Tikkun Olam Does the Desert

<div class="masa-blog-title">Tikkun Olam Does the Desert</div>

 
By Alana, Tikkun Olam in Tel Aviv-Jaffa, a 5 month Social Action track participant and University of Connecticut graduate.
 
This weekend marked our first group trip around Israel! Once a month we go on weekend camping trips through various regions. This weekend we drove down to the Negev (A huuuuge desert in southern Israel) for some hiking and farm tours.
 

IDC Herzliya Information Session with Mr. Jonathan Davis- East Coast

IDC Herzliya Information Session with Mr. Jonathan Davis- East Coast

April 6, 2011 (All day)  -  April 6, 2011 (All day)

116 East 16th St., 5th FloorNew York, NY  - 

Join us for an information session with Mr. Jonathan Davis, regarding academic programs for the 2011-2012 academic year at IDC Herzliya. 

RSVP to Lenore LaVine lenore@afidc.org

Every new beginning comes with some other beginning’s end

<div class="masa-blog-title">Every new beginning comes with some other beginning’s end</div>

 
By Rachel Zieleniec, Yahel Social Change Program
 
I can’t believe it has been two months since my last post! It’s been way too long. There have been countless moments where I’ve said “I need to put this in my blog…” Well, those moments added up,and I didn’t keep up like I should have. But, as I start a new adventure this coming week, I hope to be able to keep up a bit more.
 

OTZMA — The Life Changing Experience

<div class="masa-blog-title">OTZMA — The Life Changing Experience</div>

By Jennifer Perchonok, Otzma
 
One summer when working at camp, I was sitting with an older staff who I had grown up with and always admired for his outgoing personality and strong connection to the Jewish World. It was the beginning of the summer and we were catching up about our lives outside of camp. I’m not sure what I was telling him, but he started telling me about the life changing year he had just had abroad on a program called OTZMA.
 

Masa Israel In The News

Masa Israel In The News

Masa Israel Journey is leading the way in connecting “the next generation” of Jewish young adults to Israel through internship, volunteer and leadership development experiences. In 2010-2011 alone, Masa Israel brought over 10,000 Jews to Israel for a minimum of five months, and we have more than 55,000 alumni around the world.

More than Just Year Course!

<div class="masa-blog-title">More than Just Year Course!</div>

 
Here are some words from Lisa Heller, a recent WUJS graduate who returned earlier this month to chaperone a Birthright program.
 
In the fall of 2009, after being laid off in the bad economy, I decided to return to Israel for an extended program through Masa Israel Journey, the umbrella organization for long-term programs in Israel.
 

Building Future Leadership Conference – Impressions from a Tikkun Olam in Tel Aviv-Jaffa participant

<div class="masa-blog-title">Building Future Leadership Conference – Impressions from a Tikkun Olam in Tel Aviv-Jaffa participant</div>

Four Tikkun Olam in Tel Aviv-Jaffa participants recently attended Masa’s Building Future Leadership conference in Jerusalem. Here’s what Katie, a 10 month Coexistence track volunteer, had to say about the experience:
 
I recently spent a week with five hundred young Jews who are committed to improving the global Jewish community.
 

Partnership 2000 Hosts 72 Masa Israel Participants for a Day of Jewish Peoplehood Activities

Partnership 2000 Hosts 72 Masa Israel Participants for a Day of Jewish Peoplehood Activities

Partnership 2000 Hosts 72 Masa Israel Participants for a Day of Jewish Peoplehood Activities

April 5, 2011

By P2K volunteer Rebecca Kofman, Beit Shemesh
 
Masa Israel participants in its annual Building Future Leadership Conference in Jerusalem enjoyed a full day of activities arranged by Partnership 2000 (Beit Shemesh-Mateh Yehuda-Washington-South Africa) in Bet Shemesh on March 8.
 
Highlight of the day was the interaction between the Masa Israel young adults and the first, second and third graders at Jabotinsky Elementary School. Together they created Shabat placements to share with their overseas friends in the Jewish Primary Day School in Washington, DC. The schools have been in the P2K school Twinning project for over three years.
 
As the Jabotinsky principal Bracha said, “It was hard at first for the Jabotinsky youngsters to realize that there were actually Jews who live outside Israel. Now through video conferencing they have accepted that, and this year we are focusing on the similarities and differences between how Israeli and American Jewish children celebrate the holidays.” Having actual committed Jewish young adults who live outside Israel come and do a project with the Jabotinsky students really helped them to understand not only that Jews do live outside Israel but that they also love Israel.
 
After completing the Jabotinsky project, Masa participants were joined by 17 Israeli young adults from Branco-Weiss High School, the P2K student program and a local Garin for an interviewing project to meet local residents and complete a worksheet about their family origins, life in Bet Shemesh, etc. In groups of 3 or 4, the young people spread out through Migdal Hamayim on market day to speak with vendors, cab drivers, pedestrians and others to get a taste of the variety of backgrounds and interests of local city inhabitants.
 
Next the Masa participants and local Israeli youth gathered at Matnas Psagot HaSheva where they broke into four groups to discuss various aspects of Jewish Peoplehood, based on their interview findings. They tackled some tough issues about Jewish identity, religious practices and enabling future generations to be informed and enthusiastic about being Jewish.
 
As one participant reported at the end of the day, “Through this experience I may not become a Jewish leader on my college campus next year, but I will be able to counter positively and powerfully any negative remarks made about Israel and Israelis.”
 
Note: Masa Israel sponsors numerous extended stay opportunities for youth from abroad to travel, study and do community service projects throughout the country. Over 10,000 young Jewish adults are in Israel this year in various Masa programs.
 

