Masa Israel Cohosts AIPAC Policy Conference Welcome Party

Masa Israel Cohosts AIPAC Policy Conference Welcome Party

Masa Israel Cohosts AIPAC Policy Conference Welcome Party

March 3, 2014

Washington, DC – Over 400 Israel supporters, including Masa Israel alumni, attended the official welcome party for the 2014 AIPAC Policy conference.

The DC Masa Alumni Board tabled at the event, sharing their experiences of living in Israel as an intern, student or volunteer. Masa also held a raffle to win a gift basket filled with Israeli products. The alumni board members in attendance circulated through the pro-Israel crowd throughout the night, providing information and answering questions. The event was a tremendous success as a fundraiser, raising money for HaLev Israel, a new organization that provides scholarships to bring pro-Israel activists from all over the world to their first AIPAC Policy Conference.

For more information on Masa Israel's presence at the 2014 AIPAC Policy Conference or on the DC Masa alumni community, contact Jenn Rheuban.

Welcoming the Masa-PresenTense Fellows

Welcoming the Masa-PresenTense Fellows

February 26, 2014

The Masa-PresenTense Community Entrepreneur Partnership (CEP) engages, trains, and empowers leaders to create Jewish social entrepreneurial initiatives around the world. 

Fellows learn how to leverage their creative energies to launch new social ventures that address the opportunities and challenges facing Jewish communities around the world.

Meet the Fellows below:

Jordan Barpal is currently a fellow with the Menachem Begin Heritage Center’s Israel Government Fellows program, working at the Ministry of Finance in its Capital Debt Markets and Foreign Currency Transactions department. His work entails the issuance of Israel’s international bonds and the management of the government’s debt. In addition to Israel Government Fellows, Jordan is working to create a pay-it-forward volunteer platform as part of a social initiative and entrepreneurship program through Presentense, a venture accelerator based in Jerusalem. Prior to his fellowship in Israel, Jordan worked in New York for an international law firm, assisting the Investment Management and Hedge Funds practice groups in all areas concerning business development.  Jordan attended the University of Michigan, where he earned his B.A. in Political Science and was a student-athlete on the University’s football team.

Abigail Eichenhorn of Detroit, Michigan is a Masa Israel Teaching Fellow in Petach Tikvah. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Anthropology from Wayne State University and an Associate’s degree in Liberal Arts. Her goal for the Masa-PresenTense Fellowship is to build places for children to learn about other cultures in a fun and positive way. Abigail is always looking for new ways to make the world a more loving and accepting place.

Rivka Feinberg graduated from Washington University in May 2013 with a Bachelor's in Jewish Islamic and Near Eastern Studies. During college, she fell in love with languages and studied Hebrew, Arabic and Spanish. As part of her studies, Rivka spent a semester abroad at the Hebrew University, where she took the “P'tor” exam and received Hebrew language exemption. While in Jerusalem, Rivka also interned at the Ethiopian National Project (ENP), a non-profit organization that provides social and educational programming for Ethiopian-Israeli youth, where she translated personal stories and biographies of Ethiopian-Israelis. As an undergraduate, Rivka also worked at Washington University Libraries, where she researched and photographed ownership stamps, bookplates and signatures of rare Judaica. She is currently interning for the Money Laundering and Terror Financing Prohibition Authority through Masa Israel’s Israel Government Fellows program and participating in the Masa-PresenTense Fellowship.

Amy Herman is an effervescent leader from Burbank, California. She graduated from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo in March 2013 and is excited to start her graduate studies at the University of Southern California this fall. Amy has over ten years of teaching and training experience and prides herself on being able to communicate a wide variety of material to a wider variety of learners. Past training topics have included Newton's Laws, Mac OSX, and emotional intelligence. When she grows up, Amy hopes to reform corporate culture and make work fun. She challenges the idea that happiness only comes after 5 o'clock. Amy is currently both an Israel Teaching Fellow in Rehovot and also a PresenTense fellow working on a website to help make workplaces more productive. When she's not working, she can be found traveling the world and/or doing Zumba. Amy maintains a blog that can be found at

Rachel Horowitz is currently participating in Israel Service Fellows, teaching English in Akko and arts and crafts in the Druze village, Sajur. Before coming to Israel, Rachel spent the year working for Phi Mu sorority as a traveling Chapter Consultant. She graduated from the University of Hartford with a degree in Psychology. Rachel was very involved in campus activities and enjoyed being an orientation leader and tour guide for prospective students. During her free time you can find Rachel on the beach, baking, or enjoying time with friends. She is excited to be in the PresenTense Fellowship, working on a business venture to sell art around the world for Fair Trade. 

