this year

Your Year

Year Course

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About Year Course

Young Judaea’s Year Course is the oldest gap year program in Israel, offering participants the opportunity to live in Israel for nine months and gain up to 30 college credits. Together with academic studies, participants strengthen their independence, maturity, and positive value systems, building the skills to thrive and succeed in college, both socially and academically.

Discover an Israel that you haven’t seen, connect with your peers and your history, learn the language, culture, and complexity of Israel, all while earning up to a full year of college credit! Make friends from around the globe, volunteer, engage, explore, and aim to give back as much as you gain from this experience.

year-long breakdown

Year Course contains three primary components: A volunteering element in Tel Aviv-Yafo, an academic semester in Jerusalem, and Special Interest Period which takes place in various locations. Approximately half the Year Coursers begin in Tel Aviv-Yafo (Yama) and half in Jerusalem (Kedma), switching mid-way through the year.

Jerusalem Semester

Jerusalem - rich in history, culture, tradition, and the soul of the Jewish people! The capital and political center of Israel, Jerusalem is the ideal location to host our academic semester. Our participants study and enrich their knowledge of Israel’s history with the unique opportunity to live, learn, and be inspired by Jerusalem’s 3,000-year-old history. Year Course offers a full range of dynamic and fun classes for you to take during the year. Below are some of the courses that have been offered in recent years.

*Some courses are offered during both semesters, as indicated below.

3-4 Credits
Jerusalem/Tel Aviv

Some things can only be learned in Israel and only out in the real world of Israel! Year Course offers intense, ‘field’ based courses that combine classroom study with ‘siyyur’ excursions. See the places and meet the people who make this country unlike any other in the world and get a first-hand view of reality with the following courses:

  • The Jerusalem Idea (HIS111)
  • The Zionist Idea (HIS170)
  • The Tel Aviv Idea (SOC178)

2-8 Credits
Jerusalem/TEl Aviv

All Year Course students participate in ongoing Hebrew language and literature instruction at their own level. ‘Ulpan’ classes introduce or expand skills in written and verbal communication and expose students to aspects of Hebrew music, film and literature. Ongoing written and oral assignments reinforce classroom learning. Students are assigned a class level based on a standardized placement exam at the beginning of each term.

  • Beginning Hebrew (Level 100)
  • Intermediate Hebrew (Level 200)
  • Advanced Hebrew (Level 300)

3 credits

College Writing is a semester course in academic writing skills and critical reading. Students will become familiar with the basic components of structurally and logically sound writing, learn to identify and correct technical errors in their own compositions, and gain an understanding of how different writing strategies serve different purposes. There will also be four creative writing workshops.

College Writing (COR 112 Y)

3 credits Each
Jerusalem/Tel Aviv

A broad spectrum of topics and ideas meant to engage you in thought, debate and reflection:

  • God Talk : Jewish Theology and Folk Music (JST 104Y)
  • Jewish Art (ART 103)
  • Bible & Western Culture (JST 301)
  • Religion Society and the Individual (COR 302)
  • Introduction to Hasidism (JST 335)
  • The Jewish Idea (COR200)
  • Torah Yoga / Jewish Meditation
  • Sociology of the Jewish People (JST 361)
  • Minorities in Israel Modern Israel- Periphery and Center (JST 362)

Tel Aviv-Yafo Volunteer Semester

Our Volunteer Semester provides participants with this essential and rewarding experience of giving back to our communities. Year Course offers a variety of rotating placement options to fit a wide range of interests and causes, so everyone can find a placement that speaks to them. Participants select two placements per semester. Past offerings have included teaching in a school, volunteering in a soup kitchen, working in an urban greenhouse, and advocating for refugees in South Tel Aviv.

Students can also challenge themselves in Marva, a 2-month IDF boot camp. The ultimate Israel experience, Marva pushes Year Coursers to test themselves while experiencing the beauty and challenges of Israel through the eyes of the IDF.

Students interested in Kibbutz life can choose to live on Kibbutz Ketura in Southern Israel, volunteering on the kibbutz for two months.

Students with Hebrew experience can also choose to train as a first responder paramedic with Magen David Adom (the Israeli Red Cross).

special interest month

The last month of Year Course offers opportunity to build your own Israeli adventure. Build your month week-by-week from a long list of options, take the whole month to pursue a personal passion, or come up with something on your own! Year Course staff works with each participant to make their month a truly personalized and exiciting end to their Year Course experience.

Past options have included:

Where you'll live


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During the Jerusalem Academic Semester, participants share apartments on our beautiful campus located in the Baka neighborhood. Quaint and popular, Baka is mostly residential while still close to downtown, and offers everything you need to live like an Israeli.

  • Apartment Style
  • Closed campus at Beit Ar-El
  • On-site gym, music room, laundry
  • Quiet & central Baka Neighboorhood
  • Walking distance to shops, cafes, parks,
    & public transportation

Tel Aviv-Yafo

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The most cosmopolitan city in Israel, Tel Aviv is known for its culture, nightlife, and social action. Our brand new co-op style dorms, located in the Monifoire neighborhood in the heart of the city, are the perfect place to start exploring.

  • Co-op (Suite) Style
  • Brand new complex at Beit Hillel
  • Rooftop garden, fully equipped kitchens, laundry
  • Bustling Montifiore neighborhood
  • Walking distance to Azrieli Mall, Sarona Market, & Dizengoff Center

specialty Tracks

Specialty tracks give you the opportunity to form an intimate group of like-minded friends within the larger Year Course community, and to enjoy extracurricular activities related to topics of your choice. You’ll meet with experts, participate in workshops, take in lectures, and go on trips related to your track.


Complete your Year Course experience with optional specialty trips all over the world. Explore the ancient cities of Greece, see the vibrant culture of Morocco, volunteer at the Aghozo Shalom Youth Village in Rwanda, and walk the great wall fo China. Year Course offers three kinds of trips: educational tourism, tikkun olam, and our Kuma trip to Poland. All trips are optional and can be added in any combination.


10 days

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10 days

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10 days

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2 weeks

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3 weeks

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10 days

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dates & Rates

Year Course '19-'20: 

September 2, 2019- May 18, 2020



A number of scholarship opportunities are available. Contact us to learn more and to discuss your options with one of our enrollment specialists.

MASA Grants

As a partner program of Masa Israel, Year Course participants are eligible for grants and need-based scholarships to help make your experience affordable.

Learn more

Young Judaea/Hadassah

Young Judaea & Hadassah offer limited need-based scholarships. Only registered WUJS participants are eligible for consideration.

Learn more

Local Sources

Jewish Federations, synagogues, regional scholarships, and local funding for Israel travel are just a few places you can look.

Learn more

start your journey here

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