What is your mission and vision?
Mission: To foster our students' love for the arts, Judaism and Israel in a caring and exciting environment
Vision: To enable high school graduates from around the world to come to Israel and experience an environment that encourages artistic expression, helps students find their true selves, foster a strong sense of Jewish identity and nurture a lifelong connection with the people and state of Israel. We teach these ideals and help our students grow in an unparalleled way by way of expression and work through a variety of arts.
What does the weekly schedule look like?
During the beginning of the year, we have a couple of weeks of orientation and there is also Ulpan(Hebrew language classes) almost every day in order to give our students a "push" in Hebrew and make the landing a bit softer. Here is a sample of our *weekly schedule.
*Please note: this is our last years' schedule and therefore it is susceptible to changes based on our facutly and changes. This is just to give you an idea of what are schedule consists of.
How does volunteering work?
Once a week, we offer meaningful volunteering options in many different places around Jerusalem. We find it very important to give back to the people and places of our homeland, and we feel that volunteering is one of the best ways to do this.
What are tiyulim? And what are they like?
Tiyulim are fun excursions (hikes) that take place throughout the country.
Once a month, we go on a three-day* tiyul with the Israelis from our partner school, Ruach Nachon. This is our time to connect to the land, our friends, and ourselves. We are able to span the entire country with these tiyulim - the North, the South, the Central area, and all the lesser known places in between! Many of our hikes are real back-packing hikes and our students learn navigational and survival skills with trained professionals throughout the year.
What is the difference between tiyulim and field trips?
Field trips are less about hiking and connecting to the land and more about connecting to the culture. Very often we go on a cultural field trip(sometimes even every week!). We will frequent galleries, theatrical performances, musical performances and museums. We will also have guest speakers and artists come in to give lectures and lead workshops.
Are meals provided?
Yes, 3 meals a day are provided and all food is strictly Kosher. We offer vegetarian and gluten free options as well. We encourage a communal environment and will often make our own dinners while learning team work and culinary skills!
What are the dorms like?
Students will be living in local apartment. The dorms are equip with kitchens, bathrooms, a laundry machine and a communal area.
Shabbatot and Chagim
As a program, we will observe Shabbat and the Holidays, however no student will be forced to do anything that makes him or her uncomfortable. We therefore ask that when we are together for Shabbat and Holidays that all phones and electronic devices are away. Students are free to do as they please in their private quarters. It is important that everyone is respectful to one another, so those who are observing these days should be understanding to those who are not and vice versa.
We have occasionally Shabbat that is a required “in-Shabbat” - but don’t be fooled by the word “required” - students look forward to them! These Shabbatot enable us to spend quality time together in various places around Israel without being side-tracked by all the week’s activities.
What do I do on an "off" Shabbat?
Students are always welcome to stay in and cook/buy your own food if there is a minimum of four other students interested in staying, however we encourage them to go out, explore the land and meet new people with the free Shabbatot they have available. Students are welcome to go visit family and friends or make new ones. For those who are unsure how to get started, talk to us and we’ll help find welcoming and interesting places to stay.
Who should apply?
Students who wish to excel in their field (music, theater, dance, visual arts) and want to learn more about it from different perspectives are the perfect candidates for the program. Students who love to travel, learn new things about themselves and have a desire to connect to their heritage and Jewish identity, students who don't want to be in an Anglo/American "bubble" in Israel and really want to integrate into the Israeli culture and society by living and being in a mixed Israeli-Anglo program and students who want to meet new people and have new adventures are all welcome to apply. If you match the criteria above and are looking to experience an amazing year, this is the program for you!
How to apply?
Visit our "apply" tab above to get all the information you need!
When to apply?
Early registration is until December 31st (Applicants who sign up by December 31st can receive a $1000 discount, a free flight to Israel) Our registration deadline is open Until June 15,2020 however we will still accept applications based on open spots.
How long is the program?
The program is 5-months (from October 12th,2020- March 14th, 2021). We are based in the heart of Jerusalem and focus on the Arts, Judaism, and Israel. The three month internship program after the first 6 months is optional.
What about health care?
Our tuition includes full healthcare coverage with great English-speaking doctors and 24/7 on call emergency centers.
The students must rent/buy either a phone or SIM card. (TalkNSave, IsraelPhone, etc.) Students MUST have a working cellphone with calls, whatsapp, sms, etc. in order to receive alerts and updates from the administration.
Students are responsible for the purchase of their flights to and from Israel.
Financial Aid and Tuition:
The tuition is $16,500, which includes full room and board, health insurance, trips, 3 meals a day and personal artistic mentors.
What is the Hashkafa (Jewish school of thought) of the program?
We approach Judaism through an open lens, meaning we accept people from all Jewish backgrounds. We teach a wide range of Jewish texts (philosophical, Torah, and Modern). Our Jewish study calsses are very spiritual and mostly open discussion classes. Our staff of teachers is eclectic as are the artists who lead training sessions and workshops. We encourage the students to keep an opened mind and try our best to create an environment in which the students feel comfortable to ask questions and express themselves.
What safety measures are taken?
Our dorms are monitored by staff members 24/7 and are secured at all times. We are accompanied by an armed medic on every hike. Students are required to carry working phones with them at all times so we can be in constant communication in case of an emergency.
Are there specific requirements in order to be accepted to the program?
The student must be artistically inclined. We require all students to have an interview (sometimes a secondary interview as well) and we require students to send in a portfolio of their artistic work (visual arts, music, photography, dance), along with a short essay which expresses their interest in the arts and in the gap year program.
Will the students have internet access?
Is the program co-ed?
Do students learn Hebrew?
Yes. We offer an intense ulpan course for the first two months of the program. Students learn the Hebrew language according to their own ability and level almost every day. After the first two months, we have weekly ulpan classes on campus. The best way to learn a language is to live among the locals. Students are provided the gift of living and communicating with Israeli students throughout the program, who can be great resources if you let them!
Want more info? Contact us! We are more than happy to answer any questions you may have! Don't hesitate to reach out. The gap year of your dreams awaits!