Masa Israel Journey Blog

September 03, 2010
 
By Daniel Rotman, Career Israel, Toronto, Canada
 
My first images of Israel are from TV clips during the Intifada in 2001: Israeli gunships were shown hovering over modern day ruins.  This was all I knew of the land that my parents had defended in their teens and left soon after for a different life in Canada. Then, after over 25 years in Canada, re-living old fears, they second guessed our upcoming family trip.  Too young to realize the impact of my statement, I told them, “If we don’t go now, we will never go.”
 
Growing up in Toronto, Canada, and raised by secular Israeli Jews, my identity was something of an enigma. My family was not a part of any Jewish community nor Canadian community. It wasn’t until my years at York University that I began to seriously inquire as to whom I was. I felt...
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September 01, 2010
 
By Gabi Gordon, Chicago, IL, Nativ
 
Having been raised in a Conservative home in Chicago, Judaism was always a part of my life.  I attended Solomon Schechter for elementary school and then got involved in USY.  While a Junior in high school, I took part in the Alexander Muss semester program in Israel.  It was then that I decided I needed to return for another extended period of time.
 
My chance to do so came soon enough.  After graduation, I enrolled in Masa Israel’s Nativ, the Conservative movement’s gap year program in Israel.  During that year, I had the opportunity to get to know the areas where I lived.  While taking courses in Arabic, Jewish studies and Hebrew at ...
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