Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Welcome to My Life

What's Lauren doing with a blog, you might ask? Well, considering I'm leaving August 25 for 10 months, I thought it might be a good idea to keep everyone updated on what I'm doing! Why am I starting it now? I'm trying to get in the habit of blogging now rather than trying to start while I'm gone. I've never had a great track record of keeping up with a journal or diary, so my goal is to actually keep this as updated as possible!

So - in a nutshell - here is a few bullet points of what I am up to currently:
-Working as the administrative assistant at Temple Akiba in Culver City, CA
-Spending Memorial Day Weekend in New York
-Preparing to spend 10 months in Israel...no big deal, right? WRONG.

Clearly, the fact that I'm moving to Israel at the end of August is pretty big. A lot of people have been asking me why, and what exactly I'm doing. Well, let me tell you all about it! After graduating Indiana University in May 2011, I honestly had no clue what I wanted to do with my life. I spent a second summer at URJ Camp Kalsman in Arlington, WA as a counselor, and then came back to Los Angeles with no job or idea of what I wanted to do. I finally started working at my current job, but still felt like I needed more. I always had regretted not studying abroad during college, and knew of many post-college programs in Israel through MASA Israel, an organization that provides gap year, study abroad, post-college and volunteer programs in Israel. I looked through many programs, and applied to quite a few, but the one that stood out for me was Israel Teaching Fellows, through Ma'ase Olam. I'm going to try to do another post soon with more information about what I am doing, but as an overview, Ma'ase Olam is an organization that promotes projects focused on Israel's disadvantaged communities - and I will be participating in the Israel Teaching Fellows counterpart. Israel Teaching Fellows' main goal is to close the achievement gap in the Israeli education system. I will be volunteering as an English teacher's aide in the city of Rehovot, but this opportunity can be found in many other cities. I will be part of a group of 25 peers, and we will be living in the same house. 

I could go on and on about the program, but as it gets closer I will blog more and more (let's hope!) about this experience. I have only been to Israel once, through Birthright in 2009, so this is a completely new and different experience for me. I'm nervous and excited at the same time. I cannot wait to see old friends from camp who live in Israel, and cannot wait to meet the other fellows that I will be living with from August 26 to June 30. It's going to be a life-changing experience, and hopefully I will be able to share it with you all :)

1 comment:

  1. Hi Lauren,

    That is so exciting that you will be going on Israel Teaching Fellows this fall! Congratulations!

    I am the Director of Communications for Masa Israel, and I came across your blog since you mentioned Masa. I was wondering if we could publish this blog post on the Masa Israel blog? We don't often get posts by people who haven't started their program yet, but it is always great to share the enthusiasm. We could include a link to your blog, or not, whichever you prefer.

    Also, if you are interested, we are looking for bloggers to feature regularly throughout the year. This could either be in the form of sending selected posts that you particularly like, or just having us re-publish ones that I see that happen to convey the experience of being on one of the programs.

    Either way, enjoy your summer, and even more importantly, enjoy your year!

    Feel free to get in touch with me at mirandab@masaisrael.org

    Miranda Bogen
    Director of Communications
    Masa Israel Journey