Shpeils and Schnapps: A Pre-Purim Discussion on the custom of drinking, with the Pardes Institute

Shpeils and Schnapps: A Pre-Purim Discussion on the custom of drinking, with the Pardes Institute

February 12, 2013 - 19:30

Coffee Bean and Tea LeafNew York, NY  - 

Join Pardes' Yaffa Epstein for coffee and a discussion on "Pour me another" - The famous tale of the Murderous Purim Seudah (Festive meal). 
 Pick up coffee upstairs and join us downstairs for pastries! All Masa Israel alumni are invited but space is limited to 35 people. RSVP here.
 

Ma'ase Olam - Israel Service Fellows

http://www.masaisrael.org/sites/default/files/Israel%20Service%20Fellows%20Photo.jpg

Program Description

Israel Service Fellows is a joint 10-month service-learning program for college graduates and Israelis ages 21-30 where you will volunteer with at-risk youth in a variety of informal educational placements for 25-30 hours a week.
 
The program is operated by the Ma’ase organization, which specializes in volunteer and leadership programs for over 700 young people all over Israel in order to create a movement for social change. For more than a decade, Ma’ase has been running successful volunteer programs and is the recipient of several national awards in the field. The program is also funded by the Rashi Foundation, a leading organization that has been assisting the underprivileged in Israel for over 20 years.
 
Israel Service Fellows takes place in Akko, a beautiful coastal city in northern Israel and a UNESCO world heritage site. Akko is a mixed city of Arab, Druze and Jewish populations, which would give you the opportunity for meaningful and significant cross cultural learning and exploration.
 
Possible placements for volunteering include schools, youth centers, and community centers. There, you will be able to create various activities for youth, such as photography classes or music classes. You will also take part in professional training in order to develop your knowledge and skills to become an effective educator and agent for social change in your home community as well. The trainings include understanding the political environment, minorities in Israel, and the development of peripheral cities in Israeli society.

Highlights

- Joint programing and service work with a group of Israelis your age
- Gain from the expertise of the Ma’ase organization and its professional approach to volunteering and service.
- Benefit from our service-learning model and leadership development component that trains you to become a change-maker in your home community.
 
Israel Service Fellows is a challenging program, suitable for those who wish to play an active role in shaping Israel's future generation while engaging with one’s own knowledge and understanding of complex social issues in Israel today. We welcome fellows who can bring their own strengths and talents to the program, while answering the genuine needs of the community.
 
Israel Service Fellows is highly subsidized by Masa Israel Journey and the Rashi Foundation, reducing the program fee to $1,000, which includes fully furnished accommodations, health insurance, and a monthly stipend of 1,300 NIS. You will also be reimbursed for your round-trip flight up to 5,000 NIS.
 

For more information, contact:

Beverly Aron
054-4509629

Direction - A Poem

<div class="masa-blog-title">Direction - A Poem </div>

By Benson Ansell, Yahel Social Change

 

Direction

 

So Yahel has traveled North,

Guided on our journey forth,

 

Zoom Israel Graduation Speech

<div class="masa-blog-title">Zoom Israel Graduation Speech</div>

By Elisabeth Hacker, Israel Teaching Fellows - Israel Pathways
 
When I was preparing to write this speech, I decided to do a quick Rabbi Google search for attention grabbers.
 

The Common Bond / Erica Mitchell, Yahel Social Change Program Participant

<div class="masa-blog-title">The Common Bond / Erica Mitchell, Yahel Social Change Program Participant</div>

 
After graduating from college, I wanted to take at least one year off before deciding on a career. I wanted to experience something new and different and also wished to be of service and give back. I looked into programs from Africa to India, when I came across something that stood out. But, it was located in Israel.  To me, Israel meant Zionist Judaism.
 

Estee Gabel

Estee Gabel

Israel Teaching Fellows
Estee Gabel is an Israel Teaching Fellow at the Ben Gurion Elementary school in Rehovot, Israel. Ma’ase Olam’s Israel Teaching Fellows is a joint 10-month service-learning program for college graduates and Israelis ages 21-30 where fellows volunteer as English teachers’ aides in an elementary or middle school in Rehovot. Estee works with 3rd-6th graders, helping to make English interesting, and exposing the students to a native speaker.
 