Nicole Krassner graduated from the University of Florida in 2013 with her Bachelors of Arts in political science and her Masters of Science in Management. During her senior year, Nicole served as the President of Gators for Israel, which has been consistently recognized as one of the strongest pro-Israel collegiate groups in North America.  Nicole was also a student Senator for three years, an active member of her sorority Pi Beta Phi and a proud member of the prestigious honor and service society, Florida Blue Key.  In addition to coming to Israel this year, Nicole studied abroad in Florence, Italy for a semester and considers herself an avid traveler. Nicole has a wide range of work and internship experience including, but not limited to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee liaison to the University of Florida, several successful Congressional campaigns, and a frequent contributor to a variety of campus, local and regional newspapers.  Currently, Nicole is a participant of the Israel Government Fellows program, a 10-month Masa Israel program based in Jerusalem. Nicole is working full-time in the International Relations Department of Yad Vashem. 

Oren Okhovat has always felt a special connection to Judaism and Israel. His undergraduate degree was in International Relations and his master’s degree concentrated on Jewish Diaspora communities in Latin America. Throughout his life, Oren has always been involved in Jewish communities, from Bnei Brith in high school to various University Israel and Jewish student organization. After earning his master’s degree, Oren was accepted to Israel Government Fellows as an intern at the Joint Distribution Committee. He plans to fulfill his current role to the fullest, building a career in Public Relations and Development, especially within Israel and the Jewish world. Eventually, Oren would like to return to academia to pursue a PhD in Jewish History, looking at the effect language has had on Jewish cultural identity through space and time.

Justine Olschanezky is originally from France. After earning her bachelor’s degree in History, she received a master’s degree in International Relations from the Sorbonne University in Paris before studying Arabic and graduating in Mediation and Conflict Resolution. Through Masa Israel’s Israel Government Fellows program, Justine interns in the Israeli Ministry of Environmental Protection with the Head Division of Multilateral Environmental Agreements.


Holden Sperling is a Masa Israel Teaching Fellow at Naomi Shemer School in Petach Tikvah. When not in the classroom, Holden is likely working away at a venture he is developing as a Masa-PresenTense Fellow. He graduated in 2013 as a Near Eastern Languages and Cultures major from UCLA. He was an intern at Reprise Theatre Company for two years, and is an executive board member at Bigger Than A Bread Box Theatre Co. He spent three months as an intern in the development department at Primary Stages, an off-broadway theatre company. In the past eight years he has stage managed over twenty productions, produced Act III Theatre Ensemble's Xanadu and, in 2006, co-founded *in-tandem productions* where he directed The Last 5 Years and was the lead producer on several productions. Holden loves photography, musical theater and other fast-paced, project based environments.

Jacob Steinblatt was born to a Modern Orthodox family in New York in 1989, and learned in a yeshiva day school for 12 years. In 2007 he attended the Macaulay Honors College at Hunter College, where he graduated in 2011 with a degree in Political Science. After completing his studies, he moved to Israel, where he served in the IDF for 14 months in the Home Front Command, improving the military reserve's firefighting system. Upon his release, he went back to New York and worked in Jewish nonprofits for several months, but realized his future was in Israel. In September 2013 he returned to Israel with WUJS Israel, a Masa Israel program offering internships in Tel Aviv, where he worked as a research assistant in the Institute for Counter-Terrorism. He completed the program in February, but is staying in Israel with the intention of making Aliyah and working to improve Israeli society through social entrepreneurship. As a Masa-PresenTense Fellow, Jason will build a social venture to aid Israeli soldiers. In his spare time, Jason likes to study Arabic. 

Johannah Truppin is a professional musician and theatre practitioner originally from London. Prior to embarking on the Maslul Ishi iTrack Masa programme in Israel, she performed at prestigious venues throughout the UK including the Southbank Centre, Bristol Old Vic and Wembley Arena - and made regular appearances on UK television.  Alongside her own performance credits, she has launched two professional theatre companies and is also an experienced Performing Arts educator and workshop facilitator with a diverse range of participants.  Johannah holds a BA (Hons) in Performance from the Guildford School of Acting (degree validated by the University of Surrey) and before training at drama school, she attended the world famous BRIT School.  With the help of the Masa-PresenTense Fellowship, Johannah is preparing to launch the English National Theatre of Israel.  Her vision is to improve the quality and access to English-speaking theatre in Israel.

Abraham Lev Weiss was born in Iowa City, into a house of music, gratitude, and joy. His parents, both doctors, instilled in him at an early age a love of learning, a respect for hard-work, a compassion for all life, and an appreciation of beauty, and his brother taught him how not to be afraid. After graduating from Columbia University with a BA in Political Science and Creative Writing, Abraham spent 5 years working for various social justice organizations in the Bronx, NY, and San Francisco, California. He is fluent in French and Spanish, an accomplished musician, filmmaker, and poet, and a self-declared spiritual pilgrim. Abraham is currently a Masa Israel Teaching Fellow in Beit She’an, rekindling his passion for Jewish tradition and its many paths towards meaning, while teaching English to 3rd-6th graders at a local school. Abraham hopes to use art and spirituality to reconnect people to themselves, and assist in the creation of a more just, peaceful, and honest society.

