Dancing Their Way to Success

<div class="masa-blog-title">Dancing Their Way to Success</div>

 
When the Masa Israel-accredited Dance Journey program came onto the scene in 2008, the idea of a program that would offer young Jewish adults from around the world the opportunity to study dance and repertory with professionals of the highest caliber for five months was a new one.
 
One of Israel's best-kept secrets, the Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company's (KCDC) Internation
 

Social Entrepreneurship: Leveraging Your Masa Israel Experience for Success

<div class="masa-blog-title">Social Entrepreneurship: Leveraging Your Masa Israel Experience for Success </div>

Masa Israel Journey strives to engage talented young adults in the global Jewish community, bolstering the next generation of Jewish leadership with a cohort of passionate, innovative individuals who have deep, personal connections to Israel. 
 
Through the Masa Israel Community, participants have access to leadership training during your time abroad.
 

How to translate your Israel experience into a stellar resume

<div class="masa-blog-title">How to translate your Israel experience into a stellar resume</div>

 
You’re back from your five months or a year in Israel. So what now?
 

Job alternatives for recent college graduates

<div class="masa-blog-title">Job alternatives for recent college graduates</div>

Graduation has come and gone, and you've just entered one of the toughest job markets in the past 10 years.
 

Israel Government Fellows Give Participants an Inside Look at the Israeli Government

Israel Government Fellows Give Participants an Inside Look at the Israeli Government

Israel Government Fellows Give Participants an Inside Look at the Israeli Government

April 13, 2011

23-year-old Caroline Reder has spent the past 10-months working for the Debt Unit of Israel’s Ministry of Finance.
While her friends back in America are pounding the pavement looking for work or taking refuge in graduate school, 23-year-old Caroline Reder has spent the past 10-months working for the Debt Unit of Israel’s Ministry of Finance where, among other things she was instrumental in the behind-the-scenes work for a EUR141.0 million loan from the European Investment Bank (EIB) for the State of Israel.
 
Reder is one of a select group of highly talented young people from around the world participating in Masa’s Israel Government Fellows program of the Menachem Begin Heritage Center, which offers them an unprecedented entrée into the Israeli Government.
 
“Nowhere else can you intern or work in government unless you are a national,” said Reder, a Boston native and 2009 graduate of the University of Maryland College Park. “Nowhere else can you be a part of such an amazing group of people from all over the world. This has really been a unique and fulfilling experience.”
 
Founded by the Jewish Agency and the Government of Israel in 2003, Masa Israel enables young Diaspora Jews to experience life in Israel for a semester or a year on any of over 160 programs to strengthen their Jewish identity and their connection to Israel.
 
The Israel Government Fellows program is a Menachem Begin Heritage Center program operated under the umbrella of Masa Israel, established in 2007. The program works in cooperation with the Israeli Government, the Prime Minister’s Office and the Civic Service Administration to offer young people (ages 22 to 30) internship and work experience in departments that run the gamut from finance to international and foreign affairs, with positions available in such places as the Department for Combating anti-Semitism and Holocaust Remembrance at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
 
Fellows are offered financial scholarships funded by the Menachem Begin Heritage Center up to $3,500 – which is on top of the grants and scholarships available to all Masa Israel participants that vary between $1,000 to $10,000 depending on the country of origin, length of the program and financial needs.
 
It’s not just the Fellows who gain from this partnership.
 
“This is the second time we’re taking part in this program and we’ve been very happy,” said Gil Cohen Director for the Foreign Dept Unit of Israel’s Ministry of Finance.
 
Cohen said they look for Fellows who are fluent in English, since this is the international language used in the financial arena, as well as experience in finance or economics. Fortunately, Reder had made all the requirements and more.
 
“We interviewed six or seven candidates and Caroline was our first choice. She is very smart and nice and willing to work hard.”
 
Not surprisingly, the Fellows who are accepted are all highly talented and accomplished.
 
“It’s really a very selective program. We choose the best candidates to really serve and work on the inside of the Government of Israel,” said Israel Government Fellows Director, Tamar Darmon.
 
In addition to the work itself, participants study Hebrew in an ulpan, learn about Israeli history, society and politics, and participate in regular seminars and day-trips, where they meet with some of Israel’s most influential thinkers and policy makers.  Even the hikes and day-trips that are built into the program are more than just a fun way to tour the country. So it is that a visit to the Golan Heights also involves meeting with former minister and General Effie Eitam to discuss the strategic of the area.
 
“These participants are really exposed to the professional side of working in government and the decision-making process. Through the seminars and trips we organize, Fellows meet and are exposed to prominent figures from the academic arena and the public sector, to discuss the serious questions and issues facing Israelis today,” said Darmon.
 
For her part, Reder feels the program has opened her up to a whole new world of ideas and experiences.
 
“The Israel Government Fellows program has given me a wonderful perspective on Israel and on the greater Middle East, provided us with the opportunity to remold or reinforce our previous opinions about Israel and has given us enough information and resources through speakers and seminars to better represent Israel when we return to our home communities,” she said.
 
In the meantime, she is enjoying living in Israel.
 
