Masa Israel Teaching Fellows

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About

Masa Israel Teaching Fellows is a 10-month fellowship for Jewish college graduates ages 21 to 30.

Inside the classroom, you'll assist English teachers in an Israeli elementary or middle school classroom in an underserved community. Help us close the achievement gap in the Israeli education system.

Whether or not you have previous experience working in a classroom, you will train with leading educators from across Israel, through specialized seminars developed by Israel's Ministry of Education.

Outside of the classroom, you can design your own volunteer project based on your personal interests. Past Fellows' projects include organizing community theater productions, facilitating extra-curricular youth programs, and coaching Israeli youth in football.

Develop professional and leadership skills, learn Hebrew and tour all around Israel. Become an integral part of the community in which you live, teach and volunteer - live Israel like a local.

Related Programs

Questions & Answers

There are no programs to my knowledge; the Masa Israel Teaching Fellowship was a 10-month Program. Possibly while on the 10-month program in Israel, you could volunteer further (outside your main school) at an organization or school and teach for 5 weeks there, but the entire length of the program was 10 months.
Hi Sophie, Yes you either have to be Jewish or have one jewish grandparent.

Reviews

92%
based on 28 reviews
  • Benefits 7.5
  • Support 8
  • Fun 7.2
  • Facilities 8.9
  • Safety 9.1
Showing 1 - 15 of 28
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Aly
9/10

Masa Israel Teaching Fellowship, Be'er Sheva, Students

Enjoying moments with my students was the absolutely highlight of my experience. Everything is for them. So when my host teacher decided on an American Idol contest for our 5th graders, I knew that I was going to need to work my butt off with these kids. Most kids decided to dance to English songs, but there were a brave few who decided to sing. One girl in particular decided to sing Anna Kendrick's "Cup Song" with one of her friends. While her friend spoke English well, the girl did not, and her words became mushed together. I worked for 3 weeks with her on getting the song down pat. The line "It's got mountains, it's got rivers" became "It's got monkeys, it's got rivers" and we both had a good laugh and it became our little joke. By the time the performances came around, the girl was nervous but ready and however she did I was going to be proud of her. After the girl and her friend sang, my host teacher was so surprised. She couldn't believe the improvement in her student. The girl ended up winning American Idol and it was one of my proudest moments during my time in ITF.

Yes, I recommend
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Elisa
9/10

An unforgettable year

This program was an affordable and enjoyable way to spend a year abroad and contribute to Israel. With ample free time during the week and from the holidays plus all of the trips that are organized with the group, I really felt that I was able to get to know Israel inside and out. With a ten-month running time, it allows enough time to get to know your host city as well as being able to explore the country to your heart's content.

How can this program be improved?
In general, the organization of the program was lacking. There were often lapses in communication that made for wasted time. Also, the training days were not very useful.
Yes, I recommend
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Rebecca
10/10

Amazing Life Changing Experience

Graduation was right around the corner and I didn't know my next step. I received an email from MASA about Israel Teaching Fellows and I thought I should at least apply. I did not know that moving to Israel for 10 months would change the entire course of my life.

This program is like Birthright 2.0. You make friends for life. You live and work with your peers and you learn how to be a self sufficient adult on a shoe string budget. The stipend forces you to experience the world like a local. You need to shop at the shuk for your groceries, you say yes to Shabbat dinners at local houses, and you explore the area around you.

Not only do you get to know your own neighborhood and find the hidden gems, like Rocket Ship Park in Be'er Sheva, but you take the bus and you go and visit other places. Tel Aviv felt much less foreign with all the signs and menus in English. Each place in Israel has a very unique feel with very different terrain.

There is something for everyone in Israel. I had the opportunity to scuba dive in the Red Sea with all the beautiful sea turtles, run the Tel Aviv marathon, feed the cats in Netanya, and swim in the Dead Sea.

Yes, I recommend
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Rebecca
7/10

It was great to be in Israel

I had an amazing year, I got to live in Israel, hike all the time and taught at a wonderful school. I also lived a 5 minute walk from the beach...amazing! MASA had amazing programs such as the leadership summit, a trip to Poland etc. Make sure you take full advantage of everything offered by Masa.

However the way ITF was run in Netanya was sub par at best. The apartment building was shabby and rundown. It is on one of the main streets in Netanya and unsecured. Drunk vagrants would come and break into our apartments. It also did not help that when we moved in there was a bedbug infestation.

Our once weekly programming was a waste of time except when we went on hikes as a group. It also felt as if there was favoritism at play, some people were offered more opportunities within Masa. With 24 people living in a building it can get a bit like the show real world.

