WUJS Israel News tag:www.wujsisrael.org,2008-08-24:/news//1 2011-11-17T11:41:18Z Movable Type 4.2-en What's been happening? tag:www.wujsisrael.org,2011:/news//1.179 2011-11-17T11:26:45Z 2011-11-17T11:41:18Z Wujs Israel Meeting Idan Richel 

Gilya bisk got an opportunity of a lifetime to meet one of the most famous israeli artist in israel at this time! She entered a masa competition on facebook and 5 out of about 3000 where chosen to go back stage and meet him after the show! It was awesome to hear one of our own to be called out of such a huge crowd. 

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Visit to the Binyimina Winery
Both Tel aviv and Jerusalem participants traveled to a winery in Binyamina. They toured the winery and learned how all the types of wines were distilled and or where they got their flavor and color. After the tour, they ended with a miny wine tasting, particpants were filled with excitement. I am sure you can imagine why.... :)

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Nature Reserve Walk
On tuesday's trip the WUJS Participants went to a beautiful beack and nature reserve. They walked through the nature reserve, enjoying the beauty and ambiance. We all took pictures by the ocean side, and it was a very quaint and lovely time. 


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The Old City in Jerusalem. tag:www.wujsisrael.org,2011:/news//1.178 2011-11-02T10:30:28Z 2011-11-03T12:51:17Z Wujs Israel

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Spirits were high as we embarked on our 6th siryur (trip) to the old city of Jerusalem. Two participants had not been there before so everyone was excited for them to visit. This siyur was not your typical tour to the western wall and the underground tunnels. We traveled through the Jewish quarters of the old city to the Christian quarter to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher.  This is the site where Jesus was crucified and then said to be buried. The church commemorates his death of Jesus and his resurrection.  Christians from all over the world come to visit this site as part of the Christian pilgrimage. We learned why the Christians come here. There are several reasons. When Jesus was killed he was taken to the stone that lies in the church. This is the stone of anointing. He was taken there to be cleansed and washed with oil to prepare for his burial. The oil on the stone is considered to be one of the biggest blessings in the Christian faith. Christians bring tapestries and cloths and even touch their children to the oil that still exist on this stone.

 

Christians believe that this oil can help to heal sick loved ones. Bringing a cloth that has touched the stone to a sick loved one is considered to be one of the biggest blessings one can do for the sick. There were women and men on their hands and knees eager to touch the stone to say a prayer. I was so enamored by this Indian couple that was visiting the stone. They brought their infant, no more than two weeks old, to the church. They removed him from the blanket and laid his head along the stone while they said prayers to bless the child. They also posed and smiled for pictures. From my perspective, it looked like it was the happiest moment in their lives. Relatives of the family looked on and snapped photo after photo.

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 As we turned the corner in the church we stood before the rotunda, the dome that holds Jesus tomb itself. Security guarded the dome while hundreds of people waited to enter to touch and light candles. People crowded close and were pushing and fighting with the security guards because they were trying to bypass the line. I was so interested and took so many pictures. I couldn't believe what I was seeing! I am not a very religious person and to encounter and see people where religion takes precedence in their life and controls most of their day-to-day activities was interesting to me. I thought to myself about how these visitors probably saved money for years and years to make their pilgrimage or just receive a blessing for their loved ones. This concept is something so foreign to me.

 

After our visit to the church we took a walk through the Jewish quarters and the shuk. These places were so fascinating and colorful. You could buy foods, shoes, jewelry, beads, tapestries, rugs, decorations, and so much more. My friend and I got harassed by a shop keeper after he realized we were not planning to buy something.  I attempted to bargain with of the shop keepers. I saw this amazing bracelet that I wanted to buy. His asking price was 180 shekels and I got him down to 90.  After I said no, he shooed me away. (Keep in mind the bracelet was worth about 5 dollars which is equivalent to 18 shekels.)

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The same thing happened when I tried on a pair of shoes and decided not to purchase them. The shopkeeper said "go go away, why you do this that's so rude, I can tell in your face when you walk in that you stupid".  The whole scenario was quite comical to my friend. The shop keeper got so angry at us for something so small. They called us unnecessary bad names in Hebrew and were very rude.  Some of the WUJS participants enjoyed themselves so much they stayed longer in the old city, while the rest of us returned home. All-in-all it was another great day in the life of WUJS. More to come!!

By: Lindsey Urell 

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WUJS Alum Jessica Fass is featured in JTA article tag:www.wujsisrael.org,2011:/news//1.177 2011-11-01T08:47:52Z 2011-11-01T08:52:18Z Wujs Israel Without jobs in U.S., college grads are finding opportunities in Israel

NEW YORK (JTA) -- In her final months as a political science major at the University of Pittsburgh, Susanna Zlotnikov had a positive outlook about landing a job.

