Masa Israel Cohosts AIPAC Policy Conference Welcome Party

Masa Israel Cohosts AIPAC Policy Conference Welcome Party

Masa Israel Cohosts AIPAC Policy Conference Welcome Party

March 3, 2014

Washington, DC – Over 400 Israel supporters, including Masa Israel alumni, attended the official welcome party for the 2014 AIPAC Policy conference.

The DC Masa Alumni Board tabled at the event, sharing their experiences of living in Israel as an intern, student or volunteer. Masa also held a raffle to win a gift basket filled with Israeli products. The alumni board members in attendance circulated through the pro-Israel crowd throughout the night, providing information and answering questions. The event was a tremendous success as a fundraiser, raising money for HaLev Israel, a new organization that provides scholarships to bring pro-Israel activists from all over the world to their first AIPAC Policy Conference.


For more information on Masa Israel's presence at the 2014 AIPAC Policy Conference or on the DC Masa alumni community, contact Jenn Rheuban.

 

Tel Aviv University International - Gap Year

http://masaisrael.org/sites/default/files/tel%20aviv%20university%20gap%20year.jpg

Program Description

If you are not yet a university student, but can’t wait to come to Tel Aviv, join us for your first year of college in TAU International! Academic Gap Year students are integrated with the rest of the year-long study abroad programs for coursework and activities, but receive extra support from our experienced program staff.
 
TAU is known for its active student life, with an extensive offering of clubs and athletic associations to join and regular cultural events. Additionally, TAU International arranges events for international students regularly throughout the academic year.

Highlights

During your time with us you will be able to experience all of Israel with fellow study abroad students during three exciting trips:
  • Northern Israel: visit Karmiel, on the northern edge of the beautiful Galilee; Kiryat Shmona, surrounded by beautiful green expanses; and the Kinneret, where you can melt in the hot springs.
  • Southern Israel: spend a few nights in Eilat. Sip sweet tea in historic Bedouin tents, let a camel take you on a tour, give a dolphin a high five, and float away in the Dead Sea.
  • Jerusalem day trip: explore history in the Western Wall Tunnel Tour, feast on great schwarma in the Old City, and put a personal note in the Western Wall.
 
When you’re not in class or traveling the country, take advantage of all Tel Aviv has to offer. Hop on a local bus across the street from the dorms and be downtown within minutes. Take a dip in the sprawling ocean, grab a cappuccino at a coffee shop, rent a bike and cruise to the magical Rothschild Boulevard, stop off at the shuk and pick up some locally grown fruits and vegetables, dance the night away at a nightclub, check out a local art exhibit, figure out which hummus place is your favorite – become a Tel Avivian!
 
You will be enjoying a fully furnished, modern student housing if you choose to live on campus, which includes a 24-hour security and supportive resident counselors called Madrichim (guides). A warm and inclusive community is formed within the dorms; students often hold potluck dinners, afternoon coffee breaks, late night discussions, and birthday gatherings.
 

Welcoming the First Masa-Hillel Fellows

Welcoming the First Masa-Hillel Fellows

February 6, 2014

We are so excited to welcome our first cohort of Masa-Hillel Fellows. The new fellowship is a six-month professional development seminar to prepare current Masa participants for Hillel work. 
Through Hillel’s partnership with Masa, Hillel is providing a Fellowship experience for current Masa participants who were at the Masa Israel Leadership Summit in December. The goal of the Masa-Hillel Fellowship is to build a talent pipeline and populate Hillel’s professional cohort with talented individuals and budding leaders who are actively exploring Israel and reinforcing their Jewish and Israel connections.
 
Abby Calish is currently an Israel Teaching Fellow in Rehovot. Prior to spending this time in Israel, Abby was a student at Union College where she majored in Spanish and Hispanic studies. While she isn't teaching English or volunteering at a local community center, Abby loves spending her time traveling, dancing, baking, and rooting for all of her favorite Boston sports teams.
 
Carrie Collister is currently spending a year with Tikkun Olam in Tel Aviv- Jaffa studying and interning at The Daniel Centers for Progressive Judaism. A native of Wisconsin, she spent five years prior to Tikkun Olam living and working in the Deep South. While attending college, she could be found either in the library studying History or on the quad prepping her sorority sisters for an upcoming recruitment event. Carrie’s passion for Judaism is shown through in her teachings at Sunday School and in founding and leading the Young MOTs of Dothan. Carrie is a devoted Packers fan and enjoys spending time with her dog Bella when stateside.
 
