“I wanted to experience more out of Israel”

<div class="masa-blog-title">“I wanted to experience more out of Israel”</div>

By Aaron Sholin, San Francisco, CA, WUJS Israel Hadassah
Many American Jews come to Israel for short visits on Birthright and other similar programs. I, too, have done that, and enjoyed it, but somewhere along the way, I realized that I wanted to experience more of Israel.

From Israel to Rwanda, pursuing social justice

<div class="masa-blog-title">From Israel to Rwanda, pursuing social justice</div>

By Rachel Olstein, Hebrew University of Jerusalem MA in Community Leadership & Philanthropy Studies, Boston
It was only as an adult, working in the non-profit sector, that I at last discovered my real place in the Jewish community – a place that combines my passion for social justice with my love of Jewish values and the State of Israel.
Three years ago, fueled by a desire to arm myself with management skills for this career, I enrolled in an Israel-based 

Discovering a new path in Israel

<div class="masa-blog-title">Discovering a new path in Israel</div>

By Noam Gilboord, Career Israel, Toronto
You never know what experiences will change your life.  Three years ago, I was finishing my undergraduate studies in archaeology when a local Hillel staffer asked me the question no college senior wants to hear.  “So, what are you thinking about for next year?”  While I squirmed to get out a half-decent answer, I hesitantly replied, “I’ve been thinking about going to Israel&hell

Microbrewery internship in Tel Aviv satisfies Californian’s ‘thirst’ for Israel after Birthright

<div class="masa-blog-title">Microbrewery internship in Tel Aviv satisfies Californian’s ‘thirst’ for Israel after Birthright</div>

Allie Darrow of California spent five months interning at a microbrewery in Tel Aviv on Career Israel.
Israel has a magnetic effect on Allie Darrow.
Growing up in the Reform movement in the Bay Area, she first caught a whiff of Israeli culture through a synagogue youth group leader.
So when she had a chance to visit Israel for herself on a 

Building Relationships Through Sports

<div class="masa-blog-title">Building Relationships Through Sports</div>

By Adam Dembling, Tikkun Olam Tel Aviv Jaffa
I recently returned from five months of volunteer and study in Israel on a program called Tikun Olam in Tel Aviv-Jaffa.  As a volunteer on Tikun Olam, I found myself immersed in places and experiences that allowed me to work actively for change.

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.