Israel Gap Year Programs

MASA Israel Gap Year

Teen Gap Year 1Intrigued by the opportunity to spend a semester or year experiencing another culture, volunteering, interning, studying, developing your Jewish identity or having an adventure before you head off to college? A gap year in Israel with Masa Israel Journey offers college-bound high school graduates the opportunity to acquire a global perspective and to gain a taste of independent living all while having an incredible Israel experience. Many leading universities in North America encourage admitted students to defer entrance for a semester or a year to explore their interests before deciding what to study in college.

Israel offers thousands of years of Jewish history, cities that fuse the ancient with the modern, a variety of ethnic communities living side by side and global leadership in many of today's most relevant fields—it's the ideal place to take a year "on" before college.

MASA, an initiative between the Government of Israel and the Jewish Agency for Israel, serves as an umbrella organization for long-term (one semester to one year) programs. Need-based scholarships are available. MASA is not a program. Rather, it is a portal to Israel Gap Year programs. For more info, go here

Nativ ProgramNativ

Designed to create Conservative Jewish leaders of the future, the first semester of the program is spent studying at Hebrew University or the Conservative Yeshiva, and the second semester is spent living on a kibbutz or performing community service in a developing community. For more info, go here.

Kivunim: New Directions

Kivunim: New Directions provides a unique opportunity for international travel and study. Built around international field trips, Kivunim focuses on enhancing our understanding of the history and contemporary life of international Jewish communities. The program is based at Beit Shmuel in Jerusalem. For more info, go here.


Aardvark Israel Gap Year is a 9-month program in Israel for recent high school graduates from all over the world that combines immersion into Israeli Society, service to the community through volunteer work and internships, and learning about Israel and Judaism through both formal academic and informal educational encounters. As a fully accredited university program, students may earn college credit for their coursework while on the program.

Aardvark Israel meets the needs of today's "millennial" students by offering a core program with a menu of add-on options enabling students to build their own gap year. Aardvark Israel also meets the needs of today's parents by providing a better program for a better price than what is currently otherwise available. For more info, go here.

Young Judaea Year Course | Gap Year in Israel

Year Course isn't a year off between high school and college – it's a year ON! Participants expand their minds, horizons, and life experience as they discover another culture, volunteer, study, and develop their Jewish identity before heading off to college. Young Judaea Year Course, the original gap year in Israel, gives one the opportunity to step out into the world, gain valuable life experience and skills, and begin the transition to independence.

The program is open to recent high school graduates ages 17-19. Israel is the classroom! Participants earn up to 30 college credits while learning Hebrew, participating in life changing volunteer activities, and living with peers from the United States, Israel, and around the world. For more info, go here.

Social Action

Family Promise Volunteer Orientations
Sept. 19, 7pm, St Zepharin’s Church, 99 Main St., Wayland
Oct. 17, 7pm, Shir Tikvah, 141 Boston Post Rd, Wayland

If you are concerned about the issue of family homelessness in your community and want to make a difference, considering attending one of these volunteer orientations. 

Community Cooks!

Upcoming dates: Sept. 15 We will cook in our own homes. Please volunteers to cook or deliver a meal for Bristol Lodge Women's Shelter, Waltham. 

Patient Navigator Service

With JFS of Metrowest, this free service helps Jewish and other frail older adults living in Metrowest get to and navigate their medical appointments. More info here.

Bristol Lodge

Upcoming dates: Sept 1st, Oct 6 Help set up, clean up and serve a meal to homeless people at this Waltham soup kitchen. Great opportunity for children ages 8 and up and adults. Choose a Sunday.


Adult Education

Mindfulness Practice: Meditation, Chanting & Text Study
Sept. 12 (Or Atid), Sept. 19 (Beth El) & Oct. 19 (Temple Israel, Natick)

Join the Metrowest Jewish Mindfulness Community for three sessions focusing on meditation, chant, text study and prayer. Details here.

[email protected] Broads in Midrash

Mondays, starts 9/23, 10am at Or Atid 
10 session class exploring little known women whose stories are embellished in the rabbinic tradition. Details here.