What support does Masa Israel provide before I leave for Israel, while I’m there, and after I come back?

What support does Masa Israel provide before I leave for Israel, while I’m there, and after I come back?

Masa Israel provides simple access to immersive experiences that are as varied as Israel itself, and helps you navigate the entire process at every step along the way. Masa Israel offers a wide range of programs to fit every need and interest and can help match you to the most appropriate option.

Tomorrow’s Future is Already Here in Jerusalem

Tomorrow’s Future is Already Here in Jerusalem

April 7, 2011

By Yulia Burlan
Erica Fensten (pictured), originally from Los Angeles, said that coming to the Masa Israel Government Fellowship (IGF) program has definitely changed her life.
“It helped me grow as a person, gain in-depth knowledge about Israel, and offered me an opportunity to experience life here first-hand.”
Erica has always been an active member in the Jewish community in LA, whether in the synagogue or in a variety of youth movements. However, upon entering the college campus atmosphere, she was dismayed to find her Jewish identity used against her to vilify her passion for Israel. “Many said that I only support Israel because I’m Jewish. They claimed that I never lived there nor have been to or seen the areas under debate, like the West Bank or the security fence.”
To this aspiring individual, disqualification was not a reasonable argument. During her junior year, she came to Israel with Hasbara Fellowships to not only learn more about Israel but to also experience the conflict first hand. Now, following her senior year of college, she has come to Jerusalem for the Masa IGF program, which is a one year, elite post-college program, for individuals ages 22 to 30, offering real work experience in government ministries, educational seminars with top politicians, policy-makers and opinion-formers, and trips around the country.
“With a country that I constantly have to defend, being a tourist here was not enough for me.” Erica said. The Masa IGF program has given her the tools and experiences that she has been searching for. "Now, I am no longer a tourist. I live here, work here, and really feel connected to this country."
While interning at the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Erica has been treated as a part of the team. Her mentor has regarded her as any of the other staff, granting her some of the rarest opportunities she explained. The Masa IGF Program Coordinator said, “It is a risky thing bringing the brightest and best into the Israeli government.” With shining participants, like Erica, whose commitment and passion strengthens year by year, it is a risky business indeed.
“I’ve always had an attachment to Israel but it has grown even stronger over this past year,” stated Francine Bendat. “The experience has been eye opening” she said while discussing her Masa IGF internship at the Israeli Ministry of Environmental Protection. Working in the International Affairs division has provided her with the opportunity to attend all the high-profile meetings and work with a variety of international organizations.
“In all the projects, I am given the same responsibilities as the rest of the office.” It is not the same reality in the US. An initiative of the Menachem Begin Heritage Center, Masa IGF offers internships in the most-desired sectors of the government. The nature of the work and the staff make the experience a rare gift for a recent graduate. Moreover, the diversity of participants in the program really contributes to the social experience of the group. “I have a network of friends now from all over the world.” Francine exclaimed.
Her experience in the program has motivated her upon her return home to seek out a Jewish community in which she can be involved. “I have always been involved in the Jewish community while growing up, especially in college where I was on the executive board of Hillel and the president of Students for Israel. After graduating, the easily available environment for such activity disappeared.
Now, though, it has become very important for me to work for Israel advocacy and be an active part of Jewish community life when I come back home.” While working in television advertising after college, she examined her resume and found that “I must have been involved in all these Jewish and Israel related activities for a reason.” Soon, thereafter, she was accepted to Masa IGF.
Individuals, like Erica and Francine, have had an exceptional educational, practical and fun experience in Israel because of Masa IGF. The program has contributed to their attachment to the country while providing them with rare internship opportunities. Many have said that such opportunities are only dreamt of in the US. Masa, on the other hand, made them a practical reality in Israel.
Masa IGF currently has 24 students, with an alumni network of 71. The leaders of tomorrow are now interning with Israel’s government ministries annually. The change that has been so longed for is currently in the making.
Originally published by the Jewish Agency for Israel

Career Israel

Career Israel


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.