The Top 8 Beaches in Israel

<div class="masa-blog-title">The Top 8 Beaches in Israel</div>

Written by Andria Kaplan-Aylyarov


Yes, BRRR. The weather is cold outside and as you kindle the Hanukkah flames and spin that dreidel, warm yourself up and imagine you’re under the Tel Aviv sun, soaking up the rays on one of these beaches.

…Because seriously, where else would you rather be?


1. Banana Beach
Located on the southernmost edge near Jaffa this beach is home to Friday night drum circles, hula hooping-bikini wearing girls, endless games of Matkot and sunbather after sunbather. Think of it as a Bohemian paradise right next to Tel Aviv.


2. Gordon Beach, Frishman Beach, Bograshov Beach
Welcome to beach-mania. These three beaches offer endless white sand, beautiful people and the perfect dose of sunshine. Located right in the center of Tel Aviv these beaches offer a great getaway with tons of bars and restaurants. Each beach is the perfect place to catch the addicting Tel Aviv sunset plus, there’s a Ben & Jerry’s ice-cream stand at Gordon Beach. #YUM

3. Trumpeldor Beach
Walking down the beach in Tel Aviv you’ll spot an unusual statue and you know you’ve arrived at Trumpeldor Beach. This is a quieter beach amongst its neighbors since there are no facilities or lifeguards.

4. Jerusalem Beach
Formerly known as Geula Beach, Jerusalem Beach is located right off Allenby Street and near the very well-known Opera Tower building. You’ll find falafel shops and bodegas everywhere, so don’t worry about packing snacks for the day. It’s not touristy and is the perfect spot to meet all your friends for a relaxing beach day.

5. Tel Baruch Beach
Tel Baruch Beach may be one of Israel’s cleanest beaches. Fully equipped with green lawns, outdoor workout area, and seaside café it’s the perfect escape from a long week of classes or a big night out. 

6. Metzitzim Beach
If you wake up early enough on a Friday or Saturday morning,  take a stroll down Namal Tel Aviv, and  grab a coffee while you check out Metzitzim Beach. It’s more family oriented but offers three volleyball courts and an outdoor workout area. If that’s not your thing, however, keep walking north and you’ll catch twenty-something Israelis sipping Goldstar and hanging out.

7. The Surfer’s Beach at the Hilton Hof HaGolshim
Besides beautiful people watching all day long check out The Surfer’s Beach and prepare to be amazed at the skill, the surf, and the boys. It’s a hot spot to kayak or learn how to paddle board too!


8. Coral Reef Beach(Red Sea):
Okay, so this beach isn't in Tel Aviv but it's a sun worshipper's paradise. You can go from sand to snorkel to world-class resort within minutes. The best part? There's a good chance your Masa program already has a trip to Eilat planned. #GetReady

Andria Kaplan Aylyarov is a Masa Israel Alumna and content marketing specialist for Masa Israel Journey. She loves a good glass of white wine and wishes she was 85-years-old and living in Boca, but she currently resides in New York.


To learn more about Masa Israel and the programs we offer, click here. 


USA TODAY: Becoming a Citizen of the World in Israel

USA TODAY: Becoming a Citizen of the World in Israel

November 25, 2016

By Jon Sender, Case Western Reserve University


There are nights when I like to walk from my dorm to the art museum and stand in contemplation on the promenade. That’s been my reflection spot for several years, and each time I return, I consider how much I’ve changed since the last.

Recently, I’ve been thinking about how I’ve grown since standing there before studying abroad in Israel, before navigating a culture close to my heart, and before understanding that outside of this continent, people in other countries live their lives quite differently and offer much to learn from. The answer? I’ve grown far more than I thought possible.


But study abroad doesn’t begin as a catalyst for personal growth; for me, it merely turned into one in hindsight, as I imagine holds true for many things that force you to take risks, deal with challenges, and expand your worldview. Originally, it was just an opportunity to take advantage of. As for choosing Israel as my destination, the choice was clear because it was the sole place that would allow me to hone my Hebrew language skills, gain exposure to foreign entrepreneurship (it is the “start-up nation,” after all), and understand a culture intertwined with my heritage and religion. When I later learned that an opportunity to study in Jerusalem could be subsidized with scholarships from Case Western Reserve University, Masa Israel Journey (in collaboration with The Jewish Agency for Israel and the Government of Israel), and the Hebrew University, my decision was made.