Hannah Elovitz is learning at Pardes and living it up in Israel for the year. Born and raised in Olney, Maryland, Hannah is a proud graduate the University of Maryland where she studied Marketing and Religious Studies. She was also a Design Fellow in the Business School, which combined her passion for creativity with business. Hannah loved UMD for its huge Jewish community, was very involved in interfaith organizations on campus, and co-founded an Israeli dance group her senior year. She enjoys spending time with family and friends, connecting people to each other, and jogging (she recently ran her first 10K in the Jerusalem Night Run).
 

Alex Feder is currently an Israel Teaching Fellow in Rishon LeZion, where he augments the English program at an underserved elementary school through specialized tutoring and extracurricular activities. Before coming to Israel he was involved in development at Northwestern University's Hillel, where his interests in Jewish education and non-profit management flourished. Alex looks forward to pursuing these interests upon his return home to the States at the end of this year.
 
Shana Feld is a current participant of Tikkun Olam in Tel Aviv – Jaffa, where she volunteers with several in need populations including slower developing and special needs youth, the elderly, and at risk youth on welfare. Before dedicating a year of her life in Israel, Shana attended the University of Texas at Austin where she received a Bachelor’s in Psychology and Sociology. Originally from Denver, Colorado, Shana enjoys spending her free time doing yoga and exploring the outdoors.
 
Megan Garrett, an Israel Teaching Fellow, has been teaching, tutoring, and organizing events for Netanya youth this school year. Megan’s passion is shown through her past roles as a supervisor at a Jewish overnight summer camp, Youth Group advising position, and her presidency of Marshall University’s Jewish Student Association.  Megan actively involves herself in outdoor activities and platforms that allow her to grow through educating and engaging our youth.
 
Mike Greenstone is a 2013-2014 Masa Israel Teaching Fellow at Avivim School in Rishon LeZion, Israel. A native of Champaign, Illinois, he holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in music education from the University of Illinois, where he was active at Hillel and was a member of the Marching Illini. During the summers, he serves as Media Director at URJ camp OSRUI, where he has worked since 2003. In his free time, he enjoys writing song parodies.
 
Bari Lang is an enthusiastic individual, currently living in Be’er Sheva as an Israel Teaching Fellow. She prepares lessons and teaches English to low-income elementary school students, in addition to volunteering in the community. While at the University of West Florida, Bari was a Resident Assistant which helped her develop her communication, organization, and presentation skills. She was born and raised in Miami and can often be caught singing to 90’s music.
 
Sara Legasey is currently teaching English in Israel through the Masa’s Israel Teaching Fellows Netanya program. Sara discovered her passion for education while a student at Boston University, where she volunteered in the community as an after school tutor, interned at a non-profit providing aid to under-served public schools, and volunteered as an English teacher for six months in Ghana. After graduating in 2011, she explored careers in activism, working briefly for a political consulting firm, and at a law firm. A native New Englander, Sara plans to return to Boston after completing the Israel Teaching Fellows program, where she will be reunited with her dog, Gus.
 
Leanna Lynch is a current an Israel Teaching Fellow in Rehovot, Israel. Prior to her Israeli adventure, Leanna was a student at Binghamton University where she spent her time cheering on athletics as a member of the University’s Dance team, motivating people to instil health habits into their lifestyles as a campus Personal Trainer and engaging students in their Judaism as a Hillel Peer Network Engagement Intern. Leanna is familiar with the level of professionalism required to continually support student engagement and team enrichment. She is excited to be a part of the Masa-Hillel Fellowship’s 2014 cohort.
 
Katherine Nelson is currently an Israel Teaching Fellow in Beit She’an. Before coming to Israel, Katherine was finishing her credential for elementary teaching at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. While attending university, she was an orientation leader for new students and served on the judicial board for her sorority. Coming from a small town in Northern California, Katherine loves nature and is frequently found hiking with her golden retriever, Sasha.
 
Seth Reder is currently working as an Israel Teaching Fellow in Netanya, Israel, teaching English to under-privileged children from 3rd-6th grade. Prior to embarking on his Israel journey, Seth worked as an Area Director for the Department of Housing and Residential Life at the University of Miami for three years, where he oversaw the daily operations of a first-year residential college consisting of over 900 students. Seth earned his Master of Education in Postsecondary Administration and Student Affairs from the University of Southern California, and loves learning, teaching, and supporting student development and leadership. When Seth Reder is not working as an educator, you can find him writing music, performing, playing ice hockey, traveling, and enjoying time with family and friends.
 
Deborah Stone is currently teaching English at an underprivileged school in Netanya, Israel as an Israel Teaching Fellow. Prior to volunteering in Israel, Deborah served as the Executive Assistant for Trilogy Capital, LLC, a hedge fund in Greenwich, Connecticut. While there, she simultaneously completed her graduate degree earning a Master of Arts in Teaching in 2012. When she is not educating, you can find her traveling, cycling, running, skiing and maybe even sky diving.
 
