Gap Year | Masa Israel

Gap Year

What Does it Really Mean to be a Jewish Leader?">What Does it Really Mean to be a Jewish Leader?

Posted January 12th, 2015

 

By Matthew Callman, Masa Israel Teaching Fellow in Netanya

 

 

This past week, over 250 Masa Israel program participants from over 25 countries came together at Hotel Yehuda in Jerusalem for the The Wilf Family Masa Israel Leadership Summit. These five days were full of workshops, lectures, trips, and other interactive activities. The purpose of the summit was to educate the participants and give us the proper tools to become future Jewish leaders. On the last day, in order to tie the summit together, we received an article that lists the seven principles of a Jewish leader. In order to reflect on the summit, I am using those same seven principles to draw the connection between the summit and Jewish leadership.

 

Principle 1: Leadership begins with taking responsibility.

Prior to the conference, we had the responsibility to complete the application process for the summit, and upon acceptance, sign up for the workshops that we would be interested in attending. During the workshops, professionals from around the Israeli community came in to spread their knowledge on various topics. Workshops included the challenges facing European Jews, Jewish philanthropy, proper messaging and branding techniques, how to run a t-shirt campaign, a memorable talk by Tamir Goodman, and the opportunity to visit the Knesset. The workshops were the part of the summit where we would put in the effort in order to receive the message they were trying to send. As for myself, I took the responsible role and took copious notes so, in the future, I can go back and reflect on what I learned.

 

Principle 2: No one can lead alone.

At the beginning of the program, the participants were separated into 11 teams. These would be our homeroom groups, where after each day we would come together and reflect on what we learned. It all started out on Sunday, when we completed various team building exercises at the Biblical Zoo. The purpose of these exercises was to build that atmosphere of a team. Having a unified team, will make leading it easier. Throughout the week, due the extensive workshop choices, some people may have had difficulty deciding what workshops they wanted to attend. Our homeroom groups were then used as the place where everyone talked about the workshops they attended that day. At first, we were strangers when we walked in on day one, but by day five we had many conversations, connected and shared ideas to help each other grow as individuals and leaders.

 

Principle 3: Leadership is about the future. It is vision-driven.

The purpose of the summit was to help us become the future Jewish leaders of our communities. The week started out with some important questions. These questions were not going to be answered during the summit, but they were used to spark an interest in how we can best answer those questions.

Three major questions were asked by Shmuel Rozner of the Jewish People Policy Institute during his lecture:

-Why would one want to be Jewish?

-Why does Judaism need to be continued?

-What role can a Jewish leader play in the world?

These are powerful questions, and they laid the groundwork for the remainder of the summit. They got me thinking and, after reflecting on these questions during the week, as the conference concluded, I asked myself the question: “How can I become the best Jewish leader in my community?” With that question in mind, I can now figure out how I can grow as an individual each and every day in order to make the impact that I know I am capable of making.

 

Principle 4: Leaders learn.

Obviously, we were at a summit, so we were going to do a lot of learning, but learning should never end. During the conference, many opportunities were created to allow us to learn from each other. It never matters how one learns, as long as one is looking for new knowledge. While learning from your peers, you never know what you may find out. People have different views on and interpretations of topics, and they may make a point that you did not think of. It was great to see that, throughout the day, people were constantly asking each other about the workshops they attended and what they learned from them. The open environment at the summit, allowed for the exchange of ideas that will really help people grow as leaders.

 

Principle 5: Leadership means believing in the people you lead.

As future Jewish leaders, who are we really looking to lead? The answer may vary depending on who you ask, but there is one general category that we must believe in, and it is the Jewish people as a whole. The summit gave us the opportunity to envision that. Where else could you find young Jews from all around the world under one roof? Coming from a very Jewish area on Long Island, sometimes I forget that being Jewish in other areas of the world can be very difficult. Hearing some of those stories had a huge impact on me and really opened up my mind to Judaism around the world. Now, when we go back to our respective communities, we will be focusing on not only making our communities better, but also on the worldwide Jewish community.