Tikkun Olam with Save A Child's Heart

Introducing the Masa-Kol Voice-IAN Fellows

Introducing the Masa-Kol Voice-IAN Fellows

February 26, 2014

This fellowship looks at the state of activism for Israel in the United States today. 

The highly-qualified Masa Israel participants selected to participate in this fellowship will receive education and training from Kol Voice and the Israel Action Network to answer the key questions of Israel Activism. The fellows will gain insight into new and traditional media, effective networking for a common goal, building effective campaigns and other effective strategies.

Meet the Fellows below:

Zoë Baker is from Denver, Colorado and graduated from The College of Wooster last spring with a BA in political science and sociology. Zoë is currently participating in Tikkun Olam in Tel Aviv-Jaffa, a 10- month post graduate program. During her time in Israel, she has worked with four different organizations that serve the asylum seeker population in Israel. These include a daycare for refugee children, an organization helping pregnant refugees navigate the Israeli medical system, the relocation team at the African Refugee Development Center and as a researcher for the Organization for Refuge, Asylum and Migration.

Michael Benesch is currently an Israel Teaching Fellow in a disadvantaged elementary school in Petah Tikva.  A native of the San Francisco Bay Area, Michael was raised with a voracious appetite for learning, a sense of justice, and a desire to heal the world.  These values inspired Michael’s passion for public policy and the Middle East, which he further developed as an Economics major at Pomona College.  During his time at Pomona, Michael served on the boards of a variety of Jewish organizations, deepened his love for photography, and interned for the Anti-Defamation League and the American Israel Public Affairs Committee.  After his year in Israel, Michael hopes to return to California, get back on his road bike, work for a Jewish non-profit, and pursue a graduate degree.

Leah Breevoort is a twenty-two year old supporter of social change. After receiving her bachelors in Broadcast Journalism and Film Studies, she decided she was not ready for a nine to five. She left her life in Atlanta, Georgia to fly across the world and volunteer as a Masa Israel Teaching Fellow in Netanya, Israel.   Leah’s passions include volunteering and videography. She often finds ways to merge the two through organizations like Camp Kesem, a camp for children whose parents have cancer. Leah also enjoys working with the Boys and Girls Clubs of America as a freelance videographer. She hopes to one day start her own non-profit in Israel.  When Leah isn’t working she likes to enjoy the little things in life: running on the beach, uncontrollable laughter when something isn’t really that funny, and a great song coming on at exactly the right time.

Alyssa Dinberg is currently a Masa Israel Teaching Fellow in Rishon LeZion, assistant teaching English to an underserved population of elementary school children. A native of Atlanta, Georgia and graduate of the University of Alabama (roll tide), Alyssa is a lover of all things Crimson and White, spending countless hours in front of the TV during football season cheering on the Tide, and grew up attending Braves games in the summer. While attending college, Alyssa could be found managing the city’s largest arts and music festival or rescuing all the stray animals on the streets. Her love and commitment to the community can easily be seen in everything she does. Once stateside, Alyssa will attend graduate school for Community Development in addition to finding a super cool job in her super cool new city, Kansas City, Missouri.

Joline Faujour of Washington, DC is currently a Masa Israel Teaching Fellow in Petach Tikvah, teaching English in a junior high school 20 hours each week. She spends the rest of her time learning Hebrew in Ulpan classes and volunteering at a refugee development center and at a women’s shelter. Joline came to Israel to learn about human rights and social/education policies. She obtained her bachelor’s degree in Anthropology at University of Massachusetts, Amherst, hoping to use her degree as a basis to help people. She believes that to help people you must learn about their cultures first, and avidly studies languages in order to truly immerse herself wherever she lands. 

Kayla Globerson, 24, is from Orange County, California. She graduated from California State University, Fullerton in 2012 with a Bachelor of Science in Child and Adolescent Development and a Minor in Natural Sciences. The following year, Kayla went on to earn her Multiple Subject Teaching Credential in the prestigious teacher credential program at CSUF. During her college career, Kayla was a 2nd and 3rd grade Sunday school teacher at her temple. She taught Hebrew, Jewish values, holidays, and prayers to second-grade students, and taught curriculum including Israeli geography and culture to third-grade students. When she returns home to California in July, Kayla hopes to return as the third-grade teacher to further enhance the Israeli curriculum from her experiences living in Israel, where she currently serves as a Masa Israel Teaching Fellow. Now that she has lived in Israel, Kayla hopes to find a career that combines her Jewish identity with her love of teaching. 