Jon Sender

Masa Israel Journey participant Jon Sender on the promenade of Hebrew University overlooking the old city of Jerusalem.


There are three main ways Israel has changed me, and I imagine they’re the same ways studying abroad will change anyone: I’ve learned how to solve problems I have not prepared for, network with people I have not planned to meet, and be receptive to ways of life I have not considered. These same three developments are also the reasons why I now feel as if my understanding of society has splintered apart, and why I am inspired to further discover myself. It’s simply impossible to leave and come back home the same person. Here’s why:


1) Taking a deep dive into a foreign language – though I realize not everyone does this while studying abroad – has taught me to become more patient, particularly with respect to international students here on campus. Taking classes in Hebrew helped me put myself in the shoes of non-native English speakers here. When professors zipped through slides that weren’t in English, and spoke in Hebrew, and used mathematical words I had never even learned in English, there was only so much I could absorb. Though I scurried to take notes and keep up, I realized later I was truly absorbing so much more than that day’s lesson. I was learning about day-to-day life in Israel because I was part of it, living it in the most immersive, transformative way possible.


2) Interning abroad at OurCrowd, an Israeli venture capital firm, and participating in networking events in Israel made me a better self-presenter. If you’re at home and you meet someone from Singapore, they immediately become an object of fascination with a story to share. But when you’re the one traveling and you bump into hundreds of entrepreneurs and investors at a conference, it doesn’t take long to mold an elevator pitch through practice. Moreover, that skill comes in handy when crafting conversations with people on the bus, in the supermarket, and even during job interviews.


3) Experiencing another culture overturned my perspective of the world and showed me just how much I could learn from watching other people go about their lives. Living with four, mature Israeli guys who completed world tours after their army service imparted upon me the value of international experiences and raised the significance of my time in Israel. Being invited for a meal every time I met a stranger showed me how to be a better host and taught me to balance planning with flexibility, despite spontaneity not falling within the nature of my personality.


When you study abroad, you learn the world is both simpler and more complex than you thought. You discover that Israel is much more than a representation of Jews and Arabs, that your time should really be spent on things important to you, and that there is no decent reason why you can’t break with a societal pattern or construct.


And when you question how these discoveries have impacted your life and you return to your reflection spot like I do with the art museum, you begin to see that studying abroad is but another step to becoming both a citizen of the world and the person you are ultimately meant to be. Six months in Israel taught me that, but don’t take my word for it; go out and have your own adventure.


The worst that can happen is you’ll home a little less certain and a lot more mature.


Jon Sender is a senior majoring in finance with a minor in computer science, who is a student advisor at the Office of Education Abroad. He studied overseas in Israel through Masa Israel Journey this past spring. He shares his tips about preparing for studying abroad at his blog,


Originally published in USA TODAY

Happy Thanksgiving from Masa Israel Journey!

<div class="masa-blog-title">Happy Thanksgiving from Masa Israel Journey!</div>

Masa Israel participants from the Masa-GLI Global Leadership Summit celebrate Thanksgiving from Israel thanking those who inspired them to take their journey and become today's leaders:



Masa Israel Thanksgiving Video

Masa Israel participants from the Masa GLI Global Leadership Summit celebrate Thanksgiving from Israel thanking those who inspired them to take their journey and become today's leaders! Watch and share! #Thanksgiving #MyMasa #Leadership #Thanksgiving2016 Masa Tlalim Career Israel BINA Center for Jewish Identity and Hebrew Culture Destination Israel The Jewish Agency for Israel

Posted by Masa Israel Journey on Wednesday, November 23, 2016



Masa-GLI Global Leadership Summit: What A Week!

