Five Hottest Start-Ups You can Intern at this Spring

<div class="masa-blog-title">Five Hottest Start-Ups You can Intern at this Spring</div>

 
Since the release of Dan Senor and Saul Singer’s bestseller Start-up Nation: The Story of Israel's Economic Miracle in 2009, Israel has gained a well-deserved reputation as a thriving hub of the start-up world, second only to Silicon Valley. And with the technology sector growing up to three times faster as other areas of the economy, now is the time to gain hands-on experience in the world of hi-tech. So why not give your resume a boost while interning in an office overlooking the beaches of Tel Aviv?
 

A Modern-Day Epic

<div class="masa-blog-title">A Modern-Day Epic</div>

By Alex Cohen, Career Israel participant and intern at BOMAH 
 
I left Los Angeles for Israel on August 15. Nothing about that Thursday morning seemed extraordinary. The sun shined down on the golden coast as it does every other day.
 

Danielle Longo

Danielle Longo

Regional Representative, Detroit

Becoming a Bat Yam Local (Or Attempting To)

<div class="masa-blog-title">Becoming a Bat Yam Local (Or Attempting To)</div>

Young Judaea Year Course participant Sam Reichstein writes about volunteering in Bat Yam.
 
On my Year Course journey, I’m amazed at how much my life, and myself, have changed so much in such a short amount of time.
 
I am an active Young Judean,  so going on Year Course has been engrained in my head ever since I was around eleven years old.
 

Masa Israel Leadership Summit begins Sunday in Jerusalem

Masa Israel Leadership Summit begins Sunday in Jerusalem

Masa Israel Leadership Summit begins Sunday in Jerusalem

December 13, 2013

Next week, 230 post-college Masa Israel participants from 22 different countries will gather in Jerusalem for the Masa Israel Leadership Summit, taking place from December 15th to the 19th.
The Masa Israel Leadership Summit is an intensive educational and skill-building seminar that provides participants with the skills and knowledge to become effective Jewish leaders. Participants will have the opportunity to choose from over 30 lectures and workshops focused on leadership training, community organizing, communication skills, social media utilization, the world of Jewish philanthropy and tools to engage in constructive discourse about Israel.  
 
Participants will meet with leading figures in the Israeli public sphere including Mr. Nir Barkat, the Mayor of Jerusalem, who will deliver the keynote address at the opening gala event. Additionally, participants will have the chance to meet with multiple Members of Knesset during a behind-the-scenes tour of Israel’s parliament house.
 
Masa Israel holds the Leadership Summit twice each year to provide young Jewish adults spending 5-to-12 months in Israel, who have demonstrated a commitment to leadership, with the training and connections that enable them to leverage their deep connection with Israel into active involvement in their local Jewish communities when they return home both as volunteers and professionals. 
 
 

Op-ed: Spirit of unity will eventually draw young Jews back to Judaism

Op-ed: Spirit of unity will eventually draw young Jews back to Judaism

Op-ed: Spirit of unity will eventually draw young Jews back to Judaism

December 13, 2013

By Samantha Oppenheimer

 

According to a recent study by the ADL, anti-Semitism in America is the lowest it has ever been. Of course this is a good thing.
Of course we want to eradicate anti-Semitism, and racism and bigotry and sexism and homophobia and every other kind of crazy baseless hate. But the effect of this widespread acceptance of, and even appreciation of, Jews in American life has had a sizeable effect on Jewish Identity: 20 percent of American Jews do not identify as religious. In our bright, glittery world of Woody Allen and Drake and hummus and chutzpah, we are liberated of the terrible stigma that has always marked us as other. This should be beautiful, this should be glorious, this should be the stuff of utopian fantasy! And yet.
 
Here I am now with this terrible luxury, this magnificent burden, of choice. I have the ability to choose Judaism, or not to choose it. I am not branded, segregated, or shunned by the circumstances of my birth; I am amazingly, terrifyingly free. For many young American Jews, this means religion-lite, religion in small, calorie-free portions. A brisket sandwich, sure. A little Heineken and hamantaschen when Purim rolls around, no problem. A Friday night service? That’s a bit much, now, giving up some of my Friday night to participate in a tradition I have little connection to or interest in maintaining. Why should I, the wicked son, participate in something arcane and musty and confining? I have no incentive. And therein lies the tragedy.
 
At the 2013 Jewish Federations of North American General Assembly held last month in Israel, I met Jews from Poland, England, France and an array of other places. Places where, I was chagrined to learn, anti-Semitism is not the lowest it has ever been; rather, it is on the rise. Thus the young adults I met from those countries were fighting, still, for the freedom to be Jewish. Fighting! For what so many American Jews give up voluntarily, thoughtlessly, every one an Esau throwing his birthright at a pot of lentils. In an environment of openness and tolerance, where Jews are not held together by the threat of external forces, we must find a concrete way to retain Jewish identity and encourage its continuation.
 
The greatest accomplishment of the General Assembly of 2013 was the ingathering of so many cognizant, clever, and vibrant young Jews: Jews from all across North America as well as the world over, Jews with brilliant, enterprising minds and fresh ideas and well-thought-out opinions derived from formative experiences. We learned so much just from being in the same room with each other. Sharing our beliefs and passions and ideas enriched our sense of Jewishness and of belongingness, which really boils down to being the same thing. Judaism is a way of life built on community, on togetherness, on belonging to something created by individuals and yet greater than any individual. Together, we hold the future of our people in our young, unlined palms, and it is that spirit of unity, and the strength of that unity, which will eventually draw young, apathetic Jews back to Judaism.
 
Samantha Oppenheimer is the daughter of Carla and Scott Oppenheimer and a member of Congregation Beth Shalom. She is currently spending the year on Masa’s Israel Service Fellows program, teaching English at a rehabilitation village for troubled youth, planting and maintaining community gardens for older immigrant communities and various other volunteering placements. She was a member of the Masa Israel delegation to 2013 JFNA General Assembly in Jerusalem along with 50 other emerging Jewish leaders studying, interning and volunteering in Israel. 
 

Balkan Beat Box Concert in Chicago: A Masa Alumna's Review

<div class="masa-blog-title">Balkan Beat Box Concert in Chicago: A Masa Alumna's Review</div>

by Rachel Gutman, Masa Israel Corps alumna
 
It wasn't until I lived in Israel as a Masa Israel Journey participant that I first learned any Israeli music. I hadn't been exposed to it before, I'm sad to say, but this was something my friends were determined to change.
 

Thanksgivukkah Reflections: Modah Ani | I’m Alive!

What to Answer When an Israeli Asks, “Are you Jewish?” - A Guide (to the Perplexed)

<div class="masa-blog-title">What to Answer When an Israeli Asks, “Are you Jewish?” - A Guide (to the Perplexed)</div>

By Jasmine Granas, Tikkun Olam in Tel Aviv - Jaffa 2013-2014 participant
 
"Are you Jewish?" As soon as as someone asks me, the exasperation starts to build in my stomach. Sometimes I just want to scream, ‘I don’t know! Stop asking me!’ Am I the only person in the world who doesn't have an immediate answer?
 

Liran Avisar