Emily Shelton

Kayla Kahn

Kayla Kahn

Oranim Tel Aviv Internship Experience
 
After her bat mitzvah, St. Louis-native Kayla Kahn was fairly certain her Jewish education was over.  But following her graduation from Johns Hopkins University, Kayla traveled to Israel with Birthright and everything changed.
 
“I had no previous Israel experience and nothing close to a feeling or connection to Israel, but Birthright really worked for me,” says Kayla.  “In the Jewish country, surrounded by Jewish people my own age, I felt completely comfortable being Jewish. As soon as the trip ended, I started looking at Masa Israel programs in order to return and by August, I was back.”
 
Kayla chose to participate in Masa Israel’s Oranim Internship Experience, which set her up with an apartment in Tel Aviv on Ben Yehuda Street—two blocks from the beach—and an internship as the international campus coordinator at Tel Aviv University’s student union.  “I knew I wanted to stay in the realm of student life because I’d been the social chair of my sorority and had done event planning for Johns Hopkins, so the internship was perfect for me,” says Kayla.  During her five months in Israel, Kayla met with students and department heads to understand their needs and planned events for the international student body.
 
“The internship helped me tailor my professional persona, and drove home the point that I really wanted to pursue a career in student life and higher education,” says Kayla.
 
Through her internship, Kayla forged some of her closest friendships with co-workers and  students, and enjoyed traveling with them outside of the city to camp at the Kinneret, Dead Sea and Jordan River.
 
Towards the end of her time in Israel, Kayla decided that she wanted to look for work in the Jewish world when she returned to the States.  “In Israel, I didn’t have to try to be Jewish because Judaism was all around me,” says Kayla.  “But, I was worried about returning to a life without Judaism and going into a career that had no Jewish connection.”
 
Back in St. Louis, Kayla was happy to get an email from a Birthright NEXT staff member who wanted to meet with her to hear about her Israel experiences.  “I told him that I now wanted to pursue a Jewish career path and he put me in touch with a lot of relevant people,” says Kayla.  Through these contacts, Kayla found out about a job at Penn State Hillel and was hired to be an engagement associate, through which she helps Jewish students feel comfortable about getting involved in Jewish life, and leads Birthright trips to Israel and alternative spring breaks.  She calls it a “dream job.”
 
“This is the first thing I’ve done that I know I’ll stay with,” says Kayla.  “Working in the Jewish world means that Israel and Judaism are part of my everyday life.”

Shauna Gamsey

Shauna Gamsey

Otzma
 
Growing up in a small Jewish community in St. Augustine, Florida, Shauna Gamsey attended Sunday school and celebrated the Jewish holidays with her family, but it wasn’t until college that she became involved in the Jewish community on her own.  Shortly after graduating from the University of Florida with a degree in anthropology, Shauna traveled to Israel for the first time with Birthright.
 
“Before then, I hadn’t spent a lot of time surrounded by Jewish culture, and as an anthropology major, it was fascinating to meet Jews from all over the world,” says Shauna.  “A whole new world opened up for me and I knew that I needed to experience more of it.”
 
Shauna stayed a few extra months to travel the country and made plans to spend that year saving up for her next extended stay in Israel through Masa Israel’s OTZMA, a 10-month service program.  In August 2010, Shauna set out for Israel, where she would spend the first two months living in an immigrant absorption center and learning Hebrew in Ashkelon, and the next eight months teaching English in Yerucham, a small development town in southern Israel.
 
“The periphery was interesting to me because of its diverse populations—Russian, Moroccan, and Indian Jews,” says Shauna. “I also knew that it was the right place to work on my Hebrew.”
 
Shauna spent her days tutoring students at the local public school in English and preparing them for their national exams.  “About one percent of the Yerucham population speaks English so there was definitely a huge language gap, but we did have breakthroughs,” says Shauna.  “There wasn’t a whole lot going on in the community to distract us and we were really able to dedicate ourselves to our work.”
 
On Shabbats and holidays, community families welcomed Shauna into their homes for meals and celebrations.  During Passover, Shauna volunteered in Ashalim, helping build homes with Ayalim, an organization that promotes the development and settlement of the Negev and the Galilee, and then returned to Yerucham for Mimouna, a North African celebration held the day after Passover.
 
“It was incredible to literally build the desert and be part of an idealistic Zionism, and then to return to Yerucham to take part in a tradition in which everyone opens their doors to their neighbors and visits each other,” says Shauna.  “Though I was very far from my family, the experience really made me feel at home.”
 
Now back in Florida, Shauna will soon be returning to Israel to continue her education in a Masters program at Ben Gurion University.
 

Tlalim & School of Geographical Photography

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Program Description

The program specializes in professional and quality training of skilled photographers who want to gain skill and knowledge in the field of photojournalism and art photography.
 
Combining education and professional practice with the ability to travel Israel, the program give you the opportunitt to get acquainted with the traditions and culture of the Jewish people, to study Hebrew, and engage in volunteer activities. The program is suitable for those who want to turn a hobby into a profession that is in demand, to combine art, creativity and career development to become a professional photographer.
 
This program is conducted in Russian.
 

Tlalim - Cisco Networking Academy - Computer Studies

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Program Description

This program offers participants an amazing opportunity to combine the world of knowledge, career opportunities and travel to Israel.
 
During an intensive period of training, participants receive quality vocational education in the field of computer technology and networking in the academy of Cisco Systems, Inc, a leading global company in communications equipment.
 

