A Jewish Heritage Trip to Israel is an excellent way to gain insight into the history, culture, and religion of the country. By visiting key sites such as Jerusalem’s Western Wall, the Old City’s Jewish Quarter, Masada, and Yad Vashem, participants engage in a meaningful exploration of Jewish history and identity. On these trips to Israel, participants take part in cultural experiences including meeting people from different religious backgrounds, lifestyles, and of course, sampling their way through Israeli cuisine. Participants, explore the country from the northern Galilee region, coastal cities like Haifa and Akko, and archaeological sites such as Beit She’an and Caesarea, all the way down south to the Dead Sea and even Eilat. Through these trips participants gain a better understanding of Israel. 

Does Masa Offer Free Trips to Israel?

However, these heritage trips to Israel don’t allow participants to fully immerse themselves in the culture due to duration of their stay. Therefore, while “Free Trips to Israel” is an opportunity to “taste test” Israel, it’s not enough to open doors for individuals seeking to experience this journey fully. Masa Israel Journey stands out in this regard, offering journeys that not only facilitate access to these trips but also emphasize affordability and subsidies for journeys that last from 6 weeks up to 10 months. Let’s explore how Masa Israel Journey serves as a gateway to Israel, ensuring that financial considerations do not stop anyone from embarking on this life-changing experience.

What is Masa Israel Journey?

Established in 2004 by the Jewish Agency and the Government of Israel, Masa Israel Journey offers transformative experiences for young Jewish adults worldwide. With tailored programs fostering personal growth, cultural exchange, educational opportunities, internships, and volunteer work, Masa encourages participants to live Israel like locals, deepening their connection to Jewish identity and Israel. Through innovation and excellence, Masa ensures high standards in financial aid and educational enrichment, inviting participants to become integral parts of Israel’s fabric. These experiences hold immense significance for Jewish young adults, providing them with the chance to explore their heritage, contribute to their communities, and shape their futures. Be the journey with Masa.

To qualify for a Masa grant, you must:

  • Be Jewish
  • Be aged between 9th-grade graduates to 35 years old, with exceptions for certain programs
  • Not have participated in an organized post-high school program in Israel lasting more than four months since September 2004
  • Not hold Israeli citizenship, or if you do, you must have left Israel before age 14 and lived outside Israel for at least four consecutive years before receiving the grant
  • Not have spent four consecutive months or longer in Israel within the 24-month period prior to your chosen Masa program, after turning 18.

If you meet these criteria, you’re eligible to schedule a call to learn more about Masa grants and scholarships. Need-based scholarships are also available for eligible participants on Masa-recognized long-term programs, with financial aid determined based on country of origin and income. It’s important to apply for Masa funding before your program’s start date to qualify for financial assistance. If you’ve participated in a 6-8 week program before and plan to join a Masa Long-Term program, your funding may be affected, so contact masainfo@masaisrael.org for more information.

How are Masa Programs Subsidized?

Masa Israel Journey offers many programs in Israel, ensuring quality, safety, and more, operated by select program providers. Upon acceptance into a Masa program, fellows gain access to an international, multi-cultural community of thriving young professionals, along with career development programs, leadership training, and access to Israel’s ecosystem.

Subsidies from Masa Israel ensure an easy transition by covering expenses such as housing, insurance, visa, program placement, and more. These subsidies are made possible through the generosity of the Israeli government, The Jewish Agency for Israel, the Jewish Federations of North America, and Keren Hayesod-UIA.

free trips to israel

The subsidies provided by Masa typically cover program costs, accommodation, and sometimes meals. However, fellows are generally responsible for covering expenses such as flights and personal spending. By offering these subsidies, Masa aims to provide fellows with an authentic and productive experience in Israel, making it accessible to a broader audience. All one needs to do is apply to embark on this journey with Masa and start living it like locals..

Highest Subsidized Programs Masa Offers:

Masa offers affordable programming opportunities that surpass the value of any free trip to Israel, where you can grow both personally and professionally. 

