Israel Programs Tracks and Trips

Contact Us
  • time Recent High School Graduates: 17-19 Years Old
  • location Tel Aviv-Yafo and Jerusalem
  • duration Nine Months
Apply Now

Young Judaea, with the generous support of the Avi Chai Foundation, has created the Camp Leadership Track of Year Course. The exclusive track prepares participants to return to their respective camps and communities having developed and practiced high-level leadership skills along with specialized Israel-related knowledge and programming. Through the track, participants will sharpen their lens with training and skills to become future leaders of Jewish summer camps and Israel education in North America.

The Camp Leadership Track is designed to allow the participants to reflect upon the importance and impact of their experiences as campers, to realize their leadership potential and to hone skills and knowledge that will allow them to take on positions of management at camp. The track is a supplement to the core curriculum and experiences of Year Course.

The Camp Leadership Track guides participants through an inspiring journey in Israel, which will allow them to articulate the Israel story they wish to convey at camp, having developed a leadership ‘tool kit’ that will enable them to create meaningful, impactful experiences for campers.

Selection and Commitment

The selection process for the Camp Leadership Track is competitive, and 12th graders must apply for nomination for the Camp Leadership Track by their camp director. To be considered, applicants for Year Course 2019-20 must have worked at their nominating camp the summer before Year Course begins. Participants are required to give a one-summer (full summer) commitment to their camps, following their participation on Year Course, in summer 2020.

Weekly Sessions

During half of the year, the Camp Track meets weekly for two-hour sessions led by the track director. The weekly sessions provide the space to unpack their Year Course experience, develop their leadership tool-box, and explore camp-specific content. This year’s sessions have included:

  • Our Camps 101: How Does My Camp Build Community and Bring Israel?
  • A Look at Leadership Styles
  • Picture This: A Self-Portrait of an Israel Educator
  • Program Design with M2: The Institute for Experiential Jewish Learning
  • Case Study from Summer 2017: Flying the Palestinian Flag at Camp?
  • A Q&A with Joel Einleger from the Avi Chai Foundation: Understanding Foundations and Funding in Jewish Communal Work
  • Emotionally Intelligent Leadership
  • Leadership and Language
  • Case Study: Staff Communication
  • Working with Shlichim: Maximizing the Impact of Israeli Staff in Camp


Leadership Retreat

This 5-day retreat focuses on leadership and the unique lessons we can learn from examples of leadership in Israeli society. Sessions include an advanced Outdoor Training (ODT) Facilitator Training, “Boots on the Ground” seminar, examining leadership through the IDF and moral and ethical decision-making, and “The Mechina Experience as Leadership Training Ground.”

Israel Education Seminar

This 3-day seminar offers a deep dive into the how and why of Israel education in North American camps. Led in collaboration with the ICenter, this seminar uses the backdrop of Tel Aviv and Jerusalem to explore ideas and complexities in Israeli society and the concepts of creating Jewish time and space. Sessions include  “Tel Aviv as a Sacred Jewish City: Renewing Our Days of Old,” “Oneg Shabbat: Bringing the Secular into the Holy,” “What’s In a Name: Rabin Square,” “From the Headlines: What’s the Story?” and “Sharing Your Experiences: A Storytelling Workshop.”


Camp Director Day

This one-day seminar is designed to bring the camp directors into the work of the Camp Leadership Track, and to bring the track participants into the conversation with the directors about the upcoming summer. Track participants and camp directors work and learn alongside each other, challenging our notions of programmatic innovation, using art in our public spaces, and design thinking.

The Jewish Agency for Israel’s Shlichim Seminar

The Camp Leadership Track joins JAFI’s Shlichim Training Seminar for one day to participate in training with their camp’s shlichim. Participants have the chance to work alongside their Israeli peers to explore what it means to bring Israel to camp.

Sikkum Seminar

The concluding two-day Camp Track seminar is a crash course in “bringing it back.” Fellows will design and test-drive camp programs based on their personal journeys in Israel. At the conclusion of the seminar, each participant will have an arsenal of Israel programs designed by their fellow track participants to bring back for younger campers, older campers, and camp staff.



You will gain the skills and knowledge to stand out as a leader and team leaser that has a unique Israel education background. This will particularly apply to camp, as you will learn specific strategies to help your chanichim have an amazing summer. This Fellowship is exclusive, which makes it an excellent bullet point on your resume and conversation starter during interviews.

You must be nominated by the director of the camp where you plan to work following Year Course. In part this is as to provide a reference for you. Also by nominating you, the camp director is committing to hiring you following your participation in the program. The application form includes a section on which camp you intend to work at following Year Course. Upon your submission of the application form, a member of the Year Course staff will be in contact with the camp director to discuss your application.

The application itself is an online form that requests your basic contact information and camp history. There are also two essays:

  1. How can you see this Fellowship enriching your experience at camp and on Year Course? (200 word max)
  2. What can you contribute to others on this Fellowship? (200 words max)

All applicants must be working at their nominating camp in the summer prior to Year Course participation

All participants are expected to participate in all aspects of the fellowship during Year Course, and they must successfully complete the program.

Upon completion, fellows must commit to returning to work at least one full summer at their nominating camp.

In general, you will have all of the same opportunities to volunteer, learn, and travel as those who are not on the Fellowship Track. However, the weekly sessions will occur at the same time as the other specialty tracks, so you will not be able to sign up for the majority of the other specialty track options. You will be able to sign up for the Tiyul track and any of the international trips.  Additionally, since track seminars require attendance you may miss a few classes or trips throughout Year course but you will not be penalized for being absent and you will have the opportunity to make up missed-work when relevant.

There will be weekly enrichment sessions which include meeting individuals/organizations, traveling and trainings. The program will be broken down into units throughout the year. They include:

  • Hadracha-Leadership Skill Building: 5-days seminar over one Shabbat
  • Israel Education in the Context of Camp
  • Working with the Camp Directors: 1-day
  • Weekly enrichment and outings throughout the Jerusalem semester
  • Thematic programming and Concluding Seminar: 1-week long, the last week of Year Course during Special Interest Month

Ready to Register for Year Course?

If you need additional information please contact us at or call us at 1-866-599-2534