Tikkun Olam in Tel Aviv-Jaffa

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Program Description

Volunteer or intern for 5 or 10 months and learn about the issues facing Israeli society, on the only post-college program with Israeli participants in the group. Work with refugees from Darfur and Eritrea, Arab-Jewish coexistence, and much more. Learn Hebrew, travel around Israel and get to know the country and society better than you ever thought possible.
 
Tikkun Olam's Coexistence Track seeks to build mutual understanding between Jews and Arabs in the diverse communities of Jaffa through volunteer work and education, and by focusing locally on the issues facing Jews and Arabs in Israel today. The Social Action Track will immerse you in the multicultural communities of southern Tel Aviv in which you volunteer and study, offering a first-hand perspective into the struggling neighborhoods of South Tel Aviv.
 
The new Internship Track will enable you to gain valuable career experience in the non-profit sector, while making a difference for Israel's disadvantaged populations and learning about the complex issues facing Israeli society. 
 

For more information, contact:

Shana Feld

Director of Admissions

tikkunolam@bina.org.il

+972-58-7336788

 

 

 

Midreshet Rachel v'Chaya

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Program Description

Do you want to be challenged to grow spiritually personally and intellectually in a supportive nurturing environment? At Midreshet Rachel v’Chaya you will be part of a group of educated, independent women committed to personal and spiritual growth. You will learn how to independently access Torah sources while strengthening your link to tradition.
 
The Jewish philosophy curriculum includes seminal works by the Rambam, Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzatto, the Maharal Rav Abraham Isaac HaCohen Kook, and Rav Eliyahu Dessler, among others. Frequent in-depth seminars allow you to explore contemporary issues including the Jewish approach to sexuality, intermarriage, feminism, and mysticism.
 
Students who receive approval to not live in the dormitory and live off campus  receive a $4,000 per year discount or $2,000 per half-year discount (The discount is prorated for the amount of time in the program).

Without jobs in U.S., college grads are finding opportunities in Israel

Without jobs in U.S., college grads are finding opportunities in Israel

Without jobs in U.S., college grads are finding opportunities in Israel

October 11, 2011

NEW YORK (JTA) -- In her final months as a political science major at the University of Pittsburgh, Susanna Zlotnikov had a positive outlook about landing a job.
But as the months passed and her network of contacts led only to dead ends, Zlotnikov decided she needed a backup. Instead of spending the summer after her May graduation sending out more resumes, Zlotnikov took a pair of internships and moved to Israel.
 
It worked out well: In November she expects to be starting a full-time job in Israel as grants coordinator with Save a Child’s Heart, an Israeli-based humanitarian organization that provides cardiac surgery for children from the developing world.
 
With the U.S. economy still sputtering, a growing number of college graduates are turning to Israel programs to bridge their educational and professional careers. In many cases, these young American Jews are drawn to the programs not out of Zionist sensibilities but because they’re looking for workplace experience or seeking a way to do something Jewish. Some are even finding jobs in Israel and staying.
 

JFGO Masa initiative keeps young Jews connected to Israel

JFGO Masa initiative keeps young Jews connected to Israel

JFGO Masa initiative keeps young Jews connected to Israel

October 10, 2011

Each year, thousands of Jewish young adults take advantage of the Birthright Israel program, which provides free educational trips to Israel for first-time visitors between the ages of 18-26. But the journey does not have to end there.
Thanks to the Jerusalem-based Masa initiative, which is supported by the Jewish Federation of Greater Orlando, young adults can continue to connect with Israel after they graduate from college. Masa, which means “journey” in Hebrew, provides more than 160 programs designed to help young Jews build a life-long relationship with Israel and a firm commitment to Jewish life.
 
Michelle Guadagna is one of several Central Floridians who have benefitted from the Masa program. A graduate of Lake Brantley High School and the University of Florida, Guadagna was looking for a way to gain some additional work experience after receiving a degree in industrial engineering. She had done the Birthright program at age 19.
 
Through Masa, she found out about its Career Israel program.
 

Jewish Agency, Ministry of Education Launch Israeli Teach for America

Jewish Agency, Ministry of Education Launch Israeli Teach for America

Jewish Agency, Ministry of Education Launch Israeli Teach for America

October 6, 2011

Seeking to address the widespread under-performance of youth in low-income communities, while offering a unique Israel experience to participants, Israel Teaching Fellows launched this week.
A new, joint, initiative of the Ministry of Education and Masa Israel Journey, the program brings 75 university graduates from North America to Israel to volunteer as English teachers in schools across the country. In doing so, Israel is joining a handful of countries who “import” English teachers from abroad, including Japan, South Korea and France.
 
Immediately following the high holidays, the volunteers will be placed in elementary schools in Petah Tikva, Rishon Lezion, Rehovot, Netanya, Ramle and Lod. Following an initial training period, the volunteers will live in small groups in these communities and teach for 20 hours a week. The fellows will also design secondary volunteer projects in their host communities. Ongoing pedagogical support, Hebrew ulpan, host families and trips will be provided throughout their time in Israel.
 
The program’s launch event took place at Beit Hatfutsot, The Museum of the Jewish People, in Tel Aviv on Monday.
 
Israel Teaching Fellows is an initiative of the Ministry of Education and Masa Israel Journey, a project of the Jewish Agency for Israel and the Government of Israel.