Israel Becomes World Leader in Sustainable Volunteer Programs

Israel Becomes World Leader in Sustainable Volunteer Programs

April 5, 2011

Masa Israel Journey launches immersive, grassroots service projects in Israel, teaming up American and Israeli volunteers to meet communities needs
(New York, NY) In response to traditional volunteer programs that have Americans parachuting in and out of countries worldwide with no long-term effects, Masa Israel Journey recently launched two new, integrated volunteer programs that team up American and Israeli volunteers to create sustainable projects in Israels underserved periphery.
 
Through the five-month Yahel Social Change Program, Americans work with Israeli grassroots organizations to create community-driven educational projects in immigrant communities. In the 10-month Ma’ase Olam program, Americans join Israeli peers in their own communities and volunteer with local NGOs.
 
A joint project of the Government of Israel and the Jewish Agency for Israel, Masa Israel has nearly 10,000 participants, and 16 post-college programs exclusively dedicated to service.
 
“As with any country, Israel has tremendous needs,” said Avi Rubel, Masa Israel’s North American Director. “Masa Israel aims to dramatically increase the number of young adults who choose Israel and partner with Israelis in doing meaningful service and volunteer work.”
 
The Yahel Social Change Program, based in Gedera, launched in 2010 with six North American participants, five of whom stayed on for the spring 2011 semester. By teaming up with Ethiopian-Israeli volunteers from Friends by Nature, a local not-for-profit organization that seeks to empower the Ethiopian community in Israel, they are volunteering in academic assistance programs, teaching English and working in community gardens, as well as meeting social activists and learning about issues of immigration, community empowerment and sustainability.
 
“With our grassroots efforts, we cannot expect to fully see the impact of our work during our stay, but we can plant seeds and help to create new and innovative sustainable projects,” said Drew Fidler, Yahel Social Change Program participant. A graduate of New York University’s School of Social Work, Fidler collaborated with Friends by Nature to launch a project, which seeks to prepare Ethiopian youth to work at Jewish summer camps in North America.
 
Ma’ase Olam’s inaugural program for North Americans and Israelis will run from September 2011-June 2012. They will live communally, study Hebrew, receive professional training, work on joint volunteer projects with diverse communities, and learn about the social and cultural complexities of Israeli society.
 
To speak with volunteer program alumni from your area, please contact Masa Israels Director of Public Relations, Rachel Trager at (917) 371-5569 or racheltr@masaisrael.org. 

The International Conservation Center, Citta di Roma Teach Students From All Over The World How To Conserve Archaeology

The International Conservation Center, Citta di Roma Teach Students From All Over The World How To Conserve Archaeology

The International Conservation Center, Citta di Roma Teach Students From All Over The World How To Conserve Archaeology

April 5, 2011

For the first time in Israel, the Israel Antiquities Authority will hold a unique project in which young students from all over the world take part in the conservation of archaeological and historical sites in Israel.
The students are tutored by conservation specialists and archaeologists from the Israel Antiquities Authority.
 
After a long period of rehabilitation and conservation work in a spectacular Ottoman building in the southern part of Old Akko, the International Conservation Center, Citta di Roma will open its doors. In fact, this is the first institution in the country where practical conservation training will now take place. With the inauguration of the building different courses and activities will be offered for the purpose of training conservators from both Israel and abroad.
 
The program is the third session of the Saving the Stones program. This is a five month long international study program designed for young students from around the world who come to Israel within the framework of the “Masa” program sponsored by the government and the Jewish Agency. Students from Israel, Poland, Russia, the United States, England, Panama and Puerto Rico will participate in the first class. 
 
 
The professional training includes workshops in the conservation of stone, mortar, wood, metal, etc. Raʽanan Kislev, head of IAA Conservation Department, said that the conservation experts of the Israel Antiquities Authority will tutor the training activities, the theoretical and practical studies. According to him, the Israel Antiquities Authority considers the participants part of its professional activity and they will be permitted to touch, explore, treat and conserve the unique and rich heritage of Israel. Their work will contribute to bestowing the heritage to future generations and increase awareness in Israel for conservation.
 
The Akko Municipality and Old Akko Development Company are partners in the program. Mr. David Harrari, CEO of the Old Acre Development Company, welcomed the participants on their first day and said that “the success of the program will contribute to promoting and positioning Akko as an international training center. Opening the doors of the city’s institutions and its homes constitutes a significant tier in the presentation of a city that is welcoming, warm and accommodating of tourists.”
 
 
At the reception organized by the city of Akko, the municipality promised to help the participants adjust to their stay in Israel and organized host families for them, cultural events and a wide variety of activities. In exchange the program’s participants will volunteer to assist in social activities in the city and contribute to the research on the culture and conservation of Akko’s sites.
 
In a field trip arranged for the program participants at the Western Galilee College, Dr. Nadav Kashtan, head of the Conservation Department, showed them the conservation studies laboratories and the conservation library. He invited the participants to visit the college and make use of all of the professional facilities during their work.
 
 
The director of the International Conservation Center, Shelley-Anne Peleg of the Israel Antiquities Authority, invited the residents of Akko to join in the training activities that take place daily within the framework of the program, throughout the city. The program is powered by Masa Israel Journey, a company of the Jewish Agency and is sponsored by the Israel National Committee to UNESCO. The participants live in Manof School.
 
For further details, kindly contact:
Itzhak Rabihiya, acting spokesman of the Israel Antiquities Authority, 054-7999209.
Shelley-Anne Peleg, Director – Intl Conservation Center, 052-4284379