Sharansky: "MASA Makes it Possible for Tens of Thousands of Young Jews to Strengthen Their Own Identity."
MASA - Living and Breathing Israel

May 3, 2010 / 19 Iyar 5770

MASA has been good to Israel.

Founded by the Jewish Agency and the Government of Israel in 2003, MASA enables young Diaspora Jews to experience life in Israel for a semester or a year on any of over 160 programs to strengthen their Jewish identity and their connection to Israel.

2010 marked a banner year for the program – with a 15% increase in participation from 2009. A total of 9,400 young Jews from around the world will come to Israel through MASA (from September 2009 through June 2010) as opposed to 8,200 participants from last year. 

The increase can be broken down as follows: 64% increase in the number of young people who came to Israel from the Former Soviet Union, a 45% increase in the number of participants from France, and a 33% increase in the number of participants from South America. Also, there was a 10% increase in the number of participants from the United States. Further data revealed that the percentage of participants who came to Israel on MASA immediately after graduating from colleges and universities abroad has increased from 7% since the beginning of the project to 28% today.
Since the project's inception, MASA has contributed $560 million to the Israeli economy and has significantly contributed to leading academic institutions, as well as to the local tourism industry. During this period, MASA has brought 45,000 young Jews, between the ages of 18-30, from 60 different countries to Israel. 

"MASA makes it possible for tens of thousands of young Jews to strengthen their own identity, to strengthen the bridge between world Jewry and Israel, and make a significant step toward aliyah to Israel," said Jewish Agency Chairman Natan Sharansky.  

For further information contact:
Michael Jankelowitz,
Liaison to the Foreign Press, Jewish Agency for Israel
Mobile: +972-52-6130220;
Voice-mail: +972-2-620-2780



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05 May 2010 / 21 Iyar 5770 0