Summer programs in Israel are abundant and varied. Whether you are interested in building your resume through internships in your area of study, wanting to become fluent in Hebrew or Arabic, or just want to have fun exploring new things, you can find a program in Israel that suits your interests.
All the major universities in Israel - The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Tel Aviv University, The University of Haifa, Bar Ilan University, and Technion - host summer learning programs. Course work is varied but typically includes languages, archeological digs, science, engineering, technology, Jewish and Israel history, business entrepreneurship, and conflict resolution. Like any university, there are charges for tuition based on the number of credits per course, plus housing and food. Most courses are 4 weeks long and provide academic credit. The application process begins in the Fall and cut offs are in early Spring. Summer Program in Israel for undergrads and graduate students.
For those who want to build their resumes while exploring Israeli culture and lifestyles, internships give you the ticket to a robust Summer experience. Israel offers an innovative environment unlike any other foreign country. With more startups per capita than any other country in the World, Israel is #3 on the list of countries with the most startups on the NASDAQ, behind only the United States and China. There are a number of organizations dedicated to helping you find the internship that is right for you:
MASA Israel (Masa Israel Summer Programs), started in 2004, is a collaboration between the Jewish Agency, Keren HaYesod, the Jewish Federations of North America, and the Israeli government. Their goal, through their own programming and their partners, is to strengthen the bond between World Jewry, the Jewish people, and the State of Israel.
Through their partnership with Onward Israel, students can find 8 week internships in any field, almost anywhere in the Country. The application process starts in the winter at the end of the first semester and involves a series of interviews before acceptance. Once accepted, you’ll be set up with an internship coordinator who will help you get placed with a company based on your area of interest. They are not paid internships and you will have to foot the cost of flights plus the program (typically $600 but also depends on the program). You get a small food and laundry stipend plus housing. Onward provides 5 organized group activities with the other interns throughout the Summer and a Madrich for each program. Typical hours are 9:30-3:30 Sunday through Thursday with afternoons/evenings and long weekends to explore the Country.
Top Israel Interns (Summer Internship in Israel) which is supported by MASA grants, is another program that provides summer internships in Tel Aviv. Their Summer 2022 program runs from June 13- August 9. Their program provides more support, such as internship placement, accommodations, day trips, career advancement sessions, bus pass, medical insurance, and 1-2 Shabbat dinners, but their cost is higher at $4500 per session with housing or $1900 without.
Destination Israel (Destination Israel Summer Programs) offers 10-12 week internships in Tel Aviv, but their application process and deadlines are in the early Spring. They also offer a 10 day Krav Maga experience as well as a 3-6 week community volunteer program.
Explore Israeli Culture and Connect to your Jewish Roots
Livnot U’Lehibanot (Israel Internships | Livnot U'Lehibanot) “To Build and Be Built” is a non profit organization located in northern Israel in the city of Tzfat/Safed, which is considered the center of Jewish Mysticism and Kabbalah. Livnot is all about building and started in 1980 with excavating and renovating the Old City of Tzfat. Today they focus on “laying the foundations for individual personal growth, community involvement, and family values.”
They offer internships with flexible starting dates with duration of between one and four months, including meals and accommodations in their dorms. You can choose to work in marketing, development, alumni networking, IT, and blogging and social media.
Volunteers for Israel (VFI) and Sar-El ( Volunteers for Israel VFI,
SAR-EL - Volunteers for Israel) create opportunities for student volunteers to serve on Israel Defense Force (IDF) bases:
VFI partners with Sar-El to process American volunteers to come to Israel for a 2 Week Israel Discovery Program. Sar-El, which is the Hebrew acronym for Service for Israel, was started in 1982 to help farmers who had been called up for IDF service in the Galilee War. Since then, over 150,000 volunteers have come through their program, learning about the IDF and the soldiers who populate it. These volunteers bring their experiences back with them as goodwill ambassadors for the IDF and Israel as a whole. The 2 week trip incorporates 9 days of volunteering on an Army base, eating meals alongside soldiers, and sleeping in barracks. They offer a weekend at the Dead Sea, hiking Masada at sunrise, volunteering in agriculture, and spending Shabbat on a kibbutz. You will hear from soldiers in intelligence and special IDF units who will highlight what the mandatory army inscription means to them and their country. A highlight of the trip is spending the last days on the Fauda Base. They provide $1000 toward your cost of airfare and charge a low administrative fee of $350.
Magen David Adom (MDA) MDA Overseas Volunteers Program | MDA Israel
If you want the thrill of being a 1st responder, working on an ambulance in real time, and choosing where you’d prefer to explore, then volunteering for Magen David Adom in Israel is a great choice. You will learn critical life saving skills while immersed in Israeli society. You’ll have to be proficient in Hebrew and complete a 10 day intensive training course to qualify. Once you are certified, you will work on an ambulance for an additional 5 weeks in the city of your choice anywhere in Israel. The work is grueling - 8 hour shifts - but you’ll be saving lives and enhancing your resume. The cost is $1300 for the 6 weeks plus application fees.
Wwoof Israel (Wwoof Volunteer in Israel)
You might think, by the sound of it, that Wwoof is about working directly with dogs. It does offer animal care, but “the basic and simple idea of WWOOFing is that you volunteer on a farm for several hours a day, five days a week; and in return, you learn organic ways of living and receive free food and accommodation from your host. Anyone above 18 years old, of any nationality, can participate in WWOOF Israel.” You work directly with host families once you join the Wwoof website for $50, and schedule your volunteering at your and their discretion, although they have a minimum stay of 2 nights. You will have the opportunity to learn organic farming, permaculture, green building, cheese making, gray water systems, and renewable energy. And, of course, there will be animals and lots of woofs.
Intensive dog training with Israel Dog Unit - IDU Volunteers
If you love animals and really want to get down and dirty with dogs, IDU is a great choice.
When you volunteer on the IDU Base in the Samaria/Central Region of Israel, you’ll get hands-on experience working with their specially trained dogs. Activities include working with staff and the dogs in discipline and skills training as well as simulations of a variety of emergency situations. You will work on daily maintenance of equipment and be on call at all times to deploy to emergencies where dog handlers are needed. It is an exciting and one of a kind volunteer opportunity.
The plethora of programs and volunteer opportunities that Israel offers during the Summer and year round make it a great place to include in your vacation travels. In addition to the exciting and richly varied programs, you also get to visit a country with amazing history, fabulous beaches, thrilling nightlife, varied and sumptuous cuisine, and complete accessibility via public transportation in every direction within 4 hours. Start your planning now!