Prime Minister Ariel Sharon met on Sunday with a group of students visiting Israel as part of the Jewish Agency's "Masa" program. He told the group of 21 Jewish students who had come from 12 different countries, "More than anything, we need you to come and live here in Israel." Sharon also sang Hanukka songs with his guests. Masa is a program run by the Jewish Agency in conjunction with the Israeli government to bring Jewish students to Israel for a period ranging between a semester and a year. During their visits, students are exposed to Israeli life and education, thereby strengthening their connections with the Jewish people and the land of Israel. Many even choose to remain in the country. The prime minister joked with the students, encouraging them to finish all of the doughnuts that were there so there would be no leftovers in his office. In 2005, a record number of students from all over the world participated in Masa, with over 7,000 people arriving for studies and volunteer work.