Bnot Yehuda

Program Description

Bnot Yehuda for English speakers is a teachers' training seminary in Yerushalayim geared to the highly motivated Bais Yaakov high school graduate.
The challenging curriculum is complemented by integrated living and learning experience in Israel, which includes touring, volunteering and learning about the country's history.

For more information, please contact:

In the U.S:
Ruthie Goldman

Not Your Typical Shabbat in Israel

<div class="masa-blog-title">Not Your Typical Shabbat in Israel </div>

By Avigail Jaffe, Darchei Binah
Anyone who’s spent a year in Israel knows the challenges of finding a host for Shabbat each week. 
Like any unsuspecting teenager, I found myself in this never-ending cycle last year in seminary.

Reflections on a gap year in the Holy Land

Reflections on a gap year in the Holy Land

Reflections on a gap year in the Holy Land

January 18, 2013

By Alex Meged
All across North America, high school seniors are busy deciding where they want to find themselves next September.
While many will head straight to university, the idea of spending a year in Israel first has become an increasingly popular option for today’s Jewish teenagers.
There are new programs opening all the time, each catering to an ever-broader range of interests, backgrounds and professional tracks. Many of these now offer up to a full year of college credits as well, and institutions as reputable as Harvard University, Yale University and MIT have begun to actively encourage their students to take a gap year before starting on campus. Today, spending a year in Israel makes more sense than ever before. 
It’s an option I chose for myself, and an option 30 of my classmates chose as well. Where are we? We’re at Bar-Ilan University and Hebrew University, on Young Judea and Nativ, in yeshivot and seminaries and in the IDF.
What are we doing? We’re exploring Judaism and studying chemistry. We’re volunteering in ambulances and interning with newspapers. We’re hiking up mountains, camping in deserts, touring historical sites and meeting some of the greatest politicians, artists and religious leaders in the Jewish world today.
Who are we with? We’re with 10,000 Jews our age who have come from 42 different countries to spend this year in Israel, too. (If I ever had doubts that there really are that many of us here, the first Friday morning on Ben Yehuda Street in Jerusalem promptly put them to rest!)
For myself, I decided to spend the year in yeshiva. Like most people who chose this option, I came with a goal: to solidify my commitment to Jewish values and deepen my connection to the Jewish People.
Everything they say about Israel is true. There’s no comparing even the best of classes or prayer services back home to the ones found here. If you want to push the limits of what Judaism can be, if you want to give yourself a real chance of finding your avenue to relate to it, then you need to study Torah under its brightest teachers, experience what it means to celebrate the Jewish holidays in the Jewish homeland, and search for HaShem where He’s most accessible. This is what I came looking for, and it’s what I’ve found.
But I’ve found something else, too. You first notice it when, picking up on your accent as you struggle to ask the bus driver which stop you should get off at, seven different passengers chime in to help you with directions. You’re reminded of it every time a casual conversation ends with an exchange of phone numbers and an invitation to spend Shabbat. You see it most strongly when the volunteer co-ordinators in the soup kitchen you’re helping out at or at the blood drive you’re running impose time limits on your group, because there are actually too many people who want to help out and everyone needs to get a chance to give.
More important than Judaism of the head or heart, Israel has shown me Judaism of the day to day. Judaism in practice means that when rockets are falling on kindergartners in Netivot, you cancel your classes and put on a carnival to pick up their spirits. It means inviting teenagers with developmental challenges to join you on your Shabbatons and tiyulim, because they deserve to have fun, too. It means that instead of spending the first day of a new semester in the classroom, you spend it in hospitals and orphanages, putting smiles on the faces of those who are less fortunate. In a word, it means to think beyond yourself, to care for others, to give.
I strongly doubt there can be any experience more valuable than spending a year learning about, and then living out, values such as these – values that should form the foundation of one’s identity.
When you leave high school and gain your independence, the natural tendency is to look inwards and begin the pursuit of your own happiness. Taking a year in Israel has helped those of us here frame our newfound freedom with the correct perspective.
Slowly, surely, I think we’re learning that real maturity means learning to expand your focus outside of yourself and consider others. We have immersed ourselves in a society whose members, if ideologically divided at times, care for each other with a sincerity that is truly unique. We are training ourselves in an ethical system proven to instil sensitivity, consideration and an appreciation for the value of giving in its adherents.
We’re discovering ourselves, but not in a vacuum. We are charting our identity within a national context and religious framework much larger than ourselves. This is what a year in Israel has meant so far, at least to me.
If you’re a high school student looking to begin the next stage of your life with an unparalleled opportunity to grow and mature, to cultivate an identity rooted in timeless values, and to forge lasting connections with your people and their land, then a gap year in Israel is something I strongly recommend for you, too.
Alex Maged is a graduate of the Anne and Max Tanenbaum Community Hebrew Academy of Toronto. He’s currently studying in Yeshivat Lev HaTorah in Ramat Beit Shemesh, Israel. This article was originally published in the Canadian Jewish News.

Traversing the Land in Wonder

<div class="masa-blog-title">Traversing the Land in Wonder </div>

By Aryeh Younger, Yeshivat Har Etzion
Following my senior year  in high school, I decided to study at Yeshivat Har Etzion, and throughout the year,  I made many efforts to traverse the country, to discover the history and culture of the world’s newest and most original democracy.

