Living on the Land: Vegan Tu B’Shvat Recipes from Eco-Israel

<div class="masa-blog-title">Living on the Land: Vegan Tu B’Shvat Recipes from Eco-Israel </div>

Tu B’Shvat is the Jewish new year of the trees. In Israel people get together and celebrate by eating delicious foods made with the 7 species of the season.


Masa Israel's Eco-Israel prgram embraces this holiday every day of the year by living on and off-of the land. Participants learn permaculture and agriculture while living sustainably on an organic farm.



Top 10 Masa Israel Moments of 2015

<div class="masa-blog-title">Top 10 Masa Israel Moments of 2015</div>

Wow! We can hardly believe 2015 is already coming to a close and we’re sure you’re all reminiscing on the year that has passed. Both in terms of achievements and experiences, here at Masa Israel we have had a pretty incredible 2015. Let’s look back on this year and recap our 10 best Masa Israel Moments!


1.Our 2015 AIPAC Policy Conference Delegation


C&G News: WB native teaches, and learns, in Israel

C&G News: WB native teaches, and learns, in Israel

C&G News: WB native teaches, and learns, in Israel

December 18, 2015

By Mike Koury

WEST BLOOMFIELD — Becca Garfinkel always wanted to be able to travel around the world.

Now, as part of a volunteer program, she gets to do that and help many young people in the city of Lod, Israel.


Garfinkel is in Lod as part of Masa Israel’s Yahel Social Change Program, which is a nine-month program that is part learning experience, part volunteer effort.


Through the program, Garfinkel has been teaching third- to eighth-graders English. Her students include Israelis, Russian immigrants, Ethiopian immigrants and more. She volunteers about 25 hours a week at a local school called G’nei Aviv, as well as helping community organizations.


Read the rest of Becca's story in C&G News!

Cleveland.Com: Monica Arkin's Career Israel Story

Cleveland.Com: Monica Arkin's Career Israel Story

December 19, 2015

By Jeff Piorkowski


Israel: Beachwood High School 2011 graduate Monica Arkin, 22, is currently living in Jerusalem and participating in Masa Israel's Career Israel program.

The program involves a five-month, intensive internship in which college graduates are placed for professional development.


Last month, Monica participated in Masa's Leadership Summit, an exclusive seminar designed in partnership with the Jewish Agency's Global Leadership Institute, for a diverse group of high-potential Masa Israel participants to develop their leadership capacity.


alt="monica arkin cleveland career israel"

Monica (second from left) and her friends after a color run in Israel.


A University of Michigan graduate, Arkin has two internships, one at Hadassah Ein Kerem, where she is working on research to address eating disorders, and the other at Israel Trauma Coalition, an organization founded after 9/11 to help people around the world in the wake of violence.


"My goal, as of now, is to get a PhD in clinical psychology because I like the flexibility of the clinical psych degree," Monica told me, via email. "It enables you to do both clinical work, like therapy, as well as research in a variety of different settings."


As for her work with the Trauma Coalition, Arkin said, "It's unfortunate that Israel has so much experience with terror and trauma, but at least Israelis can use their knowledge and share it with the rest of the world when other countries are experiencing tragedy."


"I admire her resilience and persistence in going to the front lines where so much trauma is occurring and doing what she can to help," said Monica's mother, Alison Arkin, of Beachwood.


Originally published on

Israel Lacrosse: Schwartz named head coach for EC16

Israel Lacrosse: Schwartz named head coach for EC16

Israel Lacrosse: Schwartz named head coach for EC16

December 18, 2015

ASHKELON, ISRAEL — The Israel Lacrosse Association has named Jeffrey Schwartz as head coach of the Israel Men’s National Team which will compete at the 2016 ELF European Lacrosse Championships, held in Budapest, Hungary, from July 28 to August 6.

Schwartz relocated to Israel as a participant in the Masa Israel Journey program during the summer of 2015 and served as associate head coach of Haifa Lacrosse Club for the team’s inaugural campaign in the Israel Premier Lacrosse League. He was identified as a strong candidate for the national team head coaching position while helping to lead Haifa LC to an IPLL championship game appearance.


Continue reading Jeffrey's story on Israel Lacrosse's website

Masa Israel Alumni Fellow of the Week: Grant Kudert

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

A native of the Chicago area, Grant Kudert served as a Masa Israel Teaching Fellow in Netanya during the 2012-2013 school year.


Masa Israel Teaching Fellows Applications Open for 2016 - 2017 School Year

Masa Israel Teaching Fellows Applications Open for 2016 - 2017 School Year

Masa Israel Teaching Fellows Applications Open for 2016 - 2017 School Year

December 15, 2015

An opportunity for aspiring educators and social workers to gain global experience and perspective while bridging the education gap in Israel.

