Blake Yospa-ITF

Blake Yospa-ITF

Israel Teaching Fellows

Growing up in Baltimore, Blake Yospa, 26, felt connected to Judaism through the Reform synagogue where his mother worked and he attended Hebrew school. However, after his bar mitzvah, Blake grew less affiliated.

“Being part of a religious minority, I considered myself an outcast,” Blake explains.

However, that all changed in the winter of 2014, when Blake travelled to Israel for the first time with Birthright-Taglit Israel. “I honestly did not feel a connection to Israel or any Jewish community until I went on Birthright,” the Towson University alum remembers.

Blake extended his trip to stay with a friend from home who was living in Netanya as a Masa Israel Teaching Fellow. During his stay in Netanya, Blake spent a day in school with his friend, and decided that he too wanted to come back to Israel and teach for a year. Dissatisfied with his career path and looking to make a difference, Blake had nothing holding him back; Masa Israel Teaching Fellows made sense at that point in his life. “This teaching program offered me a chance to live abroad for an extended period of time, while giving back to those in need,” Blake explains.

Now, a little over a year later, Blake lives in Rishon LeZion as a Masa Israel Teaching Fellow. He teaches at a primary school in a mid-to-low socioeconomic neighborhood right outside of Rishon LeZion, where his students make him laugh and the faculty members are warm and welcoming. ”I come to school with a smile on my face every day,” Blake says.

Outside of the classroom, Blake tutors some of his students, which allows for him to grow extremely close with both the children and their families. “I have developed such a close relationship with them that I’ve been invited over for the Pesach seder.”  On top of the tutoring, Black volunteers at a school running sports programs for the students. In his spare time, he explores Israel on organized tours with Masa Israel Teaching Fellows, and on spontaneous adventures with his friends.

Today, after several months as a Masa Israel Teaching Fellow, Blake feels that his experience on the Masa program has changed him in many ways. “After living here for almost seven months, I’m happy to associate myself with Israel and being Jewish,” Blake says. He also feels that this experience has been self-enriching and has helped him grow spiritually and mature as a person.

When Masa Israel Teaching Fellows ends in June, Blake plans to return to the States to pursue a career in the field in which he earned his degree, sports management. “I would love to get a job with my local JCC in the recreational sports department and then perhaps move to minor or professional sports,” Blake says. Still, Blake remains open to any interesting opportunity that comes his way and he would have never said that two years ago. 

Daniel Spector-IGF

Daniel Spector-IGF

Israel Government Fellows
Weight: 
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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.

 

 

 

Tech Challenge Fellows

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Program Description

About Israel Tech Challenge
Israel Tech Challenge is a joint venture between Israel's National Cyber Bureau, the Jewish Agency for Israel, Masa Israel, private and corporate donors. We locate the Jewish world's brightest Tech students & young professionals and invite them to Israel to learn, intern and work in the Hi-Tech industry. 
Israel Tech Challenge is an expert-driven Israeli experience connecting Jewish students and young professionals with tools and networks meant to enrich or launch their careers in the computer science industry.
The project gives students the ability to learn from leading Israeli industry players and academics, combining inspiration and networking with actual hands-on coding experience.
 
The Tech Challenge Fellows Program is a heavily subsidized, 10-month professional opportunity for exceptional Computer Science or Engineering graduates with some experience, to acquire advanced tech skills in Israel. This Career-boosting elite program, in partnership with Israel’s leading Tech companies, is designed to help you Master a whole new set of programming skills. 
 
If you fit our selective criteria, the Tech Challenge Fellows program will take you a step forward in your personal and professional journey and will connect you to Israel’s dynamic hi-tech community through international experience, hands-on hi-tech training, and networking with like-minded peers.
 
The program includes two consecutive parts:
 
Part One: 5-month high level tech training in the fields of Data Science and Cyber Security provided by leading hi-tech companies. 
Part Two: 5-month paid internship in leading hi tech and start-up companies such as: Google, PayPal, Checkpoint, Intel, WIX, Billguard, Cybereason and more, tailored to your interests and skills.
Throughout the program: Full accommodation in the Tel Aviv area, Trips and educational, activities with peers from all around the world, Essential networking with professionals
 
We offer you:
Elite Participation we select exceptional, talented young adults with impressive backgrounds and great potential in the hi-tech fields, after a rigorous selection process.
Intensive Tech Training given by leading local and multi-national companies, industry professionals, academics and tech-entrepreneurs in the fields of software, networks, cyber security, big-data analytics, cloud computing, machine learning, reverse engineering and more.
Exclusive Exposure to the Start -Up Nation through meetings with relevant organizations in hi-tech, academia and the defense community, you’ll gain exposure to a broad array of Israel’s most cutting-edge technologies including FinTech, digital health, cyber security, bio-med and clean-tech.
Meaningful 5-Month Paid Internships
 after completing an elite training program put your skills in action, interning in Israel’s leading international hi-tech companies. Enjoy high-level mentoring, hand-in-hand guidance. 
Integration enjoy full immersion in Israeli society (especially Tel Aviv cultural life), an Ulpan program to develop your Hebrew skills, trips, social and educational programming. 
For more information, visit the Tech Challenge Fellows website http://fellows.israeltechallenge.com/
 
 
 

 

Highlights

We offer you:

Elite Participation
Israel Tech Fellows accepts only the exceptional. Talented young adults with impressive backgrounds and great potential in the hi-tech fields will be hand-picked to participate in the program after a rigorous selection process. If selected, you will meet with some of today’s most promising technology professionals, including local Israeli participants, and trip-mates alike.