<div class="masa-blog-title">Masa-GLI Global Leadership Summit: What A Week!</div>

This past week, I had the incredible opportunity to take part in a life changing summit on leadership, hosted by Masa.  I came home with a loss of words (literally and figuratively, as I had lost my voice) at how this week has changed my life. This summit brought together 200 young adults from all over the world to learn together about leadership, adaptive change, and how we can use these topics in our lives here and when we go back home.  I met people from North and South America, all over Europe, Africa, and Israel that had all chosen to take a week from their lives to come together and share in this experience.
Within the 200 people, we were all split into groups of around 25 people, and my group truly became my family during the week.  #FruitSalad #Group3isthebest! We spent at least one or two sessions together everyday not only to learn and overcome different challenges, but we spent time discussing challenges some of the group members were currently having in their various Masa programs.  I presented a challenge I felt that I am facing, and the group was so incredibly supportive and had an amazing brainstorm session of ways I could tackle and overcome the problem.  For lunch on Wednesday, many of us went to a hummus place, because there’s no more Israeli way of solidifying new friendships than sharing hummus!  5 days was not nearly enough time to spend with this wonderful family I now have.  I cannot wait to be able to spend weekends in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, and elsewhere in Israel visiting these people.  We have only been apart a few hours at this point, and I am already missing them so much!
When I was not with my home group, we split into different elective workshops.  My favorite one was learning about narrative development and how we can effectively use our stories to create change in the world.  During this workshop, our facilitator spoke briefly about the best way to tell our stories, and then we spent a majority of the time practicing these skills in small groups.  Since this workshop happened to be on the last full day of the summit, I had become quite close with everyone, I decided to write mine on invisible disabilities and my recent Lupus diagnosis.  I used this platform to talk about how it is important to be supportive of everyone you meet, because you never know what challenges they may be facing.  My small group then encouraged me to share my story with the entire workshop group.  It was so uplifting to be able to feel comfortable to share my story with everyone, after only learning about my Lupus a few months ago.  Afterwards, I had multiple people come up to me and say how inspired they were, because they were facing similar challenges, and it showed me how important it is to be open about this part of my life.
Overall, I truly believe that words cannot even begin to skim the surface of explaining the experience I have had this week.  From the new friendships I have gained, to the skills and knowledge I learned, the Masa-GLI Global Leadership Summit has given me tools that I am now able to take into the rest of my life.  I do not remember ever attending a conference that has been so helpful.  To all of my new friends, I cannot wait to come visit you soon!
Written by Tami Greenberg who is currently a Masa Israel Teaching Fellow in Migdal HaEmek. To follow her Journey read more at her blog

The Jerusalem Post: US University Delegation Seek Intern Partnerships

The Jerusalem Post: US University Delegation Seek Intern Partnerships

November 16, 2016

By Tamara Zieve


Masa Israel Journey strive to make country a landmark on path to success for American students

A delegation of faculty members from 10 leading US universities are in Israel this week to explore the country’s hi-tech and business scene with a view toward developing internship programs here for their students.


Masa Israel Journey, a partnership between the Jewish Agency and the Israeli government, organized the visit together with the Foreign Ministry, to help US students build their careers with hands-on experience of Israeli academia and industry.


“The fact that these executive directors have chosen to arrive to Israel in order to get to know it and explore ways their students can benefit from an internship in Israel, is amazing,” said Adi Barel, director of international business development at Masa.


“On these campuses, either you face an anti-Israeli discourse or you don’t hear about Israel at all.”


By sending senior faculty members on the delegation, she said participating universities are sending a message.


“When these internship programs shape up, senior individuals from the public and the private sectors will arrive at the universities for professional matters. It brings out an all new side about Israel, which is more professional. This is a wonderful platform for Israel to be talked about in a very legitimate and non-political way,” she remarked.


Masa delegation

A Masa-organized delegation here to explore internship opportunities for US university students posts for a picure on Sunday with Jerusalem's Old City as a backdrop. (photo credit: Courtesy)


While in Israel for the weeklong visit that began Friday, the delegation, which consists mostly of directors of career services and development, is meeting with CEOs and start-up founders and visiting universities and companies such as the Hebrew University, Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, Teva, WeWork and Deloitte. Because it is the first time in Israel for most of the 12 visitors, they also are visiting local landmarks such as Masada and the Dead Sea.


