Times of Israel: Dizzy for the dance

Times of Israel: Dizzy for the dance

Times of Israel: Dizzy for the dance

July 22, 2013

Students of the Vertigo dance workshop perform for an audience of family and friends at the troupe’s eco-art village.
By Jessica Steinberg, The Times of Israel
 
The lights were down in the house and the room was hushed as the audience waited in silence for the performance to begin. And then, a small fat dog trotted across the floor pillows being used as front-row seats, until it was quickly scooped up by a boy sitting, cross-legged, nearby.
 
It’s the kind of scene that always seems to take place at Vertigo, a modern dance troupe made up of the husband-and-wife team of Adi Sha’al and Noa Wertheim, plus two of Wertheim’s three sisters, and their families. They all live at the troupe’s Eco-Art Village, which is situated within Kibbutz Netiv Halamed Heh. Call it a post-modern take on the kibbutz, a collective coexistence of dancers and their families living ecologically and communally and finding a way to meld their art, belief systems and families into one generally cohesive whole. And now, they have brought a host of students into their midst.
 
They were all gathered Wednesday night, kids and all, for Batzir 15 — Harvest 15 — an evening to mark the culmination of the students’ recent work. There are Israeli students who either are completing a two-year program with Vertigo or are midway through it, and six American students who spent the last five months at Vertigo as part of a Jewish Agency Masa internship program.
 
All the students have been dancing together at the Eco-Art Village studio as well as at the company’s headquarters in Jerusalem’s Gerard Behar Theater. It’s been a tremendous learning experience.
 
“The best part about this is you don’t even know who’s who anymore,” Sha’al said, pointing at the mix of Israeli and American students onstage. “They’re all learning how to be artists and thinking about how to do this in real life.”
 
For the Israeli students, the Vertigo workshop generally comes after their army stints and before university education, while the Americans had just completed their university degrees or were in the middle of their studies
 
“The Israelis have had such a different life experience… they were doing the army and then they came back to dance,” said Suzannah Dessau, 20, a junior at Boston University, who has been dancing most of her life. “At Vertigo, they taught me to calm down and relax, to accept that things are as they should be and that it will all come.”
 
For Dessau, a New Jersey native who had only visited Israel once before, the opportunity to live and work in Israel has altered her trajectory. While she hasn’t yet completed college, she decided to accept admission to another two-year dance program, this one with the Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company. She’ll be staying in Israel, living at Kibbutz Ga’aton in the western Galilee, where the dance troupe is based.
 
That’s a fairly common outcome for these Masa students, at least three of whom will be remaining in Israel for the time being. Some of the others are auditioning for other dance troupes in the US and Europe, on the notion that now is the time to try and dance professionally.
 
“What I see is them aspiring to stay,” said Sigal Roth, Vertigo’s coordinator for the program, while handing out mini ice cream bars during intermission. “They want to make it work, here in the troupe and then with auditions and finding work. They’re all really motivated.”
 
Vertigo’s Masa program is still quite new, as the spring semester saw the arrival the troupe’s second group of students from abroad, and it’ll be receiving 14 dancers in October.
 
“The Israelis bring seriousness to the program,” said Sha’al. “They know they want to be in the dance world. And then the Americans try to figure out how to stick around; they arrive as kids and leave here as adults.”
 
 

Tlalim Culinary Art

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Program Description

Culinary art - one of the most ancient in the world. The ability to create a beautiful meal can be equated to art, with organized international championships, exhibitions and competitions in the field of culinary and confectionery business. In order to achieve mastery, however, training and continuous improvement is necessary.
 
Masa "Culinary Arts" in Eilat will help you discover your talents, get professional skills and experience a taste of success. You will experience global cuisines in Israel and at the same time have the chance to discover the country.
 

Tlalim Authentic Hebrew

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Program Description

Countries starts with people, the people begins with language. Languages can get into the history of nations, to slip through the border worlds, open the country.
 
Do you like the sound of Hebrew language? A language that for hundreds of years was not spoken in everyday life, and was reborn less than 100 years ago attracts you with its vitality. Do you want to discover these secrets? Would you like to become part of Israel, or start learning a second degree in Israel? All this will become possible on this program of intensive Hebrew Ulpan.