I would like to end on a positive note, the school I was placed at was an amazing fit in a beautiful part of Netanya. I was provided with ample materials and I had a great time teaching and planning for English Days. The majority of participants were lovely and I made lifelong friends. I loved my time in Israel but unless changes are made I would suggest that people really look into the provider they choose and maybe opt out of Netanya. Participants in other cities seemed to be a little happier with there situation.

Also you have to come with a lot of the money because the 1000 shekels they give you a month will disappear in two weeks unless you eat only rice and never go anywhere. Israel is expensive.

No, I don't recommend
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Adriane
10/10

The Best Decision of My Life

Masa Israel Teaching Fellows (MITF) runs 10 months from September-June. Before I left, everyone, including myself, thought I was crazy to leave everything and everyone I've ever known and move to an unfamiliar place with an unfamiliar language. That feeling, the one where I thought I was crazy, really never subsided. It was incredible. It encouraged me to seize every moment. In June, at the end of the 10 months, one of my best friends from the program and I were walking through the Old City of Jerusalem, when we started reflecting on our time in Israel and on our Masa program. Even at the end, we both agreed that we were crazy to embark on the adventure, but it was the best decision we ever made. I walked away with friends from all walks of life and from all over the globe. I now have friends from Australia, Brazil, France, Israel, Argentina, etc. I pushed myself way outside my comfort zone, way beyond anything I had ever known, and I saw the world.

How can this program be improved?
It's funny that this question says that no program is perfect. If you take all of the opportunities that Masa has to offer (trips around Israel, a trip to Poland, the Leadership Summit, various Shabbatons, etc.), then this really could be considered a perfect program. I would say an increase in the monthly stipend would help, but the Israeli government is paying the stipend. And I could say the housing isn't great, but it's free and it led to so many fun memories with the strangers that are now my best friends. So truly, I don't think I would change a thing.
Yes, I recommend
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Danielle
10/10

Amazing!!!

Moving to Israel and participating in the ITF program changed my life. I was 26 years old when I applied, and I could have never imagined the experience I was going to have. While participating in the program, I learned a new language (I didn't know ANY Hebrew prior to the program), made some of the greatest friends on the planet (I'm meeting up with one of them in Spain in a week!), and was able to connect with my inner Judaism. Visiting Israel can be an incredible experience. You can tour the country up-and-down for 10 days and see thousands of years of history and eat the best food on the planet—but it does compare to the experience of living in the Promise Land. Visiting Israel does not show you the selflessness of the Israeli society. Visiting Israel doesn’t allow you to form deep bonds with Israeli citizens and fully understand their viewpoints on the world. Visiting Israel doesn’t teach you to maneuver within a different society and understand cultural differences. Visiting Israel is wonderful, but it is a limited experience, which can only be understood by making the move. If you are thinking about participating in this program, DO IT! My friends and I promise you it will be the experience of your life and something you always remember.

Yes, I recommend
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Seth
10/10

Phenomenal 10-Month Journey in Israel!!!

Having the opportunity to participate in the Masa Israel Teaching Fellows program through Israel Pathways was truly one of my greatest life experiences! Being able to live in Netanya, Israel, while teaching, traveling, and fully immersing myself in the daily life and cultural experiences of Israel was genuinely a journey that I will cherish with me for the rest of my life! From the food and people, to the music and scenery, Israel forever holds a place in my heart, and I will highly encourage anyone and everyone to have the opportunity to visit and/or participate in one of the many incredible Masa programs and experiences.

How can this program be improved?
The only change that I would suggest would be to provide more Ulpan / Hebrew study to the participants that would be useful in navigating through a new life in Israel.
Yes, I recommend
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Debbie
9/10

Teaching Materials/Facilties

The stipend was not much and wasn't as advertised, however ITF is the only program with a stipend. With that said, as long as pay is properly advertised then there are no surprises.

Living facilities in Netanya should be changed. The location is great, but the conditions are sub-par. The building had more an more problems. While it might be good for a another year or so, the housing should be changed sooner, rather than later.

Ulpan - Ulpan in Netanya gave us no books and not so great teachers. Therefore, my suggestion would be to bus us to Tel Aviv or do better research on better teachers and DEFINITELY provide a book. I know other cities did not have this problem and this was specific to Netanya.

Madrichim- They were great, but I employ someone who has graduated college in order to have better fluidity for the program.

Overall experience - amazing. I would do it again and recommend ITF to future prospects. My experience was amazing because I took advantage of every Masa opportunity, and it was through Masa seminars that I met my life-long friends and also developed a network of people.

