NEW YORK – Despite already robust numbers in its Young Judaea Year Course program, Hadassah, the Women’s Zionist Organization of America, is renewing its commitment to ensure that the program remains at the forefront of long-term opportunities for students in Israel, making it even more affordable. Students can attend a 2011-12 program for as little as $17,700.
In an effort to grow program participation by 30 percent, Young Judaea, the Zionist Youth Movement of Hadassah, has lowered tuition from $22,200 in 2010-11, to $20,950 for 2011-12. All attendees are also eligible for a $1,000 scholarship from MASA, the Gateway to Long Term Israel Programs. Thanks to additional discounts available, some students will pay as little as $17,700 – savings of greater than 20 percent from this year’s cost. Additional discounts include:
- Full payment by March 1 – discount of $1,000;
- Participation during 2010 in Young Judaea Machon or other Young Judaea Summer Program, combined with registration by December 31 – discount of $1,000; and
- Hosting a post-registration information session on Young Judaea Israel programs – discount of $250.
Young Judaea’s Year Course program gives recent Jewish high school graduates the chance to spend nine months in Israel, learning about Israel, studying Hebrew, volunteering in the community, and exploring their Jewish heritage. All participants spend three months in Jerusalem, the beach community of Bat Yam near Tel Aviv, and the Negev Desert, where they can live and work at a kibbutz, experience the Israeli military, hike and learn about Israel’s desert environment, or volunteer through a social action project in a small desert town.
This year, more than 300 students from North America, Europe and Israel are attending Young Judaea Year Course programs, making them the largest of MASA’s programs and all existing gap year programs in Israel. With the reduction in tuition price, Young Judaea hopes to grow program participation by 100 students.
“By giving Jewish students the opportunity to spend a significant amount of time in Israel at a formative moment in their lives, Year Course is the best tool for Jewish continuity and development of leadership,” said Nancy Falchuk, Hadassah’s National President. “That is why we are doing everything we can to make it affordable to as many people as possible. The decision to lower prices will create an increase in the already impressive number of active young Zionists coming to Israel and benefiting from this valuable experience, notwithstanding the current economic environment. This is an investment in the future leadership of the Jewish community.”
Year Course offers varied specialty tracks that allow participants to delve deeper into specific content areas applicable to their university and career goals while in Israel. Options include visual arts; performing arts; culinary arts; digital arts; business; medical; sports; Shevet, further Jewish enrichment; and Shalem, a Yeshiva program. Participants may also opt to add on world travel, social action in Rwanda, a trip to Poland or a tour through Israel with their families.
“By increasing investment in Young Judaea’s Year Course program, Hadassah is again demonstrating its commitment to the largest gap year high school program,” said Adam Jenshil, Year Course Director. “By reducing the price, we will increase numbers substantially and continue to offer hundreds of young people an enriching, life-changing experience of intense Hebrew learning, accredited academics, and weekly trips and overnight hikes, all while living and volunteering within Israeli society and alongside Jews from around the United States, Europe and Israel.”
Established in 1956, Young Judaea’s Year Course in Israel has provided more than 6,000 participants with a challenging year of life-impacting experiences. Year Course is staffed by highly qualified educators and counselors who are dedicated to a quality program of formal and informal education within a supportive, university-like environment that also provides volunteer opportunities to connect participants to Israeli society. Founded in 1909, Young Judaea is the oldest Zionist youth movement in the United States. It seeks to build Jewish identity and Zionist commitment among American Jewish youth and young adults. It is the youth movement of Hadassah, the Women’s Zionist Organization of America, the largest women’s, largest Zionist, and largest Jewish membership organization in the United States. For more information, please visit www.yearcourse.org.