Masa Israel Teaching Fellows

For example, Masa Israel Teaching Fellows (MITF) is a 10-month teaching fellowship designed to bring native English speakers to Israel to teach English and foster genuine connections with Israeli youth. No teaching experience or Hebrew proficiency is required to participate. Fellows, aged 21-35 with a Bachelor’s or Associate’s Degree, must identify as Jewish. The program offers career development opportunities beyond the classroom through volunteering, networking events, and more. Fellows can choose from 12 cities across Israel to live and teach in. As a fellow, you’ll receive full coverage of rent and apartment bills, a monthly living stipend, Hebrew or Arabic classes, health insurance, a bus pass, travel/exploration days, professional development, $1000 towards your flight, and support from a city coordinator who serves as your guide to Israeli culture and bureaucracy.


Another example, the Yahel Social Change Fellowship offers a service-based opportunity for young adults aged 22-30 who are passionate about driving social change. Highly selective and inclusive, the fellowship gathers individuals from diverse countries, religious backgrounds, and professional experiences. Yahel stands out nationally for its responsible volunteering leadership, providing fellows with a deep dive into Israeli society to develop a nuanced understanding of complex issues. Rooted in local community engagement, the fellowship offers a unique international experience where fellows gain valuable experience in the public and nonprofit sectors, aiding in their professional advancement. Based in Lod, Rishon Lezion, and Haifa, each location offers specific training and experience in areas such as Shared Society, Gender Equity, and Immigration, respectively. The program costs $1,000 for all fellows , including fully furnished rented apartments provided by Yahel. Facilitated in English, knowledge of Hebrew and Arabic is beneficial but not mandatory. Eligibility is open to Jews and non-Jews, aged 22-30, preferably with a college degree.

Masa Volunteers

Another affordable Masa program is called Masa Volunteers in Israel. Take your compassion to the next level and select a volunteer initiative and become part of Israel’s story of resilience. Choose from various locations including Tel Aviv, Haifa, Jerusalem, or Eilat for a 6-week duration, starting between March and June 2024. Eligible individuals aged 18-40 with basic English proficiency and a valid passport, who identify as Jewish, can participate. While volunteering with Masa, engage in community service, cultural immersion, and impactful social initiatives, which will truly elevate your  experience. Benefits include housing with a designated safe room, insurance, 24-hour staff support, educational and social events, meals on volunteering days outside your base city, transportation, and leadership certification. Pay a $50 USD registration fee and a $300 USD non-refundable program fee. Pack your bags, book your flight, and embark on this transformative journey in Israel! Please note that flight tickets to and from Israel are not included, but you can enjoy a 15% discount on round-trip EL AL flights from the EU or the USA.

free trips to israel

Project TEN

Lastly, Masa’s Project TEN with PZC Hagshama offers a unique opportunity for young Jewish adults aged 18-35 to engage in ethical sustainable volunteer work and service-learning in Kibbutz Harduf, located in the picturesque Galilee region of Israel. This program combines international development, cultural immersion, and Jewish activism, bringing together participants from around the world alongside Israeli “Shinshinim” before their army service. Volunteers spend 4-6 months living in university dorms within the kibbutz, working on various projects such as teaching English and life skills in Arab schools, supporting adults with special needs at Beit Elisha, working with at-risk youth, engaging in organic agriculture, participating in theater projects in multiple languages, and contributing to ecological planning and construction projects in the surrounding forest. Project TEN fellows embrace the concept of tikkun olam, focusing on repairing and improving the world through their meaningful contributions to the local community.

How to Apply for a Trip to Israel

Here are the step-by-step instructions for applying to a Masa program:

  1. Check Your Eligibility: Ensure that you meet the eligibility criteria for the Masa Israel Journey program. Eligibility was mentioned above or check out our website.
  2. Prepare Required Information:

   – Contact Information: Gather your program name, current email address, and passport number.

   – Financial Information: If applying for a need-based scholarship, collect current financial details for yourself or your parents.

   – Credit Card: Have a credit card ready for registration.

  1. Submit Your Requests:

   – Submit your Masa and financial assistance requests before your program’s start date.

   – For need-based scholarships, submit all required documents within ten days after the program begins.

   – Submit the Masa Visa (A2) application within one month into the program.

  1. Complete Your Application:

   – Carefully fill out each section of the application, ensuring all mandatory fields are completed.

   – Double-check the information provided before moving to the next step.

  1. Confirm Your Application:

   – After submission, expect a confirmation email from Masa containing a PDF of your application.

   – Review the PDF to verify the accuracy of your information.

   – Look for a separate email containing your username and password for the Masa Fellows Portal.

  1. Addressing Errors:

   – If you notice any inaccuracies, do not submit another form.

