Masa Israel Happy Hour - NYC

Masa Israel Happy Hour - NYC

February 22, 2017 - 18:00  -  February 22, 2017 - 20:00

643 BroadwayNew York, NY  - 

Join Masa Israel for an evening to remember!

First drink is on us for everyone who registers at www.masaisrael.org/2017HappyHour

Come drink with your friends and hear about awesome opportunities to get back to Israel or to share your Israel experiences.

LOCATION: 

http://www.drinksweetwater.com/

TIME: 6-8PM

 

     Partner organizations: Moishe House Murray Hill, StandWithUs, Hunter Hillel, and Onward Israel

English-Speaking Teaching Fellows in Israeli Schools to Double

English-Speaking Teaching Fellows in Israeli Schools to Double

February 14, 2017

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

February 14, 2017

 

CONTACT:

Sara Koenig, West End Strategy Team

SKoenig@westendstrategy.com; Office: (212) 498-9300; Cell: (917) 420-0303

 

Masa Israel Journey to Bring 300 Young Professionals into Israeli Classrooms Next School Year

NEW YORK—Masa Israel Journey, the leader in immersive international experiences in Israel, announced today that it will double the number of participants in its flagship Masa Israel Teaching Fellows program, beginning this coming school year. The expansion will bring 300 young professionals into classrooms across Israel to teach English as a Second Language. It is made possible through a partnership with the Ministry of Education and is part of the Ministry’s plan to strengthen English as a Second Language programming nationwide.

 

Masa Israel Journey and the Ministry of Education launched Masa Israel Teaching Fellows in 2011 for recent college graduates ages 21-30 who are native English speakers. Since then, more than 800 native English speakers have served as fellows in the 10-month program. To account for increasing needs in the Israeli school system, Masa Israel and its partners at the Ministry, Israeli Government, and Jewish Agency for Israel are expanding the program’s presence. Many of the schools in which the teaching fellows serve have been identified by the Ministry as among the lowest performing in the country and in need of additional support. In the fall, as part of the expansion, Bat Yam and Eilat will be added to the current list of 12 cities where fellows teach.

 

Beginning this September, the fellowship will offer a new track for teachers who are certified to teach in their home countries, who will, after initial trainings, lead their own classrooms with English as a Second Language curricula. As in the past, individuals with undergraduate degrees will serve as teaching assistants alongside elementary and middle school full-time teachers.

 

“Masa Israel Teaching Fellows are serving in communities that are on the margins of society and in need of good, passionate, young teachers,” said Naftali Bennett, Israel’s Minister of Education. “They do very important work, and the Ministry is proud to have them in our classrooms.”

 

Tamar Zilbershatz, Director, Gap & Service Programs at Masa Israel Journey, added, "Masa Israel Journey is thrilled to partner with the Ministry of Education to bring more highly qualified English teachers into the Israeli school system through our teaching fellowship. This program offers young teachers the rare opportunity to develop their professional skills and engage in self-discovery while having a deep impact on the ground in Israel. We invite all educators to join us for this rewarding experience.”

 

All teaching fellows will have the opportunity to boost their resumes while immersing themselves in Israeli culture through tailored trainings, certificate programs, community service projects and guided tours across the country.

 

Nitzah Santiago-Horseman served as a Masa Israel Teaching Fellow in the city of Ramla in 2013-2014. Today, thanks to her experience as a fellow in Israel, she teaches high school special education in Syracuse, N.Y., while pursuing a master’s degree in early childhood special education at Syracuse University. Nitzah was a public school teacher before working in Israel, but as she shared, “After my Masa Israel teaching fellowship, I’m a different teacher. I experienced significant personal and professional growth and change in a very short amount of time. As a teacher today, I’m more confident, more capable—and grateful for the time I spent alongside teachers and students in Israel.”

 

###

 

Masa Israel Journey is the leader in immersive international experiences in Israel. Masa Israel connects young people ages 18-30 who are seeking to enrich their personal and professional growth with the top gap year, study abroad, service-learning and career development opportunities. An initiative of The Jewish Agency for Israel and the Government of Israel, Masa’s subsidized, individually tailored programs immerse participants in the community as they embark on a journey that will change both the course of their lives, and of the Jewish people’s future. More info at @MasaIsrael and on Facebook.

The Forward: The 5 Best Dating Apps To Use While In Israel

The Forward: The 5 Best Dating Apps To Use While In Israel

February 9, 2017

By Amy Albertson

 

Romantic Beach Picnic

Pixabay

 

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

 

We’re sure you’ve heard the news—there is an app for everything. Finding love (or at least a date) is no exception. And in the “startup nation,” we obviously believe in the swipe-to-like revolution. Here in Israel we have not one, but five, popular dating apps to lead us to the good Jewish boy/girl of our dreams. With that many options, it seems silly not to take your chances. After all, what would be better than falling in love in the Holy Land?