Federico Gonzalez Waite is a graduate student working on his M.A. in Conflict Resolution and Mediation at Tel Aviv University. His specialty areas are conflicts triggered by scarcity of resources (predominantly water), economic development, conflict mediation and prevention, Is-Pal Conflict and Israeli Advocacy. He holds a Bachelor of Business in International Business and Marketing from the Auckland University of Technology (AUT) in New Zealand. Before moving to Israel he worked in International Development in the United Kingdom and Mexico. Federico was born in Mexico City and brought up between Mexico and New Zealand. He has lived in multiple countries during his adult life, providing him with a unique outlook of the world that makes him a true global citizen. He spends his days passionately exploring life in Israel and connecting to his Jewish heritage.

Ira Guberman of East Brunswick, NJ is a Masa Israel Teaching Fellow in Rehovot, where he assistant teaches English at Ben Tzvi Elementary School and runs a bike club at Oshiyot Community Center. During his undergraduate studies at the University of Delaware he developed a passion for international affairs, and his previous trip to Israel through Birthright inspired him to further study the country.  Before Masa Israel Teaching Fellows, he completed his master’s degree in Public and International Affairs at the University of Pittsburgh, focusing on the Middle East. He previously worked at the World Affairs Councils of America where he involved, educated, and engaged the American public on foreign policy.  As a Masa-Kol Voice Fellow, Ira looks forward to strengthening his connection with Israeli society even further, and fine tuning himself into a better activist.

Olivia Joyce joined Masa Israel Teaching Fellows in Petach Tikvah as an introduction to global education systems and teaching. While studying Psychology and Studio Arts at Union College, New York, she became increasingly interested and involved in child development, special needs education, and art therapy, and aspires to continue serving children as a psychologist someday. Olivia discovered her adventurous spirit while studying abroad in Vietnam in 2011 and—much to her mother’s chagrin—plans to continue living globally for the foreseeable future. Olivia spends her free time in Israel baking in her toaster oven, hauling home street-side furniture, and laughing/reminiscing at the blizzards blanketing her home in New England. 

Taylor Jade King is a Masa Israel Teaching Fellow in Netanya. Prior to moving to Israel, Taylor worked in a Bright Horizons daycare center in Boston, Massachusetts for five years as an Assistant Teacher to infants, toddlers and preschoolers and is a certified infant-toddler teacher. During her time at Wheelock College in Boston and Richmond University in London, Taylor interned in the Massachusetts State House for a state representative dedicated to education issues, interned for her congressman, participated in an international internship in London and volunteered for a variety of charitable causes. Most recently, Taylor served as a nanny for two years for two different families in Massachusetts and babysat for twelve others throughout the state. Taylor is a member of Pi Gamma Mu, the international honor society in the social sciences, and is a Notary Public in Massachusetts. In her free time, Taylor enjoys reading, catching up on Tumblr and blogging for the Times of Israel.

Carla Yael Olsztajn is a Lawyer and a Public Accountant. She has Master Studies in International Relations and Negotiations from the University of San Andrés, the Latin American Faculty on Social Sciences and the University of Barcelona. She has more than five years’ experience in international taxation working in big fours and large law firms, and also developed her writing and teaching skills by publishing articles in a specialized tax magazine on a monthly basis and teaching at the University of Buenos Aires. She has been recognized as Active Member by the Argentine Association of Fiscal Studies and the International Fiscal Association has recently published her research paper on international taxation. She has participated in the Ibero-American Youth Leadership Program in Europe sponsored by Fundación Carolina, Vital Voices' Mentoring Program with Women Leaders and WZO's Leadership Training Seminar in Israel. Carla currently participates in Masa Israel’s Israel Government Fellows program, through which she interns at the Legal Advisor's Office, Ministry of Economy of the State of Israel, handling international issues.

Boglarka Fanni Palko originally hails from Budapest, Hungary. She received her B.A. in International Public Administration and Law from the Pazmany Peter Catholic University in Budapest and her M.A. in European Studies from the University of Hamburg in Germany. Her Master's thesis and research focused on labor economics and international migration between the Middle East and the European Union. Before joining the 8th Session of Israel Government Fellows and starting to work as the International Spokesperson of the Ministry of Public Security, Boglarka worked for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Hungary. Besides being an active member of the student body at her universities, Boglarka is also an active member of the Jewish community of Budapest.

Molly Radler recently graduated from University at Buffalo with a BA in Psychology, and hopes to pursue a master’s degree in social work. She currently participates in the Israel Service Fellows progam in Akko, teaching English at Manof Youth Village, and volunteering at Akim, an after school program for children with special needs. Molly also works in Yarka, a Druze village in the north where she teaches dance to young Druze teens. 