Brittany Walters graduated from the University of Florida with a degree in Political Science and African Studies. For a time, she moved to Australia, working for a human rights radio program and music periodical. Continuing her focus on arts as a means of cultural preservation, she bid adieu to Melbourne for the ONE Campaign in Washington, D.C. Following this, she worked as the East Coast Editor for RYOT News; after deciding that proximity to houses of the white variety was not a profound enough reason to stay, she headed East. Middle East, that is. At present, she is inspiring the youth of Israel through pantomimed English and candy-oriented lessons with Israel Teaching Fellows and studying Jewish music and identity retention through arts mediums.

 

 

Originally published on Hillel's News and Views Blog

 

 

Until when can I apply for a grant?

Until when can I apply for a grant?

Requests for grants, including all required documents, must be submitted no later than your program’s halfway point. Requests for needs-based scholarships must be submitted no later than 60 days before the program’s offical start date (or if an exception has been made, no later than one day before the program’s start date).

Realizing the Dream: Ariel Sharon's Speech at Masa's Launching Event in 2005

Realizing the Dream: Ariel Sharon's Speech at Masa's Launching Event in 2005

Realizing the Dream: Ariel Sharon's Speech at Masa's Launching Event in 2005

January 4, 2014

It is not every day that a man sees his dream beginning to be realized.
Two years ago, I announced at the GA Conference that I had a dream that every Jew would visit Jerusalem at least once, and that I believe that we must set the goal that every Jewish youngster would live here for at least one year during their lifetime.
 
Today, we launch the Masa project. Today, we are taking a giant step towards realizing that dream. Today, we are taking a giant step towards the time when living in Israel for a period of time will be an inseparable part of the life of every Jewish youngster around the world, just as the land of Israel is an inseparable part of our identities as Jews.
 
I am a Jew, and for me,  being a Jew is the most important thing.  I view it as my personal responsibility, as a Jew and as Prime Minister of the Jewish state, to ensure the future of the Jewish people for the next thirty years, the next 300 years, and G-d willing, the next 3,000 years. The Masa Project is part of the actualization of the State of Israel's commitment to the future of the Jewish people.  It is a mission which the Government of Israel, every government - today and in the future must see as one of its most important goals.
 
The Philistines and the Romans are ancient history. However, the descendants of King David's warriors established Kibbutz Beit Guvrin here behind you 56 years ago, where there is an advanced factory producing polymers used in various industries. In the area surrounding us, there are vines which produce excellent wines, and wineries which preserve historical Biblical names, such as Tzora and Kela David.  Located approximately 10 kilometers from here is the Intel Factory in Kiryat Gat, where the descendants of Bar Kochba's warriors produce the advanced processors found in millions of computers worldwide. On this land, where the kings and prophets walked, today walk scientists and writers, inventors and industrialitsts, members of the military, and farmers.  This is the uniqueness of the Land of Israel - it has a glorious past, a promising present, and together with you, a bright future.
 
Out of the hundreds of students who are here, such as Rina Goldberg from Canada and Olga Zayetzevah from Belarus who study at the Hebrew University, will certainly emerge the best scientists and Nobel Laureates of the future. The future leaders of Israel and the Diaspora will emerge from your ranks, such as Robin, who spoke here earlier, and immediately following this event will fly back to the United States to be a counselor at a Jewish summer camp. From your ranks will emerge the mutual guarantee between all sectors of the Jewish nation, which finds expression in the adoption of the children's house in Netanya by the pupils of the "Shalem" group of Young Judea, and in the work with children suffering with head injuries in Kfar Maccabiah, which the pupils of "World Maccabi" from Latin America overtook. And you, Tal Avneri, who flies every week from Kibbutz Ktora in the Arava to Metullah in order to participate in ice hockey practice- perhaps, thank you to you, Israel, which has already established its standing as a powerhouse in European basketball and Judo, will excel in this sport as well.
 
The possibilities open to you in Israel today are limitless.
 
I am very pleased that you chose to participate in this journey (Masa). I am certain that, for most of you, this will be the most important journey of your lives.  I hope to see you all here, with us, in the State of Israel. This is the most important thing we need. If, in the meantime, you choose not to make Aliyah...I hope you wil decide to make Aliyah, but if in the meanwhile you decide not to make Aliyah, I hope to see you as activists and community leaders. I believe that the Masa Project will grow and succeed, and I hope to see in the future, tens and hundreds of thousands of young Jews journey to their land - a journey in Israel.
 
And remember - we need you, all of you. We always did. Today, we need you more than ever. More than ever.
 
