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:

Rachel Jetter


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.

Onion Peels

<div class="masa-blog-title">Onion Peels</div>

By Ittai Eres, Young Judaea Year Course
I hate onions. I really do. 
They sit on my tongue like coarse gravel, and biting down on them irks my teeth.

24 Hours in Tel Aviv

<div class="masa-blog-title">24 Hours in Tel Aviv</div>

by Sharona Rosen, Young Judaea Year Course
It is the 3rd of April around 10 P.M.

Masa Israel Alumni: Israel Update Webinar with Avi Mayer

Masa Israel Alumni: Israel Update Webinar with Avi Mayer

November 21, 2012 - 12:00

  Online  - 

Avi Mayer, Director of New Media at the Jewish Agency for Israel, will give a briefing on the current situation to Masa Israel alumni.
To join the online meeting=
2. If requested, enter your name and email address. 
3. If a password is required, enter the meeting password: Shalom18 
4. Click "Join". 
To view in other time zones or languages, please click here
To join the audio conference only 
Call-in toll number (US/Canada): 1-650-479-3208 
Access code:809 412 322 
For assistance 
2. On the left navigation bar, click "Support". 

Enduring Love: What I Learned During my Year in Israel

<div class="masa-blog-title">Enduring Love: What I Learned During my Year in Israel</div>

By Shlomo Klapper, Yeshivat Har Etzion


Ah!  What a romance! The times we had.  Nothing could go wrong.  Visiting her was Seventh Heaven. All the wonderful places and memories – the Israel Museum, the Kotel, Machaneh Yehudah – imbued with excitement, culture, history and mystery.



Masa Israel Journey Volunteers from Around the World Join Israel's Public Diplomacy Efforts

Masa Israel Journey Volunteers from Around the World Join Israel's Public Diplomacy Efforts

Masa Israel Journey Volunteers from Around the World Join Israel's Public Diplomacy Efforts

November 19, 2012

By Margot Saffer
On Monday, November 19th, The Jewish Agency for Israel and Masa Israel Journey opened an International New Media Center in Jerusalem which isstaffed by volunteers from around the world who are participating in Masa programs. 
The center will allow the volunteers to share their personal experiences of living in Israel under rocket fire with people aroundP the world through social media, in multiple languages.
The volunteers were briefed by the Jewish Agency’s Head of Social Media, Avi Mayer, on Israeli public diplomacy efforts and on the use of social media to get one’s message across. Members of the local and international media also reported on the opening of the Center and interviewed the volunteers, with several additional news outlets - IBA news in English, Channel 1 in Arabic, Kol Israel Radio, and Ha'aretz among them – due to visit Tuesday. 
Benjamin Dannenberg, a volunteer on the Israel Teaching Fellows program from Connecticut in the U.S. 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 come from English, Spanish, Russian and French- speaking countries and are workingin various capacities through Masa, volunteering as English teachers in Israeli schools (ITF – Israel Teaching Fellows) and interning in various government offices (Israel Government Fellows (IGF), and Real Life Israel). Manymembers of the group are living in Be'erSheva and Ashdod where, over recent weeks, they have experienced how difficult life is for residents of southern Israel living under rocket fire.
Josh Neuman is a 22-year-old graduate of Penn State University where he studied Political Science and History. It was his experience volunteering at an arts and sciences day camp for elementary school children that made him choose the ITFtrack of the Masa Israel Journey program. 
He tells of how, last Sunday, he was teaching an elementary school in Be’erSheva when a siren was sounded. He had to evacuate his students from the second floor to the basement, even having to carry a young girl who was too shocked to run. “I consider myself to be mentally tough, but seeing these children crying and praying and hugging each other for comfort, I almost lost it. But I had to keep it together for the children’s sake.” 
Josh said he became extremely angered by the ignorance of the international media, which he had not until that point understood as clearly. He feels that no children anywhere should undergo the kind of trauma endured as a matter of course by the kids in southern Israel. He began his own campaign to update his community back in the Bay Area. “I joined this initiative of the Masa program because I want to help create a network that ensures the flow of truth – of both sides of the story – and maybe balance out the tides of the media war – which is the war itself! Half the battle is won with the support.”
Deborah, a Brazilian from Masa's Real Life Israel program, agrees. She has secured a live interview on Tuesday with the largest radio station in Brazil, in which she intends to share "the real story."
Meghan, 21, from Paris, also wants to convey to her friends and family back home the Israel that she has discovered since her internship with IGF started three months ago. She graduated from The Sorbonne with a degree in History and Political Science, and is now volunteering at Israel's Ministry of Environmental Protection. 
On her social media streams, she finds it difficult to bridge the gap between being accused of being blindly pro-Israel, and conveying what she has personally experienced to be true. “I need to stay. I need to show them [back home] what is happening. I am not going to change my plans because of this. They [the terrorists] will not win.”
Meghan was walking with a friend in Jaffa last Shabbat when they heard the Code Red siren. She saw the missile explode after it was intercepted by the Iron Dome. Her terrified mother told Meghan that she had booked a ticket for her to come back to France. 
But she told her mom that she feels safe. “We trust the country,” added Meghan. 
The International New Media Centre is being 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, among others.Masa Israel Journey is a joint project of The Jewish Agency for Israel and the Government of Israel.  Participants spend 5-10 months in Israel and can choose from a wide range of programs involving volunteer work, studying or professional internships.  Over 10,000 young Jews from 60 countries participate in Masa programs each year. Graduates become" ambassadors" for Israel upon their return to their home countries.