By introducing members of the delegation to industry leaders, Adi Hila, director of business development at Masa, said the initiative seeks to create the best opportunities for both students and schools while striving to “assist them to become even more successful in their fields and make a positive mark on their life path, making Israel part of their success story.”


Masa hopes the program will not only lay the foundation for future collaborations, but also send new ambassadors for Israel back to US campuses.


The organization seems to have succeeded with Alane De Luca, director of global employer relations at Northeastern University. As the group enjoyed dinner at the Cnaan restaurant in Tel Aviv on Monday night, De Luca gushed about her experience, telling The Jerusalem Post she is keen to send her children to visit the country.


“I love the intersection of cultures,” she said. Northeastern University already sends students for internships in Israel, and De Luca hopes to develop the partnership with Masa further.


Lars Gilbertson, director of undergraduate studies at Tulane University, said the emphasis on Israel as the Start-up Nation resonates with New Orleans citizens, who had to rebuild their city after Hurricane Katrina.


“There’s been an explosion of entrepreneurship after the hurricane and, now that I’m here... I can see firsthand and start to understand how Israel has been forced to innovate,” he remarked, noting Israel’s fast pace, technological savvy and outward focus on global markets.


“It’s really exciting to see, and I feel my students would greatly benefit from coming here and developing their own global perspective,” he added.


“I’m exploring the potential for students who develop technology to gain deep insight into what it takes to start a start-up,” he continued. “I’d love to see them come here to take courses and do an internship and then go home and apply the lessons they learned. I think it would give them a tremendous advantage to have flavorings of the Israeli business model and I think it would be a decisive competitive edge.”


Andrea Dine, executive director of the Hiatt Career Center at Brandeis University, called collaborating with Israel a “natural outgrowth” of the university’s history because it was founded by the Jewish community in 1948, still has deep ties with the Jewish community and still has a significant Jewish population on campus. Given that a number of the university’s students visit Israel regularly, she said there is a natural affinity for the Masa program.


Originally published in The Jerusalem Post

Institute of International Education’s New Report Lists Israel in Top 25 Study Abroad Destinations

Institute of International Education’s New Report Lists Israel in Top 25 Study Abroad Destinations

November 21, 2016

Data Shows Steady Increase in Student Travel to Israel Over Past Two Years

NEW YORK – This week, the Institute for International Education (IIE) named Israel one of the top 25 countries for study abroad in its annual “Open Doors” report. The report, one of the United States’ leading resources on higher education and study abroad data, pointed to a growing number of American students studying overseas, with Israel as one of the leading destinations.


Israel was the 23rd most popular destination for students studying abroad in the 2014-2015 school year, according to the report. Over 3,300 students were in the country throughout 2014-2015, a 15 percent increase from 2013-2014.


Ruth Alfandary, Director of Academic Programs of Masa Israel Journey, released the following statement in response to the release of the Open Doors report:


“The Institute for International Education’s report reaffirms what we’ve long witnessed on the ground: that students who come to Israel have experiences that broaden their world views, advance their careers, and put them on the path to success, making our ‘Start Up Nation’ one of the world’s most desirable study abroad locations.


“Masa Israel journey is proud to connect young people with study abroad opportunities that allow them to learn both inside and outside of the classroom, at elite universities and within local communities. We are confident that the trend identified in the IIE report will only continue to rise as more university students across the U.S., including Masa Israel alumni, share their stories and take advantage of everything that Israel has to offer.”




Masa Israel Journey is the leader in immersive international experiences in Israel. Masa Israel connects young people ages 18-30 who are seeking to enrich their personal and professional growth with the top gap year, study abroad, service-learning and career development opportunities. A project of The Jewish Agency for Israel and the Government of Israel, Masa’s subsidized, individually tailored programs, immerse participants in the community and embark on a journey that will change both the course of their lives, and of the Jewish people’s future. More info at @MasaIsrael and on Facebook.


For more information contact: Sara Koenig, West End Strategy Team; Office: (212) 498-9300; Cell: (917) 420-0303

Jewish Journal: Election Night 2016: The Sights and Sounds in Los Angeles and Israel

Jewish Journal: Election Night 2016: The Sights and Sounds in Los Angeles and Israel

November 10, 2016

By Orit Arfa, Contributing Writer


11:41 a.m. PST (9:41 p.m. local time), Abraham’s Hostel, Tel Aviv


“Let’s make America great again!” shouts an 18-year-old Texan, standing near the DJ booth as three screens hover above the dance floor of the Abraham Hostel.