Building Bridges in Israel with a Lacrosse Stick

Building Bridges in Israel with a Lacrosse Stick

Building Bridges in Israel with a Lacrosse Stick

June 19, 2013

For centuries, members of Native American tribes played lacrosse as a means of forging common bonds. So it makes sense that a group of young American Jewish volunteers in Israel used the sport to reach out to Arab-Israeli teenagers, who last week played their first full game.
By Joshua Berkman
 
For centuries, members of Native American tribes played lacrosse with one another as a means of forging common bonds. So it makes sense that a group of young American Jewish volunteers in Israel used the sport this past year to reach out to 24 Arab-Israeli teenagers, who last week played their first full game.
 
The lacrosse match, held in the port city of Jaffa, was the culmination of the Lacrosse Arab-Jewish Cooperation Project.  The Project was created by Ian Cohen, a recent graduate of Monmouth University who is volunteering in Israel with Tikkun Olam, a Jewish service learning program  supported by The Jewish Agency for Israel and the Israeli government’s Masa Israel Journey partnership.
 
Masa enables more than 10,000 young Jews each year to spend up to 10 months volunteering, interning and taking academic courses in Israel as they learn about Jewish history, build friendships with Jews from around the world and experience Israeli culture on a daily basis. The idea for the lacrosse project came to Cohen after he joined Tel Aviv’s lacrosse team last September and sought to combine his passion for the sport with his volunteer focus on Jewish-Arab coexistence.
 
“The program is intended to dispel bigotry through real contact between Arabs and Jews,” Cohen said.
 
Through the Peres Center for Peace, Cohen connected with the Ajyal School in Jaffa, which expressed interest in working with him. He then recruited fellow Masa volunteers and members of Israel’s national lacrosse association (Israel Lacrosse) to help teach the sport to the Arab high-schoolers during weekly clinics.
 
“The Jewish volunteers developed a fantastic relationship with the kids,” Cohen shared. “Primarily, we are teachers and role models. The sport is secondary.”
 
The Arab teens are not the only ones who have benefited from Cohen’s passion for lacrosse. Last fall, as the rocket attacks from Gaza intensified, Cohen helped organized a lacrosse clinic in Netanya to provide kids from southern border towns a few days of fun and respite from the daily barrage of rocket fire.
 
“We set up in an open field near where some local kids were playing on a playground,” Cohen recalled. “Within minutes, some students came over and snatched up the sticks, trying to figure out how to use this foreign device. I showed some of them some basics but they were really just interested in throwing the ball and shooting on the net.
 
“While this was happening, students in the classroom got wind of what was going on outside, and began pressing their faces up to the windows and even hanging out the windows trying to get the kids with the sticks to throw the balls into the classroom.”
 
Lacrosse is the fastest growing sport in North America.  As long as young volunteers like Cohen bring their enthusiasm for the sport with them to Israel, it might soon be the “next big thing” in Israel—for Jews and Arabs.
 

From Denver to Akko: Living conservation on Saving the Stones

<div class="masa-blog-title">From Denver to Akko: Living conservation on Saving the Stones</div>

By Alison Goren, Saving the Stones
 
Window dressings, throw pillows, handmade kiln dried Italian leather chaise, and the latest Kravet fabric trimmings.  While studying interior architecture in Denver, Colorado, these were the things my classmates were most interested in. I, on the other hand, found my attention captured by sustainable design practices and their focus on adaptive reuse of historic structures.
 
 

ART-TEL-Internship (Milhauz)

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Program Description

A five month long program of the Milhauz educational centre offers an internship in Israeli companies in the center of the country to the young specialists. Thanks to the many years of experience of the Milhauz’s work in the fields of the creative industry and the cooperation with various organizations we are able to build a maximally entertaining and effective internship program for you, with internships in Israeli architectural bureaus and hi-tech companies in the fields of design (interior, graphic and computer), jewelry craft, programming, new media, and more.
 
Participants live in comfortable apartments in the center of Ramat Gan , with convenient transport nearby (it takes only 20 minutes on a bike to get to the beach).
 
The program includes studying Hebrew, excursion tours and general studies within the framework of exploring Israel including educational sessions, workshops, lectures and seminaries, organized within the framework of the of the educational center Milhauz current activities.
 

Highlights

Living and studying in the economic and cultural centre of Israel.
Be in the middle of the action, with easy and comfortably travel to any part of Israel while combining studying, working and recreation on a daily basis.
 
Independence.
Live in spacious, furnished, 3-4 room, fully applianced apartments will allow you to fully enjoy the experience of an independent life in Tel Aviv.
 
Professional relevance.
The internship on the program will enable you to make a valuable experience of working in a foreign company, participate in fascinating projects which in their turn will make an excellent complement to your resume and the overall career.
 