Intensive Tech Training
As a participant you will benefit from a focused, in-depth five-month training program given by leading local and multi-national companies, academics and tech-entrepreneurs in the fields of software, hardware, networks, cyber security, big-data analytics, cloud computing, machine learning, reverse engineering and more.

Exclusive Exposure to the Start -Up Nation
Enjoy first-hand exposure to the unique elements that make Israel the hub of innovation that it is – entrepreneurship, excellence, daring vision and teamwork. Through meetings with relevant organizations in hi-tech, academia and the defense community, you’ll gain exposure to a broad array of Israel’s most cutting-edge technologies including software, space, nano-tech, aerial defense, bio-med, and clean-tech.

Meaningful 5-Month Paid Internships
After completing an elite training program, put your skills in action, interning in Israel’s leading hi-tech companies. During this five-month internship, participants benefit from high-level mentoring, and hand-in-hand guidance for those looking to pursue a hi-tech career in Israel or just have a great international experience.

Integration

The Tech Challenge Fellows program is about integration. You’ll enjoy full immersion in Israeli society (especially Tel Aviv cultural life), an Ulpan program to develop your Hebrew skills, trips throughout the country, and social and educational programming.

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.

 

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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.

An Unexpected Surprise: Alumni Fellow Reflects On The 2015 AIPAC Policy Conference

<div class="masa-blog-title">An Unexpected Surprise: Alumni Fellow Reflects On The 2015 AIPAC Policy Conference</div>

By Terissa Schor, Masa Israel Alumni Fellow

 

I feel so fortunate to have had the opportunity to attend my first AIPAC Policy Conference this year, with Masa Israel Journey. It surprised me in so many positive and unexpected ways. While I used to think (forgive me) that AIPAC was only for older, wealthy, right-wing Israelis and Jewish Americans, I now know that AIPAC Policy Conference attracts a diverse group of supporters from every walk of life.

 
 

Tlalim - High Tech Enterprise Internship

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Program Description

Live in Tel Aviv and join the Enterprise Internship which offers a customized 5-month internship with leading international companies at some of the hottest startups in Israel! Whether you are interested in engineering or marketing, computer science or sustainability, we have the industry connections to get you where you want to be! 

Highlights

 
  • 5 months living in the heart of Tel Aviv
  • $4,500 after Masa Grant ($1,500* without living accommodation)
  • International work experience with a 35 hr/per week internship
  • Educational seminars and Ulpan (Hebrew classes)
  • Volunteer opportunities in the community

 

 

Tlalim - Career Elevation

http://www.masaisrael.org/sites/default/files/for%20alex2.jpg

Program Description

 

About Career Elevation:

 

Accelerate your Digital Marketing career in the startup nation with this 5 month program. Master Digital Marketing through a full-time, 8 week course held at a WeWork in the heart of Tel Aviv. After, apply what you learned to a 10 week internship at an innovative Israeli Startup. In between, you'll learn some Hebrew and explore all that Israel has to offer. 

Highlights

 

What you'll gain:

 

  • Hands-on training from startup professionals who work for companies such as Wix, Google, and Facebook. We believe the best teachers are ones with real industry experience.

 

  • Lifelong connections in the startup nation. As part of the course, we will attend industry events at Google's Campus Tel Aviv and other locations, exposing students to mentors and thought leaders in the industry

 

  • An end-to-end Digital Marketing Strategy for your portfolio. Students will apply everything they learn in the course to a project of their choosing, and present it to startup professionals at the end of the course.

 

  • Real-world experience through a 10 week internship at an innovate Israeli company. Our interns have worked for companies such as Wix, Maccabi FC, and Zoliro. Our pool of partner startups is constantly growing, and we work with each student to find the best company for them.

 

Ready to take the leap and accelerate your Digital Marketing career?

APPLY NOW

An Exhilarating Experience: Alumni Fellow Reflects On The 2015 AIPAC Policy Conference

<div class="masa-blog-title">An Exhilarating Experience: Alumni Fellow Reflects On The 2015 AIPAC Policy Conference</div>

By Debbie Stone, Masa Israel Alumni Fellow

 

Having heard about the AIPAC Policy Conference for years, I was honored to attend this year’s conference as a Masa Israel Alumni Fellow. During my year as a Masa Israel Teaching Fellow in Netanya in 2013-2014, I became highly involved in the Masa Israel community, which helped me to develop a more profound connection to Israel.

 

 

Renewed Motivations: Alumni Fellow Reflects on the 2015 AIPAC Policy Conference