How can this program be improved?
Talpiot - Get rid of it completely because it was not useful. Instead, implement a more effective program to teach participants how to teach English, something along the lines of TOEFL.

Handbook - there were so many questions I and other participants had before leaving, so a handbook would be great. For example, how to get your visa, what cell phone company to use, what to pack, etc.

Ulpan - Masa should invest the time into making sure the Uplan in each city is up to standards because I Netanya Ulpan was below-average.
Yes, I recommend
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Josh
10/10

Best. Decision. Ever.

Hands down, Israel Teaching Fellows was the best year of my life so far. Living in Israel as a local, traveling and experiencing intimately, has changed the way I see the world and identify in many ways. Teaching gave meaning to my lengthy stay in Israel, and truly made me appreciative of the many opportunities I had to travel both domestically and internationally. I fell in love with the people and land, traveled nearly ever kilometer by foot, bus, bike, camel, and taxi--all the while learning so much about myself.

How can this program be improved?
More facilitated interactions with local Israelis of similar ages
Yes, I recommend
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Ben
7/10

ITF Review

I look back fondly on my time in the program, but also will not allow nostalgia and the passage of time to cloud the very real drawbacks. I formed lifelong friendships, established a deep meaningful ratio ship to the people and land, and clarified many life priorities for myself. However, the stipend was not even remotely sufficient, while led to rather substantial problems (e.g. I rarely had enough money for three meals a day and had to skip breakfast and usually a snack at school as well, causing me to become cranky and unfocused with my students).

How can this program be improved?
The stipend MUST be increased.
Response from Masa Israel Journey

Hi Ben,

Thank you so much for your feedback. We are so glad to hear that you had a positive experience as a Masa Israel Teaching Fellow, despite your issues with the stipend.

Throughout the application process, both Masa Israel Journey and our program providers try to make it clear to potential Fellows that the stipend would not cover all monthly expenses. As such, we recommend that Fellows budget their own spending money to supplement the stipend, according their own spending habits. We are truly sorry if Masa Israel and/or your program provider failed to communicate this important piece of information to you.

Thanks again for your positive review and recommendations for improving Masa Israel Teaching Fellows.

-The Masa Israel Team

Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
K.T.
9/10

ITF in Beit Shean

My experience in the first group of ITF beit shean was a truly amazing experience. I was immersed in Israeli culture every day! Being in a city further away from Tel Aviv and Jerusalem made this immersion more true, but it also made travel more difficult.

My days were filled wth teaching, volunteer work, and spending time with my host family. Many times I would go to weddings, bar/bat mitzvahs, and other parties with my host family and friends from the school. I would also often travel to different places on the weekend so that I could see more if the country.

How can this program be improved?
The biggest difficulty in this program was the communication between Masa, the ITF coordinators, and the teachers/schools we were working with. Often times expectations were not clear and it led to frustrations between the fellows and the teachers. The Masa program could do a much better job at establishing expectations for all who are involved.
Yes, I recommend
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Eric
9/10

Never let disorganization hinder your experiences

In addressing the ratings I gave many of the categories on the previous page, I am going to be quite negative, as those specific areas need a lot of improvement. I would, however, like to say that I had a fantastic experience during my time in Netanya as an Israel Teaching Fellow. The program staff was friendly and nice, I made AMAZING friends, and lived like a local. Our proximity to the beach was mind-blowing and some of our seminars really made an impact. I know that the program is young and it has SO much potential.
I felt that the housing was an interesting choice to say the least. Our group was placed to live one floor above some kind of mental institution (not joking or exaggerating). It never posed much of a major problem but was, as I said, an interesting choice...
Our apartments constantly had problems with electricity, water heating, and overall maintenance and upkeep. The maintenance staff was sloppy, inattentive, and showed many levels of incompetency. Our program staff seemed to do little to rectify this throughout the 10 months we were in Netanya.
The social scene in the city was great, but the social scene set among the 30 of us Americans on the trip was lacking. Our program staff did little to acquaint everyone and made it quite obvious who their favorite fellows were. This type of favoritism, among other variables created a hostile environment. The low level of professionalism exhibited by our program staff contributed to some members of our group feeling like social outcasts. I do not believe I ever felt this way but I heard a lot of complaints and witnessed various scenarios which made me feel sympathy toward these select members.

