Since 1956, Young Judaea Year Course has inspired more
than 10,000 Jewish gap year students - from every religious, cultural, and political persuasion - to build a lifelong committment
to pluralist Jewish values, repairing the world, leadership, and Israel.

The Year Course Community

Initially founded as the gap year program for members of the Young Judaea movement, Year Course participants now span a broad range of denominations, youth movements, summer camps, educational backgrounds, and affiliations.

While most participants continue directly to college in their home country after Year Course ends, many alumni have eventually chosen to put down their roots in Israel - whether by enrolling in Israeli universities, choosing to serve and enlisting in the IDF, or making Aliyah and calling Israel home.

Our Values

Personal Growth

Year Course strengthens each participant’s self confidence, independence and sense of responsibility. Using Israel as a laboratory for teaching participants about tolerance and pluralism, Year Course introduces them to different communities across the country, providing a supportive environment in which participants can explore, grow and mature during a dynamic year in Israel.

Jewish Identity

We are dedicated to the values of tikkun olam (repairing the world), family, and community. By improving participants’ literacy in Jewish history and tradition, Hebrew, and contemporary Israeli culture through college-level courses, Year Course fosters a positive sense of Jewish identity preparing participants for a lifetime of Jewish communal engagement.

Understanding Israel

Year Course provides a comprehensive Israel experience, establishing knowledge of and connections to the country’s geography, language, people, history and contemporary life. By learning the history and thought of Israeli society, culture and politics,  participants explore the centrality of Israel in Jewish life and responsibility toward the diverse communities and groups that call Israel home.

Leadership Development

Participants are challenged to improve their leadership skills and awareness of their value and abilities as maturing young adults. We prepare and encourage participants to return home and become active members, leaders and Israel advocates within their Jewish communities and far beyond.

The Year Course Team

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Ariel Magal
Director, Year Course


Ortal Mussachy-Erez
Deputy Director, Year Course


Rabbi Adam Drucker
Director of Education


Zoe Zeidler
Tel Aviv City Manager


Devorah Silverfarb
Jerusalem Experience Coordinator


Teva Ya'ari
Director of Special Programs


Orit Somech-Segal
Director, Ulpan Hebrew Learning


Kineret Zemach
Office Manager


Daniel Smith
Enrollment Manager, Year Course


Dafna Laskin
Director of Israel Programs North America


Ekka Peck
Director of Recruitment, Israel Programs


Talia Goldin
National Recruiter, Israel Programs


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 programsin Israel, Masa is able to providemeaningful, enriching experiences to young Jews from many different countries,backgrounds, levels of education, and fields. Since itsfounding in 2004, Masa has helped over 150,000 young adults from 60+countries to strengthen their connection with Israel, empowering a new generationof 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.

Year Course in the News

The Jewish Daily Forward

In surprise twist, enrollment in many Israel gap year programs ‘skyrocketed’ amid pandemic.

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Tablet: New Read on Jewish Life

There’s a new wave of North Americans moving to Israel for a different way of life.

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The New York Jewish Week

As Colleges Go Virtual, Students Go to Israel, switching gears to avoid missing the campus experience.

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More Long Island students are taking a gap year. Here's what they're doing instead of school.

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Jewish Telegraphic Agency

As colleges go virtual, students instead are heading to Israel on gap year programs.

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Atlanta Jewish Times

High school grads choose Israel gap year, sensing that their freshmen year in college wouldn’t be the norm.

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