Tonight, Masa Israel Journey, which brings young adults to study, intern and volunteer in Israel for several months, united participants through an election viewing event expected to go until 2 a.m. local time (4 p.m. in Los Angeles). Another participant repeats Trump’s campaign slogan.


“I don’t know who’s being sarcastic anymore,” says 24-year-old Michigan native Josh Linden, currently teaching English in Israel. He cast his absentee vote for Clinton. “I haven’t met anyone here voting for him yet but I haven’t been asking.” (The Texan, by the way, voted for Clinton.)


As a DJ tried to rev up the crowd with some hip-hop, with results still hours away, most of the people were lounging around, schmoozing over beer, or playing pool or table soccer. None seemed too worried about the United States, either way.


Maybe their comfort playing “Israeli” for the past two months has contributed to a feeling of detachment in the air. And while Abraham Hostel is so named for being a place that fosters peace among people, the crowd doesn’t seem to need the reconciliatory touch. Judging from a straw poll, Sara Eisen, the program’s chief communications officer, said most of the participants are Clinton supporters. But she attributes their laid-back attitude tonight to the nature of the program.


“I think, in general, people come to Israel to grow and to expand and to change — minds are wider,” she said.


Max Moser, 27, of Los Angeles and currently a fellow at the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem, didn’t want to reveal his choice.


“I’m not excited about the election like most Americans,” he said. “I feel like there’s really a lack of leadership in the United States government.”


Does this make him more inclined to make aliyah? Israel’s newest holiday, Aliyah Day, celebrating immigration to Israel, fell on Nov. 8.


“I’m considering aliyah but not because of the national election, at all.”


Originally published in the Jewish Journal

72 Hours with Masa

<div class="masa-blog-title">72 Hours with Masa </div>

The Hebrew word Masa translated to English literally means journey and the staff of Masa have spent the last 72 hours on an epic one. Our Masa North America team landed in Washington D.C. on Sunday for the GA, the Business Development team is leading a delegation of top U.S. university professionals through the startup nation and 200 Masa participants have begun the Masa GLI Global Leadership Summit in Jerusalem.

You may be thinking, wow, one company in so many places but for Masa, it’s the norm. Check out the images below for a closer view of our staff, participants and most of all the good vibes from the last 72 hours!


Masa GLI Leadership Summit Gala:




2016 North American Career Development Delegation:


Masa North America at the GA:


To stay up-to-date with Masa Israel Journey, follow us on Facebook and Instagram @MasaIsrael!


eJewish Philanthropy: Thousands of Masa Israel Participants Gather for Welcome Event

eJewish Philanthropy: Thousands of Masa Israel Participants Gather for Welcome Event

November 2, 2016

Masa Dance Party

Masa Israel Journey 2016-2017 gap year participants start an impromptu dance party in the lobby of Jerusalem’s ICC, in preparation for Masa Israel’s annual welcome event; photo by Ran Biran.

Masa Israel Journey held its annual Welcome Event on Monday evening in Jerusalem.


Masa Opening Event

Participants (including interns, volunteers, and students) celebrated the transformative experiences that await them together; photo by Ran Biran.


The gathering serves to officially welcome thousands of the 12,000 18-30 year-olds who have recently arrived in Israel to participate in dozens of long-term Israel programs including gap years, study abroad, internships, teaching English to young students, and other post-college initiatives.


Masa Hatikva 6

Israeli reggae band Hatikva 6 on October 31, 2016, at Jerusalem’s ICC; photo by Ran Biran.


With Israeli TV personality Jason Danino Holt as emcee, participants were entertained by live music from Yemenite electronic folk band A-WA and Israeli reggae group Hatikva 6. American-Israeli comedian Benji Lovitt hosted a Jewish geography game show.


Masa Opening Event

Participants from the United States and Russia show off their national pride; photo by Ran Biran.


