6 Reasons Why Studying Abroad in Tel Aviv Beats Florence

<div class="masa-blog-title">6 Reasons Why Studying Abroad in Tel Aviv Beats Florence</div>

It might sound attractive to turn those late night pizza cravings into reality by studying abroad in Florence, but wait, there’s a better option. Every late night craving you’ve ever had can become a reality if you study abroad in Tel Aviv.

Here are 6 Reasons Why Studying Abroad in Tel Aviv Beats Florence:

The People
In Florence the only people you’ll ever meet are Italians, but if you come to Tel Aviv you’ll meet people from around the globe. Its city known around the world for being multi-cultural and with a population made up of 18-34-year-olds you’ll fit right into the mix.



The Language
Learning a new language can be rewarding—but tough. Good thing English is the 3rd unofficial language of Israel. Nearly every restaurant, bar, and street sign are written in English. #NeverGetLost


The Beaches
Florence is home to maybe one or two miles beaches, but 
why settle for two when you can live in Tel Aviv and have 8 miles of beaches.


The Nightlife

No doubt Florence has some of the best nightlife in Europe, but Tel Aviv is known for being the South Beach of the Middle East, dubbed the city that never sleeps, and was even named one of the 28 places to visit before you die. Say hello to partying around the clock.


source: Business Insider

The Food
What do you get when you mix culture after culture together? You get the tastiest food scene that exists on the planet. No matter if it’s 3:00 PM or 3:00 AM you can find anything from pizza to shawarma, to hummus, to sushi.




The History

You may be thinking Tel Aviv is nothing but a party, but you’ve thought wrong. On any given day you can walk the old port city of Jaffa and shop in hundred-year-old markets or see where the first Jewish immigrants laid eyes on the Promised Land.



Written by: Andria Kaplan Aylyarov


It’s Time to Trade the Irish Jig for the Yemenite Step: Study Abroad in Jerusalem

<div class="masa-blog-title">It’s Time to Trade the Irish Jig for the Yemenite Step: Study Abroad in Jerusalem </div>

Unsurprisingly, Ireland is a popular study abroad destination for American students, particularly in Dublin. If you’re looking to hear eclectic accents in a friendly nation with great stouts Dublin would be a solid choice, but what if you could experience richer accents, better stouts with friendlier people?

Why not give Jerusalem a try! Here’re 5 reasons too:

The Stout

The Irish culture will forever claim fame for producing the stout, Guinness which is loved by all dark beer enthusiasts. We hate to rain on the Guinness parade, though, but the stout from the Herzl Microbrewery in Jerusalem isn’t one to mess with it. Plus, the labels are bangin.’



If you’re looking to study abroad in Dublin then you are all too familiar with Irish river dancing or the Irish jig, which is like totally cool, unless you’ve seen the Yemenite Step reworked into electronic–folk-funk by the all-girl band, A-WA. 

Get your step-dancing-ness rocked below:

The Castles

The Blarney Castle in Dublin is a sight to see along with all of the rest. The Irish castles are of medieval times and are of the same style you’ll see all throughout Europe, which could get boring after a semester.

If you really want to get excited about castles, Israel has several to see. Israel is actually home to the most crusader castles in the world. Built hundreds of years ago, these stone fortresses still stand today and are easily accessible.  Check out the ones below:

Belvoir Fortress, located in the Northern Galilee


Apollonia, located in Arsuf, Israel


Atlit Castle and Castle Pilgrim, Haifa, Israel


The Foooood

Irish cuisine is known to fill a person up and it’s especially needed after partaking in the festivities of football games but would you really want to spend five months eating Shepard’s pie and stew? Why not spend five months eating Moroccan stew and all-of-this:


The Gingers
Dublin is home to some of the world’s friendliest people and everyone thinks a ginger is adorable c’mon.


Think you can’t one up an adorable Irish ginger? Wrong. Rumor has it Kind David was a redhead and some even say Israel is home to more redheads than any other country. Six percent of Israel’s total population has red hair. There’s even a conference held in Israel every year for Ginger Jews! 


Hello, there are cute gingers everywhere!! If you don’t believe us check out Nurit Benchetrit’s work, The Beautiful Gingers Project.

source: Israel21c

And check out
 Israeli Knesset Member, Stav Shiffir (pictured below).


Anyways, besides the cute gingers Jerusalem is home to a diverse population and we think why to spend your semester abroad immersed in one culture when you can immerse yourself in hundreds! In a five minute walk, you could meet people from Morocco, Yemen, Russia, or Hungary.


Why spend a semester abroad in one culture when you could spend it in 5? Put a step, a Yemenite step into your study abroad adventure. Speak with a Masa Israel rep today!


Written by: Andria Kaplan Aylyarov

Cover Image: YouTube.com/A-WA


Quiz: Where Should You Live in Israel

Ancient Greek Ruins Have Nothing On This

<div class="masa-blog-title">Ancient Greek Ruins Have Nothing On This</div>

A while ago you spent your lovely high school years studying the works of Aristotle and Socrates… while dozing in and out of naps.