But as the months passed and her network of contacts led only to dead ends, Zlotnikov decided she needed a backup. Instead of spending the summer after her May graduation sending out more resumes, Zlotnikov took a pair of internships and moved to Israel.

It worked out well: In November she expects to be starting a full-time job in Israel as grants coordinator with Save a Child's Heart, an Israeli-based humanitarian organization that provides cardiac surgery for children from the developing world.

With the U.S. economy still sputtering, a growing number of college graduates are turning to Israel programs to bridge their educational and professional careers. In many cases, these young American Jews are drawn to the programs not out of Zionist sensibilities but because they're looking for workplace experience or seeking a way to do something Jewish. Some are even finding jobs in Israel and staying.

After losing a job in Hollywood, Jessica Fass decided to go on a Birthright Israel trip and then stayed in the country for an extra month. Upon returning to the United States, Fass felt as if she were in culture shock and kept thinking about returning to Israel. She decided to do an internship through WUJS Israel Hadassah, which helps college graduates find opportunities in Israel.

"It seemed like the perfect time go," she said.

Within six months, Fass had found a full-time job in Israel and now is working in marketing for a company in Tel Aviv, which she described as being like Los Angeles "but with Hebrew." Fass said she was surprised to find how much more willing Israelis were to take a chance on a new hire.

"I don't think that would have happened in the States because I had no experience in marketing," she said.

Organizations that bring Jewish youth to Israel are trying to capitalize on the bleak job prospects for college graduates in the United States, and programs that offer internships in Israel say they have seen a spike in applicants since the recession hit in 2008.

"I remember in 2008 when our numbers skyrocketed," said Amy Gross, the program recruiter at WUJS Israel Hadassah. "It's mostly recent college graduates because they have trouble finding a job, but they want to experience Israel as well."

WUJS offers five-month internships in Israel. Participants also have weekly trips to explore the country, Hebrew classes twice a week and immersion in Israeli culture.

MASA Israel, which helps place Diaspora Jews in long-term Israel programs, created a program called A Better Stimulus Plan targeted at recent college graduates looking for internship opportunities in Israel while they wait out the economic troubles in the U.S. Avi Rubel, MASA's North American director, says about 1,800 participants are doing post-college internship experiences -- double the rate of recent years.

"So many grads are at a loss because there aren't opportunities and they need to find ways to differentiate themselves to get the jobs that are there," Rubel told JTA. "For young Jewish students, coming to Israel gives them career development experience, which is likely more substantive than one in the States. In Israel you will end up in the mix of interesting things instead of making coffee."

Roselle Feldman had just returned to the United States from a Birthright Israel trip before the economy collapsed. She had been scheduled to teach more than 30 hip-hop classes at dance studios in Massachusetts, but the market crashed and her gigs disappeared.

Instead of filing for unemployment, she hopped on a plane to Israel for MASA Israel's Dance Journey, a five-month program for international dancers aged 18 to 30 in the western Galilee. She received training from the Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company, and at the end of the program Feldman was invited to audition for a spot with the dance company.

"I loved every second of it," she told JTA. "There's nothing else like it in the world. It's such a unique experience. I would go back in a heartbeat if I could afford it."

Now she is back in Massachusetts, teaching dance as the director of her own performance company, Intensity Dance Company. Soon she hopes to be teaching at a Jewish school -- a desire she credits to her experience in Israel.

Jesse Zryb, who graduated recently from Tulane University with a master's degree in architecture, also decided to sign up for MASA after a job he had been promised in Manhattan disappeared when his company merged with another firm. The guarantee of work experience was why he joined the program, he said. Through MASA, he was hired as an intern at Stav Architects in Ramat Gan, just outside of Tel Aviv.

Zryb said he thinks the program made him more attractive to potential employers back home. Soon after finishing the four-month program, he was hired as a designer at Pink Powered by Moss, a fabric design firm in New York.

"It kept me fresh, especially considering that back home any kind of employment was uncertain," he said of his Israeli internship. "I think it certainly looked good that I was being proactive during the situation and that I was keeping active during the recession. Keeping yourself fresh was important at the time."

Plus, Zryb added, "I had a great experience there."

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The WUJS Program is featured in JTA article tag:www.wujsisrael.org,2011:/news//1.176 2011-11-01T08:47:52Z 2011-11-01T08:50:56Z Wujs Israel Without jobs in U.S., college grads are finding opportunities in Israel

NEW YORK (JTA) -- In her final months as a political science major at the University of Pittsburgh, Susanna Zlotnikov had a positive outlook about landing a job.

