Young adults who have recently returned from MASA programs in Israel have great stories to share and their passion is the most natural way to encourage their peers to follow in their footsteps. This is the guiding principle of the new MASA internship program launched this fall on college campuses across North America.
Twenty-eight recent MASA alumni have been chosen to serve as interns. Their sojourns in Israel have included study, volunteer stints from hospital clowns to elementary school tutoring, and adventure travel. Their task, over the course of the academic year, is to reach out to their fellow students with information – and their own fresh experiences – to encourage them to enlist in MASA programs.
The MASA interns, students in universities across North America with large Jewish student populations, will work cooperatively with Jewish organizations on campus. The aim is to find and create activities and venues to promote awareness and participation in MASA’s diverse programs.
The MASA interns will also develop their own initiatives and share inspiration with their fellow interns to provide students with a taste of Israel on campus. MASA interns receive a small budget to implement their student activities, as well as a modest stipend. The interns make a commitment to participate in two weekend gatherings, the first to take place in Nashville, immediately before the GA.
For MASA’s North American operations, MASA alumni are crucial to promoting the program and it is anticipated that the first year interns will enlist 300 new MASA participants. Each intern is given individual guidance in setting goals. In the years ahead, the aim is to continue to expand the internship program and, thereby, the numbers of students who will enroll in MASA.
MASA intern Rebecca Sturgis, a native of Essex, Vermont and a student at Brandeis University (Class of 2011) characterizes her participation in Young Judea as “the best year of my life.”
MASA intern Noah Singer is studying environmental health at Colorado State University (class of 2010). He is enthusiastic about helping other students take advantage of the wonderful experiences he enjoyed in Israel.