Masa Israel Journey Blog

Published : February 19, 2014
By Hannah Turner, Israel Service Fellows

The first weekend of February held our second Ma’ase Bemifgash conference—an incredible coming together of all of Mercaz Ma’ase’s volunteers, this time in Jerusalem. Together with
our 600+ Israeli peers, Ma’ase Olam spent two days discussing Israeli Society in small groups. The seminar began with an opening speech by new Ma’ase CEO Yossi Malka. His speech, first summarized for us in English, emphasized the importance of recognizing the economic disparities present in Israeli society. Despite our varied backgrounds and placements, what bonds all Ma’ase volunteers together is our commitment to empowering Israel’s periphery populations. I had the personal honor of reading short welcoming remarks in English, alongside Hebrew- and Arabic-speaking volunteers, and with that the conference began!...
Published : February 12, 2014
By Camille Morliere, Israel Government Fellows
 
A little more than a year ago, I chose a Masa program that would give me the possibility to do an internship relevant for my medical residency in public health, and which contained an educational component that would allow me to finally learn about Israel. Let me explain: I started the Israel Government Fellows program in a state of complete ignorance. I had no knowledge about Zionism, had never heard of the debate over Israel as a Jewish and a democratic state, didn’t know what the Knesset was and my knowledge about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict came mostly from the French media and from what I had heard in the Jewish community of Bordeaux, which I was a part of for six months. I knew that my knowledge was distorted and probably wrong, but had no other narrative to counter it. I also didn...

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