How can this program be improved?
The ages and levels of maturity and professionalism were quite surprising when it came to the madrichim, not only in my group, but in our sister groups as well. This became a major talking point among the majority of Americans. Especially when dealing with a post-grad program which included many adults above the age of 25. I think that adding American madrichim would do WONDERS. I acknowledge the vast cultural differences between Israelis and Americans, and having a few American liaisons working hand-in-hand with the Israeli program staff could really shake things up in a positive way.
Not only does the Israeli program staff need more/improved training, I think that the American fellows need improved training and more teem-building. We were brought to Talpiot for "training" and it was honestly nothing but a waste of time. It did little to prepare us for our time in our Israeli classrooms. Our days were filled with nonsensical lectures, speakers rehashing things we have all learned in high school, and activities and lessons that were never used during our actual teaching. This time would be better served in intensive Ulpan and shadowing sessions at the schools we were going to be teaching for.
Yes, I recommend
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Emily
9/10

Amazing program and people

I loved my time spent in Israel. The staff put a lot of time and effort into our programming trips, and I met some great people in my group and through other programs I participated in. I think the teaching program could have been a bit better put together, it was hard teaching hebrew without really knowing it too well, but it was a pilot program, so hopefully the next year things went more smoothly.

Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Joshua
10/10

Want to change your life? Israel Teaching Fellows

ITF Netanya changed my life. Before Masa I did not have a clear set of values, no idea of the future, no passion for living, and most of all, no Jewish identity. After Masa, I had it all.

I went on a personal journey to Israel hoping to come back a changed man. I left everything behind in the states. All judgement, worries, stresses, and problems to focus on Israel and the 10 months ahead of me. My mind, my eyes, and my heart were wide open, and Israel was about to fill it all.

Israel Teaching Fellows was incredible. From the first day of being there it felt like home. My Madricha (trip leader) was there to welcome 30+ individuals from all over the states. She personally showed us to our sweet little apartments in the heart of downtown Netanya (even if it was only one main street).

We were given a month to acclimate ourselves to the area, get training for teaching in Israel, have fun (go to the beach) and learn some Hebrew before starting at the schools.

We were assigned another fellow to teach with at the schools and then it started. The crazy, fun, exciting, and amazing experience of teaching in an Israeli school. I made friends with the kids, the teachers, and even the guard outside the school. Those are memories I will never forget. My schedule was the best part: teaching from 8am-2pm Mon-Thur w/ the occasional Fri, and then beach...Oh the beach!

We went on one big trip as a group each month. If you focus on the land, your surroundings, the culture, and the people, these trips are breathtaking. I sailed on the Kineret, floated in the dead sea, hiked the Negev, and explored the diverse culture of Tel Aviv. Truly incredible.

Masa holds these huge opening and closing events in Jerusalem with are so cool! They bring in big Israeli performers, food, and about 4000 other Masa participants. You must go to these!

Learning the language was fun, getting lost on the buses was fun, and going to the Shuk (market) was crazy fun.

You will meet people from all walks of life and make friends that will last a life time. I have a part of me that will always be in Israel now, and to be honest, not a day has gone by where I do not feel like Israel is my home. Before Israel I had no connection to my Jewish Identity...Now it is indescribable. My desire to feel connected to Israel and the Jewish people is like never before. Masa and the experience I was able to have is the reason.

If what you are missing in your life is a connection to something, someone or some place, then Masa and Israel Teaching Fellows is right for you. You will be taken out of your element, outside the box, and into a whole new world where you may actually begin to see clearer. The people of Israel need to know we support them. What better of a way to do that then volunteering your time with your boots on the ground.

How can this program be improved?
It was perfect!
Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Ada
8/10

Masa Israel Teaching Fellow

My time as a Masa Israel Teaching Fellow was the most transformative year of my life. I felt that I was learning everyday, about myself, Israel, and other Jewry. I felt extremely supported by the larger Masa community as well as my teachers and roommates. I made some of my best friends during this year and think about my time there extremely fondly.

Unfortunately, during my time there, the house we lived in was robbed, and we really had to fight with MASA to receive appropriate compensation. In addition, the host program OTZMA was often disorganized and difficult to work with.

That being said--there was an overwhelming wealth of opportunities that MASA provided--workshops, conferences, and shabbaton retreats that connected us with Israelis our age. All these workshops enriched my experience and deepened my appreciation and love for Israel. Since moving back to the States, I still feel like I am part of a larger community, and am still being offered ways to connect with Jews all over the country. My association with Masa allowed me to visit Poland which was a difficult but important experience; one that I know I could not have done without the financial and emotional support Masa provided.

Despite the hiccups, I would 100% encourage everyone to join this organization and participate in one of their many post grad/pre college programs!

Yes, I recommend

About Masa Israel Journey

Masa Israel Journey connects Jewish young adults (ages 18-30) to gap year, study abroad, post-college, and volunteer programs in Israel. Through these immersive experiences, lasting between five and ten months, participants develop professional and...