New York, New York — December 9, 2015Masa Israel Journey, is now accepting applications for the 2016-2017 Masa Israel Teaching Fellows (MITF) program. 

Next year, the fellowship will have more spaces available in its youth village track, which places Fellows in boarding schools for immigrant and at-risk youth. The program will also build upon its coexistence initiatives by expanding to the city of Nazareth and its surrounding communities in the lower Galilee, as well as placing Fellows in Arab schools in the mixed city of Lod.


The 10-month service-learning fellowship for high-achieving Jewish college graduates ages 21 to 30 allows young professionals to gain international teaching and social work experience in Israel. As most Israeli universities require high English proficiency for admission, knowledge of the English language is a key social mobility indicator in Israeli society. Fellows work in underserved elementary and middle school classrooms throughout Israel and support full time teachers in improving students’ English learning outcomes.


Since Fellows live in the areas where they work, these young professionals fully integrate into the Israeli communities they serve. Participants in the program live in Israel like real locals.


“The program leverages Israel’s strong history as context for a learning-centered experience, enabling young Jewish adults to explore their passion for education while making a real difference in narrowing Israel’s educational achievement gap in underserved communities,” said Liran Avisar, Chief Executive Officer of Masa Israel Journey.


“I give back my time because we’re here and it’s our job as members of society to try and give back as much as possible,” Corinne Gracyalny, 25, a current Fellow in Netanya explained. “If I can help my kids feel more confident speaking English, that’s what matters.”


Since its inaugural session in 2011-2012, 672 Jewish young adults from the United States, Canada, England, South Africa and Australia have served as Masa Israel Teaching Fellows. The Fellowship has expanded from five cities to thirteen cities across Israel including Ashdod, Be’er Sheva, Beit Shean, Migdal HaEmek, Nazareth, Netanya, Petach Tikvah, Rahat, Ramle, Lod, Rehovot, Rishon Lezion and Youth Villages.

Masa Israel Teaching Fellows is a competitive program with only 210 spots available for the 2016-2017 school year. Applications are being accepted on a rolling basis. Please visit to apply and learn more.




MITF is a joint initiative of the Israeli Ministry of Education, Masa Israel Journey, and The Jewish Agency for Israel. Masa Israel Journey is a project of the Government of Israel and the Jewish Agency for Israel and is made possible through the generous contributions of the Jewish Federations of North America and Keren Hayesod-UIA.


Visit for more information.

Media Contact: Jake Ciorciari, MWWPR, 646.376.7042  

Masa Israel Young Professionals White Night TLV (Sold Out)

Masa Israel Young Professionals White Night TLV (Sold Out)

December 22, 2015 - 18:00  -  December 22, 2015 - 23:00

  Tel Aviv, Israel  - 

Masa Israel Journey welcomes our academic and career development participants to an exclusive night of professional growth. Whether you plan to continue your journey abroad or stay here in Israel, don’t miss out on this opportunity to join leading industry professionals for lectures, workshops and breakout sessions.

The evening will feature opening remarks by Daniel Birnbaum, CEO of SodaStream.


Sessions include: Entrepreneurs’ Roadmap to Success: Establishing a Startup and Raising Capital, The Ins & Outs of Israeli Labor Law w/ Gominzky & Co. labor law team, Preparing Yourself for Today’s Job Market: Interviewing, Resume Writing and Linked In, and more.


This event is open to all current college and post-college Masa Israel participants.


Please note that tickets for this event are sold out.

Masa Israel Alumni Fellow of the Week: Erica Bergstein

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

Erica Bergstein holds a B.S. in Communications and Public Relations from Towson University and a M.S. in Emergency Health Policy from the University of Maryland, Baltimore Count, where she founded a partnership between the Jewish Student Association and the University of Maryland Medical Center, as well as the medical school.


St. Louis Jewish Light: St. Louisan helping establish baseball in Israel

St. Louis Jewish Light: St. Louisan helping establish baseball in Israel

St. Louis Jewish Light: St. Louisan helping establish baseball in Israel

December 2, 2015

By Eric Berger


When Josh Scharff started walking, his dad put a baseball bat in his hands “and that,” he says, “was it.”

Scharff, 25, a St. Louisan who played collegiate baseball at Yale University, is now a pioneer, spending time on the dirt and grass of baseball fields in Israel, trying to establish the game there.


After talking with a leader of the Israel Association of Baseball about its leagues and teams, Scharff asked, “How can I help? What can I do to help baseball in Israel?”


He arrived in August and is helping start the Israel Baseball Experience, a five-month program that aims to bring former Division I players like Scharff to play in Israel’s adult Premier League and to help develop and promote the game. 


Continue reading in the St. Louis Jewish Light.