Update from Masa Israel: Community Hotline Established

Update from Masa Israel: Community Hotline Established

November 19, 2012

The safety and security of Masa Israel Journey program participants, staff and partners is our top priority.
As a joint project of the Government of Israel and the Jewish Agency for Israel, Masa Israel programs receive updated information regularly from the Israeli Home Front Command regarding safety and security and are able to respond to official recommendations. Our staff continues to be in touch with every Masa Israel program to ensure information is shared effectively and to assist as needed.
As Operation Pillar of Defense began this past week, the Israeli Home Front Command issued an advisory for individuals within a forty kilometer radius of the Gaza Strip. Masa Israel Journey has maintained direct contact with programs operating in the South of Israel and has assisted in relocating participants to Tel Aviv and further north. All Masa Israel program participants based in the South have been relocated outside of the 40 kilometer radius. 
Over the last few days, additional areas of Israel have been affected by rocket fire and Masa Israel Journey continues to be in close and continuous contact with all of its programs and with the Home Front Command to monitor the situation. We will make additional policy decisions as needed per the instructions given by Israeli Home Front Command.
We are instructing all Masa Israel programs to update participants regularly regarding security and safety procedures and to ensure access to shelters in case of civil defense alarms. Masa Israel is also working with program directors to make psychological and educational resources available as needed.
We are encouraging all programs to help participants communicate with their families. Masa Israel has established a hotline for parents, family and community members needing assistance contacting participants or other information. If you need assistance connecting with a family or community member who is on a Masa Israel program, please call: 
6 am EST -  3pm EST (Israel Office) 
1-866-864-3279 / +972-2-621-6049
3pm EST - 11pm EST (New York Office)
These are difficult days for Israel and for Jewish communities around the world. Masa Israel is committed to ensuring a safe and secure Israel experience for all of our participants, not only during these difficult days, but year-round.
Please feel free to be directly in touch with us with any questions or concerns.
Thank you for your continued support.

Security Update From Masa Israel

Security Update From Masa Israel

November 15, 2012

The safety and security of Masa Israel Journey program participants, staff and partners is our top priority.
Masa Israel Journey maintains strict standards for safety and security on all program sponsored activities. Masa Israel has been in touch directly with programs located in the south and many have either relocated their programs temporarily or have placed participants in communities further north.
As a joint project of the Government of Israel and the Jewish Agency for Israel, Masa Israel programs receive updated information regarding safety and security regularly and are able to respond to official recommendations. Our staff is in touch with every Masa Israel program to ensure information is shared effectively and to assist as needed.
If you have questions regarding safety and security, please contact us on Facebook at, on Twitter at @masaisrael or speak with our helpdesk at 1.866.864.3279 or