OTZMA - It's your life. Use it well.

OTZMA is the PREMIER ten-month-long, high-quality fellowship for college graduates, aged 20-26, which combines volunteering, leadership development training and internships in locations throughout Israel.

DEVELOP yourself as a future LEADER in your field, community and society with cutting edge leadership training seminars. Make a real DIFFERENCE to Israel through meaningful service and volunteering opportunities. EXPLORE the beauty and excitement of Israel- hands on!

Programs from OTZMA

  • Volunteers singing and dancing with Israeli children.
    OTZMA - It's your life. Use it well. OTZMA is the PREMIER ten-month-long, high-quality fellowship for college graduates,...
    55 reviews
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    A review was left for this program in the last 30 days
    This program has been rated exceedingly fun by 5+ reviewers.

Program Reviews

  • Alex
    Age: 31-50
    Cornell University
    Personal-developing, Career-advancing, year-long immersion

    I signed up for Project Otzma looking for an inexpensive way to spend a year after college learning and adventuring overseas (in Israel), and it turned into one of the turning points of my life. Billed as a leadership development and volunteer program, I looked forward to teaching English and working with kids, with time to adventure and explore the country on top. The educational and leadership curriculum organized by the staff and facilitated by outside professionals added so much value to the program, it make me re-consider my professional goals and helped me find my life's calling.

    Otzma arranges three 3-month sections, starting with language immersion courses and a few hours of volunteer work per day, moving onto full-time volunteering in one of several dozen communities across the country, and a final stretch of working on a kibbutz, serving in the army or doing some kind of internship. Each three-month chunk is peppered with enrichment events, either with the entire group or locally in the base city. Attendance at large-scale educational and networking events were also very common.

    One of the best things about Otzma, aside from the attentive staff, is that the program organizes all the logistics you can imagine-- apartments, transportation plans, food stipends, curricula-- all you need to do is show up and jump in. Definitely among the best ways to spend a post-college year!

    How could this program be improved?

    Work a little more closely with local programs to ensure quality and coordination for participants, on-site.

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  • sandy
    Age: 31-50
    San Diego
    Otzma 8 Still Impacting My Life

    Its been almost 20 years since I was on Otzma and yet my experiences impact almost every aspect of my life. I had the fortune to be there during both times of war and peace - and yet I never felt safer. I learned to speak Hebrew, not only in Ulpan, but from Ethiopian teenagers! I prayed in a synangogue where the 8 Oztma volunteers were the only caucasians in the shul - and we knew the least! I spent Simchat Torah at the Kotel, and danced with thousands of Jews in the Old City. I met real family, and I became family with my host family - they took me in and took me on vacation. I fell in love - with a man, with a city, with a country and with a people. Our people! Its an experience that has defined me. I would recommend Otzma to anyone who is curious about Israel, curious about the Middle East, curious about Judaism or curious about themselves.

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  • msamis
    Age: 19-24
    Washington, DC
    TCM International Institute
    Best Decision I Ever Made

    Going on OTZMA was the best decision I ever made. I met some of the closest friends I have today, had some of the most unique and wonderful experiences of my life, and found my future heading in a new and exciting direction. They do a great job integrating you into the society and exposing you to all sides of Israel, letting you make up your own mind about what to believe and feel in a way other programs don't. A life-altering program that I'll always remember!

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  • bpasinko
    Age: 25-30
    Brooklyn, NY
    Time of my life

    The overall experience on OTZMA was incredible and I would whole heartedly recommend it to anyone who is interested in such a program.

    As a participant, I would simply recommend saying yes to everything. They say the more you put into it, the more you get out, and that was certainly true from my experiences.

    Having never been to Israel before, highlights for me included seeing all of the sites, education seminars with people you wouldn't normally have access to hear speak and the freedom to do as you wish in Israel.

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  • Jeremy
    Age: 25-30
    Mountain View
    Life Enriching. Life Changing.

    I spent ten consecutive months without being bored. Ever! Think about that.

    If you're willing to throw yourself into something new with an open mind and a can-do attitude (along with incredibly friendly and helpful support from staff) you will have an adventure. I certainly did.

    One of my favorite times on the program was the winter I spent in a small town called Kiryat Shmonah in Israel's north. Here was a typical day: wake up early, walk to the local elementary school to teach English, get coffee with some Israeli twenty-somethings studying at the local college, help teens collect costume donations for a Purim community fundraiser, shop for fresh veggies at the market, make a beautiful fresh dinner together with my room mates, try to bum a ride to a nearby kibbutz pub, and finally hit the hay, exhausted and happy back at the cozy apartment the three of us shared.

    This was the day-to-day adventure. OTZMA also planned fantastic several-day education days and trips to supplement the important social work I was doing.

    I work at a Hillel and recommend OTZMA to each graduating senior. And now I recommend it to you!

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