Masa Israel Volunteers Get Involved With Israel’s Public Diplomacy

photo by Oded Antman

The Jewish Agency for Israel and Masa Israel today opened an International New Media Center in Jerusalem which is staffed by volunteers from around the world who are participating in various Masa Israel programs. The center will allow the volunteers to share their personal experiences of living in Israel under rocket fire with people around the world through social media. The volunteers come from English, Spanish, Russian and French speaking countries.

Benjamin Dannenberg, a volunteer on the Israel Teaching Fellows program, from Connecticut, 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 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 Center has 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.