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The Times of Israel: Masa Holds Startup Event for Young Professionals

The Times of Israel: Masa Holds Startup Event for Young Professionals

January 17, 2017

By Shoshanna Solomon

 

350 young professionals from Masa’s long-term programs got an inside look at Israel startup ecosystem

Even Fankel at Masa Fast Forward

Even Frankel, Educational Programs Manager of the nonprofit organization Start-Up Nation Central, front and center, gives young professionals an in-depth look at Israel’s tech industry during Masa Israel Journey’s “Masa Fast Forward” conference at the Yitzhak Rabin Center in Tel Aviv on Sunday, January 15, 2017 (Courtesy)

 

Close to 350 young professionals from around the world got an inside look at Israel’s start-up ecosystem while learning how to build their networks, resumes, and personal brands at “Masa Fast Forward,” a professional development conference organized for hundreds of Masa Israel Journey participants this week.

 

Fej Shmulevitz, Vice President of Community and Operations at the global navigation app Waze, opened up the gathering, held at Tel Aviv’s Yitzhak Rabin Center.

 

Throughout the evening, recent college graduates who are participating in Masa Israel’s long-term internships, English language teaching fellowships and post-college programs, attended interactive workshops facilitated by industry leaders that were designed to help advance their careers. Topics ranged from “Parallel Roads to Success: Developing your Social and Business Career” with Sagi Shahar, CEO and co-founder of Nachshonim Ventures, which connects young business professionals with volunteer opportunities at nonprofits, to “Body Language: Tools to Engage & Mobilize” by Ben Baginsky, Director of the Masa-GLI Global Leadership Accelerator program, which recently launched a new partnership with WeWork.

 

“From building your personal brand through social media platforms to acquiring a set of networking skills, the sessions I attended gave me new, necessary tools to apply as I move forward in my professional career,” said Dylan Simmons, a Canada native and participant in Masa Israel’s Destination Israel program.

 

Yuval Shafir at Masa Fast Forward

Yuval Shafir, founder and CEO of i Decide – Center for Career Development, shares best practices and resources with 350 young professionals during Masa Israel Journey’s “Masa Fast Forward” conference at the Yitzhak Rabin Center in Tel Aviv on Sunday, January 15, 2017 (Courtesy)

 

Israel is looking to leverage Masa activities to draw young professionals to its high tech sector as the industry faces a shortage of skilled workers. Israel on Sunday approved the hiring of 500 foreign high-tech workers in a bid to forestall a severe shortage in qualified programmers and internet experts and proposed increasing the number of students in high-tech academic programs by 40 percent in the next six years.

 

Masa is an initiative of The Jewish Agency for Israel and the Israeli government, that aims to bring Jewish communities in North America closer to Israel via education and career development experiences in Israel. Currently, more than 2,000 students and young professionals are interning across Israel through Masa Israel Journey, at start-ups, hospitals, venture capital firms, schools, small businesses, media outlets and more, the organization said.

 

 

Originally published in The Times of Israel

The Jerusalem Post: New Lessons From My Old Elementary School

The Jerusalem Post: New Lessons From My Old Elementary School

January 7, 2017

By Liran Avisar-Ben Horin

 

The fellows lead small group instruction and tutoring, providing a more specialized study environment and increased personal attention.

 

Students in a classroom [Illustrative]. (photo credit:REUTERS)

Students in a classroom [Illustrative]. (photo credit:REUTERS)

I recently returned to my sleepy northern Israel hometown of Migdal Ha’emek to see my old elementary school through different eyes. My first-grade teacher is still teaching first grade, offering the same hugs, and two of my former classmates are now leading classrooms of their own.

 

All of them are working together these days with the school’s Masa Israel Teaching Fellows, a program developed in partnership with the Education Ministry to bring in young Jews from around the world to help teach English in schools the ministry has identified as in need of additional support.

 

My visit was more than just a nostalgic trip home. I stepped through the doors of Giyora Yoseftal Elementary School as an executive of Masa Israel Journey, an initiative of The Jewish Agency for Israel and the Israeli government and the leader in immersive international experiences in Israel, which I am proud to now lead.

