Fellows

<div class="masa-blog-title">Introducing: The 2015-2016 Masa Israel Alumni Fellows</div>

The Masa Israel Alumni Fellowship is an opportunity for a select few outstanding alumni to represent Masa Israel Journey in their home communities and on a national level.

This exclusive program provides Fellows with unmatched leadership training as well as opportunities for personal and professional development and networking with Jewish communal leaders.

Each fellow will attend the Jewish Federations of North America General Assembly (GA), as well as his or her choice of a major national Jewish conference. Through these events and exclusive shabbatonim, the Masa Israel Alumni Fellowship creates a community of practice and the future leadership of the Masa Israel Alumni Community.

Over the course of the next year, each Fellow will create and implement a unique impact project in order to increase alumni involvement or help recruit new participants to Masa Israel programs in his or her community.

Stay tuned over the next few months, as we highlight an Alumni Fellow every week.

Here are this year’s Masa Israel Alumni Fellows:


alt="aaron white"alt="alex willick"

alt="amy altchuler"alt="andria kaplan"

alt="arya marvazy)alt="axel angeles"

alt="erica bergstein"alt="gidon frank"

alt="grant kudert"alt="jennifer handel"

alt="jordan goldschmidt"alt="joshua entis"

alt="molly radler"alt="samantha shevgert"

alt="sarah wesson"


From Israel Government Fellows to Hillary for America

<div class="masa-blog-title">From Israel Government Fellows to Hillary for America</div>

Masa Israel alum Joel Wanger (left) with colleagues from the Hillary for America, Nevada team 



Amy Albertson

Masa Israel Global Leadership Summit

Masa Israel Global Leadership Summit

November 22, 2015 (All day)  -  November 26, 2015 (All day)

  Jerusalem, Israel  - 

What is the Global Leadership Summit?


The Global Leadership Summit is an exclusive seminar designed in partnership with the Jewish Agency's Global Leadership Institute for a diverse group of high-potential Masa Israel participants, ages 21-30, to develop their leadership capacity and their global network in pursuit of the common good for the Jewish people.

We invite you to challenge yourself during this intense experiential week of personal and professional development and skills-based training. You will immerse yourself in a community of talented and creative people that challenge your understandings about the Jewish world and maybe even about yourself. 


What to expect from the Global Leadership Summit:


  • Opportunities to both challenge and strenghten your leadership capacities and to acquire valuable new skillsets on personal and professional levels;
  • Site visits and case studies to see Israel through the lens of leadership and social action;
  • Build long-lasting relationships with your fellow Masa Israel participants from around the world. 


What not to expect:


  • Non-stop lectures and speakers
  • A passive educational experience


What Can You Do With Your Etrog After Sukkot?

<div class="masa-blog-title">What Can You Do With Your Etrog After Sukkot?</div>

The etrog, also known as the citron, is one of four plants mentioned in the Torah in association with Sukkot, or the Feast of the Tabernacles.

But, what can you do with your etrog after Sukkot, when it’s fulfilled its ceremonial purpose? Why, you can eat it, of course!

Here are four of the tastiest recipes that we came across for repurposing your etrog:

1. Candied Etrog


5 Towns Jewish Times: It All Begins with Baseball

5 Towns Jewish Times: It All Begins with Baseball

5 Towns Jewish Times: It All Begins with Baseball

September 25, 2015

Baseball took Josh Scharff from St. Louis to Yale, and now it’s placed him in the heart of Israel.

For now, he is alone.


"I’m kind of like the crash test dummy over here,” he says over the phone, his voice stretching across eight time zones back to the United States. “We’ll see how it all shakes out.”


Scharff, 25, is the first participant in the fall pilot for the Masa Israel Sports Initiative’s Baseball Program. His primary focus will be teaching baseball to the country’s youth, many of whom have never seen the game played before.



Continue reading Josh's story on the 5 Towns Jewish Times' website

What’s Different About Yom Kippur in Israel?

<div class="masa-blog-title">What’s Different About Yom Kippur in Israel?</div>

There’s nothing quite like the High Holidays – or, as the locals call them, the chagim – in Israel.


Generally considered the most important holiday of the year, Yom Kippur is a particularly unique day to spend in Israel. Here are just four ways in which Yom Kippur is different in Israel:


1. The Country Practically Shuts Down


Cleveland Jewish News: Kaplan's Israel connection spans five generations

Cleveland Jewish News: Kaplan's Israel connection spans five generations

Cleveland Jewish News: Kaplan's Israel connection spans five generations

September 18, 2015

Photo credit: CJN/Bob Jacob


By Ed Wittenberg


Andria Kaplan’s connection to Israel goes back five generations.


Kaplan, who moved back to Cleveland in July after a five-month experience in Israel supported by the Jewish Federation of Cleveland, talked about her journey at the launch event for the Federation’s 2016 Campaign for Jewish Needs Sept. 10 at the Mandel Jewish Community Center in Beachwood.

In the early 20th century, Kaplan’s great-great-grandfather, Ya’akov Koppelman, left Lithuania to become one of Israel’s first settlers, she said. He brought two of his three sons with him.

One son could not get a visa in time, she said. That was her great-grandfather, Samuel Koppelman, who settled in Elyria, where Kaplan grew up.

“Five generations later, the story of my great-great-grandfather Ya’akov and all of his Zionist dreams are still bringing to life the love of Israel in me,” she said.

Three years ago, Kaplan left for Israel for the first time, traveling the same path her grandparents had decades before.

“They always told me Israel is home,” said Kaplan, a 2013 graduate of the University of Akron. “Somewhere deep in my heart, I knew they were right.”

Kaplan, who worked as an account executive in the Cleveland Jewish News’ advertising department after serving as the Nina and Norman Wain Advertising Intern, said she discovered the Federation’s I-Connect initiative would connect her to an array of Israel experiences. She chose a Masa Israel Journey career program that began in February.


Continue reading about Andria's Masa Israel experience in Cleveland Jewish News