PowerPoint Slides for WUJS.PPTX
End Speech- Fall 2011
Wow! I can't believe we've reached this week of the program! I remember your first day and week of the program- your very beginning of wujs...
You guys all came from different backgrounds- different backgrounds of Jewishness and connections to Israel, you guys are also from various different countries and there's a big range of ages too with-in the group... I think all these differences made our wujs family so special... and you know what I loved so much about our wujs family- it's that no matter what differences that you come with- differences of backgrounds, or, above all that- differences of opinions, views, thoughts, and emotions- we all excepted each other as part of the group, with big warmth and love, just as any members of family do.
It's amazing to see in each one of you your speciality and uniqueness. Underneath the surface lies allot of depth in each one of you, and holding that depth there's allot of modesty. Seeing all of that uniqueness, depth, speciality, and modesty really touched my heart and I feel that before giving you as a counselor, I received from each one of you too... Whether it's something from your personality, from your inner- world, or from a friendship that I feel that I've developed with you... and this is where I want to thank each one of you for also being my friends... I feel that there was a point in the program that a switch was made and from being only your madricha I became your friends and madricha, and I think that it was special that at times that I had to be strict but half an hour later I was back to being your friend again...
And now I want to get to the most important thing that I want to say to all of you- I think that most important and what touched me that most is seeing in each one of you that spark of yours- that Jewish or Israel spark in you that drawed you to come and spend this time in Israel, on our wujs program...
I know that there are many different reasons and goals for a wujs participant to come and spend time in Israel and be on the program- some know they want to make alliyah and being on the program is a good first step to living here in Israel,, some want to check it out here- if it's a place for them or not, some have been having Israel in the back of their minds for some years and now found the opportunity to come, and there some more reasons to it... but I think that the biggest reason and goal out of all and I think this one is a common one to you all and it's the source for you all coming here- is wanting to take the opportunity to come here- and learn, discover, grow, connect, and develop yourself in- terms of your Jewish and Israel identity- it's giving that small Jewish and Israel spark of yours an opportunity to grow and allow it to go in the direction that it's longing and desires so much... that spark is deep deep inside of you and I think that it's what drawed you to come here and spend these five months in Israel. Each one of you has enriched that spark of yours by searching your own identity in your own special and unique way- you've gone on trips through- out the land- felt and trod on it, you've learnt the language of the land, participated in seminars, ulpan, had discussions on hot topics- you've basically fed your soul with food that's it's been longing for. I saw that spark in each one of you.
I really hope that the time that you've spent here has warmed that spark of yours up and I want to wish each one of you to continue sanning that spark of yours , feed with it with food that it needs and wants so much, everyone in their own unique and special way, everyone to where the heart leads it to go to...
Lastly, I hope that each one of you, in your own way, and with the help of sanning that spark of yours- come back to Israel- whether it's to visit, stay, have a trip, or live here... what-ever suits you...
I know that some of you are already staying and I want to tell all of you- those of you who are staying and those of you who are going home and might be coming another time to Israel- that me, the rest of the staff, and many more Israelis' and Olim who live here, welcome you and always want you to know that you have a home here- I personally invite you to my home and I'm sure that others too.
Soon that you're leaving the program I'll be waiting for you to come back and visit and see how much that spark of yours grew and developed to your own unique Jewish and Israel oriented personality.
Good luck to all of you and I hope to keep in- touch!
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.
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.)
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
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."
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 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.
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: 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.
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
The field trip started on
News flash: This summer there
was a mass demonstration and protest for social justice in
Next stop: Neve Tzedek.
Neve Tzedek was the first Jewish
neighborhood to be built outside on the ancient walls of
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. 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! The audience was very impressed by all this. Afterwards it was time for shmoozing and refreshments to digest the artistic impressions... By: Joline Vyth
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.
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!
The audience was very impressed by all this. Afterwards it was time for shmoozing and refreshments to digest the artistic impressions...
By: Joline Vyth