Masa fellows choose Israel.  And Israel is richer than any schedule can contain.

The Masa experience is designed to allow every fellow an immersive experience of Exploration: an Exploration of Israel and of their own capacities and ambitions. Our goal is to make the Israeli landscapes accessible to our Fellows and guide them through choosing how they want to recruit Israel for the sake of their own development.
We developed an expertise in designing journeys that allow that kind of experience. We defined a theory of change based on our experience, our partners’ experience, adult learning theory and endless conversations with our brilliant fellows.
Here’s a quick overview of our guiding principles.

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Israel is a sandbox

The exploration of the Israeli space serves the fellow: they gain more clarity on their needs, interests and motivation; and they learn the skills needed to move forward.

Israel is a sandbox: Masa fellows get exposed to different options and pick and play with different experiences. That’s how they make clarity over their own way forward and gain the tools needed to reach their goals.

Radical Exploration

The Israeli landscapes are a unique, complex beauty: their social, cultural, professional, spiritual, human dynamics are often confusing, mostly compelling. We invite Masa fellows to an authentic encounter with them. They spontaneously live and interact with people, institutions, environments. They get to learn their local landscape thoroughly and understand what resources can serve their goals and needs.

A radical exposure to the Israeli landscapes is the only way to build an authentic connection to Israel. We don’t trust inspiring speeches. We provide our Fellows with direct opportunities to meet Israel and decide what relationship they want to have with it.

Unfold the narrative

The experience in Israel is intense. The Masa fellow needs to find a way to deal with a foreign language, a new environment, to function in their internship, studies, volunteering. The everyday can be overwhelming, but being able to tell the story of their journey as it unfolds is empowering. We strongly believe that being able to tell that story is what allows the redefining of the fellow’s personal narrative, and the role of Jewish values, Israel and the Masa community in it.

Masa fellows have structured opportunities to stop, reflect, and make meaning of their experience. They learn to tell their own story and name the insights, skills and knowledge that come out of it.

Journeys of discovery

Masa fellows come to Israel to fulfill their goals. But Israel has much more to offer, and we understand that a lot of it might not be interesting for everyone. Gone is the era of pure agenda-driven education, probably for the good.

When we do try to curate experiences that offer content related to Israel or Jewish values, we ask ourselves what’s the existential question behind it. What is the dilemma, problem, need in the fellow’s life that we are addressing now, and what answers can we find in the Israeli landscape? We truly believe that providing value to our fellows is the only viable way to have an honest conversation on values and identity.

Curation vs. Coercion

Looking at Israel as a space for exploration means that the Masa fellow is in control. The programming we do is only a platform. Every experience we provide needs to trigger independent movement: our role is providing a framework where the space, the people, the conversations are a powerful beginning of an intentional journey.

We make sure that every experience offered either serves the fellow’s development, either offers an opportunity for discovery. Each experience is carefully framed, designed and processed. The design affects every single component of the experience.

Community is a value and a vehicle

More than 12.000 people from all over the world join Masa experiences every year. Having a global community is a major value proposition. Providing to our fellows the opportunity to join smaller communities, based on shared interests or geographic proximity, is the main vehicle to widen their Jewish network while bringing them the value they’re searching for.

Regular Masa Community meetups connect between fellows and alumni from different programs and backgrounds. Local grassroots initiatives strengthen the bond between fellows and alumni with similar interests. Vibrant, online conversations leverage the power of the collectivity into a unique Jewish network.

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