Israel Program Sees Spike in Applications Despite Pandemic
JNS.org – Masa Israel Journey, founded by the Jewish Agency and the government of Israel, launched its 16th programming year on Monday at an online event attended by thousands of its fellows from countries around the world.
Every year, thousands of young Jews arrive in Israel from more than 60 countries to learn, teach, volunteer and intern in the Jewish state. Despite the coronavirus outbreak, Masa has seen a significant increase in applications from young Jews to come to Israel to participate in its programs. According to the organization, there was a 36 percent increase in Masa program participation and a 40 percent increase in volunteer program participation.
There are currently 7,500 Masa participants in Israel, who arrived in the country in the last few months. Thousands more are expected to arrive in the upcoming year.
“Masa gives thousands the chance to strengthen their Jewish identity, and to deepen their relationship with Israel,” said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the event. “Israel is the cradle of the Jewish past. Israel is where the Jewish future is being forged. And if you want to be a part of that future, if you want to have an impact upon that future, Israel is the place to be. Welcome home.”