Eleven make Israel Journey for first time
New scheme for young people who miss out on youth movements
ALMOST A DOZEN young Jews left for Israel last week to take part in a new gap-year programme designed for those who do not belong to UK Jewish youth movements.
Eleven students aged 18 and 19 left last Wednesday to spend five months in Israel, travelling and learning for the scheme, which is called Israel Journey. It has been co-ordinated by Israel Experience, run jointly by UJIA and the Jewish Agency.
The Israel Journey participants begin their programme on a kibbutz just outside Jerusalem, followed by a two-week ulpan, an intensive Hebrew course.
They will meet MKs in the Knesset and rabbis in Sefad. They will also have the chance to go on a trip to Poland to learn about the Holocaust and to undertake army training and a desertsurvival course.
UJIA Israel Experience director Adam Saville told the JC: “There are people who are not necessarily involved in youth movements and don’t want a leadership programme, but who do want a long-term experience of Israel. We realised there was a gap, if you’ll pardon the pun, in the gap year market.”
Israel Journey costs £4,500 and bursaries are available. Mr Saville added: “We’re aware of the rising costs of university.”
UJIA has just welcomed back a group of participants on its winter Taglit-Birthright Israel programme, whose members spent 10 days touring the country.
Describing the experience as “phenomenal”, 25-year-old Suzanne Class of Glasgow said: “Not in my wildest dreams did I expect to do and see all that we did. We were all from such diverse backgrounds, but I’ve now made some new friends for life.
“It has changed my views, opinions and feelings on not just Israel, but my life and the way I want to live it.”
Doug Krikler, UJIA’s chief executive, said: “UJIA invests in youth through dynamic activities that enable young people to explore their connection with Judaism and Israel.”