A Unique Gap Year
Attending a gap year program in Israel has become an evolving trend in the post high school Jewish world. There are Yeshivot, Seminaries, volunteer programs, internship programs, hiking programs, the list goes on and on. So what makes Artzi different from the dozens of gap year programs out there?
Israel and Judaism through the Arts
Artzi as a unique program which combines the arts, Judaism and Israel to create an amazing experiential gap year for our students. We believe in person growth through artistic expression. Our goal is to work with students who are already excelling in the arts and are really interested in taking their talents and skill set to the next level. Whether they are interested in fine arts, music, theater or dance we offer personalized curriculum in which the students are provided with experienced mentors and personalized classes which are designed to introduce students to other forms of artistic expression and really help them reach their potential in whichever craft they choose.
Experience Israel outside the American/Anglo Bubble
Most gap year programs pride themselves on giving students the opportunity to live in Israel. We, however, want our students to have the full Israel experience. (We work closely with the Jewish Agency, Masa, AMI-Neshima and Kol Ami, all of which are organizations focused on creating relationships between Israelis and Americans in addition to combining intellectualism and Judaism with the arts. We offer volunteer programs, field trips to local museums and sites around Jerusalem, we attend shows and performances, have trips to political houses, and we organize full 3 day trips once a month so the students can get a chance to experience Israeli nature and historical sites.
In order to ease the initial culture shock and adjusting period, we offer an intensive Ulpan program so the students will feel comfortable communicating and interacting with the locals. In addition, we have a collaborative program with Israeli students which is a great way for the students to meet and interact with people their own age who have similar interests as them. We want our student to feel at home here and make new friends. And through there interactions with these Israeli students, they also pick up the language quite a bit. We like the students to feel like they are living in Israel and not in an American bubble. Although they attend classes together and participate in many collaborative activities, all the classes and workshops are given in English. –Our program is designed to help the students really get integrated into the Israeli culture and creative scene through a unique Jewish and artistic perspective.
Open Minded Approach
We are a mixed program in every sense of the word. Our program is coed. We are looking for talented and passionate students and are accepting of everybody. In addition to welcoming students from all over the world, we have a very open-minded approach to religion and Judaism. Every student who comes to Artzi is on a different religious level. We do have Jewish oriented classes, such as Tanach, Jewish Philosophy and modern Jewish thought, but taught in a more spiritual context. For example – how does traditional text relate to us today in a modern world. and we always encourage open discussion. Our food is strictly kosher to the highest standards and we do have one in-house shabbat a month; However, we do not require the students to have any specific religious direction or orientation. We encourage the students to explore, ask questions and really take the opportunity to use this year as a time of self-discovery. To choose what Judaism and Zionism mean to them. Our goal is that at the end of the year they will have a better understanding of who they are on a spiritual level, as a Jew, as an artist and how they want to pursue their lives as they are about to go off to college or begin their professional career path.
Our three-month internship program allows students to gain real life experience in the Israeli art industry. The program will take place in the last three months of the 9 month program. They will have the opportunity to choose the establishment of their choice from those we have available and see how creative businesses operate on a daily basis. This is not usual in most gap year programs. This is a very unique opportunity for students who are serious about their future and taking their passion to the next step towards a profession. Students do have the option to leave after 6 months and not take part in the internship program, but of course we encourage the students to make the effort to stay since this will not only give them a chance to be in a professional setting, but it will also give them a chance to decide if a specific craft or avenue in their craft is suitable for them.
So What are you waiting for? The gap year of your dreams is just a click away!