Our stories

Participants Insight

Mina Shirazi

Mina Shirazi

Mina  Shirazi is a Masa Israel Teaching Fellow at Yeshurun School in Rishon LeZion. Born in Indianapolis, Indiana, Mina received her Bachelor of Arts in Speech and Hearing Sciences from Indiana University with a minor in Hebrew. 

“Part of the reason I decided to study Speech and Hearing Sciences was because of how large of a role communication has always played in my life. It has been a dream of mine to help those in need of expressing themselves to the best of their ability, but I was unsure what I wanted to do post-college. I knew I wasn’t ready to dive headfirst into the corporate world, and after participating in an Onward Israel program I decided that this was the best decision for me. Minoring in Hebrew made it even easier for me to live in Israel and communicate with those around me, which is huge for me.” 

Her favorite thing about Rishon LeZion is how suburban the city is. “You get the big city feel with everything you need in arms reach, but you also see a lot of families and the streets are relatively quiet at home. It reminds me of home but better because it’s Israel.”

“Israel has so much to offer, but I particularly enjoy the Israeli culture. I love how loud everyone is just walking through the streets. I love the way people speak their minds, and most of all I love that no conversation is off-limits. There is a level of comradery here that is hard to come across in the States.” 

Favorite Memory: Rishon Hashana potluck dinner with my fellow Rishon teaching fellows. 

While on her Masa Israel program, Mina started volunteering for Gift of Life Israel. “I have volunteered with this organization both back in the states as a campus ambassador at Indiana University as well as helping out while living in Jerusalem last summer. Gift of Life is a public bone marrow registry that aims to cure members of minority populations of blood cancer and other life-threatening disorders. My job as a volunteer is to help swab potential donors and get them entered into the registry”. 

Fun Fact: Israel is the only place outside of Indiana she has lived for an extended period of time!