But as the months passed and her network of contacts led only to dead ends, Zlotnikov decided she needed a backup. Instead of spending the summer after her May graduation sending out more resumes, Zlotnikov took a pair of internships and moved to Israel.

It worked out well: In November she expects to be starting a full-time job in Israel as grants coordinator with Save a Child's Heart, an Israeli-based humanitarian organization that provides cardiac surgery for children from the developing world.

With the U.S. economy still sputtering, a growing number of college graduates are turning to Israel programs to bridge their educational and professional careers. In many cases, these young American Jews are drawn to the programs not out of Zionist sensibilities but because they're looking for workplace experience or seeking a way to do something Jewish. Some are even finding jobs in Israel and staying.

After losing a job in Hollywood, Jessica Fass decided to go on a Birthright Israel trip and then stayed in the country for an extra month. Upon returning to the United States, Fass felt as if she were in culture shock and kept thinking about returning to Israel. She decided to do an internship through WUJS Israel Hadassah, which helps college graduates find opportunities in Israel.

"It seemed like the perfect time go," she said.

Within six months, Fass had found a full-time job in Israel and now is working in marketing for a company in Tel Aviv, which she described as being like Los Angeles "but with Hebrew." Fass said she was surprised to find how much more willing Israelis were to take a chance on a new hire.

"I don't think that would have happened in the States because I had no experience in marketing," she said.

Organizations that bring Jewish youth to Israel are trying to capitalize on the bleak job prospects for college graduates in the United States, and programs that offer internships in Israel say they have seen a spike in applicants since the recession hit in 2008.

"I remember in 2008 when our numbers skyrocketed," said Amy Gross, the program recruiter at WUJS Israel Hadassah. "It's mostly recent college graduates because they have trouble finding a job, but they want to experience Israel as well."

WUJS offers five-month internships in Israel. Participants also have weekly trips to explore the country, Hebrew classes twice a week and immersion in Israeli culture.

MASA Israel, which helps place Diaspora Jews in long-term Israel programs, created a program called A Better Stimulus Plan targeted at recent college graduates looking for internship opportunities in Israel while they wait out the economic troubles in the U.S. Avi Rubel, MASA's North American director, says about 1,800 participants are doing post-college internship experiences -- double the rate of recent years.

"So many grads are at a loss because there aren't opportunities and they need to find ways to differentiate themselves to get the jobs that are there," Rubel told JTA. "For young Jewish students, coming to Israel gives them career development experience, which is likely more substantive than one in the States. In Israel you will end up in the mix of interesting things instead of making coffee."

Roselle Feldman had just returned to the United States from a Birthright Israel trip before the economy collapsed. She had been scheduled to teach more than 30 hip-hop classes at dance studios in Massachusetts, but the market crashed and her gigs disappeared.

Instead of filing for unemployment, she hopped on a plane to Israel for MASA Israel's Dance Journey, a five-month program for international dancers aged 18 to 30 in the western Galilee. She received training from the Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company, and at the end of the program Feldman was invited to audition for a spot with the dance company.

"I loved every second of it," she told JTA. "There's nothing else like it in the world. It's such a unique experience. I would go back in a heartbeat if I could afford it."

Now she is back in Massachusetts, teaching dance as the director of her own performance company, Intensity Dance Company. Soon she hopes to be teaching at a Jewish school -- a desire she credits to her experience in Israel.

Jesse Zryb, who graduated recently from Tulane University with a master's degree in architecture, also decided to sign up for MASA after a job he had been promised in Manhattan disappeared when his company merged with another firm. The guarantee of work experience was why he joined the program, he said. Through MASA, he was hired as an intern at Stav Architects in Ramat Gan, just outside of Tel Aviv.

Zryb said he thinks the program made him more attractive to potential employers back home. Soon after finishing the four-month program, he was hired as a designer at Pink Powered by Moss, a fabric design firm in New York.

"It kept me fresh, especially considering that back home any kind of employment was uncertain," he said of his Israeli internship. "I think it certainly looked good that I was being proactive during the situation and that I was keeping active during the recession. Keeping yourself fresh was important at the time."

Plus, Zryb added, "I had a great experience there."

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Tuesday's Siyur (Trip) = The Bike Olympics tag:www.wujsisrael.org,2011:/news//1.175 2011-10-27T12:38:02Z 2011-10-27T12:43:28Z The Tuesday field trips are quickly becoming our favorite part of the week! This week we toured the famous Olympic Museum that credit some of the most famous Olympic athletes. The modern appeal of the museum and the new age... Wujs Israel The Tuesday field trips are quickly becoming our favorite part of the week!