Thankfully, you’re in college now and have spent more than enough time in a toga. And if you’re like most Jewish-American college students you’ve already got your taste of Greek culture since you’re probably a member of AEPi, AEPhi, SDT, ZBT or SAM.


<span style="font-size:16px; color:#000000;" "="">source: totalfratmove.com
source: totalfratmove.com


But now, that you’re a wee bit older and wiser it’s time to switch up your routine and be different, live on the edge.
It’s time to turn up your college experience and take the class outside of the classroom and COME TO JERUSALEM.


Instead of learning about the history of the world from inside four walls, why not see it every day because no matter what street you walk down in Jerusalem you’re literally walking through history.



Athens may have been the birthplace of modern thinking but Israel is and will be for a long time the birthplace of modern technology and innovation and it looks like the parents of milk and honey won’t stop producing heirs anytime soon. Here're just a few breakthrough companies:


If you’re not the entrepreneur junkie and favor the art scene – don’t worry, Jerusalem’s got you covered.

Living and studying in Jerusalem means you’ll be amongst the best of the best in the country. You’ll take classes alongside soon-to-be prodigies in the area of fine arts like dance and film. Plus, the streets in Jerusalem are packed with young artists from Bezalel too!

Not convinced Jerusalem is better than studying abroad in any European city yet?

Would its hidden nightlife scene in the old industrial spots of Talpiot spark your party side?


What about the prestigious Hebrew University; put that on a resume and you’ll have talking points for dayssss.


What if we told you could fly and see your bigs and littles in European cities for the little cash and have a Snapchat worthy story in an instant?
Then again, why would you leave the paradise you’re already in because living in Jerusalem gives you access to all of this:



Oh, and we didn’t mention the food yet. That’s right. Here in Jerusalem, you’ll surely fall in the love with the Mediterranean diet of greens, rich olive oils and most of all hummus and shawarma. #NOMNOMNOM



Written by: Andria Kaplan Aylyarov


5 Reasons Why Studying in Tel Aviv is Brighter than London, Literally

<div class="masa-blog-title">5 Reasons Why Studying in Tel Aviv is Brighter than London, Literally</div>

It’s time to trade gray and cloudy skies and rain for endless sun and beaches. If you’re the person who craves new experiences and thrives off adventure then say hello to Tel Aviv, your newest study abroad destination. Tel Aviv is packed with markets known as shuks, music festivals that give some of the best in the world a run for their dough.

Here're 5 Reasons Why Studying in Tel Aviv is Brighter than London, Literally:

The Music Festivals

England as a country has established themselves for having quite the rap for being a leader in music festivals dating back to the arrival of the Beatles. Israel, on the other hand, is becoming a top player as well and has secured numerous top bookings this past year like Avicii andSIa. If you’re looking for a music festival experience that’s not based on green fields but pushes it to the edge by being held in the desert, near the Dead Sea, or on the shores of the Galilee then welcome aboard.

Here are 4 Festivals You Must Experience in Israel Before You Die:

Midburn Festival


InDnegev Festival


Minus424 Dead Sea Rave


Doof Festival

The Clock Towers

Why tell time with your Apple watch when you could tell time with hundred-year-old clock towers?  You are in luck my friend because both Tel Aviv and London have enormous clock towers for you to use.

The Big Ben, located in London was built in 1844 and the origin why this clock was built is still unknown. Some say it was named after a famous English boxer, others say it was for the royal family. Either way, it’s great option to replace your Apple watch… if you feel like paying $18.00 dollars, which is the entrance fee. Dunt Da Dunt.

If you would rather spend your dollars elsewhere while studying abroad and see an old Clock Tower amongst ancient ruins then head to Tel Aviv-Yafo and check out Migdal haShaon Yafo, a.k.a. the Jaffa Clock Tower. This Ottoman designed clock tower stands three floors high and sits amongst an old stone promenade which will surely give you gram worthy pics.


The Method of Waiting in Line

The British are known for their polite manner which is why you must never skip the line or cut the queue as they say. You will upset them very much if so.  However, in Israel, you will have a rather different experience, which can be quite amusing. You will never have any idea if the person to your right, left, behind or in front is the beginning or end of the line. Whether you’re waiting for an ice cream, buying something at the Shuk, or getting on the bus just push your way through -- There is no such thing as first or last in line here.

You’ll notice from the way Israelis “wait in line” that the culture is fast paced. Once you arrive in Israel you’ll hit the ground running and opportunities will be at every step of the way.


The Coffee & Tea

The British, although stereotyped to love their tea actually prefer coffee. We apologize for smashing your dreams of having tea parties all the time.

If you do love tea and coffee, Israel has some quite unique offerings. Your program will take you on a few trips to Bedouin villages where you’ll participate in lots of tea drinking, in tents on massive Persian-style rugs.  We promise it will feel surreal.

