Masa Israel Journey Blog

Published : April 19, 2012
 
By Danielle Longo, participant in Masa Israel's Israel Teaching Fellows
 
Growing up as a Conservative Jew in Bloomfield Hills, I knew the basics of the religion and of Israel. I went to Hillel Day School in Farmington Hills. I celebrated holidays, went to shul and believed in God. That is, until I was 17 and my dad passed away. At that point, I pushed aside my religion.
 
Ten years later, I found myself with a master’s degree and no job, wondering what I was doing with my life. An email came from my sister about a 10-month program in Israel where I could explore the country and also gain teaching experience, something great for my resume.
 
I decided I had abandoned my roots for long enough. I packed my bags, said goodbye to my  friends and...
Published : April 18, 2012
By Sarah Orlik, Young Judaea Year Course
 
In coming out of the desert and moving to Jerusalem, I knew that music would have a much stronger presence in my life.
 
As much peace and quiet as Arad had to offer, I was more than looking forward to enhanced opportunities to get out there and really see what Israeli music is about. And I have. I’ve tried my best to become a part of city music as an audience member, a student and a performer.
 
In my experience, a musical atmosphere can be made or broken by a social environment. When I first began to venture into the unknown territory of Jerusalem music, any uncertainty I had about how new participants would be received was easily erased.
 
When a few of us decided to play a set of three songs at an open mic night, one...

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