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This week we toured the famous Olympic Museum that credit some of the most famous Olympic athletes. The modern appeal of the museum and the new age technology set the museum apart from any other. This museum was not like a typical museum filled with ancient artifacts and synopsis to read. Instead, there were voiceovers and live human graphics. In the first room we sat in the middle on the floor while there was 3D graphics surrounding us on projector screens. They focused on premiere athletes throughout history. The athletes mentioned were Michael Jordan, Mark Spitz, and Larry Bird to name a few. Nadia Comaneci was the first Olympic gymnast to earn a perfect ten score seven times in a row. While other athletes like Abebe Bakila ran his cross country marathon barefoot and finished first.


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      We moved on to another room, where we got to the roots of theOlympics and what it meant for Israel. The first Israeli athletes that put Israel's name on the map for recognition within the Olympics were Oren Smadja, Michael Kolganov, and Yael Arad.  Yael was the first 16 years old to win a gold medal. The seats we were sitting on rotated and a chilling effect began to set in as the lights dimmed.  A female athlete who was competing during the terrorist attack on the Israeli athletes told us her story. Eleven were killed and only a day was taken off to mourn the loss. In an epic triumph Israel wasn't going to be defeated and the remaining athletes fought in honor of their fellow athletes who were killed. The last part of the museum is interactive where we were taught the fundamentals of becoming a premiere athlete. Participants got to measure their reaction time, their strength, and their concentration levels. It was fun to see how we measure up to the best athletes in the world. We didn't even come close!

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 The field trip didn't stop there. Next stop was a bike ride in Park Hayarkon.  We had a typical Israeli tour guide who wasn't afraid to flirt with girl as his long ponytail frolicked in the wind.  The girls blushed and giggled and were thoroughly entertained. The bike ride was nice and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves. We were able to interact, talk and get to know one another while enjoying beautiful surroundings. We passed a zoo, memorial sites, and ended the ride by the beach and through the namal (port).  Everyone was exhausted afterwards, so all in all I'd say it was a fun day! Stay tuned!

By:Lindsey Urell 

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Another WUJS Success Story! tag:www.wujsisrael.org,2011:/news//1.174 2011-10-05T16:20:20Z 2011-10-05T16:31:51Z Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE HE /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0cm 5.4pt 0cm 5.4pt; mso-para-margin-top:0cm; mso-para-margin-right:0cm; mso-para-margin-bottom:10.0pt; mso-para-margin-left:0cm; line-height:115%; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif"; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family:Arial; mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi; mso-bidi-language:AR-SA;}... Wujs Israel Unemployed? Not Anymore!  


By: Hallie Newman, New York

 After my obligatory post-college freak out "what am I going to do with my life"? I hopped on a plane to Israel.  Well, it wasn't quite that simple. After digging through my savings, I eventually made it to Israel, hoping to fill in some blanks in my life.

In January of 2010, I packed my bags, headed to JFK airport and landed at Israel's Ben Gurion Airport with an open return ticket.  After a few months of personal exploration throughout the country, I ended up in Tel Aviv's Florentine neighborhood to begin my five months on Young Judeae's WUJS Internship Program. I chose an internship in communications with Zalul, an Israeli environmental organization that is focused on cleaning and restoring the country's waterways; rivers, and shorelines.

Throughout my five months at Zalul, I had the opportunity to work on a variety of projects and really build my skills in environmental communications and marketing. I wrote for Zalul's English-language blog, keeping all international donors abreast of what was going on in our organization, and Israel's environment as a whole. In addition, I assisted with all community events in which Zalul took part; beach cleanups for students who were spending a year in Israel, Earth Day festivities and gala fundraisers.

After WUJS, I elected to remain in Israel for a little while longer to travel and soak up the Tel Aviv energy.  When I finally booked my return flight, I came home to the same trepidation I had left the States with ("will I ever be employed?!") Except this time it was different, I felt more focused. While the job market was still slow, I knew exactly what type of job I was searching for. I applied for every environmental non-profit communications and marketing job I could find.

Eventually, I got an interview and a few days later I was offered the job. My would-be boss was impressed with my experience at Zalul; much of what I would be working on at my new job, I had learned from my time at Zalul. Just a month after I returned from Israel, I began my work at a New York-based environmental organization as a Marketing Coordinator, where I still work today.

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Just Another Day in the Neighborhood... tag:www.wujsisrael.org,2011:/news//1.173 2011-09-21T11:57:12Z 2011-09-21T12:11:44Z Yesterday the WUJS participants had their second Siyur. Before the trip Freda, the director of post college programs for MASA, met with the group. Freda explained how huge of an organization MASA is and the impact it has within the... Wujs Israel Yesterday the WUJS participants had their second Siyur. Before the trip Freda, the director of post college programs for MASA, met with the group. Freda explained how huge of an organization MASA is and the impact it has within the Jewish community and peoples "journey" to Israel. Shortly after, the beautiful and talented Ricky Yihye (the program coordinator for WUJS) gave a lesson about art and culture of Israel. We were introduced to artists like Yigaal Tumarkan and his "he walked through the fields" sculpture. We discussed Marcel Duchamp "the fountain" and how it was so pivotal within the art world during the 20th century by challenging conservative ideas within the art process. We went on to talk about famous Israel music, books and movies. We ended with an interesting discussion about the differences between teenage Israelis vs. Americans.