“Living here has opened my eyes to day-to-day life in Israel,” said Reder. “This kind of true perspective is only possible by actually living here and seeing daily interactions. It’s arresting to see how normal it is for Jews and Arabs to live together and how on the fringe the news stories we read about really are.”
 
After her stint at the Ministry of Finance ends, Reder intends to stay in Israel for a while and then go on to graduate school in international relations.
 
Darmon is proud of the fact that many Fellows go on to prestigious graduate schools and jobs in Jewish and Israeli organizations.
 
“We are delighted that the experience that the program gives the Fellows helps them to start successful professional careers, whether they choose to return home or to stay in Israel,” she said.

Report released on policies regarding study abroad in Israel | Weekly Roundup

<div class="masa-blog-title">Report released on policies regarding study abroad in Israel | Weekly Roundup </div>

A collection of updates covering the intersection of Israel programs, the Jewish world, and international education.

 

Grappling with Israel's Periphery

<div class="masa-blog-title">Grappling with Israel's Periphery</div>

 
By Eriana Rivera-Rozo, Intensive Arabic Semester
 
It cannot be denied that Israelis have a strong pioneer spirit. It was on the sweat and blood of the many waves of immigrants that this country was founded. Although the days of the first kibbutzim are past, the pioneer flame still burns in the eyes of every Israeli that moves this nation forward toward its economic, political, intellectual and diplomatic betterment.
 

The 'ABC's of going abroad | Weekly Roundup

<div class="masa-blog-title">The 'ABC's of going abroad | Weekly Roundup </div>

A collection of updates covering the intersection of Israel programs, the Jewish world, and international education.
 
  •  We were recently featured in a series on ABC News about going abroad as an alternative to facing the challenging job market in the US.
     

Krembo Experience: Ben Yehuda Street

<div class="masa-blog-title">Krembo Experience: Ben Yehuda Street</div>

By Max Samis, a participant on OTZMA. This is part of his “Krembo Experience” series, highlighting his “only in Israel” moments.
 
If you've ever been to Jerusalem, you know that Ben Yehuda St. is quite the interesting place. Less of a street than a strip mall, Ben Yehuda is right in the center of the city, and while often populated by Israelis, is a magnet for tourists looking for a souvenir.
 

Sharansky Addresses Masa Israel Participants

Sharansky Addresses Masa Israel Participants

Sharansky Addresses Masa Israel Participants

May 10, 2010

The following is an update from the Jewish Agency for Israel
Ian Carchman was disconnected from Jewish life.
 
But Masa Israel Journey changed all of that. “Living in Israel for a year has been an eye opener,” said the 18-year-old from Maryland, who came to Israel
 
“I never really felt a connection [to Jewish life]. My parents are not connected and I grew up in an interfaith community. I think Masa is so important because it is not a trip or a vacation. We’re living here,” said Carchman who has been spending the year on Nativ, a Masa program that is dedicated to inspiring Conservative Jewish leaders.
 
Carchman was one of over 3,000 participants who attended the Masa Israel Journey mega-conference in Jerusalem on May 2, 2010, a day-long event featuring seminars on “next steps” for participants, many of whom are preparing to leave Israel and return to their Jewish communities across the globe. The event also featured addresses by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Jewish Agency Chairman Natan Sharansky.
 
 
Founded by the Jewish Agency and the Government of Israel in 2003, Masa Israel enables young Diaspora Jews to experience life in Israel for a semester or a year on any of over 160 programs aimed at strengthening their Jewish identity and their connection to Israel. Since its inception, Masa Israel has brought 45,000 young Jews between the ages of 18-30 from 60 different countries to live, work, study and volunteer in Israel.
 
During his address to an auditorium of over 1,000 Masa participants, Sharansky stressed the importance of a strong Jewish identity, which empowered him during his years as a Soviet dissident, including nine years incarcerated in a Soviet prison.
 
“People with absolutely no roots have no strength,” said Sharansky. “My fight for my people comes from my identity. Once I discovered my roots, my people, my identity, I had the strength to fight.”
 
Such a strong sense of Jewish identity will fortify Masa participants who are headed to university campuses where anti-Israel feelings are wide-spread.
 
“Those of you who decide not to stay in Israel but to go back have a very important mission. We expect you to be proud ambassadors of our country, proud Jews, who know how to debate and how to stand up against hooligans. You must know the facts and you should not be afraid,” said Sharansky.
 
Sharansky also dismantled the prevalent notion on college campuses that a commitment Jewish identity is in conflict with a commitment to human rights. “They are going to try to convince you that you have to choose between being loyal to humanity or loyal to Israel, and this is a false choice. If you want to be a strong supporter of human rights then first you must be a proud member of the Jewish community,” he said.
 
“Look who is fighting on the forefront of the struggle between democracy and dictatorship, it is the state of Israel and the Jews who are proud of this state,” Sharansky continued. “As the Jews of the Diaspora become stronger in their identity when they are exposed to Israel, the Jews of Israel will also become stronger in their identity when they are engaged with Jews of the Diaspora. The goal of the Jewish Agency is to be a bridge between Jews of the world and Israel.”
 
Sharansky concluded his talk by crediting Masa Israel with doing “critical work.”
 
For his part, Carchman agrees. “We will take these experiences back to campus with us and to our communities,” he said.