   – Access your profile on the Masa Fellows Portal and open a case for assistance from Masa staff.

For further assistance:

– Email: masainfo@masaisrael.org

– Call: 1-866-864-3279 (US & Canada) or +972-2-621-6497 (international).

Additional Scholarships for a Free Trips to Israel

There are numerous resources beyond Masa Israel Journey that can assist in funding your Israel experience. From scholarships for volunteer and internship programs to support for Jewish students, there are many avenues to subsidize your journey. National and local Jewish scholarships are available for high school graduates seeking to fund their Israel experience. Many Fellows discover additional Jewish scholarships and funding through their local Jewish Federation or synagogue. Below is a list of Jewish scholarships eligible to fund your Masa program. If you require help finding additional Jewish scholarships, feel free to contact us today.

Jewish Scholarships for Programs in Israel

  • International Association of Jewish Free Loans: Member organizations offer interest-free loans for various financial needs. Eligibility and loan programs vary; contact your local agency for more information.
  • Plant Your Way to Israel: Youth up to age 26 can raise funds for a free trip to Israel by encouraging family and friends to plant trees with the Jewish National Fund (JNF). Half of the proceeds from each donation ($36 minimum) go towards planting a tree in Israel, with the other half deposited into a student account.
  • The Amy Adina Schulman Scholarship Fund: Grants are awarded to individuals volunteering or interning in progressive social action projects of their choice. A commitment to educating others upon returning home is required so that peers have the opportunity to learn and be inspired to engage in similar work.
  • Hillel International Scholarships: Open to Jewish students attending or preparing to attend four-year colleges and universities in the U.S. and Canada who meet the individual scholarship requirements.
  • Israel GO: Supported by the Zionist Federation of Australia and Keren Hayesod-UIA, Israel GO provides financial support for eligible applicants to experience long-term Masa Israel programs.
  • Memorial Foundation for Jewish Culture: This fund supports independent scholarly, literary, or art projects undertaken in Israel. Inquire for details on deadlines.
  • The Jewish Federations of North America:  Local Jewish Federations offer scholarships and grants for community members traveling to Israel.
  • Go Overseas Volunteer/Intern Abroad Scholarship: Offers $500 scholarships twice a year for internship or volunteer programs.
  • Fulbright Scholarship: Sponsored by the U.S. government, the Fulbright Program promotes mutual understanding between the people of the United States and other countries through educational exchange.
  • Ezer Mizion: Canadian post-high school students attending educational programs of three weeks or longer can partner with Ezer Mizion to raise funds. A portion of the proceeds goes towards processing DNA testing to grow the Bone Marrow Registry, aiding in saving lives worldwide.
  • Atlanta Israel Gap Year Scholarship: Up to 30 selected Atlanta high school seniors will receive a stipend of $10,000 – $15,000 towards a gap year experience in Israel.
  • Cincy Journeys: A program that assists young adults in traveling and learning in Israel, equipping them with skills and experience to become future community leaders.

Jewish College Scholarships – List of Scholarships for Jewish Students

For students seeking academic opportunities after high school, whether it’s embarking on an academic gap experience, pursuing a semester abroad during undergraduate studies, or delving into highly specialized graduate degrees, numerous scholarships are available. Explore some of the programs and foundations providing college scholarships tailored for Jewish students.

