Masa Israel Journey Blog

Published : November 18, 2013
By Ben Ackerman, Tel Aviv University
 
This past week, I attended the General Assembly for Jewish Federations of North America held in Jerusalem. When the counselor from the administrative office at Tel Aviv University first asked me to go as a Masa representative, I had no idea what she was asking me to go to. I just figured that whatever it was, it’d be a fun, free six days in Jerusalem. I agreed to go with no expectations or prior knowledge of anything and had so many questions that I was almost embarrassed to ask: What’s Masa ? What’s a Federation? What goes on at the GA? Is it just a giant room filled with Jews schmoozing? I showed up at the Jerusalem Gold Hotel on Thursday and soon discovered that I was the only...
Published : November 18, 2013
By Deryn Harbin, WUJS Israel Intern Tel Aviv
 
The Jewish spirit lives in human beings of many shapes and sizes across almost every continent. The very definition of what it means to be Jewish is pluralistic in nature. It is said that if you leave two Jews in a room to argue, there will be three different opinions. The reason the Jewish race has survived through so many centuries, through exile and extermination, diaspora and varying dialects, is because we are taught to question everything. Even though our foundations are quite literally set into stone, being Jewish means something different to everyone. There is not just one Jewish identity, there are many. From secular Israelis, to cultural Jewish-Americans, to the ultra-orthodox Haredi community in Europe, to many Russians who have only just learned of their Jewish heritage, we are all bound by...

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