Leah Rosenberg was born and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico in the United States. She recently graduated from Barnard College at Columbia University in New York City where she studied Political Science and American History. Leah was president of the Columbia University Mock Trial team and a national competitor. She was also a teaching fellow with the Barnard Speaking Fellows, a program that teaches students public speaking skills. An avid learner and traveler, Leah studied at the Rothberg International School at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem where she took Hebrew classes. That same fall she participated in the International Honor Program's “Cities in the 21st Century” where she studied contemporary urban issues in Brazil, South Africa, and Vietnam. Leah has been actively involved in Jewish life since she was young; she attended a Jewish day school, went to a reform Jewish overnight camp, assistant taught at her synagogue’s religious school for seven years, and attended conferences and seminars on Jewish education and social action. In the summer of 2012 she served as a Goldman Fellow at Project Interchange in Washington DC, an educational institute of the American Jewish Committee that brings global leaders to Israel for week-long seminars. Leah is excited to be back in Israel, this time for ten months, as a participant in Tikkun Olam in Tel Aviv-Jaffa, a volunteer program that serves disadvantaged populations in Tel Aviv.

Nitzah Santiago-McRae grew up in Pennsylvania and earned her B.S. in Elementary and Special Education from Millersville University, PA. Before becoming a Masa Israel Teaching Fellow in Ramla-Lod, she was a teacher in Greenbelt, Maryland. She enjoys painting, building, teaching, learning and finding methods to solve problems. 

Eidan Schahaf of Los Angeles, CA has a BA in Political Science and International Affairs from the University of California, Riverside. Prior to coming to Israel, Eidan worked alongside Israel advocacy organizations such as StandWithUs and AIPAC and founded and acted as president of the university’s first official Pro-Israel organization. Eidan is currently interning through Israel Government Fellows at the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs at the Civil Society Affairs Division of Public Diplomacy, working to combat anti-Semitism and the growing international boycott movement against Israel.

Layla Schwartz is an Israel Teaching Fellow in Rehovot where she teaches English in a middle school. She especially loves to share her love of history with her students and prepares whole lessons on American history and culture in addition to working with small groups of students on traditional lessons. Originally from the Chicago area, Layla received her undergraduate degree in Spanish and Theater Arts (with a performance emphasis) from Lawrence University. She spent the last five years in Cleveland, Ohio where she obtained her Master of Education degree from John Carroll University. She taught Spanish and performed on most of Cleveland's professional stages before coming to Israel. In addition to education and theater, her greatest passions are travel, foreign languages, and reading non-fiction books and articles. She is thrilled to have the opportunity to participate in the Masa-Kol Voice Leadership Fellowship and to learn about the many facets of Israeli activism. Layla intends to continue being a fair and informed advocate for Israel in her Jewish community wherever the future takes her. 

Anna Tzizik is currently an Israel Teaching Fellow in the southern city of Be'er Sheva, where she works with underprivileged elementary school students. In her spare time, she volunteers with the Ben-Gurion University-based group "Students 4 Refugees"--which works with Sudanese and Eritrean refugees in Arad, Israel. In the United States, she attended the University of Southern Maine, in Portland, where she majored in English Literature, and minored in Creative Writing and Music Performance. She was active in both her on-campus and regional community, helping to run blood drives, volunteering at the local soup kitchen, and seasonally visiting and caroling in local nursing homes. She also had the opportunity to do a musical tour of Andalusia, Spain with her University's most prestigious vocal group, the Chamber Singers, in 2011. A native New Englander, Anna is at once unreasonably excited and terribly disappointed to be missing this season's slew of debilitating blizzards.

Alisa Wills is a philanthropic entrepreneur, ballet dancer, dog lover, and passionate Jewish leader. She is from Tampa, Florida and a graduate of the University of Florida (Go Gators!), with a B.S. in Finance, and minors in Communication Studies and Entrepreneurship. She has worked in the startup world for over four years, beginning as an intern and progressing through to co-founding her first company. She is inspired by the ingenuity of her peers and thrives in an environment where there is no upper bound for achievement expectations. After spending a year in New York City and becoming active in the Jewish community there, Alisa decided to explore Israel and learn more about what the country means to her. During her time in Israel she is developing resources for entrepreneurs in the Galil by planning a multi-day entrepreneurship conference to energize the community and as a precursor in support of long-term entrepreneurship initiatives in the area.

Introducing the Masa-Makom Fellows

Introducing the Masa-Makom Fellows

February 24, 2014

Israel in Real Life: The Masa-Makom Fellowship brings together emerging Jewish educators to learn about Israel engagement strategies and Jewish Peoplehood. 

The Masa-Makom Fellows will develop a sophisticated understanding of Israel and the Jewish collective, building their skillset as an Israel Engagement leader who is ready to implement innovative programming in their home communities. The Fellows were selected from highly-qualified Masa Israel participants spending ten months in Israel interning and volunteering with underserved communities.


