Samuel Morris Azner

Shauna Gamsey

Shauna Gamsey

Otzma
 
Growing up in a small Jewish community in St. Augustine, Florida, Shauna Gamsey attended Sunday school and celebrated the Jewish holidays with her family, but it wasn’t until college that she became involved in the Jewish community on her own.  Shortly after graduating from the University of Florida with a degree in anthropology, Shauna traveled to Israel for the first time with Birthright.
 
“Before then, I hadn’t spent a lot of time surrounded by Jewish culture, and as an anthropology major, it was fascinating to meet Jews from all over the world,” says Shauna.  “A whole new world opened up for me and I knew that I needed to experience more of it.”
 
Shauna stayed a few extra months to travel the country and made plans to spend that year saving up for her next extended stay in Israel through Masa Israel’s OTZMA, a 10-month service program.  In August 2010, Shauna set out for Israel, where she would spend the first two months living in an immigrant absorption center and learning Hebrew in Ashkelon, and the next eight months teaching English in Yerucham, a small development town in southern Israel.
 
“The periphery was interesting to me because of its diverse populations—Russian, Moroccan, and Indian Jews,” says Shauna. “I also knew that it was the right place to work on my Hebrew.”
 
Shauna spent her days tutoring students at the local public school in English and preparing them for their national exams.  “About one percent of the Yerucham population speaks English so there was definitely a huge language gap, but we did have breakthroughs,” says Shauna.  “There wasn’t a whole lot going on in the community to distract us and we were really able to dedicate ourselves to our work.”
 
On Shabbats and holidays, community families welcomed Shauna into their homes for meals and celebrations.  During Passover, Shauna volunteered in Ashalim, helping build homes with Ayalim, an organization that promotes the development and settlement of the Negev and the Galilee, and then returned to Yerucham for Mimouna, a North African celebration held the day after Passover.
 
“It was incredible to literally build the desert and be part of an idealistic Zionism, and then to return to Yerucham to take part in a tradition in which everyone opens their doors to their neighbors and visits each other,” says Shauna.  “Though I was very far from my family, the experience really made me feel at home.”
 
Now back in Florida, Shauna will soon be returning to Israel to continue her education in a Masters program at Ben Gurion University.
 

Tikkun Olam in Tel Aviv-Jaffa

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Program Description

Volunteer or intern for 5 or 10 months and learn about the issues facing Israeli society, on the only post-college program with Israeli participants in the group. Work with refugees from Darfur and Eritrea, Arab-Jewish coexistence, and much more. Learn Hebrew, travel around Israel and get to know the country and society better than you ever thought possible.
 
Tikkun Olam's Coexistence Track seeks to build mutual understanding between Jews and Arabs in the diverse communities of Jaffa through volunteer work and education, and by focusing locally on the issues facing Jews and Arabs in Israel today. The Social Action Track will immerse you in the multicultural communities of southern Tel Aviv in which you volunteer and study, offering a first-hand perspective into the struggling neighborhoods of South Tel Aviv.
 
The new Internship Track will enable you to gain valuable career experience in the non-profit sector, while making a difference for Israel's disadvantaged populations and learning about the complex issues facing Israeli society. 
 

For more information, contact:

Sasha Gold

Director of Admissions

sasha@bina.org.il

tel: +972-52-8365417

Jewish Agency, Ministry of Education Launch Israeli Teach for America

Jewish Agency, Ministry of Education Launch Israeli Teach for America

Jewish Agency, Ministry of Education Launch Israeli Teach for America

October 6, 2011

Seeking to address the widespread under-performance of youth in low-income communities, while offering a unique Israel experience to participants, Israel Teaching Fellows launched this week.
A new, joint, initiative of the Ministry of Education and Masa Israel Journey, the program brings 75 university graduates from North America to Israel to volunteer as English teachers in schools across the country. In doing so, Israel is joining a handful of countries who “import” English teachers from abroad, including Japan, South Korea and France.
 
Immediately following the high holidays, the volunteers will be placed in elementary schools in Petah Tikva, Rishon Lezion, Rehovot, Netanya, Ramle and Lod. Following an initial training period, the volunteers will live in small groups in these communities and teach for 20 hours a week. The fellows will also design secondary volunteer projects in their host communities. Ongoing pedagogical support, Hebrew ulpan, host families and trips will be provided throughout their time in Israel.
 
The program’s launch event took place at Beit Hatfutsot, The Museum of the Jewish People, in Tel Aviv on Monday.
 
Israel Teaching Fellows is an initiative of the Ministry of Education and Masa Israel Journey, a project of the Jewish Agency for Israel and the Government of Israel.
 
 

Hanoar Hatzioni - Shnat Hachshara

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Program Description

This program is conducted in Spanish.
 

Yahel Social Change

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Program Description

The Yahel Social Change Program combines hands-on volunteer work with in-depth learning and immersion in local Ethiopian - Israeli communities in Gedera and Rishon L'Tzion. Yahel partners with Friends by Nature, an Israeli grassroots organization concentrating in the fields of community empowerment and education in Ethiopian communities.
 
As a participant you will have the opportunity to work in local schools, youth centers and community gardens. You will engage in a model of social change that emphasizes building vibrant communities to form the basis for individual and mutual growth. 
 

For more information, contact:

Samantha Sisisky
Recruitment Associate
(p): 972-(0)58-793-5773
samantha@yahelisrael.com
 
The Yahel Social Change Program is highly subsidized, reducing the program fee to as little as $1000 for eligible participants, which includes coverage of your round-trip flight.

 

 

Maccabi Bekeff

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Program Description

Bekeff  is a customizable program offered by Maccabi World Union, allowing you to choose which phases to join, when to do them and for how long. The modules offered within each phase include Kibbutz life, Eilat diving course, Marva (army basic training simulation), MDA (ambulance volunteering), social work in Tel Aviv, ulpan and more.
 
Maccabi World Union is a Jewish and Zionist Movement providing extensive sports, educational, social and cultural activities based on the centrality of Israel in modern Jewish life.  Led by democratically-elected officials at all levels, Maccabi is open to Jews of all affiliations and is a general Zionist Union with no allegiance to any political Party viewpoint. Active in Jewish Communities worldwide - more than 450,000 Jews in 400 institutions of 65 countries in 5 Continents, Maccabi is organized through territorial and regional organizations.
 
Maccabi programs are offered internationally. The youngsters and young adults who participate in our programs come from all over the world - from Australia to Mexico, Great Britain to Argentina, USA to South Africa, and Canada to Brazil.
 

IBC - Israel By Choice

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Program Description

Israel By Choice is a 5 or 10 month program for high school graduates who are not involved in youth movements from Australia, New Zealand and South Africa who want to spend a creative gap year in Israel exploring the land, the people and their Jewish identity.
 
Participants explore their own boundaries and interests through the choices they make throughout the program and form relationships with Israeli students. As a non-affiliated program, IBC allows participants from all Jewish backgrounds to learn from each other and to learn from and about  all different aspects of Israeli society.
 

For more information, please contact:

Helen Lewitan
IBC Representative Australia and New Zealand

hlewitan.ibc@gmail.com
0412469626

 

 

Maccabi - Bekeff Hajshara

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Program Description

Bekeff Hajshara is a customizable program allowing you to choose which modules to join, when to do them and for how long. The modules offered include kibbutz life, Eilat diving course, Marva (army basic training simulation), MDA (ambulance volunteering), social work in Tel Aviv, ulpan and more.
 
You can join the program at the beginning of any of the modules and complete the program in the completion of any of the module periods. 
 
Operated in Spanish
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