Of course not all dating applications are created equally and like with just about everything else, there are cultural differences. Lucky for you we’re here to breakdown Israel’s most popular dating apps.

 

Tinder

Tinder

Courtesy Tinder

 

The pioneer of the swipe-to-like revolution, Tinder, like in most places, is probably the most well-known dating app on the market. I suspect Israelis enjoy it for the same reason as everyone else—it is simple. You swipe right to like, left to dislike, and profiles contain only minimal information. Predominantly visual profiles leave less room for a language barrier initially, but be ready to practice your Hebrew skills as soon as the messaging starts. Ma at mehapeset? What are you looking for? Although constantly debated, Tinder in Israel is not the most recommended place to find true love. Swipers here are most likely looking for something much more casual, so keep that in mind.

 

Jswipe

jswipe

Screenshot

 

We have our own country, so why shouldn’t Jews have their own dating app? We do! Jswipe is commonly referred to as “the Jewish Tinder” because its similar format. However, Jswipe profiles have some extra categories, such as kosher or not kosher and level of observance—super handy things to know when searching for one’s beshert (soulmate). For those of you not so confident with your Hebrew skills, a high percentage of Jswipe users are either non-Israeli or speak English. Who knows, maybe you’ll find a Hebrew tutor in addition to a match? Either way, Jswipe is Israeli tested and Jewish-mother approved.

 

OkCupid

OkCupid

OkCupid

 

OkCupid is basically the yenta (Jewish matchmaker) of the Israeli dating app world. The app matches couples using an algorithm and matches are determined by your answers to specially designed questions. Although the mobile version includes a swiping feature, OkCupid is has a reputation for being the best app for finding a serious relationship. Profiles include a lot more personal details and space for in-depth information. Luckily Israelis love to talk about themselves and tend to fill out a majority of the profile, giving you lots of information to consider before making contact.

 

Bumble

bumble

Bumble

 

The newest addition to the Israeli dating scene is Bumble, known for its feminist features. Like most of the other apps you swipe one way or another to like or dislike. However on Bumble, females have to message first (when set for heterosexual relationships). Additionally, males have 24 hours to respond to a message before the match expires. If you’re interested in dating native Israelis, Bumble might not be the right app for you. A bit new to Israel, it is mostly full of hulnikim (non-Israelis). Yalla, ladies!

 

Jfixx

Jfixx

Jfixx

 

If an Israeli were a dating app, they would be Jfixx. If you are looking to immerse yourself into a truly Israeli dating app scene, this is it. Jfixx is filled with almost exclusively native Israelis and only works in Israel. Pros: you browse rather than swipe, are more detailed profile options than Tinder (including what kind of relationship you’re searching for and those trusty Jewish-specific questions), and has more dynamic options for liking profiles or just specific photos. Cons: the interface is completely in Hebrew and most of its users only speak only Hebrew. Think you have the chutzpah? We say go for it.

 

Amy is Masa Israel Journey’s Creative Content Manager. Originally from California, this Masa alumna and new Jerusalemite spends her days out in the field gathering and creating content for Masa, walking her dog Mindy, and bargain hunting. She’s addicted to social media, coffee, puppies and all things Israeli.

 

 

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

Life as an Introvert in an Extroverted Country

<div class="masa-blog-title">Life as an Introvert in an Extroverted Country</div>

By Alicia Schneider, Masa Israel Teaching Fellow, Rishon Letzion
Read more by Alicia on her personal blog.

Maybe it’s the kibbutznik foundation of the place, or maybe it has something to do with the teamwork ideals instilled during formative years in the IDF, but if Israel were an individual on the introvert-extrovert spectrum, it would undeniably fall under the latter. With that being said, Israel is still a place that attracts everyone, introverts and extroverts alike, so what is it about this land that manages to bring introverted people to an intimidating extroverted country and have them settle in comfortably?

 

A few months ago I moved to Israel, and while I had a few concerns such as the level of my Hebrew and the funds in my bank, I didn’t think to account for the overall personality differences between Canadian and Israeli society, however, that has proven to be the most challenging part of living here. As a self-described introvert who prefers a quiet night in with Netflix and a tall glass of wine, keeping up with the extroverted Israeli lifestyle has been testing.

