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Who we are: BINA Gap Year in Israel is a 10-month program that immerses you in Israeli culture and society with a diverse community of Israelis your age, all while exploring Jewish culture, participating in hands-on social action projects, and creating memories that will last a lifetime – together with your Israeli peers and international peers from around the world!
What the program is like: The program consists of studying, volunteering, and traveling. Each participant will live and volunteer in the Shapira neighborhood, a diverse community in south Tel Aviv. Learning consists of topics related to pluralistic Judaism and Israel, as well as Ulpan classes to learn Hebrew. Volunteering includes a variety of projects working within the unique local community. Trips are taken as a group, giving you the opportunity to explore Israel with your Israeli peers.
Who the program is for: Our program is for participants from around the world who want to experience truly authentic immersion living in Israel and developing their own Jewish identity and connection to Israel alongside their Israeli peers. The program is for high school graduates ages 17-19.
Why you should join: BINA Gap Year in Israel is the most immersive and inclusive Israel program around. Live like a true local. Experience Israel with Israelis. Study and learn Hebrew with an experienced Israeli instructor. Explore your Jewish identity in a secular and pluralistic way.
During your gap year, you will learn about a variety of central themes within Judaism and Israel. All of our classes are taught from a pluralist perspective, learning from each individual’s knowledge and experience. Some of your classes might include Philosophy, Israeli Culture, Activism, Beit Midrash & Stories of the Chalutzim (Pioneers).
These are not lectures, but an opportunity for you to learn from and share with your teacher and your peers, challenging not only their opinions and ideas but yours as well.
Hebrew Ulpan – in addition to the full Israeli immersive experience you will have throughout the program, you will also receive Hebrew Ulpan classes. No Hebrew is required for the program as we have different levels of classes, but if you work hard before and during the program you can improve vastly throughout your time with BINA.
At the beginning of the program, you’ll have an opportunity to tour the different volunteering options. With the guidance of BINA staff and according to your abilities and strengths, you’ll choose your volunteer projects for the duration of the program. Here are a few of our volunteering options:
On BINA’s Gap Year you will go on day tours and excursions throughout Israel. Previous tours include Hebron, Jerusalem’s Old City, ecological farms, the Golan Heights, and Druze communities in the Carmel.
You will also participate in a few longer trips throughout the year. Nivutim (navigation) happens twice throughout the year, allowing participants to really challenge themselves and their skills to navigate them and their peers in Israel’s beautiful outdoors. Some of these are planned completely by the participants! You can be part of the tsevet (team) to plan a trip to Jerusalem, the North or the South. What the group does, learns, eats and where they sleep is really all up to you!
The group atmosphere continues into Shabbat, where around half of the Shabbats throughout the year will be spent together. You’ll eat, sing and celebrate together however you as a group decide. In the Shabbats you are not spending together, you can stay in the apartment and the community, travel around the country, or enjoy home hospitality with your Israeli peers.
Find your place within an Israeli program! Surround yourself with Hebrew and Israeli culture while being supported as an English-speaker with classes in English, as well as an English-speaking counselor. Whether you come with no Hebrew, went to Jewish Day School, or grew up in a Hebrew-speaking home, your Hebrew and understanding of Israeli society will grow exponentially.
Every participant on the will join a different tzevet (committee) to take responsibility over their experience. From organizing community Shabbats and holiday events, to writing a newsletter and planning a group hike trip, there are endless possibilities for you to make your mark on BINA.
BINA: The Jewish Movement for Social Change is an Israeli movement at the forefront of social activism and Jewish pluralism in Israel. Every year, BINA reaches over 50,000 Israelis and individuals from around the world through social, educational and community programs.
As a BINA Gap Year participant, you’ll be a part of a diverse community of Israelis and internationals working toward social change through study and action.
Masa is the global leader in immersive international career development and leadership experiences in Israel for young Jewish adults from around the world.
With a variety of long-term programs in Israel, Masa is able to provide meaningful, enriching experiences to young Jews from many different countries, backgrounds, levels of education, and fields. Since its founding in 2004, Masa has helped over 150,000 young adults from 60+ countries to strengthen their connection with Israel, empowering a new generation of connected, committed, and inspired young Jewish adults. These young adults are changing the face of the Jewish world and Israel, as professionals, community leaders, and advocates.