 

Now in its sixth year, MITF is one of the flagship programs of Masa Israel. My mission was to see MITF’s impact firsthand. In 12 communities across Israel, including at my own school in Migdal Ha’emek, these fellows are at the forefront of helping children in undeserved communities learn English early so they can succeed in school and in their lives long after.

 

I am honored to be able to facilitate young Jews from around the world in spending long periods of time in Israel positively impacting local communities while enriching their personal and professional growth.

 

Our joint goal, together with the schools’ teachers and principals, and the government, is to ensure that Israel’s next generation has the language and study skills needed to excel in a global workplace.

 

The fellows – most of whom come from the United States, and all of whom are college graduates between the ages of 21 and 30 – spend 10 months in Israel teaching English as a second language to Israeli schoolchildren while immersing themselves in Israeli culture and daily life. More than 100 fellows are currently working in schools across Israel. Some of these schools rank among the lowest performing and rely on teaching fellows for critical additional English teaching expertise. Simply having more teachers in the room inspires students in their learning and helps them realize the value of their education.

 

The fellows lead small group instruction and tutoring, providing a more specialized study environment and increased personal attention.

 

Migdal Ha’emek is a perfect fit. It warmed my heart to see students who reminded me of myself at their age, in the same classrooms where I too learned English for the first time. The school’s walls are lined with art crafted by the students’ hands, and the courtyard is still noisy with their laughter at recess.

 

Migdal Ha’emek is a small town with a population of only 28,000.

 

Many of its residents are immigrants from Ethiopia, the former Soviet Union, North Africa and South America. This mishmash of cultures has led to many challenges for the community. Its school system has traditionally lagged behind those in other parts of Israel.

 

But the MITF participants are helping to change that – change I experienced directly as I watched them at work in my former classrooms.

 

What struck me in Migdal Ha’emek, as it does every time I visit a Masa Israel Teaching Fellows site, is the way in which the fellows not only teach their elementary and middle school students, but also learn from them at the same time.

 

They may come from opposite sides of the world, but they share the same love of learning. The MITF participants and students find themselves in a sort of language exchange: “I’ll teach you English, if you teach me Hebrew. We’ll both sound funny.” The fellows are modeling adaptive leadership, and the impact is dramatic, with students often far more willing to speak English with their new American friends than they would be comfortable doing so with their teachers alone.

 

They also find themselves in a cultural exchange, including through the opportunity to volunteer in the community. Our fellows are helped to feel at home and to get to know the local community through BINA, the Jewish movement for social change, a longtime Masa partner.

 

The success of MITF is more than just teaching a new language to students who need the most help. It’s about teaching courage. It’s about the power of creating change, simply, quietly, one day at a time.

 

Not everyone is as fortunate as I am to lead an organization that is positively and directly impacting the community that molded me into who I am today. But as our teaching fellows program expands across the country, we can all welcome these fellows into our communities, supporting them and the students they serve. Together, we can help build a positive future for our schools, and for all of our students, that is just as bright as the ones we remember so well.

 

The author is CEO of Masa Israel Journey, the leader of immersive international experiences in Israel, including gap-year programs, study abroad, service-learning and career development opportunities, and an initiative of the Jewish Agency for Israel and the government of Israel.

 

Originally Published in The Jerusalem Post

eJewish Philanthropy: Emerging Adults Choosing Long-term Programs in Israel – Questions Inspired by the Evaluation of Masa Israel Journey

eJewish Philanthropy: Emerging Adults Choosing Long-term Programs in Israel – Questions Inspired by the Evaluation of Masa Israel Journey

eJewish Philanthropy: Emerging Adults Choosing Long-term Programs in Israel – Questions Inspired by the Evaluation of Masa Israel Journey

January 2, 2017

By Alex Pomson and Yehudit Werchow

 

When Masa Israel Journey was launched in 2004, almost all of the five-and-a-half-thousand young people who participated in the program’s long-term Israel-based experiences were under the age of twenty-four. They were taking a gap year or experiencing a semester abroad. Just a few hundred were college graduates.

When Masa Israel Journey was launched in 2004, almost all of the five-and-a-half-thousand young people who participated in the program’s long-term Israel-based experiences were under the age of twenty-four. They were taking a gap year or experiencing a semester abroad. Just a few hundred were college graduates.

