Highlighting Perspective in Israel Studies – Words from a Recent Graduate

Quoted! Go me.

Graduate Life in Haifa

bigstock-View-on-coastline-with-new-mod-18390731 Tel Aviv skyline from Jaffa

The International Master’s Degree Program in Israel Studies delves into the study of the State of Israel, covering periods of the beginning of the Zionist movement to the present day. The program aims to showcase the experiences of the Israeli population from a range of perspectives, against the wider backdrop of twentieth-century Jewish history, Middle Eastern politics and society.

A recent graduate of the program, Tzvi, commented on his experience in the classroom, including coursework on: Zionism, Ideology, and Gender with Dr. Esther Carmel-Hakim, The Holocaust and Israeli Society with Dr. Ronit Fisher, and The Social History of the Palestinian Society (1900-1948) with Dr. Na’ama Ben Ze’ev.

He spoke a bit about the courses on Zionism, “Doing a lot of reviews of proto-zionists now and about to move to all the names you already have heard of…Herzl, Jabotinsky, etc…. now going in depth and best part, learning about the women zionists. Best part of our last class was watching…

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I Moved to Jerusalem, the Holiest City in the World!

It’s a New Year (5776) and I got a new job.

I’m coming up on finishing my MA from the University of Haifa and I’ve moved to Jerusalem. The last month has been a crazy whirlwind of changes. I finished my job with Onward Israel in August and went back to the US for a quick trip. My trip had to be very quick because the day before I left I got a job in Jerusalem.

What’s the New Job?

I got extremely lucky one night surfing facebook and saw a post in the Lone Soldier’s facebook group. It was for a Madrich job on Nativ: The College Leadership Program in Israel. In just a few days I got the job. So for the next nine months I’m going to be living and working with American’s on a gap year program. It’s a really fantastic program for Jewish youth to take a year in between High School and College. The first five months we are in Jerusalem and then I’ll be moving with half the group to Kfar Hasidim Youth Village (near Haifa). In the first semester the participants are learning at Hebrew University, Hebrew Ulpan, or Yeshiva. The second semester they all will be volunteering in different positions in the Kfar. Most of the participants come from the Conservative youth movements like Ramah and USY.

My experience so far has been very positive, as the group is full of really amazing participants and staff. I felt out a place for the first few weeks as I had a limited knowledge of Conservative Judaism. Quickly though I am coming to learn more and more about this “stream” of Judaism. I do find the environment comfortable though as the program is observant. Everything is Kosher, Shabbat is kept, and have prayers every day. Soon I hope to have a better understanding of the theology of Conservative Judaism.

The position I have though is the best part. I’ve always made it a goal in life to work directly with people and that’s exactly what I’m doing, though I’m the oldest Nativ Madrich ever. Its funny because I don’t feel that old, just my young soul 😉
I spend almost my whole day with the participants and get to plan lots of educational programs. So I’m doing what I love, showing the land of Israel to Jewish youth, our future leaders.

Other Updates

A quick update of the others parts of my life.

  1. I really need to find time/motivation to finish all my MA research papers.
  2. Kfar Olim (read previous post) is still in the works and I’m starting to take on more of an active roll. The project is moving along and we are looking for more people to get involved. Let me know if you want to know more….
    1. If you have some graphic design experience we could use some pro bono help

Well that’s it for now 🙂 Shana Tova and Gmar Hativat Tova

שנה טובה וגמר חתיבה טובה