 

Principle 6: Leadership involves a sense of timing and pace.

Can there only be one leader? Through my experiences studying leadership, there needs to be a group of leaders. Everyone has their strengths and weaknesses, and in order to be the best leader, you must surround yourself with people who not only support you, but also cover those weaknesses for you. Some people may not be ready to be the big time leader, but want to help support their peer. The summit allowed for so many great minds to not only network, but to build personal relationships, too. These connections that were formed, will give all of us the opportunity to grow at their own pace as a leader and find how they can be the best leader they can be.

 

Principle 7: Leadership is stressful and emotionally demanding

This week was not an easy week. We had a very packed out schedule, and a lot to learn in such a small period of time. For me, I got very little sleep because I wanted to take advantage of having so many motivated young Jews all together. Personally, I stepped outside my comfort zone and put myself out there for people to notice me. The summit may have been a roller coaster ride with many highs and lows, but the bottom line is, I am so blessed that I had the opportunity to attend the summit. I have taken so much from it, and I cannot wait to continue on my journey to be the best Jewish leader that I know I can be.

 

 

The following article was used to help me out with this post:

"Seven principles of Jewish Leadership" by Jonathan Sacks, The Jerusalem Post 6/14/2012

**Be sure to check out the article here and read another point of view on Jewish leadership**

 

Read more about Matthew’s experiences in Netanya on his blog.

 

Hebrew University - Freshman/Academic Program

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Program Description

This option is specially designed for first-year students, whether they plan to continue their studies in Israel or back home. Students may enroll for the entire year or for either the autumn or spring semester. A variety of first-year courses are offered in the areas of Israel and Middle Eastern studies, Religion, Brain and Behavioral Sciences, and Environmental Studies.  
The Freshman/Academic Gap Program provides a solid initiation into academic study, and the credits earned are transferable to many colleges and universities. Upon successful completion of the year-long program, students may be admitted to universities and colleges in in North America with advanced standing.
All Freshmen students participate in the Freshman Seminar. This seminar provides first-year college students with a strong foundation to assist in the transition from high school to college.  It provides academic and social support while strengthening the students' skills in academic research and writing. The seminar also affords students the opportunity to interact and form a community with fellow students and the administration.
 
  • Main Subject: Undergraduate Academic Studies
  •  
  • Duration:
  • 4, 8.5 Months 
  • Age:
  • 16-30 
  • Language:
  • English 
  • Organizer:
  • The Hebrew University - Rothberg International School 
  • Program appears on grant application as:
  • Hebrew University - Freshman/Academic Program 
  • Accommodation:
  • Included 
  • Meals:
  • Not Included 
  • Program Dates:

Hevruta

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Program Description

Hevruta, a collaboration of the Shalom Hartman Institute and Hebrew College, is a fully integrated gap-year program for North American and Israeli student leaders from a diverse range of Jewish backgrounds and life experiences.
 This exciting and dynamic learning opportunity will address both Israeli and North American cultures and contexts as compelling centers of contemporary Jewish leadership and discovery.


Over the course of their 10-month experience, Hevruta participants will engage in rigorous inquiry and text study, while taking advantage of Jerusalem’s rich intellectual and spiritual resources. A three-week North American component will explore American Jewish identity in a global context, deepening the exchange of ideas among students.
 


After completing the program, Hevruta alumni will be well-positioned to use their influential voices to shape the Jewish people’s most important conversations and communal decisions.

 

For more information, please contact:

Gene Matanky

Logistics Administrator

gene.matanky@shi.org.il

+972-2-567-5390

Highlights

Hevruta is the only Israel gap-year program that brings together an equal number of North American and Israeli participants for pluralistic 
learning and leadership training. This model fosters meaningful cultural exchanges and powerful educational opportunities for 
students. 
 
Hevruta's academic program is rigorous and challenging, and centers around Jewish ideas, Jewish literature, and leadership. You’ll study 
a full range of texts, delve into Great Jewish Books, and participate in Hevruta’s Jerusalem Leadership Lab. Program faculty are drawn from the teaching staffs of both the Shalom 
Hartman Institute and Hebrew College. They are among the world’s leading scholars in Jewish tradition and contemporary spirituality.
 
