Shnat Netzer

Duration: February- June (five months) with a five month add-on volunteer opportunity before or after the core program.

Cost: $10,000 USD (Before grants and scholarships) Price includes food, accommodations, health insurance and travel in Israel.

The five months spent together as a Shnat Netzer cohort is divided into three parts:

DISCOVERY - Jerusalem

While meeting new faces from around the world and travelling Israel from North to South, you’ll join an elite cohort at the Institute for Youth Leaders (Machon Le’Madrichei Chutz La’Aretz), a leading training program of the Jewish Agency for Israel to provide you with the requisite skills to become a service-oriented leader of today!

During your time as a fellow of The Machon, you’ll have an opportunity to live with other fellows from around the globe-- studying together and building a community committed to an open and pluralistic environment. For 75 years, The Machon has been training high school graduates to be the catalysts for social change and action, and today hold key positions in leadership throughout the Jewish world and Israel.

During this part of shnat, your days will be packed with activities - including classes and workshops that incorporate the values of Progressive Judaism and Progressive Zionism in a non-formal way. You will be learning for the sake of learning; your ideas and thoughts will be challenged as we explore different issues facing Israel, the Jewish people, and our world in general. Some of your sessions will also be peer-led requiring you, on your own or with your peers, to investigate and lead discussions on key issues that you have selected to address or identified as needing further exploration by the group.Other daytime activities include tours and meet-ups; evenings and most weekends are your free time.

Examples of topics of past courses and workshops include (but are not limited to):

  1. Morality in Judaism
  2. Hebrew Ulpan
  3. What is a Jewish identity?
  4. Zionism 101
  5. Political Economies and Social Inequality
  6. The Greatest Jewish Ideas
  7. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict
  8. Community Building and Sustainability
  9. Modern Israel
  10. Project Management

ACTION - Haifa

After an intensive few weeks in Jerusalem, it’ll be time to pack your bags and move to Haifa, where you’ll have a chance to apply all the new skills you’ve gained in Jerusalem. Here you’ll take part in local culture, politics, and society; making meaningful connections through hands-on learning, travel, and volunteer opportunities in Haifa.

Your apartment will be in the city proper, within close proximity to your peers from the Israeli youth movement Noar Telem!

Three days a week will be dedicated to volunteer either in small groups or individually. Past volunteer opportunities have included: “teaching English in a local school or kindergarten; working with food salvage organizations, packing food in a food bank or soup kitchen; empowering youth at risk through sports; researching for the city’s central LGBTQ center; Jewish-Arab community center; and leading activities in the Reform community in Haifa with Noar Telem.” This should only serve as a guide, with staff on standby to assist you in finding the most fulfilling volunteer placement for your interests and skills.

Twice weekly, you’ll have full educational days devoted to hands-on learning with local change makers on issues regarding social activism. Together you’ll develop a strategic plan to develop local programming and facilitate them for the local community with the support of trained staff.

Despite the long days, evenings and weekends will be yours to explore and discover!


Throughout the program participants will have themed seminars and trips. Together as a cohort you’ll plan and execute these seminars as part of leadership (hadracha) training. Seminars will additionally provide supplemental Jewish and Israel based educational opportunities promoting mifgashim (encounters) with locals.

Examples of extracurriculars include seminars on Tikkun Olam, trips including internationally to places like Poland, Jewish peoplehood seminars, and constructive dialogue courses on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.


Please note that Jewish Service participants are required to spend a minimum total of 7 months in Israel should a participant opt for a foreign travel component to their volunteer service.

Examples of current options include:

Serving as a madrich in one of Netzer’s Progressive Jewish summer camps around the world, including Germany, UK, France, Panama, Australia, South Africa, and Brazil.

Volunteering in one of the World Union’s 1,200 Progressive Jewish congregations around the world

Joining ProjectTEN, a division of The Jewish Agency for Israel (please email Simona at for more info on this option)

Magen David Adom training and volunteer service

Need more info? Have more questions? Contact us.