This program is for anyone who would like to receive new knowledge in their professional area, who would like to obtain the experience of working in a foreign company and make professional contacts, who would like to start their acquaintance with the country via professional practice and who would like to get a notion and impressions of Israel both practically and theoretically.
 

Art- Tel 10 Months

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Program Description

A modular 10 month long program held in the very centre of Israel in the town of Ramat Gan (Tel-Aviv) is a unique opportunity to build your own route in Israel for the period of 10 months. We offer you to choose two five month long specializations, proposed by our program which you can combine or duplicate in accordance to your wishes. The courses of the program can be either educational or it can be an internship.
 
Internship takes place in the Israeli companies in the field of architecture, interior design, graphic design, jewelry craft, programming, newmedia, etc. Studying Hebrew – on the first month of the program.
 
Educational specializations:
  • Hebrew language as culture.
  • Architecture & urban design.
  • Art & Photography.
  • New media & the World of Programming.

All the educational specializations include an intensive course of Hebrew for the whole period of the program (individual approach, level derived groups, 700 hours within 10 months), specialized courses, lectures on Jewish-Israeli culture, themed tours, seminaries, master classes, meetings with the Israeli youth and the Israeli culture and politics representatives. The program’s participants live in comfortable apartments in the centre of Ramat Gan town, there is a convenient transport hub nearby and it takes only 20 minutes on a bike to arrive at the seaside.

Program advantages:

  • Living and studying in the economic and cultural centre of Israel
  • constantly be in the middle of the action,
  • easily and comfortably travel to any part of Israel,
  • combine studying, working and recreation on a daily basis.

Self-dependence. Residence in spacious, furnitured, 3-4 room, fully applianced apartments will allow you to fully enjoy the experience of an independent life in Tel Aviv.

Quality and flexibility. An excellent course of Hebrew that lasts for the complete period of the program and also the opportunity to select and build by yourself an engaging and effective route to follow offered to you within the framework of Art-Tel.

 

Masa Israel Alumni North American Board Retreat

Masa Israel Alumni North American Board Retreat

August 9, 2013 (All day)  -  August 11, 2013 (All day)

  TBD, United States  - 

All Masa Alumni Board members are invited to attend the first annual Masa Alumni Board Retreat.
The retreat will focus on leadership development, programming techniques, and other skills alumni will need to engage fellow alumni in their area and run outstanding events! Details on Retreat location will be announced shortly. For more information or to start a Masa Alumni Board in your community, contact Dena Stein at denast@masaisrael.org.

3,000 Masa Israel Participants Gather for End-of-Year Conference

3,000 Masa Israel Participants Gather for End-of-Year Conference

3,000 Masa Israel Participants Gather for End-of-Year Conference

May 23, 2013

3,000 young Jews from around the world, participants in long-terms programs through Masa Israel Journey, attended the Masa Israel Journey Conference and End of 2012-2013 Academic Year Event at the Jerusalem International Convention Centre this past Monday.
JERUSALEM, ISRAEL: The Masa program participants were addressed by the Israeli Minister of the Economy, Naftali Bennett, and Chairman of Executive of The Jewish Agency for Israel, Natan Sharansky. They also participated in a panel discussion with the outstanding Israeli sportsmen and women Ariel "Arik" Ze'evi, Karen Leibowitz, and Andi Ram. 
 
Olympic medalist, judoka Arik Ze'evi said, “After a year in Israel, you will be the best ambassadors for our country.”
 
Naftali Bennett, Minister of the Economy said: “I salute those of you who are planning on making Aliyah. We need every one of you. For those of you that are planning to return home, I am certain that after a year here, the State of Israel will remain close to your hearts and that you will continue to visit us.”
 
Natan Sharansky held an open dialogue with the students during which he told them: “Masa participants discover their roots while visiting Israel and they discover that the Jewish people is one family. It is very important to us that you feel part of our family and that you represent us upon your return home.”
 
Masa Israel Journey is a joint project of Government of Israel and The Jewish Agency for Israel. Its aim is to strengthen the connection between young Jews around the world and the State 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. Upon their return to their home countries, many graduates become involved with their local Jewish communities and become ambassadors for Israel.
 

Live it Like a Local: Rebecca Lee’s Lonely Planet Guide to Gedera, Israel

<div class="masa-blog-title">Live it Like a Local: Rebecca Lee’s Lonely Planet Guide to Gedera, Israel</div>

 
 
I’m not going to lie and say that I felt comfortable and at home in Gedera as soon as I arrived. My first few days were filled with worries about the new place and I began to wonder how I was going to spend nine and a half months here. As I explored this new and different little town, I began to discover places that made Gedera feel like my home.