Four of our participants recently attended Masa's Building Future Leadership conference in Jerusalem. Here's what Lisa, one of our 10 month Social Action track volunteers, had to say about the experience:
Almost two weeks ago, I went to my first MASA conference- a week long seminar hosted at a hostel in Jerusalem centered on building future leadership in the Jewish world. Walking off the bus and into the hostel, I found myself and the three other participants of my program surrounded by over 400 MASA participants, from both gap year and post-college programs. I spent the week with a group of 15 other post-college participants, discussing presentations as well as encounters from our time in Israel.
Being around such a diverse group of participants prompted a wide range of talks, ranging from living in Israel to the role of Zionism, to our roles in the future. With "Vision into Reality" as my focus, I was able to sit in on lectures hosted by members of the Israeli organization, Debate, as they disclosed the formula to attain your vision.
In the evenings, there were more opportunities to network with other participants as well as attend cultural and informative sessions. One such session being an open panel discussion comprising of four young adults from different sectors of the Jewish world. Ranging from working for the Israeli Defense Force, Hillel, or a start-up non-profit, the panel shed light on issues and topics that have emerged throughout my time in Israel.
The conference was a great opportunity to meet a wide-range of participants and enabled an open forum for discussion. It was evident by the conference that the MASA organization has a lot of confidence in the young generation to spearhead the Jewish world in the future. As a volunteer in South Tel Aviv, I often forget the role of my volunteering in the larger scheme, but by attending the conference and sharing my experiences, I realized that there is an immense support network both in Israel and worldwide.