Lisa Wilder

Lisa Wilder

Oranim Community Involvement
As a volunteer English teacher in Israel, I recently took a class trip to Caesarea, the picturesque coastal city scattered with Roman ruins. The tour was conducted entirely in Hebrew and I was thrilled that I understood so much of it. Yet, that didn’t stop me from joking and chatting with the students in English throughout the trip. I was amazed that visiting a historical site with 2,000-year-old ruins constitutes an ordinary field trip in Israel. After almost five months in Israel, I've stopped being surprised by things that would be out of the ordinary in other places.
 
I came to Israel for the first time four years ago on Birthright. I loved it and knew I had to return the first chance I had. After graduating from Carleton University with a degree in Public Affairs and Policy Management, I decided to head to Israel through Masa Israel Journey. I am so glad I kept my word.
 
As one of nine volunteers with Oranim’s Community Involvement program, I have spent the last five months living in Ness Ziona, a small community outside of Tel Aviv, and volunteering as an English teacher at a local middle school. One of my favourite activities with the students is interpreting fairy tales and presenting them to the class, which I did with grade 7 students.
 
Before this experience I never realized how much I would enjoy working with students. Even though I do not plan on becoming a teacher, I know that I want to continue working with children from this age group because they are so full of creative energy.
 
Teaching older students is more challenging because it is harder to make an impression on them. However, it is very rewarding when we do manage to impress them, as we did when we assigned them a MadLibs activity and led a debate in English.
 
Aside from becoming part of the Ness Ziona community through my teaching, I have had the opportunity to become close to my mishpacha ma’arahat (host family). Not only have they given me extra support while in Israel, but they have welcomed the other eight Oranim volunteers into their home as well.
 
My host parents’ seven-year-old son, Lotem, is the best Hebrew teacher I have ever had. We only speak in Hebrew and he is not afraid to correct my mistakes. His family has never been to Canada but they told me that a future trip there is inevitable. Hosting them in Canada is the least I can do, considering the amazing trips, meals, and genuine care they have provided me with over the past few months.
 
Living in Israel has brought the kinds of challenges and joys that I could never have experienced on a short trip. Though I will soon leave Israel to begin law school at the University of Toronto, I know that I will always be looking for an excuse to return. With my new family and friends, those excuses won’t be hard to find.

Rachel Present

Rachel Present

Otzma
Age: 23
Hometown: Rochester, NY (USA)
Profession: Student, activist
Hobbies/interests: American politics, cooking
Masa program: Otzma 
Future plans: Work on Capital Hill in Washington DC
 
Rachel came to Israel after the war with Lebanon as a volunteer to help with Israel's recovery. As an Otzma participant, Rachel worked with Druze, Arab-Israeli, Palestinian, Christian and Jewish children in the pediatric oncology ward at Haifa's Rambam hospital. 

Getting ahead, and giving back

<div class="masa-blog-title">Getting ahead, and giving back</div>

 
By Rina Gluckman, Otzma
 
I chose to participate in Otzma at the age of 23 because it had everything I wanted in an experience abroad.
 
During the first part of the program, I lived in northern Israel with other Otzma participants and volunteered at the Nazeret Elite absorption center with new Israeli immigrants. With my economics degree and business interests, I was in heaven.
 

Safety and security

Safety and security

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The safety and security of Masa Israel Journey program participants, staff and partners is our top priority.Masa Israel Journey maintains strict standards for safety and security on all program sponsored activities.
 
As a joint project of the Government of Israel and the Jewish Agency for Israel, Masa Israel programs receive updated information regarding safety and security regularly and are able to respond to official recommendations.

Volunteer

Masa Israel Journey offers unique opportunities for you to volunteer in communities throughout Israel. Through our partnerships with grassroots and community-based organizations, you can affect change in some of Israel’s most vulnerable populations.
 
Masa Israel’s volunteer programs focus on building strong communities, ensuring the success of at-risk youth, encouraging collaboration and coexistence between local Arab and Jewish populations, teaching English as a foreign language and more.
 
All of Masa Israel’s volunteer programs draw on the Jewish tradition of tikkun olam (repairing the world) and are guided by the principals of social responsibility and social justice. As a Masa Israel volunteer, you can integrate service with the exploration of Jewish values as you work to create a more just society.
 
Israel's future in your hands. Get started here.
 

Israel Teaching Fellows: A Year of Service for Israel

Israel Teaching Fellows: A Year of Service for Israel

Israel Teaching Fellows: A Year of Service for Israel

June 23, 2011

Masa Israel, an organization most widely known for its assistance for Jewish students spending a year in Israel, has initiated a groundbreaking program for the young Jewish community.
Israel Teaching Fellows, a program created in partnership with the Israeli Ministry of Education, will allow 100 college graduates from the US or Canada to travel to Israel for a year and volunteer as English language teachers in the Israeli school system.
 
"This program is inspired by the thousands of young Jewish adults who travel to Israel looking to give back to Israeli society, says Aaron Goldberg, Director of Marketing and Communications for Masa Israel. "It represents an incredible personal and professional opportunity for these young adults, but also opportunities for Israeli students to learn English from native speakers and to build bridges between Jewish communities in North America and Israel."
 
According to Goldberg, this is the first large-scale program of its kind, specifically working within the Israeli educational system. Masa is taking its cue from other successful educator volunteer programs working in different countries across the globe, such as in Korea, France, and Chile.
 

Good things are growing in Gedera

<div class="masa-blog-title">Good things are growing in Gedera</div>

 
“The first time I tried to grow them for the greenhouse, the seedlings all died – I forgot to water them,” says Annie Shore, without sounding a bit guilty. Her second time around, she was more successful.
 

African Refugee Seder with Tikkun Olam in Tel Aviv-Jaffa

<div class="masa-blog-title">African Refugee Seder with Tikkun Olam in Tel Aviv-Jaffa</div>

 
Recently many of the current volunteers and alumni of Tikkun Olam in Tel Aviv-Jaffa shared their Jewich culture by participating in an early Passover seder with about 500 African migrants in South Tel Aviv.
 
 

Bnei Akiva - Amlat

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Program Description

Amlat is combines leadership, Jewish studies, Hebrew language, work on a Kibbutz, an Army/MDA experience and more. The program is meant for young Jewish boys and girls from South America who are looking for a Jewish traditional program. 
 
The program includes trips all over the country, meeting with Israelis and other young people from all over the world, volunteering, celebrating Shabbat and Holidays together, leadership seminar and more. Participants will be staying in a variety of locations including youth hostels, a kibbutz and a yeshiva and receive full board.
 

Bnei Akiva - Amichai Amlat

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Program Description

Bnei Akiva Amichai Amlat is an experiential program which combines a leadership, Jewish studies, Hebrew language, work in a Kibbutz, and Army/MDA experience. The program is meant for young Jewish boys and girls who are looking for a Jewish traditional program.