Who Are We?
ARTZI, based in the Jerusalem hills at Kibbutz Kiryat Anavim, is a 9-month gap year program founded by AMI-Neshima, supported by the Jewish Agency for Israel and their Kol Ami Jewish Peoplehood Leadership Academy.
Together, we have created a new and exciting gap year program for American, European and Israeli high school graduates. While there are many unbelievable gap year programs of all kinds, we felt that there was a void that needed to be filled, particularly in the department of creative arts. We took it upon ourselves to fill that void and create the first ever Jerusalem based artistic gap year program, serving the niche audience of young adults who are committed to a creative genre of dance, music, theater, or visual arts, and want to be immersed in the life of a rich and diverse country, while learning about Judaism and connecting to their Jewish identity in an eye-opening and enlightening manner. We create an environment in which the students have the freedom to express themselves, utilize their artistic talents, fall in love with the land, and nurture a lifelong connection with the people and state of Israel (outside the American bubble). Artzi is an all encompassing program filled with high level courses, trips, volunteer opportunities, communal activities, an internship program and fun unique experiences, which connects Jewish students from around the world, while promoting core values of the Arts, Israel, and Judaism.
In addition to our dance, drama, music and art classes, each student is provided with a professional personal mentor, who will work one-on-one with them throughout the year, guiding them through lessons and final projects/performances for our mid semester exhibition. Our professionally trained mentors are there to help further the students' knowledge and skill set in their chosen craft, while giving them the courage and freedom to create their own masterpieces. We also offer an optional three month internship program in the field of their choice, allowing students the opportunity to gain real life experience and learn the ins and outs of the creative industry in a professional Jerusalem based establishment.
We want to provide our students with the most authentic experience possible, and therefore, find it imperative to create an environment where the students feel comfortable exploring the land of Israel and mingling with the locals. Our extensive Ulpan program (Hebrew language course) eases the integration period and provides the students with the confidence they need to communicate with the locals and with their fellow Israeli students on the program. Students participate in cultural field trips to museums, historical sites, concerts and various performances. We explore the beautiful country of Israel through desert, forest and mountain hikes, and discover the diverse Israeli society through volunteer opportunities and activities with communities around the country. Our goal is to lead the students on a personal journey, through which they will foster a love for the land and nurture a lifelong connection with the people and state of Israel.
Giving our students the opportunity to learn more about themselves through their affiliation to their Jewish heritage, while developing a personal Jewish identity is one of our top priorities. In order to do so, we offer daily open Beit Midrash learning sessions, provide a variety of leading teachers and lecturers, give courses in Jewish history, Jewish philosophy, modern and classic Jewish texts while teaching and living values of tikkun olam (repairing the world). Our experienced staff are knowledgeable, open minded, great listeners and are ready to answer any question that comes their way with an open mind, patience and understanding.
Sound like the perfect program for you? The gap year of your dreams is just a click away!
Artists and Musicians for Israel - Neshima
Neshima, a program created and operated by the educational organization of Artists and Musicians for Israel (AMI), strives to utilize creative and artistic means to bridge together worlds that are ostensibly disparate: intellectualism with the arts, religious Jews with unaffiliated Jews, and classic Jewish texts with contemporary Israeli texts. We work to accomplish this by working with Israeli high school students, as well as students in pre-army conservatories, in order to help them find their true selves and connect to their Jewish identity. We are able to teach these ideas and help our students grow in an unparalleled way because we use the medium of the arts. Through this creative channel, our students are able to question and learn about their culture, identity and history on a deeper level, thereby connecting with their heritage.
Click here for more info about AMI-Neshima.