The number of MASA Israel participants has reached 9,300 in 2009-2010, up from 8,200 the year before.
Post-college MASA Israel participants have increased by 67%, with 1486 currently interning, volunteering or studying in Israel. 56% are Birthright Israel alumni.
MASA Israel North America Director Avi Rubel says the increase is a direct result of the rising number of upcoming and recent college graduates and young professionals pursuing internship, community service and graduate academic opportunities in Israel.
“Today’s constricted economy has prompted many young Jewish professionals at the beginning of their careers to see Israel as a place where they can gain more professional experience before tackling the job market,” says Rubel. “Investing five to 12 months in an internship or volunteer experience in Israel differentiates them from their competition, and provides them with international experience that puts them a step ahead as they re-enter the workforce.”