  • Main Subject: Jewish Studies, Gap Year (Programs)
  •  
  • Duration:
  • 6.5, 8.5 Months 
  • Age:
  • 17-19 
  • Language:
  • English 
  • Religious Affiliation:
  • Unaffiliated 
  • Organizer:
  • Shalom Hartman Institute 
  • Program appears on grant application as:
  • Hevruta 
  • Accommodation:
  • Included 
  • Meals:
  • Included 
  • Program Dates:

Or Vishua - Shnat Yeshiva

Program Description

This program is conducted in French.

  • Main Subject: Jewish Studies, Gap Year (Programs)
  •  
  • Keywords:
  • Jewish Studies 
  • Duration:
  • 10.5 Months 
  • Age:
  • 16-30 
  • Open to:
  • Male 
  • Religious Affiliation:
  • Orthodox 
  • Organizer:
  • Or Vishua 
  • Program appears on grant application as:
  • Or Vishua - Shnat Yeshiva 
  • Price:
  • $ 9500 
  • Accommodation:
  • Included 
  • Meals:
  • Included 
  • Program Dates:
  • August 27,2017 - July 19,2018  Apply to this program

Hebrew University BASIS Program

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Program Description

Outstanding students around the globe aspire to study in distinguished universities. Few of them are aware that already today it is possible to gain admission to one of the leading universities in the world on the basis of their matriculation grade average in their native country, while paying more reasonable tuition than the norm at comparable top universities.

The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, ranked 53 in the world and considered the top, premiere university in Israel, is opening its gates. Prestigious areas of study are now opened to new international students in the framework of an innovative admissions track for Bachelor's degree studies.

Upon successful completion of the Foundation Year, students will be admitted directly to Bachelor's degree studies in their selected department, with no need to take the Psychometric Entrance Test. This unique track, the first of its kind in Israel, facilitates a challenging, personal experience in an international environment in Jerusalem, a multicultural and historical center. 

  • Main Subject: Undergraduate Academic Studies, Freshman Year Studies
  •  
  • Keywords:
  • Intensive Hebrew Language 
  • Duration:
  • 9, 9.5 Months 
  • Age:
  • 16-30 
  • Language:
  • Any Language 
  • Organizer:
  • The Hebrew University - Rothberg International School 
  • Program appears on grant application as:
  • Hebrew University BASIS Program 
  • Accommodation:
  • Included 
  • Meals:
  • Not Included 
  • Program Dates:

Lahav Bais Yaakov Extended

Program Description

  • Main Subject: Jewish Studies
  •  
  • Keywords:
  • Jewish Studies, Spirituality 
  • Duration:
  • 6 Months 
  • Age:
  • 16-30 
  • Language:
  • English 
  • Organizer:
  • Lahav Bais Yaakov 
  • Program appears on grant application as:
  • Lahav Bais Yaakov Extended 
  • Price:
  • $ 17250 
  • Accommodation:
  • Included 
  • Meals:
  • Included 
  • Program Dates:
  • September 12,2017 - March 15,2018  Apply to this program

Bnei Akiva - Midreshet Torah V'Avodah

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Program Description

Midreshet Torah V’Avodah offers highly motivated young adults a year experience that is broad, enriching, and intense. Months of Bet Midrash learning are complemented by avodah (service), tiyulim, internships, and more.
 

For more information, please contact:

Bini Dachs
(212) 465-9536

 

  • Main Subject: Jewish Studies, Gap Year (Programs)
  •  
  • Keywords:
  • Jewish Studies 
  • Duration:
  • 9.5 Months 
  • Age:
  • 16-22 
  • Language:
  • English 
  • Organizer:
  • Bnei Akiva 
  • Program appears on grant application as:
  • Bnei Akiva - Midreshet Torah V'Avodah 
  • Price:
  • $ 26900 
  • Accommodation:
  • Included 
  • Meals:
  • Included 
  • Program Dates:
  • August 28,2017 - June 15,2018  Apply to this program

Bnei Akiva - Yeshivat Torah V'Avodah

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Program Description

Yeshivat Torah V’Avodah offers highly motivated young adults a year experience that is broad, enriching, and intense. Months of Bet Midrash learning are complemented by avodah (service), tiyulim, internships, and more.