Striving for a New Israel Education

<div class="masa-blog-title">Striving for a New Israel Education</div>

Like most American Jews of my generation, my first encounters with Israel were cultural. 
I saw pictures of people reading the newspaper while floating in the Dead Sea. 
I wrote notes to be placed in the Western Wall. 

Finding Art and Adventure in Israel

<div class="masa-blog-title">Finding Art and Adventure in Israel</div>

By Aliza Gans, ArtJerusalem
Sitting at the cluttered desk in my dorm at Brandeis University, my year in Israel with Masa Israel’s Bezalel Experience (now ArtJerusalem) seems like another world away.

Netzach Sarah

Program Description

Netzach Sarah offers a 10 month program for Russian-speaking young women.

Students are offered an intensive Hebrew ulpan course, classes in Jewish history and philosophy, and a course in business management, in addition to a varied extracurricular program including touring and hiking all over Israel.


For more information, please contact:

Levi Gidlevitch



Young Judaea Israel Year Program

Program Description

On Young Judaea Year Course, you get to choose what you want to do. Be a part of our specialty tracks in business, arts, medicine and more. Take your trip beyond Israel on Kuma, a journey to Poland; Olami, a discovery of the diverse Jewish communities in Italy, Greece, and Morocco; or Tikkun Olam – Rwanda: a volunteer experience in the Agahozo Shalom Youth Village.
Live with Israelis and the Israeli Scouts, grow with peers from FZY and places from around the world, and become a part of the country – all while having the best year of your life.
Immerse yourself in the community of Israel with Young Judaea Year Course. Spend nine months learning the land, the culture, and the history of the people – not just by studying it, but by living it. On Young Judaea Year Course you’ll connect with your roots and shape your future through hands-on experience: traveling and learning about Israel while also volunteering and becoming part of the communities. 
Find out more at!

Specialty Tracks and Additional Programs:

Business Track: Get involved with the burgeoning business community in Israel with the Year Course Business Track. You’ll meet with leading Hi-Tech industry professionals, visit Israel based global business like Google and Intel, participate in business workshops and learn the project management skills from the best in the world all while touring the country and learning about the startup nature for which Israel is renowned.
Sports Track: Geared toward high school athletes, the Year Course Sports Track offers an intensive educational and practical program designed to bring you to a higher level of physical fitness. You’ll get the chance to enhance your skills while participating in other sports like kite surfing, rock climbing, pole vaulting, basketball, tennis, and more. Meet leading athletes and sports business professionals from around the world and practice side by side with upcoming Israeli athletes, and make sure you stay on top of your game.
Law Track: During the program you will get the opportunity to meet with prominent lawyers and judges that will shed light on the skills needed to master a demanding but interesting and rewarding profession. Meet with Sassi Gez, one of Israel's most prominent lawyers, and hear from him about the unique characteristics of criminal defense attorneys. Take a tour of Israel’s Supreme Court and learn about the Israeli judicial system. Gain an understanding of the tensions emerging from the duality of Judaism and democracy, and start your professional growth early.
Media and Journalism Track: Get a taste of the exciting world of news making through visiting Israel's top news room editorials such as Ha'aretz, The Jerusalem post, Channel 2 news and more. Learn about how the media shapes the way we think about important topics and sets the public agenda. Take part in practical workshops and gain useful tools for being a news reporter on TV, radio, online or print. Gain an understanding of the tensions entailed in the practice of news reporting in an environment both profit- oriented and politically divided. You’ll have the opportunity to meet with Israel’s leading journalists and media experts and learn what it takes to be part of this challenging profession.
Arts Track: Israel is an excellent host for inspiration and expression, and home to several flourishing artist communities. The Art Track of Year Course is designed to expose participants to the vibrant visual and performing arts scene in Israel through an array of visits, tours and experiences within the community of Jewish and Israeli artists. You’ll have the opportunity to meet with some of Israel’s leading artists, as well as up and coming talents. 
Medical Track: The YC Medical Track offers an intensive educational program and hands-on experience on the ground and in top research facilities. Meet leading health professionals, work with Israeli paramedics, and find out what it take to become one of the special group who devote their lives to save others. Volunteer with MADA, associated with the Red Cross (the UN humanitarian organization), Israel’s national life saving organization specializing in emergency treatment. Learn about Jewish medical ethics and see its realizations in Hadassah hospital – one of Israel’s leading medical facilities.

For more information, contact:

Rebecca Haberman 


While choosing your own track and international travel program, all Young Judaea Year Course participants take part in Year Course’s Special Interest Month. Whether you choose an interest for the whole month or you split them up by week, you’ll be able to pursue the special interest of your choice. Past participants have worked in the field on Kibbutz Ketura, backpacked Israel’s famous Sea-to-Sea hike, taken part on archeological digs, learned how to surf in Tel Aviv, taken arts workshops, and much more. 
Tiyulim: Take advantage of the opportunity to travel throughout the country and learn about he unique nature of Israel. Coinciding with the traditional Year Course program, the Tiyulim Track offers you additional hikes in all the different areas of Israel. Explore the Galille, Golan, Mishor Hachof, the Negev, the Dead Sea, Jerusalem area, and more! You’ll explore the unique characteristics and landscapes of the country and learn about the various types of plants, flowers, and animals unique to Israel.

Turn Up the Music

<div class="masa-blog-title">Turn Up the Music </div>

“Excuse me!” I screamed from the back seat of the Dan bus heading to Hof Yerushalayim, Jerusalem Beach, in Tel Aviv.  “Can you please turn up the music!?” 
“Mah?” the bus driver asked.