  • Hebrew Free Loan of San Francisco: Offers interest-free, cost-free loans to Jewish permanent residents of Northern California, aiding in tuition, program costs, travel expenses, and more.
  • The Alisa Flatow Memorial Scholarship Fund: Designed for participants of post-high school study programs earning college credits in Israel, supporting those demonstrating academic promise in religious studies and financial need.
  • American Jewish League, Israel University Scholarship: Provides eligible Jewish students scholarships to attend Israeli universities.
  • Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program: Offers awards to U.S. undergraduate students receiving Federal Pell Grant funding, enabling participation in study abroad programs worldwide.
  • Boren Scholarship: Provides up to $20,000 to U.S. undergraduate students for studying abroad in regions critical to U.S. interests and underrepresented in study abroad.
  • Davis-Putter Scholarship Fund: Grants for university students actively involved in the progressive movement on campus or in the community, advocating for peace and justice.
  • DiversityAbroad.com Scholarship: Offers $1,000 scholarships for students studying at Hebrew University or through Living Routes.
  • Helyn B. Reich Memorial Scholarship Fund: Annual scholarships for American students studying at designated Israeli universities or attending post-college long-term programs.
  • Jeff Seidel’s Scholarship to Israel: Provides $400 scholarships for Jewish students towards airfare to study in Israel on affiliated programs for Birthright Israel and Hillel alumni.
  • The Rotary Foundation: Invests in future leaders and philanthropists through scholarships for undergraduate and graduate study, including programs focusing on peace, conflict resolution, and water sanitation.
  • The Wisam Khamees Scholarship for Arabs and Jews: Supports Israelis pursuing higher education, emphasizing academic advancement, equality, and coexistence.
  • The Hilda Specter Morgenstern Merit Scholarship: Awarded annually to Jewish American women with a GPA of 3.5 or higher, pursuing undergraduate education in Israel, with interests in public advocacy, public policy, or government affairs.
  • Stichting Andries van Dam Dutch organization: Provides scholarships for young Jewish Dutch people.
  • De Mooie Jongens: Offers scholarships exclusively for single Jewish Dutch females.
  • Study in Israel Scholarships – Israel Institute: Provides funding to undergraduate and graduate students in good standing at American universities interested in taking courses offered by colleges or universities in Israel.

How To Apply For Additional Scholarships to Fund a Free Trip to Israel

To apply for scholarships to fund your free trip to Israel, individuals must meet specific eligibility requirements, such as residency, active involvement in Judaism, or enrollment in a particular college.

Most Jewish foundations and schools provide scholarship opportunities, including the Masa grant for 4-10 months. To apply, individuals need to submit an online application along with financial details.

For Masa scholarships, applicants can check eligibility, apply via our website, and receive login details for updates.

Scholarships play a vital role in subsidizing the Israel experience, covering tuition, fees, accommodations, and more. Additionally, they open doors to study abroad opportunities and help strengthen connections to Jewish heritage.

Benefits of Joining a Masa Program

Joining a Masa program opens doors to so many opportunities for personal and professional growth. Fellows can participate in exclusive events like the Masa Leadership Summit, a three-day intensive Summit dedicated to honing leadership skills in fellows to create change within Israel and beyond. At the Summit, fellows engage in workshops, group activities, and exposure visits, exploring contemporary challenges and opportunities in Israeli society. They also delve into the Adaptive Leadership framework developed by the Harvard Kennedy School. Check out a video of the Summit here!

Moreover, fellows have access to Next Step events tailored to their specific programs. For Masa gap year fellows, Next Step is a day of reflection and exploration, where they convene with peers to discuss their next steps in life, including challenges and opportunities in their future endeavors. This event empowers fellows to influence their communities upon their return home.

For Masa Career fellows, events like Design Your Next Step provide opportunities to network with hiring executives and recruitment representatives from leading companies in Israel and globally. Fellows can learn about professional opportunities, network, and even apply for jobs on the spot.

Additionally, by joining a Masa program, fellows become part of a vast alumni community comprising over 200,000 members worldwide. During their time in Israel, fellows develop strong connections with peers, their Jewish identity, and Israel itself. As lifetime members of the alumni community, fellows gain access to a range of opportunities and resources curated for their future success.

We invite you to become a part of our alumni community and seize the numerous opportunities that await you through Masa.

Maximizing Your Masa Experience

Once you arrive in Israel, immerse yourself fully in the Masa experience. Engage with other fellows, explore the local culture and delicious, flavorful foods, and take advantage of opportunities for personal and professional growth. Keep an open mind and be willing to step out of your comfort zone.

To further enhance your experience, check out the following blogs for additional tips and recommendations:

By following these tips and utilizing the available resources, you can ensure that your Masa experience is enriching, memorable, and truly transformative.

A Recap of Free Trips to Israel

Masa Israel Journey provides an exciting opportunity to explore Israel through highly subsidized programs. These experiences offer more than just a trip; they represent an investment in personal and professional development. By participating in Masa programs, you immerse yourself in Israeli culture, gain valuable skills, and build lifelong connections. It’s not just about visiting a new country; it’s about investing in your future and broadening your horizons in ways that go beyond traditional travel experiences.

Ready to embark on your Masa Israel Journey? Visit our website now to discover detailed information on our programs, subsidies, and application process. Take the first step towards your life changing experience that will shape your future. Don’t hesitate to schedule a call with us to discuss how Masa can help you achieve your goals and aspirations. Your future awaits – seize it today!

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