 

In recent years, the demographics of those coming on programs has changed. Today, about a third of Masa’s twelve thousand participants are older than 21. Most of this population are post-college and pre-family; in today’s world, what has been coined “emerging adults.” While this change alone is interesting, the implications of this change are especially intriguing and provocative for Masa and for community partners interested in effectively engaging this demographic group.

 

A team from Rosov Consulting is working together with Masa Israel Journey to study the outcomes produced by the different programs for which Masa provides a platform. Having completed a retrospective study of Masa alumni who participated in programs between 2005 and 2014, we have also been studying, in real time, a cohort who participated in Masa programs between July 2014 and June 2015, and who are now between six and twelve months out of the program.

 

Within this cohort there are more than 1,500 participants who were post-college and under the age of thirty at the time they came to Israel for between four months and 12 months. Based on an analysis of their self-reported participation in Jewish programing and educational experiences before they enrolled in Masa, 65 percent of this population was previously engaged in a relatively limited way in communal Jewish activities or in Jewish educational offerings such as camps, supplementary schools, day schools and youth groups. The one (almost) common denominator among the group is that 85 percent of them had visited Israel at least once before.

 

What makes this cohort so unique is that their choice of a Masa program does not fit with popular perceptions of post-college millennials and of the programs in which they participate. Jewish programs in North America that attract Jewish millennial participants tend to be self-curated, short-in-duration, easily accessible, and ask for a low threshold of commitment. Often, these programs don’t trumpet their Jewishness.

 

Post-college Masa programs call participants to put a great deal more skin in the game. The programs are at least four-months long. Whatever their programmatic content, they require investing time in different mandatory curriculum components such as learning Hebrew as a second language, participating in a diverse range of Jewish experiences, engaging in social action work, traveling the land, and learning about Israeli society, culture and history. By definition, there is no disguising that these are Jewish programs. Although subsidies are available, sometimes covering full cost, these post-college offerings range in price between $5,000 and $15,000. The access bar is quite high.

 

When surveyed about their reasons for coming on one of these programs, the participants’ interest in personal and/or professional growth loomed large. Gaining work experience and getting to know oneself were strong motivations, as was the desire to have fun and experience adventure. Participants were not primarily drawn to Israel by a search for Jewish experiences. What pulled them to Israel was a curiosity about the country and the opportunity to experience living there; what Masa’s messaging calls ”living like a local.” They saw Israel as a site for their own personal and professional development.

 

Evidently, most participants found what they’re looking for. Six months after they returned home, their knowledge of day-to-day life in Israel and Israeli culture had increased three-fold, they were twice as knowledgeable about ways to be involved with Israel, and their sense of connection to Israel and Israelis had increased significantly.

 

Given their relatively unengaged backgrounds and the relatively high bar for entering the program, it is worth learning more about what attracts these people to Israel and what exactly accounts for the ways in which they change and grow during their time in the country; especially as regards their connection to Israel and its relationships to their personal and professional growth. What we learn might have profound implications for Masa and for others seeking to deeply engage this population. If the access bar was lower, might that make programs more appealing? Or is the high bar of entry part of the appeal? Is the special attraction to live like a local in Israel, or is it to live abroad somewhere familiar enough from a previous experience that just happens to be the one Jewish state in the world?

 

For the moment, speculatively, we point to a paradox: the participants’ previous experience in Israel has set in motion a desire to come back and gain a deeper appreciation of what living in the country involves. At the same time, a perceived deficiency in that previous experience – being too tightly controlled and too heavily mediated – nourishes, they have told us, a desire to discover Israel for themselves. They have been both inspired enough and frustrated enough to want to return.

 

Millennials may be the most studied population cohort in human history but there is still much more to learn about their drives and desires, particularly when it comes to their relationship with Israel and their engagement with the country and the Jewish people.

 

Alex Pomson is Managing Director at Rosov Consulting

Rabbi Yehudit Werchow is Director of Education, Masa.

