Life after college is a confusing time. What are your options? Work? Graduate school? Travel? These were the questions I asked myself upon graduating from Colorado College with a B.A in Religion in May of 2010. I decided to move back home and weigh my options. My lifelong dream had always been to either spend a substantial amount of time in Israel or to make aliyah. My dilemma was how to proceed in such an endeavor. During my Birthright trip in 2008, they had explained to my group that there were ways of returning to Israel, but I was not very clear on the options available to me. Initially, I looked into the logistics of moving to Israel for a year or so and trying to find work and an apartment on my own. This proved much more complicated then I had originally anticipated and the idea quickly fell by the way- side.
During the summer of 2010, I volunteered with Birthright NEXT in the San Francisco Bay Area. After expressing my concerns on the process of traveling to Israel, the Director of NEXT put me in contact with a Masa Israel representative who met with me and carefully explained a wide range of programs that fit my criteria. Masa, which means “journey” in Hebrew, is an organization funded by the Jewish Agency. An overwhelming sense of excitement took hold of me as I rushed home to review the program booklet. After a month of research, I had narrowed my search enough to feel confident in applying for the Israel Experience’s program “Career Israel.” Career Israel offers both a five month and a three month internship program in Tel Aviv or Jerusalem. Their database was extensive and I was easily able to compile a list of potential internships I was interested in applying for. The application process was straightforward and the staff was always happy to answer my questions. With the help of a grant for Masa, the program was much more affordable.
Before I knew it, I was flying to Ben Gurion airport in Tel Aviv with a world of possibilities ahead of me. I was still unsure of what the future held, but I knew my trip to Israel would provide me with some clarity regarding the future. For instance, I had always considered aliyah, but I wanted to spend some time in Israel before making such a life-altering decision. Read more in the LA Jewish Journal.