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The field trip started on Rothschild Boulevard in front of the Habima Theater. This was the location of the first tent marking the beginning of the protest for social justice.

 

News flash: This summer there was a mass demonstration and protest for social justice in Israel. The cost of living is way too high and is beyond the means of the average Israeli. The protest was started by a 25-year-old woman.  This woman made a big difference by getting the Israelis out of the house to fight for something they believe in. For this reason the leaders of the protest feel as if they have already made a change. The tents were originally pitched on Rothschild Boulevard because it's the most expensive street in Tel Aviv. Rothschild Boulevard is also architecturally famous for Bauhaus's. The idea of Bauhaus was brought from Germany after the First World War. Bauhaus buildings are built to be very functional and neat. They can be built fast and without a lot of money. The design is simple and right to the point. The design makes the home about the person inside.

 

Next stop: Neve Tzedek.


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Neve Tzedek was the first Jewish neighborhood to be built outside on the ancient walls of Jaffa. Jewish families were seeking to leave a very crowded Jaffa at the time. Neve Tzedek is one of Tel Aviv's most expensive neighborhoods. Walking through the neighborhood you get a distinct feeling of peace and calm. It is also a great place to raise children. Imagine a village-like atmosphere, with quant restaurants and boutiques and narrow roads. The trip ended at the old Tel Aviv light rail also known in Hebrew as Metcham Ha Tachana. We were left to roam the little village, shop around, and grab a bite to eat before heading home. All in all the day was very informative and interesting. Everyone is anticipating future events.

-Lindsey Urell, OH

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"Underneath the Surface" tag:www.wujsisrael.org,2011:/news//1.172 2011-08-21T13:00:38Z 2011-08-21T13:22:10Z With the spectacular final exhibition, the WUJS Arts track of spring 2011 has come to an end. The artists could show their art pieces in the gallery and during presentations. The last few months they worked hard to create (sometimes... Wujs Israel With the spectacular final exhibition, the WUJS Arts track of spring 2011 has come to an end. The artists could show their art pieces in the gallery and during presentations. The last few months they worked hard to create (sometimes new forms of) art.

The group exist of eight individuals, their art is not comparable with each other in any way and that made the exhibition various and special. However as a whole it looked perfectly well together. Ilana Gleiser surprised the visitors with her 'humans turn into animals' photography. Gill Kaufman showed his expertise in the exposition with ceramics.

By selling his pieces, he turns art into business.

 

 

WUJS March 2011 Hike in North 005.jpgAlexis Rosenblatt made a creative art piece, using different materials, for instance pages of a Hebrew dictionary. As well, she created a colorful dress of plastic bags.

WUJS March 2011 Hike in North 018.jpg Bradley Machov has shot some incredible photos in Israel, which showed people and landscapes from a unique perspective. Vardit Lightstone showed her short stories, companied by biblical pictures. Joline Vyth used the themes 'love' and 'home' in her collage and poetry.

Not only in the gallery was room for art, during the presentations the artists were introduced, well done by Naomi Present. Bradley Machov, a blogger and short story writer, read a part of his short story. Vardit Lightstone, as well a writer, read her based on Tanach stories. Joline Vyth read her poem, about the question what home is. Alexis Rosenblatt and Zippora Seidenberg practiced a lot of music together and performed two beautiful self composed songs. Jacob Singer wrote a play and showed a part of it. With  a sense of drama the actors played like they were professionals!

 

 

WUJS March 2011 Hike in North 029.jpgThe artists of WUJS Arts track spring 2011 thanked Ofra Zucker, who has taught the artists about Jewish and Israeli art. She was their guide and helped them to find inspiration in the land of Israel.

 

The audience was very impressed by all this. Afterwards it was time for shmoozing and refreshments to digest the artistic impressions...

 

By: Joline Vyth

 

 

 

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Making Aliyah?.... That is the question. tag:www.wujsisrael.org,2011:/news//1.171 2011-07-21T15:48:48Z 2011-07-21T15:56:58Z Wujs Israel On Tuesday, July 19th, WUJS Tel Aviv and Jerusalem had an Aliyah seminar day at the Young Judaea building in Jerusalem. It was full of great information! 

flag.jpgHere are some funny words of wisdom from Kate, the Assistant Director of Young Judaea Year-Course, about why she loves living in Israel and why she's so happy that she made Aliyah.

