Following a successful pilot year that placed 68 Jewish North American young adults as volunteer teachers’ aids in Israeli public schools, Masa Israel Journey has started the second year of Israel Teaching Fellows with 170 participants. The current year’s program also expanded its geographical reach, placing volunteers in seven cities (up from five) for the 2012-2013 academic year.
Launched by the Israel Ministry of Education and Masa Israel Journey, Israel Teaching Fellows was created to address the widespread under-performance of youth in low-income communities.
Following an initial training period, Teaching Fellows live in small groups in cities throughout Israel and teach for 20 hours a week. Teaching Fellows also choose secondary volunteer projects in their communities. Ongoing pedagogical support, Hebrew Ulpan, host families and trips are provided.
With the United States’ lingering economic challenges, Israel Teaching Fellows has seen a surge in applications from high caliber recent college graduates who are forgoing the job search for meaningful service opportunities abroad. Accepted Teaching Fellows must have college degrees and experience as educators and leaders. They must also demonstrate the ability to excel in a challenging, cross-cultural environment and the desire to be immersed in Israeli society.
Overall, Masa Israel brings over 10,000 participants per year on 200 five-to-12-month volunteering, career development and academic programs. Eighteen of the post-college programs are exclusively dedicated to service.