Brent Abelson is a Masa Israel Teaching Fellow in Be'er Sheva from Torrance, California. Throughout his childhood he was very active in the Los Angeles Area Jewish community, reestablishing Galilee AZA of the B'nai B'rith Youth Organization. Brent majored in History at UC Davis while actively participating in the College Democrats society and the University rugby team. After graduation, Brent came to Israel for the first time on Taglit-Birthright Israel and had one of the most important spiritual experiences of his life. After serving as a staffer on President Obama’s reelection team, Brent received the opportunity to return to Israel as a Masa Israel Teaching Fellow, working to close the achievement gap in Israel’s periphery.


Samuel Chabrow is originally from Maplewood, NJ, and has varied interests from Jewish history and literature, to cycling, politics, and cooking. An accomplished musician, he has a Bachelor's of Music in Composition from New England Conservatory, graduating with honors. His compositions include a setting of Holocaust survivor Sonia Schreiber Weitz's poem “Icicles” as well as a passage from Psalm 104. His senior year, Samuel wrote a paper exploring the Jewish-American identity of Leonard Bernstein as expressed through his writings and music. Since graduating he has sought a career as a Jewish professional with the hope of strengthening the community that his given him so much. He is currently spending a year teaching English at Dvir, an elementary school in Ashdod, Israel, as a participant of the Masa Israel Teaching Fellows program.


Amanda Gold was born and raised in Long Island, New York, is currently serving as a Masa Israel Teaching Fellow in Rehovot. She spends her days learning about the different cultures in Israel and their unique cuisines. She hopes to pursue a master’s degree next year in Nonprofit Management and Leadership at Hebrew University. 



Nicole Hertzberg is currently a Masa Israel Teaching Fellow in Petach Tikva where she assistant teaches English at a low-income elementary school.  Born and raised in West Bloomfield, Michigan, Nicole is a proud graduate of the University of Michigan where she studied Psychology and Criminal Justice. At UM, Nicole was very involved in Greek Life and Model United Nations and served on the executive boards of both organizations.  Outside of college, Nicole was involved in politics through working on campaigns and interning for her Congressman one summer on Capitol Hill. Nicole plans to attend law school in the fall.  In her spare time, Nicole likes to travel and go swimming at the beach. 


Emily Hirschman of Oakland, CA graduated from California State University, Chico with degrees in Journalism/Public Relations and Sustainability Management in 2010.  Upon graduating she accepted a junior associate position with a large corporate public relations firm working in the food, wine and agriculture space.  After several months working in for-profit PR, she transitioned to the non-profit world, working for environmental nonprofits, designing programs, recruiting volunteers, and publicity. As a result Emily cultivated a drive and entrepreneurial spirit, and is excited to be a Masa-Makom Fellow.  



Aliyah Jacobson of New York City, NY is a Masa Israel Teaching Fellow in Netanya, Israel. She holds a bachelor degree in childhood education and a minor in English from La Guardia Community College and previously student taught at two different high schools in New York City.  Before coming to Israel, Aliyah acted as treasurer of the “Brooklyn Community Chorus” in Parks Slope, Brooklyn for a year, serving the Jewish community by donating half of the profits from concerts to the synagogue. She is grateful for the opportunities provided by Masa Israel to hear speakers from around the world on the many issues that Israel faces and to see what difference she can make when she returns to New York City.


Lauren Kandel has spent the past twenty summers as a camper, a counselor, and a group leader at various camps and could not imagine a summer without it.  Her passion for camp led her to pursue a master’s degree in Early Childhood and Childhood education at Queens College in Flushing, NY.  She is currently a Masa Israel Teaching Fellow in Netanya, where she teaches 3rd and 6th grade students, and is excited every day to meet people and engage in activities that help her learn more about state of Israel.



Seth Markin graduated from Muhlenberg College in 2013, majoring in the Philosophy of Political Thought with a minor in Business Administration and a program in law. As a Resident Advisor at Muhlenberg, Seth built and fostered an expanding community in every building he managed. By the end of his tenure at Muhlenberg he had rose to Head Resident Advisor, in charge of six buildings, five staff members, and hundreds of students. Seth also worked at the Admissions office, taught guitar to children living in Allentown, and was the head council member of the Muhlenberg judicial council. In addition to his in-college career, Seth worked at Congressman Fitzpatrick’s office in Pennsylvania after graduating: researching, speech-writing, and dealing in constituent casework. Now, Seth lives in Jerusalem, participating in the Israel Government Fellows program. He works with both the legal and economic departments of the Israel Antitrust Authority.


