If you a have spent time in Israel
on an Israel Program, click here
to share your amazing experience.
So where can I find the best Israel programs for me?
Right here of course; If you are between the age of 18-30 years old, there are literally hundreds of amazing options. Even for the 30+ crowd like me, there are numerous excellent choices.
Masa Student Program
(photo courtesy of www.masaisrael.org)
When I first learned of all of the amazing opportunities for young adults, my wife and I looked at each other and said,
“Where do we sign up?” We wanted to do it all over again. My personal connection to Israel really grew from my first trip
at age 16. I went there with my parents to visit our extended family. My grandfather was born in Israel, my father lived
there and we have always remained in contact with our family there. At that time (1979), the country was very different
than it is now; one television station, black and white TVs, no McDonalds, and no Levi’s blue jeans. I remember numerous
requests to smuggle Levis and calculators in my suitcase.
Nevertheless, I was so impressed with the energy and culture of this amazing land, that I decided to return the following year by myself and travel around the country. At that time, I basically had to create my own itinerary (program). My mother gave me a list of our relatives and friends, bought me a ticket and I was on my own. I share with you my own personal story, because the simple ‘Israel experience’ provided a life long connection for me to the country. It can be the same for you.
Israel programs encourage you (our youth and our future) to experience life in Israel, not through the windows of a tour bus, but as a local living as part of a community. You can learn to speak Hebrew, become part of an Israeli community, live among your peers who share an adventurous spirit like yourself and, lastly, enjoy a fantastic experience that will last a lifetime.
I personally recommend Masa. They are a non-profit organization that offers something for everyone. Whether you are interested in an internship, volunteer, or academic program, they have it all. Please refer to my Masa page for an interactive program finder that will connect you with the perfect program.
A Birthright Program from Canada
(photo courtesy of www.birthrightisrael.com)
My youngest daughter Ariella, who is now entering her senior year in high school is looking into a gap year program that will
combine study at a major Art school in Israel with weekly travel around the country. These Israel programs can range from 5-10
months and can be combined with travel both within Israel and other parts of the world.
I personally encourage my children to take advantage of these opportunities now before they take on the usual commitments of work, marriage, children, and bills. They have their whole life ahead of them and plenty of time for those things, but to experience something truly life changing and meaningful, the time is when they are young.
Aside from long term programs in Israel, my recommendations for shorter, but very meaningful trips:
Le'histaref le Tochni’t Yisraeli (Join an Israel Program in Hebrew)
Do you have a great story about this? Share it! Tell us which program you came to Israel with and how it was. Your experience is invaluable to our readers.