Reasons Kate loves Israel:

1.  Vegetables actually taste like vegetables.
2.  Tomatoes are 3 shekels/kilo.
3.  Israelis are rude and honest, not polite and false.
4.  Israelis treat each other like family -- They might make you cry when they scream at you in the middle of a traffic jam when they're frustrated, but then they come right over and give you a tissue.
5.  The pace of life is fun and interesting -- you can have someone hold your spot in line while you go do another errand and then come back and get your spot back.
6.  Being a Jew is the majority.

And last but certainly not least...

7.  There is no snow to shovel in the winter!

To Kate, being in Israel is the "perfect fit."  She compared it to when you find the perfect shoe and then you buy it in every color and wear it until it's completely worn out.  

Kate advised that during your WUJS program, you should try to figure out if you just have a crush on Israel...or are you seriously in love?  It should just feel right.

By: Jessica Fass




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Amy Gross- Nachon, Coordinator of Admissions and Recruitment is greeted at Ben Gurion Airport by now husband Avishay on her Aliyah day.
September, 8, 2008.
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A Special Evening at the House of WUJS tag:www.wujsisrael.org,2011:/news//1.170 2011-07-17T09:56:46Z 2011-07-17T10:08:17Z Wujs Israel The WUJS participants hosted a party on the rooftop of our home in Tel Aviv. 

 

P1020834.JPGEveryone invited outside Israelis, Americans, and other international people we met during our time here who are also living in Tel Aviv. "We had an amazing time -- our roof was overflowing with people and it really helped us feel at home in Israel to be the hosts for the evening."  - Jessica Fass

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The Fass Family Visit. tag:www.wujsisrael.org,2011:/news//1.169 2011-07-11T08:03:30Z 2011-07-11T08:09:07Z On Friday, July 1st, participant Jessica Fass' family was visiting from the San Fernando Valley in Los Angeles, CA, and they decided to host a Shabbat dinner for WUJS participants and their friends on the gorgeous rooftop of the WUJS... Wujs Israel
 Jessica's wonderful Jewish mother Lori decided to make chicken piccata and pot roast with a classic Israeli salad and a unique noodle kuggle with cherries and apples for a special summertime treat!  Jessica helped by chopping vegetables and mixing the ingredients into the noodle kuggle.  Lori was surprised she couldn't find the exact noodles she would've used to make the kuggle back in Los Angeles, but she improvised.  After all, improvising is what Israel is all about.  :)  Jessica's brother Alex and dad Arthur helped set the table and bought the wine.  Jessica invited both WUJS participants and Israeli friends she had met during her Birthright 2010 trip and at her internship through WUJS at the Carlton Hotel, Tel Aviv.  It was wonderful to have Jessica's family meet the other WUJS participants from all over the US and the world and her Israeli friends.  Everyone felt like one big happy Jewish family having Shabbat together.  :)  And when dinner was over, everyone said, "That was delicious!  Now yalla bye!"

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WUJS Participants Cycle through Tel-Aviv tag:www.wujsisrael.org,2011:/news//1.168 2011-06-02T13:15:29Z 2011-06-02T13:18:50Z Last Tuesday our WUJS Tel-Aviv group took an organised biking trip through Tel-Aviv. Click on the image below to see the video.... Wujs Israel Last Tuesday our WUJS Tel-Aviv group took an organised biking trip through Tel-Aviv.

Click on the image below to see the video.

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Highlights of WUJS Jerusalem II tag:www.wujsisrael.org,2011:/news//1.167 2011-05-24T11:53:11Z 2011-05-24T12:00:41Z 'This weekend is going to be one of the best weekends of WUJS', the staff told us on our way to Kibutz Ketura in the Negev desert, near Eilat. And it was... although fortunately we haven't finished our 5 months... Wujs Israel 'This weekend is going to be one of the best weekends of WUJS', the staff told us on our way to Kibutz Ketura in the Negev desert, near Eilat. And it was... although fortunately we haven't finished our 5 months in Israel yet, it was a great couple of days in the hot south. After a long busdrive, we arrived at the Kibutz where David, member of Ketura, welcomed us. We had some time to settle in the nice apartments, get adjusted to the heat and refresh ourselves in the swimmingpool. After that, we could choose between a few desert art workshops. However, the majority chose to go on a hike, which turned out to be a three hour climbing and downhill experience in the desert... exhausting but beautiful! The poolside bbq tasted even better after all this physical exercise. Sitting in a big circle, David explained us the Kibutz lifestyle and rules. Ketura is one of the few kibutsim which still holds

the socialistic way of sharing everything that is in the kibutz. The members are a group of 150 people, and besides them there are a lot of volunteers, soldiers and other guests (like us) who temporarily live in the kibutz. There is a variety of work that can be done: on the cowfarm, where they produce many liters of milk everyday, the algae farm, where they produce antioxidants for the food, pharmaceutical and cosmetical industry, or at the fruit trees.