 

 

Originally published in eJewish Philanthropy

The Forward: 8 Ways to Boost or Change Your Career in 2017

The Forward: 8 Ways to Boost or Change Your Career in 2017

The Forward: 8 Ways to Boost or Change Your Career in 2017

December 29, 2016

This piece was contributed by Masa Israel Journey — for more information, click here.

1. Masa Israel Teaching Fellows

 

 

Whether you’re a recent grad who wants to make an impact or a few years out of school and burnt out from the corporate grind, Masa Israel Teaching Fellows is a truly unique opportunity to contribute to Israeli society. Spend 10 months teaching English and volunteering in Israel. Masa Israel Teaching Fellows serve in low-income communities to improve English learning outcomes in Israel’s most crowded classrooms, setting their students up for success in school and beyond.

 

2. Israel Government Fellows

 

 

If you’re passionate about politics, international relations and the Jewish world and you’re eager to gain serious knowledge and professional experience, look no further than Israel Government Fellows. An elite leadership and professional development program endorsed by the Office of the Prime Minister of Israel offers full-time internships in government ministries, think tanks and civil society organizations. Additionally, fellows meet leading public figures and academics during weekly seminars about Jewish and Israeli history, Zionist thought, Israeli politics, and more.

 

3. Destination Israel Career Growth

 

 

Career Growth is one of the most affordable ways to intern and live in Tel Aviv. You’ll work one-on-one with Destination Israel’s staff to find your ideal internship with one of over 800 companies, starts ups and nonprofits in their network. Outside the office, you’ll have plenty of time to experience everything that the nonstop city of Tel Aviv has to offer. When it’s time for you to turn in for the night, you’ll rest your head in a studio or shared apartment in Yafo (Jaffa), one of Tel Aviv’s oldest and trendiest neighborhoods. 4. Israel Tech Challenge CTO Coding Bootcamp

 

4. Israel Tech Challenge CTO Coding Bootcamp

 

 

 

If you’re looking for hands on experience in community organizing and nonprofit work, then the Yahel Social Change Program is for you. Yahel partners with local grassroots organizations in the Rishon LeZion’s Ethiopian-Israeli community and the mixed Jewish and Arab-Israeli city of Lod to create a community-based service learning experience. As a result participants gain a holistic community development experience through civic engagement and a real impact in the communities in which they work.

 

6. Career Israel

 

 

With over 1,700 internships in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem to choose from, Career Israel will help you find the perfect internship to help you launch or change your career. You’ll live and work in the heart of either city, building your resume, advancing your career, expanding your network, and living like a local.

 

7. Pardes Learn + Intern

 

 

Pardes Institute for Jewish Studies is an open, co-ed and non-denominational Jewish learning community in Jerusalem. Deepen your Jewish knowledge and identity spending the spring semester studying classical Jewish texts and ideas, as well as ethical, spiritual, philosophical, legal and societal issues facing the Jewish people today. Come summer, you’ll intern with an Israel company or organization in your field of interest and continue your studies once a week.

 

7. Master's Degree Programs

 

 

Israel is home to some of the best universities in the world and they all offer a wide variety of one-year master’s degree programs. Whether you want to add MBA, MPH, MA, MS, or LLM to your email signature, a master’s degree from a top-notch Israeli university is one of the fastest and most affordable ways to achieve your career goals.

 

The views and opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect those of the Forward.

 

Originally published in The Forward

A Sufganiya a Day Keeps the Doctor Away

<div class="masa-blog-title">A Sufganiya a Day Keeps the Doctor Away</div>

 
Hanukah is right around the corner and Israel is definitely getting ready for this crazy, cheerful, and festive holiday! Wherever you are, nearly any shop you enter, you will always find these mouth-watering and famous doughnuts for this upcoming celebration! I really just want to warn all of you that you won’t be eating one or two souvganiot, but more like eight or ten! This is the tradition in Israel. If I remember properly, I ate about two a day for a full week—and yes, my stomach was basically made out of flour, butter, sugar and tasty strawberry jam. If you are a fan of jelly, don’t expect for the souvganiot to have a lot of it. That’s just how they’re made. Don’t worry though; they are still finger-licking sweets. It’s crazy to see how generous Israelis are as they hand them out, and they just can’t wait for you to eat it and get another one. And trust me; you will definitely come back for another one. 
 