 

For more information, please contact:

Bini Dachs

(212) 465-9536

office@tvaisrael.org

www.tvaisrael.org

 

  • Main Subject: Jewish Studies, Gap Year (Programs)
  •  
  • Keywords:
  • Jewish Studies 
  • Duration:
  • 9.5 Months 
  • Age:
  • 16-22 
  • Language:
  • English 
  • Organizer:
  • Bnei Akiva 
  • Program appears on grant application as:
  • Bnei Akiva - Yeshivat Torah V'Avodah 
  • Price:
  • $ 25500 
  • Accommodation:
  • Included 
  • Meals:
  • Included 
  • Program Dates:
  • August 28,2017 - June 14,2018  Apply to this program

Maguen

Program Description

This program is conducted in French.

  • Main Subject: Experiential Programs
  •  
  • Keywords:
  • Athletics 
  • Duration:
  • 6 Months 
  • Age:
  • 16-30 
  • Language:
  • French 
  • Organizer:
  • World Betar 
  • Program appears on grant application as:
  • Maguen 
  • Price:
  • $ 10000 
  • Accommodation:
  • Included 
  • Meals:
  • Not Included 
  • Program Dates:
  • October 22,2017 - April 25,2018  Apply to this program

Kol Ami

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Program Description

Our Mission
 

1. Unite Jews and Israelis from around the world

2. Volunteer in the local community

3. Explore the land of Israel

4. Gain leadership skills

5. Increase physical endurance and train for the army

Highlights

Goals


Develop Jewish Peoplehood – Formalize the link between Israel's Jews and Diaspora Jews through their common historical and cultural heritage while inspiring desire for mutual action and commitment to the future.


• Leadership Development – Grow leadership abilities through self-leadership and the will to lead and serve as a personal example. The students will self-manage themselves and the program by running committees and working on individual and group projects (with the help and guidance of our staff).


• Improve Public Diplomacy – Train advocates to speak out for Israel. Public diplomacy will stem from a deep knowledge and faith in the importance of the Zionist vision. Students will acquire the tools and the skills to disseminate this knowledge.


• Solidifying Jewish Zionist identity – Develop a personal identity rooted in the philosophies of some of the greatest Israeli and world leaders. With a broad education and focused study, the students will become leaders with vision and purpose, possessing the resolve and ability to effect real change within themselves and society at large.


• Love of the Land – Understand Israel geographically and socially by becoming familiar with all sectors of the population engendering the understanding that the pioneer spirit is still very much alive in contemporary Israel.


• Preparation for Next Step – Practice physical fitness and mental stability for those joining the IDF. For those returning home, identify the challenges within the different Jewish communities and preparing for returning home for meaningful involvement.

 

The weekly schedule is primarily filled with learning Zionism, Jewish history, philosophy, Hebrew, politics, and Israel advocacy.  Alongside this learning, we partake in many outdoor activities such as hiking, acquiring navigation skills, volunteering, getting to know communities around Israel and more. All activities are in English.
 

 

  • Main Subject: Experiential Programs, Volunteer Programs
  •  
  • Keywords:
  • Leadership, Social Action / Volunteering 
  • Duration:
  • 6 Months 
  • Age:
  • 16-30 
  • Language:
  • English 
  • Organizer:
  • Tlalim Conference, Events & Recreation Ltd. 
  • Program appears on grant application as:
  • Kol Ami 
  • Price:
  • $ 10000 
  • Accommodation:
  • Included 
  • Meals:
  • Included 
  • Program Dates:
  • August 27,2017 - February 27,2018  Apply to this program