After a short night, we were ready to start our next hike in the Red Canyon at 7 am... again a beautiful hike, red mountains, narrow passages, some climbing, pretty views, and good breakfast when we got back to the bus. We drove to Eilat, where we did some snorkeling, swimming, relaxing, shopping, the good life! The chaos, heat, and crowdedness of Eilat made us longing for Ketura, where we prepared for shabbat later that day. It was special to experience the services in a synagogue in the middle of nowhere! We had dinner in the diningroom, with other members and guests of the kibutz. The next day, on shabbat, we had discussions about different topics the assembly of the kibutz has to deal with. Can somebody who is not jewish become a member of the kibutz? (yes). Is there money for children with special needs or for prodigies to fulfill their needs? (yes). Could a man who cheated on his wife with a volunteer, come back to the kibutz with his new family, after living abroad for three years? (he could, because he was still a member, but he didn't because of the antipathy against him). Later that day, we played a quiz called Schnitzelborscht, which has got nothing to do with schnitzel or borscht, but everything with knowledge about Israel. Wiser, more tanned/sunburnt and relaxed we ended our weekend in the south.

Joline Vyth

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Remembrance & Celebration tag:www.wujsisrael.org,2011:/news//1.166 2011-05-12T22:13:02Z 2011-05-12T22:21:11Z Remembrance and CelebrationPosted on May 12, 2011 By Amanda GurinMuch of my blog has been a somewhat comedic discussion of certain social idiosyncrasies that I have come to know and love since living here, all of the funny and sort... Wujs Israel Remembrance and Celebration
Posted on May 12, 2011 By Amanda Gurin

Much of my blog has been a somewhat comedic discussion of certain social idiosyncrasies that I have come to know and love since living here, all of the funny and sort of crazy ways that make Israelis unique. Most of the quirks that I have talked about have had something to do with Israelis being bolder and more impetuous than I am used to, but over the past 10 days I have seen a whole other side of Israeli society. I have realized that the amusing and distinctive characteristics that I have mentioned in my previous posts only scratch the surface and that below the surface there is an unbelievable conviction to remember and to honor everyone and everything that have perpetuated the survival of Israel. And why, you ask, have I discovered this in the past 10 days? Well, during the first 2 weeks of the month of May there are 3 major Israeli holidays: Yom Hashoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day), Yom Hazikaron (Memorial Day for Soldiers and Victims of Terror) and Yom Ha'atzmaut (Independence Day). Being here for all of these special days was a truly touching and amazing experience.

One of the reasons for the establishment of the state of Israel was to offer a safe haven to Jews from Europe affected by the Holocaust,  and so, on Yom Hashoah we remember the 6 million lost and, with that, vow to never let anything like the Holocaust happen again. At 10:00am there was a nationwide siren during which everyone stopped what they were doing and stood in silence, and I mean everyone; even drivers stopped their cars, buses, motorcycles and stood in the middle of the street. There was also a memorial ceremony on Mount Herzl, where Yad Vashem is located, during which the Prime Minister spoke and 6 torches were lit to commemorate the 6 million who perished. On that day, I felt like we were not only remembering those lost, but also honoring those who survived and helped build the nation of Israel. As time passes, the direct effect of the Holocaust is felt by fewer and fewer families in Israel, but, since Israel is such a young country and has had to almost continuously defend itself and it's existence against its neighbors, almost everyone here knows someone who died in battle or as a result of a terrorist attack. And it is for that reason that Yom Hazikaron, falling one week after Yom Hashoah, is such a somber and respected day; it is on this day that families visit the military cemeteries and the graves of those whose lives were cut short by enemies and terrorists, memorial services are held throughout the country and again there are 2 sirens during which everyone stops and observes a moment of silence.

The WUJS program falls under the auspices of MASA, an organization that enables thousands of young Jews from around the world to come on long term programs to Israel, and for Yom Hazikaron MASA hosted a tekkes (memorial service) to which we were invited. To begin our Yom Hazikaron, the thousands of current MASA program participants gathered on Ammunition Hill, the site of one of the battles against Jordan during 1967 that allowed Israel to re-capture Jerusalem. MASA chose only 7 individuals who either died in action or in a terrorist attack to honor that night, all of whom were either from somewhere outside Israel and had made Aliyah or were in some way involved with MASA, but it was still very moving. Something that the mother of one of the victims said really stuck with me; she was speaking about what she feels her obligation to her son is now that he is gone, and she said that she doesn't necessarily need to talk about him all the time, but rather help to create a society and country worth his sacrifice. It was special, touching and really unlike anything I had ever experienced. The idea of knowing one, two, or more people, peers, family members or friends that were lost in action or in a terrorist attack is so far beyond my reality, it is difficult for me to even comprehend. For Israelis, sadly, it is almost an inevitability, and it is for this reason that I, a foreigner looking from the outside in, believe that Israelis are not only a remarkably resilient people, but take such pains to remember.