“We bring thousands of Masa Israel Journey program participants together at this pep rally-style event, so they can get a taste of the exciting journey they each have ahead of them,” said Masa Israel Journey CEO, Liran Avisar. “We want all of our participants to understand that they are now part of a community larger than themselves, and a network that goes far beyond the specific programs on which they are enrolled. Together, we will celebrate Israeli culture and get our participants excited about experiencing Masa Israel their way – “My Masa” – so they can make the most of the transformative time in Israel to come.”


Originally published in eJewish Philanthropy

The Times of Israel: Professionalizing the Study Abroad Experience for the 21st Century Economy

The Times of Israel: Professionalizing the Study Abroad Experience for the 21st Century Economy

The Times of Israel: Professionalizing the Study Abroad Experience for the 21st Century Economy

October 18, 2016

By Ruth Alfandary


Leading universities around the world have offered study abroad programs for decades. Less common, however, is these universities enabling international students to successfully link the overseas classroom experience with resources and professional development opportunities that exist off-campus.

In the 21st century global economy and ever-increasingly competitive job market, international professional experience sets recent graduates apart from other candidates.


Yet, despite college graduates having a more sophisticated, globally minded and achievement-oriented perspective than ever before, according to a 2014 study cited by NAFSA: Association of International Educators, nearly 40% of companies surveyed reported missed international business opportunities due to their lack of personnel with global professional experience.


Like domestic work experience, international internships allow students to develop professional skills like interpersonal communication and cross-organizational collaboration. However, navigating the workplace in another culture and language adds layers of complexity and nuance to the entire experience.


In Israel, start-ups, nonprofit organizations, tech companies, and the hospitality and tourism industry, among other sectors, rely on interns they are connected to through Masa Israel Journey programs to help them expand their businesses and break into global markets. Masa Israel is the go-to source for Israeli companies because it introduced the concept of the professional internship to the Israeli workplace.


At Israeli companies, interns are truly welcomed into the office, often treated as full team members, with the responsibilities and projects that come with such roles. As a result, former interns report acquiring professional skills and experiences incomparable to what they could have learned through a domestic internship. In a small country like Israel, it’s easy to find yourself rubbing elbows with leading entrepreneurs and public figures at professional events and when simply out and about meeting people


In order to meet the needs of both Israeli businesses and international students, both Tel Aviv University and the University of Haifa now offer the opportunity for students to pursue professional internships as optional complements to traditional study abroad programs. Masa Israel’s partners at other major Israeli universities are working to develop similar semester and/or combined summer study and internship programs to meet career-driven students’ needs and ensure they are providing valuable experiences that truly add to students’ professional backgrounds.


Israel is home to more start-ups per capita than any other country in the world. This means students get the chance to work at tech companies, as well as in the sustainability sector learning about water conservation and alternative energy. Other students participate in internships that suit their political interests, going to the Knesset every day, doing research at think tanks, attending international conferences, and participating in investigative excursions. And for students committed to social change and activism, Tel Aviv and Haifa give them access to communities of change makers and social entrepreneurs, as well as nonprofit organizations.


Next spring, Tel Aviv University will partner with Yahel – Israel Service Learning, to premiere its new Community Action in Tel Aviv semester. Students study abroad part-time at Tel Aviv University and volunteer part-time at organizations engaging in bettering the community, by, for instance promoting women’s empowerment, working toward regional peace and coexistence, and providing services to African refugees and asylum seekers in Israel. In addition to their coursework and internships, students will participate in workshops and trainings in cultural sensitivity and cross-cultural communication, methods of community empowerment, and other topics relevant to creating social change.


Tel Aviv University and the University of Haifa also provide career counseling and mentoring for student interns and require students, in order to receive academic credit for their internships, take a career development course guiding them in applying a range of communication and management tools during their internships.


Whether exploring career options in tech, sustainability, diplomacy, or any other industry, an international internship broadens and deepens the academic, professional, personal and immersive experience that is a semester or year abroad. At the same time, these programs help to develop a more internationally experienced workforce as students, upon graduating, are in a position to work at companies and organizations that, often for the first time, now have the teams to pursue international business opportunities.



Originally published in The Times of Israel