Thank you.
 
Prime Minister Ariel Sharon was central in the founding of Masa Israel Journey and presented these remarks at Masa Israel's launching event in 2005.
 

Five common New Year’s resolutions and how to actually keep them this year

<div class="masa-blog-title">Five common New Year’s resolutions and how to actually keep them this year</div>

We’ve come to that time in the (Gregorian) calendar when we take a moment to stop, reflect on the previous 365 days, and make promises to ourselves to become better people in the year to come. Though these promises are made with the best of intentions, New Year’s resolutions are notoriously easy to break--research shows that just 8% of us actually succeed in achieving our New Year’s Resolutions. 
 
Want to finally join that elite 8% this year?
 

Baltimore Jewish Times: Israel. Bring It.

Baltimore Jewish Times: Israel. Bring It.

Baltimore Jewish Times: Israel. Bring It.

November 26, 2013

By Maayan Jaffe
Masa Israel connects area young adults with the Jewish state 
 
There are upward of 300 young men and women from the Greater Baltimore-Washington, D.C. corridor who are spending between five and 12 months this year in the State of Israel — volunteering, learning and living.
 
These people — young adults between the ages of 18 and 30 — are part of an international program called Masa Israel. Spearheaded in 2004 to increase the number of young Jews who come on long-term programs to Israel, Masa gives travelers the opportunity to touch and feel what life is like in Israel.
 
Take, for example, Devin Sutton, a 28-year-old graduate of University of Maryland, College Park. Sutton said she discovered Masa and its English Teaching Fellowship by chance. She was working as a kindergarten teacher in a Carroll County public school when she became frustrated by the administrative work. She switched to a job in customer service, only to become disillusioned by her choice; Sutton still wanted to teach. She also wanted to revisit Israel. She had only been to Israel once, on a Birthright trip.
 
“I had gone on Birthright through Oranim. I went back to the website and stumbled upon this program,” Sutton said. “I thought it would be one of the best ways to get back to teaching.”
 
With help from Masa grants — “I would not have been able to do it without help” — Sutton made the move. She said the year (she is living in Ramle and teaching underprivileged children in Lod) has achieved its goal.
 
“In Baltimore, I am not that connected. I did not go to Hebrew school, my family does not belong to a synagogue. Here, I have been able to find my Jewish identity and to teach. That is why I did this, I wanted a change, an opportunity to do something new and different … and to have the most impact,” said Sutton.
 
According to Mary Haar, director of Israel and Overseas for The Associated: Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore, 832 young adults have traveled from Baltimore on a Masa program since the city became involved in 2008. In 2013, approximately 160 people took part. The Associated, whose 2013 grant to Masa was $303,000, hopes to increase that number in 2014 by 60 people.
 
Explained Haar: “One component of the grant is to create and implement a strategic, multimedia marketing campaign to increase awareness of Masa.”
 
The campaign is scheduled to launch in January 2014.
 
In Washington, that awareness has already been building for the past several months. Bold ads for Masa can be seen on the Metro and in other key venues throughout the area. This campaign — and a full-time Masa Israel recruitment professional — is made possible by a generous, anonymous donor.
 
According to Avital Ingber, chief development officer for the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington, this donor “wanted to help more local community members learn about Masa Israel. The donor’s child had a difficult time finding information to research a potential Masa Israel experience, and [the donor] wanted to help make this process easier for others.”
Jenn Rheuban is part of the Federation’s Young Leadership team.
 
According to Ingber, approximately 150 young adults from the Greater Washington area participated in Masa programs in 2013. The community is expecting an increase with the launch of masaisrael.org/dc, a new portal that features local Masa alumni and statistics about the positive impact of Masa Israel. Since its recent launch, site traffic is nearly doubling monthly.
In addition to young people from the area who are traveling to Israel through Masa, many young adults from across the country are volunteering in the communities’ partner cities, Ashkelon (Baltimore) and Beit Shemesh (Washington).
 
Penina Romanek, from Chicago, landed in Israel in October 2013 and is volunteering in Beit Shemesh through the Ethiopian National Project (ENP). She helps mentor the youth and assists in a Beit Shemesh school. She said while she feels good about giving back to the community, she feels she is gaining from the experience, as well.
 
“I have learned so much from the kids,” said Romanek. “They are teaching me the importance of the State of Israel. I can’t wait to go home and tell people what I see here.”
 
Similarly, Abby Mandel, of South Carolina, is working with ENP in the afternoons; she studies Hebrew in the mornings. She said she had no idea about the Ethiopian community before coming to Israel. She finds her work “inspiring.”
 
Said Mandel: “This feels very real.”
 
Photo: Maayan Jaffe

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.