MASA Building Future Leadership: Day 2, Rest of the Day

After going to Yad Vashem we made our way back to the Judean Youth Hostel, ate some lunch, and then broke up into our groups to discuss how we felt after visiting the Holocaust museum. The event sparked much discussion, and at times we got off-topic and spoke of other Jewish mediums. Many people in my group had opinions differing from mine. Some I did not necessarily agree with, but I was thankful to hear more than just what I am used to hearing.

After our group discussions we all split up and went to our skill development workshops that we had signed up for. I chose to be a part of the Social Justice/Tikun Olam track and mine was specifically called, “Community Innovation.” These workshops were designed to, according to our booklet, “Put the content and the management of group discussions directly into the hands of the participants in a dynamic and engaging fashion.”

Our first class was three hours long and in it we learned all about how to become a change-maker. We started by talking about Theodor Herzl, the first man to bring everyone together and to act upon creating the state of Israel. Though the way we create change has changed a lot since Herzl’s time, much has also stayed the same. Even today it is all about narratives — if there is a story it needs to be told everywhere. When you have an idea it’s not enough that you’re convinced, you must also convince others. This is a difficult challenge due to the fact that, for the most part human beings hate change and going through it. So how exactly then can you be compelling; how can you get people to come together and march?

We learned mainly how to do this through online tools. These tools included buying a domain for your charity, then building the website, and how to market your website and share links in a trackable way. We learned how to tell compelling stories to gain fans for your cause, of the importance of constantly updating and being in the know, and establishing a presence in your target field.

After class I had dinner and then I went to the optional “What’s Next? Opportunities with MASA Israel in North America.” Here we could learn how to bring what we learned through our MASA experience in Israel back to our homes.

It was an intense morning at Yad Vashem, and a learning-filled afternoon and early evening. I thought the perfect way to end it was at an open mic night at a bar in Jerusalem with some friends.


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