Masa Israel Journey Blog

September 07, 2010
 
Every time we ask alumni of Masa Israel program what the best part of their semester or year was in Israel, the same things are repeated over and over: freedom to explore Israel on their own, Yom Ha’atzmaut (Independence Day) and the other national holidays in the spring, and the chagim—the High Holidays.
 
It’s no wonder. To experience the chagim in Israel, the only Jewish state in the world, is like no other holiday experience. Whether you plan on participating in the religious aspects of the holidays, taking it all in as an observer, or stepping outside your comfort zone and experimenting with a new way of observance, there is nothing like being in Israel for the high holiday season.
 
Here are seven ways Masa Israel participants celebrate the ...
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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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