Update from Masa Israel: Community Hotline Established

Update from Masa Israel: Community Hotline Established

November 19, 2012

The safety and security of Masa Israel Journey program participants, staff and partners is our top priority.
As a joint project of the Government of Israel and the Jewish Agency for Israel, Masa Israel programs receive updated information regularly from the Israeli Home Front Command regarding safety and security and are able to respond to official recommendations. Our staff continues to be in touch with every Masa Israel program to ensure information is shared effectively and to assist as needed.
 
As Operation Pillar of Defense began this past week, the Israeli Home Front Command issued an advisory for individuals within a forty kilometer radius of the Gaza Strip. Masa Israel Journey has maintained direct contact with programs operating in the South of Israel and has assisted in relocating participants to Tel Aviv and further north. All Masa Israel program participants based in the South have been relocated outside of the 40 kilometer radius. 
 
Over the last few days, additional areas of Israel have been affected by rocket fire and Masa Israel Journey continues to be in close and continuous contact with all of its programs and with the Home Front Command to monitor the situation. We will make additional policy decisions as needed per the instructions given by Israeli Home Front Command.
 
We are instructing all Masa Israel programs to update participants regularly regarding security and safety procedures and to ensure access to shelters in case of civil defense alarms. Masa Israel is also working with program directors to make psychological and educational resources available as needed.
 
We are encouraging all programs to help participants communicate with their families. Masa Israel has established a hotline for parents, family and community members needing assistance contacting participants or other information. If you need assistance connecting with a family or community member who is on a Masa Israel program, please call: 
 
6 am EST -  3pm EST (Israel Office) 
1-866-864-3279 / +972-2-621-6049
masainfo@masaisrael.org
 
3pm EST - 11pm EST (New York Office)
1-855-462-6272
masany@masaisrael.org
 
These are difficult days for Israel and for Jewish communities around the world. Masa Israel is committed to ensuring a safe and secure Israel experience for all of our participants, not only during these difficult days, but year-round.
 
Please feel free to be directly in touch with us with any questions or concerns.
 
Thank you for your continued support.
 

Security Update From Masa Israel

Security Update From Masa Israel

November 15, 2012

The safety and security of Masa Israel Journey program participants, staff and partners is our top priority.
Masa Israel Journey maintains strict standards for safety and security on all program sponsored activities. Masa Israel has been in touch directly with programs located in the south and many have either relocated their programs temporarily or have placed participants in communities further north.
 
As a joint project of the Government of Israel and the Jewish Agency for Israel, Masa Israel programs receive updated information regarding safety and security regularly and are able to respond to official recommendations. Our staff is in touch with every Masa Israel program to ensure information is shared effectively and to assist as needed.
 
If you have questions regarding safety and security, please contact us on Facebook at facebook.com/masaisrael, on Twitter at @masaisrael or speak with our helpdesk at 1.866.864.3279 or masainfo@masaisrael.org.

Masa Israel Alumni Leadership Summit

Masa Israel Alumni Leadership Summit

October 14, 2012 - 14:00  -  October 14, 2012 - 16:30

UJA FederationNew York, NY  - 

You returned from Israel last month, last year, 2 years ago…Now what? New York is a big place, and Masa Israel wants to help make it smaller.
Come to the Alumni Leadership Summit to
-connect with other Israel program alumni,
-hone your professional skills, and
-get information on involvement opportunities here in New York!
 
The cost of this awesome opportunity…FREE!! But spaces are limited so sign up in advance by visiting www.masaisrael.org/alumnisummit2012.
Here’s the event schedule:
2:00 Registration & networking
2:20 Greetings
2:45 Breakout Sessions
–How Does My Israel Experience Inform My Career?
–Finding Your Place In the Professional Jewish World
–Get Involved: Where Can I Make a Difference?
3:30 New York Engagement Fair & Networking
 
This event is open to all Masa Israel alumni. Light snacks will be served. You must have an ID with you to enter the event. Thank you to the event co-chairs, Dina Silberstein & Hallie Cohn. Contact Dena Stein (denast@masaisrael.org) for more information.

Masa Alumni Shabbaton

Masa Alumni Shabbaton

January 18, 2013 (All day)  -  January 19, 2013 (All day)

  TBA, Israel  - 

Want to reconnect with Masa in Israel? Want to reunite with your fellow Masa Israel friends? Want to share your experiences since you've graduated with us? Join us to help shape Masa Israel’s alumni activities in Israel.
The events is designed for alumni who are already in Israel. 

