Nate Gruber - MITF with Israel Experience
Unique Isreal Experience
Masa Israel Teaching Fellows is a unique experience. It allows its participants to come and create a life in a fascinating new place. The program gives fellows and teachers an apartment, a job, and a community. The rest of it is up to the individual.
Even though my Haifa MITF group has over thirty members doing the same thing, we have all had a completely different adventure. This is my story.
I came to Israel for a few reasons. I just graduated from college with a degree in Education and a teaching certification, but that’s all I knew about my future. I knew that I wanted to be a teacher, but I did not know where. I did not feel prepared to be a “real adult” right after school and I had a passion for travel. I realized a golden opportunity in MITF and jumped on it.
Initially, I liked the idea of MITF because it provided a teaching job, satisfied my desire to live somewhere else, supported my Jewish values and offered the support I felt that I needed. I am six months in now and I can say that all of these things are absolutely true. I have an interesting job, a beautiful apartment, new hobbies, and lifelong friends.
My Future Awaits
As we are more than halfway done with the school year, I have started to think and apply for teaching positions for next year. I feel a great sense of clarity in what I want to do and where I want to do it. This was not the case last year at this time or when I got to Israel. I feel this way because MITF has given me a sense of independence and a sense of personal growth that I have not felt in years. There has been a lot of professional development as well.
I have improved immensely as a teacher as I have increased my knowledge of educational technology and gotten better at working with students with diverse academic and other needs.
My job is the focal point of my Masa Journey, but it has not been the highlight. The best parts of the trip have been the people I have met and the places I have been to. I made great friends both in the program and in the local community. I picked up new hobbies such as surfing and explored old roots, such as my Jewish heritage. We have gone on lots of different day trips varying from Tzfat to Tel Aviv and from a recycling plant to a hidden art village.
Haifa - the Place to be
Haifa is an awesome city. It’s a rare place that perfectly blends natural beauty with manmade fun. There is no shortage of things to do for every type of person. Personally, I enjoy going to the beach and exploring the downtown pubs. However, the other people in my apartment each have their own places they love to go that are completely different from mine. The city is diverse, not just in entertainment, but in people. I met tons of people from various backgrounds and seen how they coexist in a peaceful and productive manner.
MITF is a great program and an incredible opportunity. We’re not even close to being done and I feel that I am already a better person and more effective teacher. I am excited for the rest of my time here and to bring what I have learned to my new community in the states.