Dascher Pasco is a participant of Masa Israel Teaching Fellows in Netanya. She attended the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia where she double majored in Religious Studies and English. Outside of school, Dascher spent her time volunteering with Big Brothers Big Sisters of America as well as working with programs that addressed diversity within the William and Mary community. Her passion for the work that directly affected her surroundings ultimately led her to the Masa Israel Teaching Fellows program. Dascher is eager to continue developing her relationships with communities in both Israel and America, and welcomes any opportunity to do so. After the conclusion of Masa Israel Teaching Fellows, she plans to apply to law school.


Mandy Usprech graduated from York University in Toronto, Canada with a bilingual degree in Political Science and Journalism. During her studies, she worked as a research fellow in human rights cases. Seconds after finishing her finals, Mandy worked for Ontario's Parliament in education policy. She hit the ground sprinting in her role as an education policy officer, meeting with visiting foreign delegations to discuss Ontario's unique framework on education. This opportunity allowed Mandy to work in South Korea for six months on Canada-South Korea partnership in English literacy as a second language. After reading about the demand for English teachers in Israel, and the major socioeconomic barrier for Israelis in the periphery to learn English, she uprooted from South Korea to Rehovot, Israel. Mandy currently teaches at Sinai, a religious elementary school. She adores incorporating her passions in her lessons such as dance, art and photography. When not teaching, Mandy can be found hiking the Israel Trail or practicing her ballet technique.


Aaron White of Palm Springs, CA is currently a graduate student at Tel Aviv University, where he is studying for his M.A. in Environmental Studies. He currently interns at Assif Strategies and conducts research at the Jerusalem Institute for Market Studies (JIMS). In his spare time, Aaron can be found playing guitar on a park bench, riding his bike around Tel Aviv, or most likely, reading a book by the Yarkon River.


From Unemployed to Jerusalem Post Reporter

Talking Israel with Israelis

From France to Israel: A new way of thinking

<div class="masa-blog-title">From France to Israel: A new way of thinking</div>

By Camille Morliere, Israel Government Fellows
A little more than a year ago, I chose a Masa program that would give me the possibility to do an internship relevant for my medical residency in public health, and which contained an educational component that would allow me to finally learn about Israel. Let me explain: I started the Israel Government Fellows program in a state of complete ignorance.

Soccer Across Borders

<div class="masa-blog-title">Soccer Across Borders</div>

By Ethan Goldman, on Masa Israel's Yahel Social Change program
As far back as I can remember soccer has always been a huge part of my life.  I started playing in elementary school and since then I have rarely gone a day without having a ball at my feet. In addition to providing me with a good source of exercise and a well needed outlet for my surplus of energy, soccer has also been one of, if not the, most important social tool in my personal life.

Welcoming the First Masa-Hillel Fellows

Welcoming the First Masa-Hillel Fellows

February 6, 2014

We are so excited to welcome our first cohort of Masa-Hillel Fellows. The new fellowship is a six-month professional development seminar to prepare current Masa participants for Hillel work. 
Through Hillel’s partnership with Masa, Hillel is providing a Fellowship experience for current Masa participants who were at the Masa Israel Leadership Summit in December. The goal of the Masa-Hillel Fellowship is to build a talent pipeline and populate Hillel’s professional cohort with talented individuals and budding leaders who are actively exploring Israel and reinforcing their Jewish and Israel connections.
Abby Calish is currently an Israel Teaching Fellow in Rehovot. Prior to spending this time in Israel, Abby was a student at Union College where she majored in Spanish and Hispanic studies. While she isn't teaching English or volunteering at a local community center, Abby loves spending her time traveling, dancing, baking, and rooting for all of her favorite Boston sports teams.
Carrie Collister is currently spending a year with Tikkun Olam in Tel Aviv- Jaffa studying and interning at The Daniel Centers for Progressive Judaism. A native of Wisconsin, she spent five years prior to Tikkun Olam living and working in the Deep South. While attending college, she could be found either in the library studying History or on the quad prepping her sorority sisters for an upcoming recruitment event. Carrie’s passion for Judaism is shown through in her teachings at Sunday School and in founding and leading the Young MOTs of Dothan. Carrie is a devoted Packers fan and enjoys spending time with her dog Bella when stateside.
Hannah Elovitz is learning at Pardes and living it up in Israel for the year. Born and raised in Olney, Maryland, Hannah is a proud graduate the University of Maryland where she studied Marketing and Religious Studies. She was also a Design Fellow in the Business School, which combined her passion for creativity with business. Hannah loved UMD for its huge Jewish community, was very involved in interfaith organizations on campus, and co-founded an Israeli dance group her senior year. She enjoys spending time with family and friends, connecting people to each other, and jogging (she recently ran her first 10K in the Jerusalem Night Run).