Israel Campus Beat: Israel's Study Abroad Opportunities Expand

Israel Campus Beat: Israel's Study Abroad Opportunities Expand

August 22, 2012

By Sandra Ziv
 
During the 1970s and 1980s -- and even before then -- most North American students who came to Israel on a study abroad program were looking for a connection to their heritage.
The majority of the students participating in these programs were Jewish, or looking for a Jewish connection. As a result, most of the university programs were designed to fulfill this need.
 
These study abroad programs offered courses primarily related to Israeli history and culture, Jewish history, culture and identity, and the study of Hebrew. The programs offered by the Rothberg School at the Hebrew University and by Tel Aviv University fit this classic description of Study Abroad in Israel.
 
At that time, the University of Haifa International School was one of the few programs that offered an alternative. It attracted non-Jewish students, as well as Jewish students who were looking for something other than a "Jewish experience" in Israel. 
 
Today's Millennial students (Generation Y) are a more discerning group. Their reasons for coming to study in Israel and the goals they are trying to achieve are quite different from those students in previous years. 
 
Today's student is more demanding as to the type of experience he or she expects and what their requirements are to make that happen. The student coming to Israel today is looking for more than a connection to his or her heritage; often, the student is not Jewish, and even among the Jews who come, many do not identify as practicing Jews. Today, students come to study in Israel for many reasons, including professional advancement, academic requirements, personal growth, international experience, an alternative to the classroom and, of course, in some cases, a connection to their Jewish heritage. 
 
In order to accommodate the new student, innovative programs have sprung up, in addition to the classic Israeli study abroad programs. Today's offerings include full degree programs in engineering, academic-based volunteer programs, internships, work-study programs, religious learning, secular yeshivas, professional training programs and many more options. 
 
Israel's universities have responded to this trend by modifying their academic offerings to meet today's demand. The five major universities – the Hebrew University, Tel Aviv University, Ben-Gurion University, the Technion, and University of Haifa - now offer courses in engineering, creative arts, business and entrepreneurship and academic honors programs. 
 
Students have opportunities to participate in experiential learning internships and to receive professional mentoring. By widening the offerings and establishing an environment of acceptance of all student types, the university study abroad programs in Israel seek to remain relevant and challenging amidst the wealth of alternative programs being offered today around the world.
 
Of course, the traditional offerings of Jewish and Israeli history and culture subjects will always form the backbone of the curriculum offered to overseas students at Israel's universities, but in order to continue to grow and be attractive in a competitive environment of international study opportunities, Israeli academic programming needs to continue to evolve together with the student it is trying to attract.
 
Sandra Ziv is director of marketing at the University of Haifa International School. This article was originally published in Israel Campus Beat and is the fourth installment of several 'Summer Series' articles, written by campus and organizational professionals who are uniquely situated to comment on the state of Israel advocacy on college campuses across the US.

Vatel

Vatel

 

BIT - Technion

http://www.masaisrael.org/sites/default/files/nativ_0.jpg

Program Description

This program is operated in Russian.

BGU Overseas Student Program Adopted by the University of California State System

BGU Overseas Student Program Adopted by the University of California State System

July 28, 2012

NEW YORK, June 28, 2012 – The state university system of California has re-joined the list of world-class universities that will send students to the Ginsburg-Ingerman Overseas Student Program (OSP) at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Beer-Sheva, Israel.
The University of California is the elite state university system with 10 schools, including UCLA, UC Berkeley and UC San Diego. Together, these 10 schools have more than 220,000 students and represent the largest single U.S. market.  
 
UC was for many years a major pipeline of students for Israel semester and year study abroad programs. However, U.S. State Department travel warnings led them to remove Israel from the list of approved countries for UC’s overseas programs for some 10 years.
 
“Our students are drawn to the majesty of the desert, the immersion into a diverse Israeli community and a unique curriculum that maximizes the University’s expertise and opportunities,” says Stanley Ginsburg, who is a founder and funder of the program along with Ira Ingerman—both from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. 
 
“We know that when you offer academic excellence you have a product that is easy to market. I’m thrilled that UC has recognized that and will once again allow their students to gain the unique experiences and knowledge at Ben-Gurion University that they couldn’t get anywhere else,” he adds.
 
Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) has several extraordinary English-language degree-programs, including the Albert Katz International School for Desert Studies, the Medical School for International Health and the Israel Studies International Program that attract students from around the world. Many of their outstanding courses in ecology, sustainable development, global health, and Israel studies are offered to non-degree students who participate in the Ginsburg-Ingerman Overseas Student Program.
 
“After years of outreach, we’re pleased that UC has re-engaged with us to provide an educational and rewarding experience in the Negev at Israel’s most popular university,” says Doron Krakow, executive vice president of American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (AABGU). The OSP office for recruitment of North American students is run by AABGU’s national office in New York City.
 
 

Vatel - Academic Hotel Management

http://www.masaisrael.org/sites/default/files/VatelMassa.jpg

Program Description

Established in 1981, Vatel trains managers and directors for the international hospitality industry. Today, with over 30 schools around the world and 6,000 students, Vatel is the world’s leader foremost providers of higher education in hotel management and other facets of the hospitality business. Students benefit from a tight-knit network of 25,000 alumni working in the world’s top locations. Those alumni have proven to be excellent sources of employment for new Vatel graduates in training future international hotel and tourism industry senior managers. 
 
As in all its other Schools in the world, Vatel will prepare its Tel Aviv students for a Bachelor’s Degree in International Hotel Management (in 3 years). 
 

For more information, please contact Vatel Team: masa@vatel.co.il

 

 
 

Highlights

True to its teaching concept which is based upon a built and controlled mixture of theoretical university courses and professional experience, Vatel is based at Tel Aviv. As an integral part of their curriculum, students will do their training during 4-5 months in various departments of luxury hotels on the seaside where international vacationers and businessmen stay.

Jewish Federation of Greater Washington Reaffirms Its Commitment to Connecting Young Adults To Israel

Jewish Federation of Greater Washington Reaffirms Its Commitment to Connecting Young Adults To Israel

June 26, 2012

Generous donation will fund recruiting position dedicated to increasing participation in the Masa Israel Journey program.
WASHINGTON – The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington, long-time supporters and creators of young adult engagement and programming, is proud to announce the addition of a full time professional to serve as an ambassador for The Jewish Agency for Israel's Masa Israel program. This program connects Jewish young adults to gap year, study abroad, post-college, and volunteer programs in Israel. 
 
Matching funds from the government of Israel will be paired with a generous contribution from a local donor to support the program for two years. The new professional will have two primary focus areas including 1) double the local participation of young adults in the Masa Israel program from 130 to 270 participants by implementing a wide range of recruitment activities and 2) connect with Masa Israel participants upon their return to Greater Washington to help successfully integrate them into Jewish life. The creation of the new position will be crucial in reaching important goals that will more meaningfully connect young adults to Israel and Jewish life.
 
Federation President Stuart S. Kurlander stated “Greater Washington continues to lead the way in its unwavering commitment to young adults. We recognize that exposing this constituency to Israel in meaningful ways will create a solid foundation for a next generation of Jews who will exhibit strong support and commitment to our homeland.”
 
Since its inception in 2004, Masa Israel has brought more than 65,000 young adults to Israel. The program has grown by 1,000 or more new participants each year. One of Masa Israel’s major growth areas is the post-college age cohort (21–30) with more than 50% being alumni of Taglit-Birthright Israel. Masa Israel participants have many opportunities to engage with one another through special seminars, holidays and Shabbat observances. These activities build connections with Israeli peers and other Jewish young adults.
 
"Masa Israel is thrilled to enter into a new partnership with The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington to achieve our mutual goal of increasing the number of Taglit: Birthright Israel returnees and other young adults who participate in immersive Israel programs.  Our new staff person will also play a vital role in ensuring that alumni of Masa Israel programs in Greater Washington become activated and engaged as emerging Jewish communal leaders" shared Avi Rubel, Masa Israel North American Director.
 
Steven A. Rakitt, CEO of The Federation shared, “We are grateful to the generous donor whose commitment will make it possible for more Washingtonian young adults to take part in this important immersive Jewish experience." This gift exemplifies Federation’s interest and willingness to approach philanthropy from a new perspective. We believe that more and more donors will see us as their partners prepared to respond to their interests and turn their philanthropic dreams into reality."