What a Difference a Year Makes: Masa Israel Journey is Changing the Way Young Jews View Israel

What a Difference a Year Makes: Masa Israel Journey is Changing the Way Young Jews View Israel

Janvier 1, 2012

Masa helps students strengthen their Jewish identity and develop a lifelong love of Israel.
While a good percentage of Orthodox high school graduates flock to the Holy Land each fall, there are tens of thousands more who don’t even care to go.
 
Masa Israel Journey is helping to change that.
 
“I didn’t see much value in spending a year in Israel,” says Sarah Alt, eighteen, who attended public high school in Buffalo, New York. “I figured it was just a year to hang out.” She planned instead to study music at Buffalo State University. Alt was involved with NCSY, the Orthodox Union’s phenomenally successful youth movement. NCSY advisors in her region convinced her that the year in Israel was something definitely worth her time.
 
Although still wary, she went, thanks to the support she received from Masa Israel Journey. “I was so nervous getting on the plane,” she says. “I was like—what am I doing? I don’t like learning!” After her year at Machon Maayan, she changed her tune. “I just loved seeing the country,” she says. “I gained a great love for learning, for Israel, for my fellow Jew, and for what it means to be a Jew.”