 

Israel, a country roughly the size of the state of New Jersey, has a population of 8 million people. With over half of the country being desert, that’s a lot of people to cram in to a small space, and trust me, it is definitely noticeable. Like the stereotypical pictures you see of the shuk (market) full of dark-skinned men hollering sale prices and trying to sell you their produce before the neighboring cart gets to you first, Israel lives up to the cacophonic image of a Middle Eastern country. The morning bus ride to work becomes a social activity. Grocery shopping is an opportunity to get scolded by another customer about how she was definitely in front of you in the makeshift line, and a small quiet family dinner is not even a concept that exists here. Often mistaken for rudeness, people’s natural state is loud, assertive, and unapologetic. For this out-of-town introvert stumbling into this type of society, everyday life can seem a little daunting.

 

Yet, with all the balagan happening on every street in every city, Israel, and Tel Aviv in particular, still seem like a safe haven for all those introverted foreigners who come here in search of something different. What is it about this country that appeals to a mass of personalities instead of scaring them away?

 

 

Life as an introvert in Israel can be overwhelming. On more than one occasion, I have felt not only emotionally but also socially exhausted, which is not something I’ve dealt with before. Between constant required activities run through my program, my job as a volunteer English teacher, spending time with my very large and very loud Moroccan family, and trying to maintain a regular amount of personal relationships with friends, I’ve often found myself at the end of the week with no more fuel in my social tank when my roommates ask me where we’re going out that night. If this exact situation were to play out at home in Canada, I would apologize and choose to stay in for the night with a book or a movie almost every time. Yet here in Israel, much to my own surprise, I choose the opposite despite the fact that I’m running on empty, and the question is: why? Why this obvious and sudden change in personality and social habits?

 

I could chalk this up to me constantly coming more and more out of my shell, the Canadian winter affecting my mood or socializing opportunities, or how travelling has made me in to a more spontaneous person, but I don’t think any of those are the right answers for this situation. I’m not turning in to an extrovert, rather, I view myself as an introverted person with occasional extroverted tendencies and I believe that a lot of it has to do with integrating in to Israeli society. 

 

As an introvert in the Western world, it’s easy to stay on the outskirts of the action while still semi-participating. However, in Israel, if you’re not a part of the action the surrounds you it seems as if you’ve missed some crucial part of living here. Back home, when we stand at the edge of a bustling party, back to the wall and uncertain about whether or not to dip a toe in, we’re left alone by our peers. Here in the Holy Land, if you’re at a party and you’re not on the dance floor someone else is likely to pull you in. The difference is that one society is raised with the view that each person is an individual with their own personality type, while the other is brought up with the idea that you’re at your strongest when you’re together. Neither is completely wrong, and neither is completely right.

 

I can’t help but wonder how different my personality might be if I was brought up in Israel instead of in Canada. I’m not for a second ashamed of being an introvert, I’ve grown to recognize my strengths as an introvert and focus on developing those instead of the extroverted traits I lack. It’s appealing to think about who I might be had I been raised in a society that prides communal growth in place of individualized attention. But for now, I’ll have to concentrate on how to move between being an apologetic Canadian and an opinionated Israeli.

 

Secrets of the Machane Yehuda Market

<div class="masa-blog-title">Secrets of the Machane Yehuda Market</div>

On weekdays, the alleyways of Jerusalem’s Machane Yehuda market are a bustle of shoppers and sellers, a place bursting with sights, sounds and smells. Weekday evenings are similarly busy, with recently opened restaurants and bars attracting young people out for a night on the town. But on Saturdays, the Jewish day of rest, the market has traditionally been empty and silent, with the shutters of the stalls rolled down and locked.
 
When the shutters are down and the market is closed, it becomes just as colorful as it is when it is open because of one artist, Solomon Souza. He started this project in January 2015 and throughout 2015 and into early 2016, Souza has painted over 140 of the shutters — some are of famous people, and others are of biblical and other scenes. Up until now, it hasn’t been difficult to get the permission of the shopkeepers to paint their shutters. Some have asked Souza to paint a favorite rabbi or the family patriarch who was the original owner of their stall.
 
Albert Einstein

Scar Face

Crazy Lady

Supposedly John Travolta

Moshe turning his staff into a snake

Famous Rabbi 1

Famous Rabbi 2

Women Carrying Fruit

Working the land

So when you are in Jerusalem on Shabbat, take a stroll through the Machane Yehuda Market and see all different pieces of art. If you’re visiting it in the winter, make sure to bundle up!

 

Blog post and photos by Garrett Davis who is currently a Masa Israel Teaching Fellow in Beer Sheva and Masa Influencer. Follow Garrett's Journey on his blog: https://g13israel.wordpress.com/
 

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.