Alex Feder is currently an Israel Teaching Fellow in Rishon LeZion, where he augments the English program at an underserved elementary school through specialized tutoring and extracurricular activities. Before coming to Israel he was involved in development at Northwestern University's Hillel, where his interests in Jewish education and non-profit management flourished. Alex looks forward to pursuing these interests upon his return home to the States at the end of this year.
Shana Feld is a current participant of Tikkun Olam in Tel Aviv – Jaffa, where she volunteers with several in need populations including slower developing and special needs youth, the elderly, and at risk youth on welfare. Before dedicating a year of her life in Israel, Shana attended the University of Texas at Austin where she received a Bachelor’s in Psychology and Sociology. Originally from Denver, Colorado, Shana enjoys spending her free time doing yoga and exploring the outdoors.
Megan Garrett, an Israel Teaching Fellow, has been teaching, tutoring, and organizing events for Netanya youth this school year. Megan’s passion is shown through her past roles as a supervisor at a Jewish overnight summer camp, Youth Group advising position, and her presidency of Marshall University’s Jewish Student Association.  Megan actively involves herself in outdoor activities and platforms that allow her to grow through educating and engaging our youth.
Mike Greenstone is a 2013-2014 Masa Israel Teaching Fellow at Avivim School in Rishon LeZion, Israel. A native of Champaign, Illinois, he holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in music education from the University of Illinois, where he was active at Hillel and was a member of the Marching Illini. During the summers, he serves as Media Director at URJ camp OSRUI, where he has worked since 2003. In his free time, he enjoys writing song parodies.
Bari Lang is an enthusiastic individual, currently living in Be’er Sheva as an Israel Teaching Fellow. She prepares lessons and teaches English to low-income elementary school students, in addition to volunteering in the community. While at the University of West Florida, Bari was a Resident Assistant which helped her develop her communication, organization, and presentation skills. She was born and raised in Miami and can often be caught singing to 90’s music.
Sara Legasey is currently teaching English in Israel through the Masa’s Israel Teaching Fellows Netanya program. Sara discovered her passion for education while a student at Boston University, where she volunteered in the community as an after school tutor, interned at a non-profit providing aid to under-served public schools, and volunteered as an English teacher for six months in Ghana. After graduating in 2011, she explored careers in activism, working briefly for a political consulting firm, and at a law firm. A native New Englander, Sara plans to return to Boston after completing the Israel Teaching Fellows program, where she will be reunited with her dog, Gus.
Leanna Lynch is a current an Israel Teaching Fellow in Rehovot, Israel. Prior to her Israeli adventure, Leanna was a student at Binghamton University where she spent her time cheering on athletics as a member of the University’s Dance team, motivating people to instil health habits into their lifestyles as a campus Personal Trainer and engaging students in their Judaism as a Hillel Peer Network Engagement Intern. Leanna is familiar with the level of professionalism required to continually support student engagement and team enrichment. She is excited to be a part of the Masa-Hillel Fellowship’s 2014 cohort.
Katherine Nelson is currently an Israel Teaching Fellow in Beit She’an. Before coming to Israel, Katherine was finishing her credential for elementary teaching at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. While attending university, she was an orientation leader for new students and served on the judicial board for her sorority. Coming from a small town in Northern California, Katherine loves nature and is frequently found hiking with her golden retriever, Sasha.
Seth Reder is currently working as an Israel Teaching Fellow in Netanya, Israel, teaching English to under-privileged children from 3rd-6th grade. Prior to embarking on his Israel journey, Seth worked as an Area Director for the Department of Housing and Residential Life at the University of Miami for three years, where he oversaw the daily operations of a first-year residential college consisting of over 900 students. Seth earned his Master of Education in Postsecondary Administration and Student Affairs from the University of Southern California, and loves learning, teaching, and supporting student development and leadership. When Seth Reder is not working as an educator, you can find him writing music, performing, playing ice hockey, traveling, and enjoying time with family and friends.
Deborah Stone is currently teaching English at an underprivileged school in Netanya, Israel as an Israel Teaching Fellow. Prior to volunteering in Israel, Deborah served as the Executive Assistant for Trilogy Capital, LLC, a hedge fund in Greenwich, Connecticut. While there, she simultaneously completed her graduate degree earning a Master of Arts in Teaching in 2012. When she is not educating, you can find her traveling, cycling, running, skiing and maybe even sky diving.
Brittany Walters graduated from the University of Florida with a degree in Political Science and African Studies. For a time, she moved to Australia, working for a human rights radio program and music periodical. Continuing her focus on arts as a means of cultural preservation, she bid adieu to Melbourne for the ONE Campaign in Washington, D.C. Following this, she worked as the East Coast Editor for RYOT News; after deciding that proximity to houses of the white variety was not a profound enough reason to stay, she headed East. Middle East, that is. At present, she is inspiring the youth of Israel through pantomimed English and candy-oriented lessons with Israel Teaching Fellows and studying Jewish music and identity retention through arts mediums.



Originally published on Hillel's News and Views Blog



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