 
Are you living with your parents? Roommates? Boyfriend or girlfriend? Whoever it is, be sure to bring souvganiot back home, it will make everyone’s day a little better. 
 
 
Living in Herzliya for the past year, I had the chance to taste the different souvganiot each stores gave out (yes I wasn’t lying about having two souvganiot a day). Whether powdered with sugar, chocolate or sprinkles, I was so amazed to see the variety of everywhere I went. The bakery that really stood out for me is one called ‘’Maafim Hamishpaha’’ meaning “the Family’s Bakery” in Hebrew. They have had their business for over 40 years now and are still doing excellent in terms of selling succulent pastries. The bakery, which also sells croissants, chocolates, pastries and amazing drinks, have the most delicious souvganiot for Hanukah. You’ll be able to smell them simply passing by. The moment you bite into one you will feel the tenderness of the dough and taste the sugary and honeyed flavor; it is SO good! The family definitely has magic tricks when it comes to their amazing recipes.  If you think you can discover their secret, I invite you to head over there yourself and have one or two souvganiot. That will definitely light up your entire week of Hanukah. Hag Sameach everyone! 
 
Written by Sharon Brand, Communications Student at IDC Herzliya
Read more about her Journey at her blog, brandtravels.com.
 

Top 16 Masa Israel Moments of 2016

<div class="masa-blog-title">Top 16 Masa Israel Moments of 2016</div>

 

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.
 

8. MasaID


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
  • Masa Influencers

 

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
 

 

The Forward: 8 Foods You Didn't Know Jews Eat During Hanukkah

The Forward: 8 Foods You Didn't Know Jews Eat During Hanukkah

The Forward: 8 Foods You Didn't Know Jews Eat During Hanukkah

December 8, 2016

This piece was contributed by Masa Israel Journey — for more information, click here.

This year, like every year since I was a child, I started counting down the days to Hanukkah before the first blow of the shofar on Rosh Hashanah. I just can’t wait for the one week when it’s socially acceptable – and dare I say expected – to eat fried foods every day. Most Americans crave the smells of pine trees and gingerbread — I crave the smells of latkes and jelly-filled donuts

 

In recent years, especially after meeting my Sephardic husband and participating in a Masa Israel program, I’ve come to learn there’s much more to Hanukkah than latkes and donuts. For example, we included rice in this year’s Pesach meal (which in my book is a total win #AshkenaziProbs) and during Sukkot we ate pumpkin-filled samsas (the Bukharian version of Samosas).

 

If you’ve ever been in Israel during Hanukkah, then you know every bakery window from the North to the South are filled with more flavors of sufganiyot (doughnuts) then one can imagine. But you probably didn’t realize Jews around the world also eat these delicious treats during Hanukkah:

 

Keftes De Prasa

 

Keftes De Prasa

Wikimedia Commons

 

Keftes are any form of fried vegetables or other ingredients (ie: croquets, patties, pancakes, fritters) in Sephardic cuisine. Keftes de prasa are fried leek patties - Imagine a latke, but swap the potatoes for leeks - traditionally eaten on Hanukkah. For a Syrian twist on the keftes de prasa, sauté the leeks in spices like allspice and cinnamon.

 

Recipe Here

 

Bunelos

 

bunelos

Wikimedia Commons

 

Buñelos (also known as bimuelo, birmuelo, bermuelo, burmuelo, bonuelo or bunyol), are fried balls of dough finished off with a sweet topping, like orange or anise glaze. Originating in Spain, these sweet treats can also be found in South American, Middle Eastern and Indian cuisine. From Egypt to Ecuador, Sephardic Jews traditionally eat buñelos on Hanukkah, while their Christian and Muslim neighbors eat them on Christmas and Ramadan.

 

Recipe Here

 

Sfenj

 

sfenj

Wikimedia Commons

 

Sfenj is the Arabic word for sponge and perfectly describes these yeast doughnuts that Jews of North African descent eat on Hanukkah. Finish off these bad boys by covering them in sugar, soaking them in honey, or sprinkling them with orange zest.

