In a year of change, Masa gap year programme grows in popularity

As high school graduates anticipate a highly altered year, with virtual university classes and a muted social scene, some are exploring alternatives. One increasingly popular one is Masa Israel Journey’s gap year programmes.

Masa is a leader in immersive, long-term Israel experiences. Annually, the organisation welcomes 12 000 young adults from around the world for gap year, internship, study abroad, service-learning, and professional training programmes in Israel.

Gap year participants spend their time volunteering, studying a range of topics including Jewish studies, or interning, while they explore Israel and the fabrics of Israeli society. Known for its extensive travel options – from the Western Wall to the trendiest Tel Aviv art scene – Masa offers an opportunity for students to live independently and develop their interests before diving into university life.

Masa participants also have an opportunity to learn at the Masa Leadership Center, an innovative training programme that teaches adaptive leadership and provides tools for personal growth.

This year, demand is growing, as the organisation reports a spike in applicants for all their programmes, especially for gap year and internships.

“It’s not surprising that as universities around the world remain closed for in-person classes, we are hearing from so many young people. A Masa experience is a meaningful way to prepare for university life and beyond. It’s an opportunity to learn about yourself and discover your role in the international Jewish community, especially at a time of global change,” said Masa Acting CEO, Ofer Gutman.

Since its founding in 2004 by The Jewish Agency and the government of Israel, the organisation has brought over 160,000 young adults from 62 countries to Israel for programmes that range from two months to a year.

For more information about Masa’s gap year programmes and available grants, visit or contact Masa’s representative in South Africa, Livnat Katz, by email or phone 011 645 2574.

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