Each year we find ourselves turning the pages of the calendar more quickly, and what packed pages they are. Here at Masa Israel we have had yet another amazing year of programming and events, both in Israel and across the globe. Now in our 13th year, we’ve surpassed 120,000 alumni, and have begun a number of great new initiatives.
Take a brief look at the Top 16 Masa Moments of 2016:
1. Make Your Journey Matter Gap Fair
On February 21st we hosted a back-to-campus fair for our Gap Year participants bringing representatives from Israel Advocacy and Jewish campus organizations to show participants the many opportunities available to them when they return from their year in Israel.
2. Samsung Tel Aviv Marathon with #TeamMasa
On 26 February over 100 Masa participants, alumni, organizers, and staff participated in the annual Samsung Tel Aviv Marathon as part of the first ever #Team Masa.
3. Masa L’Maaseh
In March, 40 of our Yeshiva students went on the first Masa L’Maaseh, a four day journey , cosponsored by Yeshiva University and WZO, to explore Israel's ever-changing landscape as they visited places and met people that are driving a positive change in Israeli society, while enjoying an exciting group experience with participants from many different Jewish Studies programs.
4. Yom Hazikaron Ceremony at Latrun
This May 5,000 participants and Masa partners mourned Israel’s fallen soldiers and victims of terror together at our impactful Yom HaZikaron (Memorial Day) Ceremony at Latrun, the largest English language ceremony in Israel.
5. Ventures in the Capitol: JLM Young Professional Night
May 30th over 200 post-college & academic participants gathered at JVP Media Quarter in Jerusalem for a night of professional development sessions with top Israeli professionals, followed by a networking cocktail hour with top Israeli companies.
6. Culture Shuk
With a dozen performers, authors and artists, from legendary author Amos Oz, to Ethiopian hip hop sensation Café Shahor Hazak, 1,000 participants took an inside look at Israeli Culture.
7. Global Program Fairs
From Brazil to Berlin, the UK to Ukraine, our global team of Regional Masa Representatives have spoken to tens of thousands of potential participants at their events and fairs throughout the world.
In partnership with the Genesis Philanthropy Group, Masa takes thousands of Russian-speaking participants on 5 day journeys to explore Israel and Jewish peoplehood and identity through experiencing land, history, and people.
9. Masa Desert Project
This summer part of our Masa Ambassador’s team set up shop in popular Taglit spots Kfar Hanokdim and Han Hashayarot to share with over 750 Taglit-Birthright groups how they can get back to Israel.
10. The Matzpen Program
Focusing on building capacity in the field, our educational department implemented a series of day-long seminars for our program organizers. The curriculum focuses on pedagogical principles, skill building, current trends and issues in the field of education, and best practices for identity building in emerging adults.
11. My Masa Mega Event
Over 3,000 Masa participants gathered in Jerusalem for our annual My Masa event to kick-off our 2016-2017 year of programs. Word on the street is that this was one of the best events yet!
12. MITF Levinsky Teaching Certificate Program
With a class of 18, this October marked the beginning of our new English Teaching Certificate Program for MITF participants in partnership with Israel’s Ministry of Education and Levinsky College.
13. Partnership with The Forward
People are talking about Masa and The Forward decided they want to as well. This year we officially began a partnership with their new lifestyle section, Scribe. Check out 2 articles by Masa participants here and here.
14. JFNA General Assembly
Our alumni delegation networked with GA goers, and helped spread the word about Masa at our awesome expo booth. We also held an inspiring meeting with Natan Sharansky and a very well-attended (and fun!) joint VIP reception with Onward Israel.
15. Masa-GLI Global Leadership Summit & Tracks
This November our Masa-GLI Leadership Accelerator put on another successful Masa-GLI Global Leadership Summit, in Jerusalem, with generous support from the Wilf Family Foundation. We are particularly proud of the growth of the exposure tracks which allow participants to take their training into the field. Here are this year's tracks:
FSU Participants Masa-GLI Leadership Fellowship, with support by the Genesis Philanthropy Group
Hillel Masa-GLI Leadership Fellowship
JFNA Masa-GLI Leadership Fellowship
WUPJ / HUC-JIR Masa-GLI Leadership Fellowship
Israel Dialog Masa-GLI Leadership Fellowship
WeWork Masa-GLI Business & Innovation Leadership Fellowship
16. North America Career Development Delegation
This November our Director of Business Development International, Adi Barel, and Director iof business Development North America, Adi Hila, hosted career development professionals from North American Universities for a week in Israel, taking them to visit various professional development programs, and immerse themselves in the Israeli start-up ecosystem.
Written by Amy Albertson, Creative Content Manager, Masa Israel Journey