If you’re a coffee drinker, your taste buds won’t believe the “iced cafes” from Aroma.  Imagine you’re walking to the beach because you’re in the Mediterranean after all and the only way to compliment the glowing tan  you’re about to get is by feasting your lips on mocha colored iced café  that is nothing but pure deliciousness. These bad boys put any Starbucks drink to shame. Plus, all of Aroma’s coffees are served with a little chocolate. #Bonus

The Markets

Rummaging through British antiques, jewelry and munching on small bites sound like the perfect market experience that is if you haven’t experienced the vibrancy and atmosphere of the Israeli “Shuk.” 

Calling all foodies and thrifters everywhere the shuks in Tel Aviv will have you and your wallet smiling from ear to ear. Whether you’re in the famous Shuk HaCarmel that’s filled with falafel spots, tchotchkes, and beer stands or prefers a high-end market like Sarona there’s a shuk for all kinds.



Here’s the top 5 you must check out:

Shuk HaCarmel
Nahalat Binyamin
Shuk Levinsky
Jaffa Flea Market
Sarona Food Market


Written by: Andria Kaplan Aylyarov

Photo credits: Mruwka Photography Israel, Secret Tel Aviv, JTA, Facebook.com/Aroma


Swipe It: Why the Jerusalemite Hipsters, Beer and Food are just better than Prague

What University in Israel is Right for You?

Jerusalem vs. Buenos Aires: You can get with this or you can get with that

<div class="masa-blog-title">Jerusalem vs. Buenos Aires: You can get with this or you can get with that</div>

Venture to Buenos Aires for a semester and bask yourself in tango and carne or come to Israel and immerse yourself in more dance and food than you could ever imagine.

You could spend your semester abroad and figure out Buenos Aires' hip hood, Puerto Madero, in a day, or you could live in 1 of 3 of Jerusalem’s hip hoods.

You can get with this:


Or you can get with that:


Within the hip hoods of Nachlaot, Rehavia and Talpiot you can dance, eat, create and dance a little more…



…Or straight up chill at hundreds of cafes.



However, not all people want to *chill* on their semester abroad. In Buenos Aires, you can dive into the cultural and historic institutions.

Perhaps you’d visit the Casa Rosada, a government house rumored to be painted in cow’s blood! #Yikes



If you’d rather spend your time differently, roam through the winding streets of Jerusalem where there’s more history than the eye can imagine (and surely more historic rumors too). 



Studying abroad means more than an exquisite history class. It means new flavors, new cuisine, new people, new languages and more.

Buenos Aires can provide you all of this. You’ll eatcarne, Dulce de leche, drink wine and eat more carne.


You’ll pick up Spanish and meet Argentinians galore.

Then again, who wants to do the same routine for an entire semester?

Jerusalem has culture on top ofculture that’s brewing with people from all sorts of different backgrounds. You can hang with people from Morocco, Russia, Hungary, Yemen and even Argentina.

Like the diversemake up of people in Jerusalem, the food is alike. Think of Jerusalem as a melting pot of flavors. People from around the world have brought their traditional dishes and all you have to do is try!  



If you want to sharpen your Hebrew skills then go right ahead, but English is the third unofficial language of Israel.

Whether you’d prefer to tango and eatcarne or dance until you can’t dance anymore while filling your stomach with food from every corner of the world, in a 5,000 year old city, the choice is yours.

As I said before,


You can get with this:


Or you can get with that:


Written by: Andria Kaplan Aylyarov



The Jewish Chronicle: Community Jew'colades

The Jewish Chronicle: Community Jew'colades

The Jewish Chronicle: Community Jew'colades

July 21, 2016

Masa Israel Journey's new Director of Partnerhips in the United States, Jessica Schapiro was featured in her hometown's Jewish newspaper!

It's That Time of Year Again: Shalom U'Lehitraot

<div class="masa-blog-title">It's That Time of Year Again: Shalom U'Lehitraot</div>

Masa Israel Journey and its alumni across the United States are holding their biannual Shalom U’Lehitraot (Hello and Goodbye) Parties in August.


As recent returnees say hello, they can expect a warm welcome into a local network of Jewish young adults, united by their shared Masa Israel experiences. Alumni will be happy to share their advice for successful transition back into life stateside.


While future participants say goodbye before heading to Israel, they will have the opportunity to answer all of their last minute questions and get the local scoop from Masa Israel alumni who lived it like a local before them.


Meanwhile, veteran Masa alumni will reunite to catch up, reminisce about Israel and find out about the exciting local and national opportunities that the Masa Israel alumni network has in store for the coming year.


Find a party near you"


Twin Cities - Thursday, August 18

New York - Sunday, August 21

Washington DC - Thursday, August 25

Lost Angeles - TBD


Want to host a Shalom U'Lehitraot party in your city?

Email RachelM@MasaIsrael.org to get the party started.