01 Dec Growing Personally and Professionally with Masa Career
Growing Personally and Professionally with Masa Career
Jenna’s time in Israel with Masa has allowed her to gain valuable work experience in the Israeli job market, connect to her Judaism, and dare to dream of new possibilities for her future.
When COVID hit, Jenna, 26, was working in Miami, her hometown, having graduated from Florida State a few years prior. Since finishing college, she’d done content writing, event planning, and marketing for various companies, and while those jobs had all given her good experience, she was questioning her future.
“I was having a bit of a quarter-life crisis and felt unsure of what I was doing with my life,” recounted Jenna with a laugh. “I wanted to leave Miami and the only other place in the world I’ve ever felt at home and could imagine moving to was Israel. I had a good friend who had participated in a Masa Israel Journey program and she inspired me to look into Masa.”
Jenna has always felt close to Israel. At 16, she participated in the Alexander Muss High School in Israel summer program, followed shortly after by a March of the Living trip to Poland and Israel, and then Birthright. Growing up, she attended Jewish day school for elementary and middle school, giving her a strong Jewish foundation and grasp of Hebrew. Coming to Israel through Masa Career Israel marked her fourth time visiting the Jewish State, and she couldn’t be happier with her decision.
“Moving to a new country is difficult and Masa has helped provide a support system and handle logistics. And my varied professional background gave me a lot of skills that are useful for joining the Israeli workforce,” said Jenna. “Masa Career is super helpful in matching you with a company to work with and I feel really cared for.”
Besides working at an Israeli company, Masa Career participants take monthly trips around Israel. In the past month, Jenna shared, they went up north to a winery, did a hike, and visited natural hot springs. They also do tours called “Sights and Insights” which are both educational and fun.
“The Sights and Insights tours are the best tours ever. We go to different places rich in history and they pair us with different people and then we share our unique perspectives. Recently, we got to talk to a Christian Arab, and it was really eye-opening having grown up in a Jewish bubble,” Jenna explained.
While Jenna is enjoying getting to meet and learn about the diversity that exists in Israel, she is also appreciating her Jewish identity more and finding new meaning in Jewish traditions.
“The feeling of Jewish community here is really strong,” Jenna said. “I’ve started lighting Shabbat candles and making challah. And I live with six other Masa participants and we’ve become like a family, having Shabbat dinners together.”
Jenna’s time in Israel so far has been transformative. She loves that employees are really valued and that the quality of life is so good. Her Hebrew is also getting even better, which is exciting. Overall, she’s really felt like coming on Masa has allowed her to blossom.
“I wanted to challenge myself in an environment that would spark positive growth and allow me to reach my fullest potential personally and professionally and I’m definitely doing that,” Jenna shared. “Masa programs are such a beautiful way to experience the country and so worth being a part of. Now that I’m here, I can’t imagine not doing Masa. I truly feel now like I can do anything.”