Masa Israel Journey Blog

Published : January 15, 2013
By Jenn Handel, Israel Teaching Fellows
 
So what does a young American Jew with a bachelor’s degree in education and a Master’s degree in liberal arts do after the endless battle of job hunting? 
 
Well move to Israel, of course! 
 
Now that might sound a little crazy, but that’s exactly what I did—though it was never part of my life plan.
 
Growing up in a New York suburb that was mostly Protestant and Catholic, I only had an inkling of a Jewish identity from Hanukkah celebrations and Passover seders.  
 
When I graduated from SUNY Cortland with a degree in Secondary Social Studies Education, I looked forward to becoming a public school teacher.   But, instead, I found a declining job...
Published : January 14, 2013
 
 
Through my Masa scholarship, I have had the privilege to work for the past three and a half months at the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies in Kibbutz Ketura.  Like many Masa students, I have been able to see the beauty of Israel, from the acacia trees in the Negev, to the mystical waters in the Dead Sea, to the Jerusalem stone in the capital.  I feel that my experience may be particularly unique because at the Arava Institute I have had the opportunity to experience how Jews and Arabs have the potential to not only live peacefully together in Israel, but also become great friends.
 
Of course, due to the timing of...

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