Originally from Rockville Centre, NY, Estee graduated The George Washington University with majors in International Affairs and Philosophy. “After I graduated, I knew I wanted to be in Israel, and I wanted a structured program. I started looking into different volunteer opportunities, and when I found Ma’a’se Olam, it seemed right.”
 
“With Ma’ase Olam’s Israel Teaching Fellows, we work with English classes and take students out in small groups to help advance their language skills.” Estee spends her days working with small groups of students, or tutoring in one-on-one sessions. She makes flashcards with 3rd graders who are learning the alphabet and helps students with exercises in their workbooks. Each month, she tries to teach her students about a different holiday or aspect of American culture. For Thanksgiving, she created a gratitude board, where each student wrote one thing they were grateful for. “I’m super happy at this school. Everyone is really friendly. I have no complaints.”
 
After volunteering for almost three months, Estee is already seeing a difference in her students: “I have one student in 5th grade that can’t match the sounds to the letters. At the beginning, it was such a task for her to come meet with me. Now, she speaks a few words in English, and when she sees me at school, she’s excited to come work with me. Seeing her more enthusiastic about learning English is a success. Now, I’m trying to find more hours in the week to work with her.”
 
The students aren’t the only ones excited to see her in school. Tami, the head English teacher at Ben Gurion, described the many issues she often struggles with in the classroom. Her students’ English knowledge can range dramatically, so much so that she needs to use three separate textbooks in one class, each at a different level. Having Israel Teaching Fellows in her school makes a huge difference. The fellows can work with the advanced students, or the students who need extra help. This leaves Tami free to adjust the level of her teaching so that it suits the needs of her students. “We’re so lucky to have them!” exclaimed Tami.
 
With Ma’ase Olam, fellows aren’t just teaching, they’re also learning about and engaging with social issues in Israel. Estee described these activities as ”cultural and social justice program components.” These aspects include volunteering alongside and learning with Israelis the same age as the fellows, so that they truly get to know what Israel is like from an insider’s perspective.
 
Estee is having a great time in Israel. “I came in not knowing what to expect, and I’ve been constantly pleased with everything. Having the Ma’ase components are only enhancing the experience. It’s definitely a year that I’ll remember forever.”

When Things Don't Go According to Plan

<div class="masa-blog-title">When Things Don't Go According to Plan </div>

By Jenn Handel, Israel Teaching Fellows
 
So what does a young American Jew with a bachelor’s degree in education and a Master’s degree in liberal arts do after the endless battle of job hunting? 
 
Well move to Israel, of course! 
 
Now that might sound a little crazy, but that’s exactly what I did—though it was never part of my life plan.
 

The Give and Take

<div class="masa-blog-title">The Give and Take </div>

By Danielle Longo, Israel Teaching Fellows
 
Growing up as a Conservative Jew in a suburb of Detroit, I knew the basics about Judaism and Israel.  
 
I attended Hillel Day School, celebrated holidays, went to shul, and believed in God.  
 
But at 17, my dad passed away and I pushed my religion aside.
 

Videos

Hear participants talk about their daily life, take a virtual tour of your favorite program, and watch your semester of year in Israel unfold in front of you

Israel Teaching Fellows - Israel Experience

Otzma becoming Jewish Agency program

Otzma becoming Jewish Agency program

January 8, 2013

NEW YORK (JTA) -- Otzma, the yearlong volunteer program in Israel, is being adopted by a subsidiary of the Jewish Agency for Israel.
The Jewish Federations of North America announced Nov. 1 that it was dropping the program and initiated a process to find another agency to take it over. Upon completion of this year's program, Otzma will be taken over by the Israel Experience Educational Tourism Services, a subsidiary of the Jewish Agency.
 
“We are confident the Israel Experience will help continue to provide the brand of life-changing Israel programs for young adults for which Otzma is known,” Michele Sackheim Wein, Otzma's chairwoman, said in a news release.
 
Over the past three decades, Otzma has sent more than 1,400 Jewish young adults from nearly 100 communities in North America to Israel. The Israel Experience specializes in organizing youth trips to Israel and already provides Otzma with logistical services.
 
“We are very excited to become the new home for Otzma,” said Erez Cohen, director of Israel Experience’s Long Term Program division. “We have known the program for years, and have been proud to be its logistical provider over the last several years. We believe in the program and are committed to doing everything we can to ensure its long-lasting success."

Originally published by JTA