Learning to Walk as a Sign of Greatness!

  There is a long-standing argument in the Jewish Tradition, comparing the hero of this week's parsha (Noah) with the hero of next week's parsha (Abraham). Each has strengths and weaknesses, and it is an interesting debate. One pillar in the argument is in the opening verse to this week's reading (Genesis 6:9) when it [...]

Beginnings (and Endings–and why they can make a difference!)

Shabbat Shalom Friends! With the beginning of the new year, and the beginning of reading the Torah again for another year, I asked myself a simple question about how we tell stories, and how the beginning and the end frame the experience. I was struck in particular by different ways of reading the same story. [...]

Shana Tova! And Now to the Sukkah!

Friends, As we approach the holiday of Sukkot, after the High Holidays, the excitement and joy in the Holy Land is palpable. Nights are filled with the noise of families building their sukkot, and between the last few moments of school and work before the holiday, people are scurrying to purchase their lulav and etrog, [...]

Shabbat Shalom: Thoughts on Peace, Peres and parshat Nitzavim

“You are standing today, all of you, before Gd: your heads, your tribes, your elders and your officers--all the People of Israel: your small children, your women, and your convert who is in the midst of your camp, from the hewer of your wood, to the drawer of your water” (Deuteronomy 29:9-10) These are the [...]

Day 36: Closing Up Nesiya 2016

The time has finally come, and we are saying goodbye to Nesiya 2016 - we have had an amazing summer together, and today we have spent time saying our teary goodbyes, discussing what we will take home with us (emotionally, spiritually, mentally), and sharing final reflections with each other.   Please check out our final [...]

Shabbat Shalom from Ein Gedi!

This week, our group is spending their final shabbat together at Ein Gedi, after spending the week deepening their conversations and creating art projects based on personal reflections. We have below a recap from Matthew Samilow, from Florida. Thank you, Matthew! Our fifth and final week in Israel began Sunday with another batch of political [...]

Days 25-28: Jerusalem!

What a week! After exploring urban Tel Aviv, our 2016 group moved over to Jerusalem, where we studied the history and current political and religious context in Israel today. We spent erev Shabbat together with Nesiya alumni at a reunion picnic in Jerusalem, and are looking forward to Shabbat here visiting different communities and continuing [...]

Days 22-24: Tel Aviv!

After a rejuvenating weekend with old and new friends, our group is back together - exploring new places and concepts. Sunday morning we regrouped in Tel Aviv, where we started off with an introduction to the city and a special experience with City Tree - Urban Eco Community (עץ בעיר), a swim in Tel Aviv's iconic [...]

Shabbat Shalom from Nesiya!

This week, while our participants prepare for shabbat at their host families' homes, we have a reflection from Elena Press, a participant from Pennsylvania. What a week! After a spiritual and relaxing Shabbat in Tzfat we headed off to the North! Slurping on Popsicles and chatting with kids we built a bench out of recycled [...]

Days 18-20: Golan Heights

This week, after a meaningful start with a deeper look at community service and minority communities in Israel, was spent up in the Golan Heights - hiking, journaling, and learning from artists. On Tuesday we went up to Peki'in (פקיעין), a Druze town where we met with a local leader - Salach - who spoke to [...]