 

Recipe Here

 

Cassola

 

Cassola

Alessandra Rovati

 

Cassola is popular amongst Italian Jews during Hanukkah and is more or less known as the unofficial Christmas dessert of Italy. However, let it be known the Jews invented this baked ricotta cheesecake, which over time turned into large sweet ricotta pancakes.

 

Recipe Here

 

Pasta Latkes

 

Pixabay

 

That’s right, pasta latkes are a thing.. A gift from the Romanian Jewish community, substitute fine egg pasta for potatoes, fry until golden, and voila!

 

Recipe Here

 

Kibbet Yatkeen

 

Kibbet Yatkeen are the Syrian community’s version of latkes. These bad boys are made with pumpkin and bulgur instead of potatoes. If you get your hands on them, be careful they may come with a kick!

 

Recipe Here

 

Frittelle di Riso Par Hanukkah

 

Frittelle di Riso Par Hanukkah

Flickr

 

The Italians dominate the Hanukkah food game with another decadent dessert. Frittelle di Riso par Hanukkah, otherwise known as Italian Rice Fritters, are a sweet alternative to the savory latke.

 

Recipe Here

 

Gulab Jamun

 

Gulab Jamun

Pixabay

 

Gulab Jamun, you probably can’t pronounce this decadent treat, and that’s okay. Gulab jamun, pronounced more or less like goo-lab-ja-mon is commonly eaten by Jews of Indian decent during Hanukkah. Gulab Jamon is a dairy-based sweet made of milk solids that are formed into a dough, rolled into balls, fried and then soaked in a sugary syrup. Is your mouth watering yet?

 

Recipe Here

 

Whether you’re looking for sweet or savory, members of the tribe around the world have plenty of tasty alternatives to your usual Chanukah nosh. Now, you just have to decide where to start.

 

Originally published in The Forward

 

To learn more about the Masa Israel Journey, click here. 

8 Need-To-Know Hebrew Phrases To Learn Before Going to Israel

<div class="masa-blog-title">8 Need-To-Know Hebrew Phrases To Learn Before Going to Israel</div>

 

Living abroad for any period of time can be intimidating, especially if you don’t know the local language fluently.


Here at Masa Israel we understand the struggle and therefore we came up with 8 words/phrases that will make your Masa Israel journey a smooth ride. Oh and not only will you know the local slang, but Israelis will think you are literally a local.

 

Let’s get started with our first local Hebrew lesson:

 

1. Achi/ Achoti = Brother/Sister

A.k.a. Bro, Dawg, Homie, Girl, Gurrrrl, etc…

 


2. B’emet = Really?


A.ka. For real tho?

 


3. Mesiba = Party

 


4. Motzash = After Shabbat

 


5. Mehamem = Gorgeous

 


6. Metzuyan = Excellent

 


7. Sababa = Cool

 


8. Yalla = Let’s go!


A.ka. Hurry, Get Moving

 

 

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

 

The 8 Must Follow Instagram Profiles from Israel

<div class="masa-blog-title">The 8 Must Follow Instagram Profiles from Israel</div>

 

Doing a Masa Israel program is more than just going back after birthright, it’s actually experiencing the REAL Israel. It’s an actual journey! You will make friends from literally all over the world, see and feel things that are not found anywhere else, and you will want to keep coming back for more. 

 

So enough of us trying to convince you to live your life or even get experience for your career, this time we will let our participants show you what this “journey” is all about. Follow these Instagram accounts to get the real deal from food to places you never even knew existed! 

 

1. @whatwouldjulieorder

 

Participant: Julie Deutsch
Program: Career Israel

 

2. @kirilltrukhin

 


Participant: Kirill Trukhin
Program: Masa Tlalim

 

3. @tatianaitskova

 


Participant: Tatiana Itskova
Program: Betar Mabat

 

4. @davidjozef

 


Participant: David Jozef
Program: Top Israel Interns


5. @roo222

 


Participant: Rachel Schwartz
Program: Career Israel


6. @syrbrs

 


Participant: Ben Slutzky
Program: Israel By Design


7. @stasykh

 


Participant: Anastasiia Khodyrieva
Program: PMP Nativ Technion


8. @vainer91

 


Participant: Ariel Vainer
Program: Lej Leja
 

 

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