Masa Israel Volunteers from around the World Get Involved with Israel’s Public Diplomacy

Natan Sharansky, the Chairman of the Executive of The Jewish Agency for Israel visits the Masa Israel International New Media Center

Natan Sharansky, the Chairman of the Executive of The Jewish Agency for Israel visits the Masa Israel International New Media Center

November 20, 2012 / 6 Kislev 5773 9 am Israel Time

On Monday 19/11 The Jewish Agency for Israel and Masa Israel opened an International New Media Center will open in Jerusalem which is staffed by volunteers from around the world who are participating in Masa Israel programs. The centre will allow the volunteers to share their personal experiences of living in Israel under rocket fire with people around the world through social media.

A group of young Jews from around the world who are volunteering in Israel through the Masa Israel program joined Israel’s public diplomacy efforts. The volunteers are staffing an International New Media Center which opened today in Jerusalem in which the participants are sharing with the world their personal experience living under rocket threat, in multiple languages. The volunteers were briefed by the Jewish Agency’s Head of Social Media Avi Mayer on Israeli public diplomacy efforts and on the use of social media to get one’s message across.

Benjamin Dannenberg, a volunteer on the Israel Teaching Fellows program, from Connecticut in the U.S. said: “It feels great to contribute in some way, if not to the IDF, then to the state of Israel. We came to volunteer in some capacity. Since we can’t teach now, this is a great way to broaden our message to the world.”

The volunteers come from English, Spanish, Russian and French speaking countries and are volunteering through Masa Israel. The volunteers are teaching English in Israeli schools and interning in various government offices amongst many other volunteer options. Most of the volunteers in the group are living in Beer Sheva and Ashdod where they help to teach English. Over recent weeks they have experienced how difficult life is for residents of southern Israel living under rocket fire, both in their work with the students and as residents coping with daily life.

The International New Media Centre is being opened in coordination with the National Information Directorate, the Foreign Ministry and the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit. The volunteers will use social media tools such as Facebook, Twitter, Blogs and web comments, amongst others.

Masa Israel is a joint project of The Jewish Agency for Israel, whose aim is to strengthen the connection between young Jews around the world and the State of Israel.  Participants spend 5-10 months in Israel and can choose from a wide range of programs involving volunteer work, studying or professional internships.  Over 10,000 young Jews from 60 countries participate in Masa Israel programs each year. Graduates become ambassadors for Israel upon their return to their home countries.

For additional details call Yonatan Barkan from Masa Israel on 0526091624 or Benjamin Rutland on 0523467053.

Photo credit: Oded Antman

November 20, 2012  9 am Israel Time



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20 Nov 2012 / 6 Kislev 5773 0