And then, as the sun set over Israel, we transitioned from the solemn Day of Remembrance to the joyous Independence Day. While the switch from mourning to celebration is surely a difficult one, it actually makes sense. On Yom Hazikaron we remember those who lost their lives and on Yom Ha'Atzmaut we commemorate what they lost their lives for. In the States we have the 4th of July, but believe me when I say, it pails in comparison to Yom Ha'atzmaut. As a way of remembering all that has been lost during Israel's continuous fight for survival, Israelis exuberantly celebrate what still remains: their nation. The pride that Israelis have in their country is inspiring!

Once Yom Hazikaron ended, the streets of Jerusalem filled with people, everywhere you turned they were dancing, singing, chanting and waving the Israeli flag. Throughout the center of Jerusalem there were performances, countless parties and a fireworks display. Israelis, young and old, celebrated together. Trying to negotiate our way through the throngs of people was insane, but totally worth it to be a part of this amazing night. The next day was a time for barbeques and picnics in the park; the WUJS group was invited to a barbeque hosted by one of the former participants and we grilled, talked and hung out in the sun all day, it was really fun. Honestly, my words cannot adequately convey the feeling one has during Yom Hazikaron and Yom Ha'aztmaut, it is a mixture of incomprehension, tragedy, triumph, and strength, I am just so happy that I was able to be a part of it. Happy 63rd, Israel!

I was so caught up and inspired by Yom Hashoah, Yom Hazikaron and Yom Ha'atzmaut that I completely skipped our trip to Hof Habonim and Zikron Yaacov. Hof Habonim is a beautiful nature reserve that runs along the coast south of Haifa and so, we started our day by doing a beautiful nature walk along the Mediterranean, the water was the most amazing color blue! Once we left Hof Habonim, we went to Zikron Yaacov, an inland town that was cultivated and built up by the Rothschild family, the town's name actually means "memory of Jacob", in honor of Baron Edmund de Rothschild's father, Jacob. Zikron Yaacov was different that any other place I have seen in Israel, it sort of reminded me of a slightly funky, chill and quaint town in California somewhere. The houses weren't typical Israeli houses and it has a really cool cobblestone main street lined with cute shops and cafes. It also has a thriving wine business, with one of the main wineries in the area, Tishbi, located there. After a quick lunch in town, we headed to Tishbi winery for a tour and tasting, it was delicious  . The day was beautiful, sunny and relaxing (which may or may not have been partially the result of the wine) and was just what I had needed! Finally, that is all for now. . .this weekend we are going to the beach in Tel Aviv and then next weekend we will be going to a Kibbutz in the Negev, so I will have lot of fun and exciting things to report!! I hope everyone is well and congratulations to University of Rochester Class of 2011, I can't believe it has already been a year!

Want to read more about Amanda's Israel experiences? Follow her time on WUJS on her blog!
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Internship Visit- Wendy Leitner tag:www.wujsisrael.org,2011:/news//1.165 2011-05-11T17:35:41Z 2011-05-11T18:20:08Z By Abby RavskiI recently decided to take the day and make the hike up to Yad VaShem Israel's main museum and memorial to the Holocaust. After being here for almost 10 months and leaving in a few short weeks it's... Wujs Israel By Abby Ravski

I recently decided to take the day and make the hike up to Yad VaShem Israel's main museum and memorial to the Holocaust. After being here for almost 10 months and leaving in a few short weeks it's been on my bucket list of things to do. What was even more exciting was that I got to visit WUJS Jerusalem Intern Wendy Leitner. Wendy is working for the Yad VaShem Art Museum helping the staff organize, categorize and document what is in the museum's possession. Wendy's day includes working in the painting storage room (which I sadly could not visit). She has the privilege of handling art made by holocaust survivors and victims and helps ensure their safe keeping so it all can be enjoyed for generations to come. Wendy recently graduated from Washington University in St. Louis with a degree in painting and in the past has worked at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum at the. Once WUJS is over Wendy will begin her graduate studies at NYU for a degree in museum studies. Her internship experience will more than prepare her for her great future ahead while at the same time living in Jerusalem, and enjoying all that Israel has to offer!

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Wendy & me in front of the Art Museum at Yad VaShem 5.5.11


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