Maccabi Gap Year is a 5-10 month program for post-high school students interested in having a unique Israel experience, coordinated and planned by Maccabi World Union & BBYO. In this program, each participant has the ability to design their own experience with activities ranging from sports, outdoor adventure, community service, Hebrew immersive learning, life on a Kibbutz, a Holocaust educational experience in Poland, domestic Israel trips, Israel Defense Force connections, and more

The program includes Medical insurance, three meals a day, accommodations, transportation & program activities.

The Gap Year program is fully supervised and coordinated by Maccabi World Union Madrichim under the supervision of the Director.



This Seminar is very important for all group members. An opportunity to get to know each other through activities and time spent together, meet the program Coordinators and the Madrichim who will be involved throughout the entire program.

Program Rules & Regulations will be reviewed, and all participants will know what is expected during each phase of the program. All seminar activities are mandatory.

Eight-day course takes place in Eilat, and is designed to accredit you as an Advanced Open Water Diver. Course includes theoretical and practical experiences every day. Participation in each and every class is mandatory.

During this part of the program participants will live in apartments located in Tel Aviv with 3-6 roommates. There will be evening activities held two times per week either with the Madrichim or various professional lectures to attend. While living in Tel Aviv, participants will receive a weekly stipend and be responsible for their own food shopping, cleaning, cooking, laundry, and other housekeeping.  Madrichim are also living on site and are always available.


The course and volunteering with Magen David Adom (MDA) will take place during the time participants are living in Tel Aviv as well as learning Hebrew at Ulpan, Volunteering with the Israeli Foundation for Olympic Excellence, and their Academic studies at the University.

  1. Hebrew Ulpan - Two days a week, for 8 weeks, at Ulpan Gordon. Following a placement exam, each student will be assigned to his or her level and given a class schedule.
  2. Magen David Adom (MDA)
    This is a 10-day intense all-day theory and practice course that will teach and equip students with the tools to become a member of an ambulance crew. There won't be much free time in the first 10 days of this program.
    In order continue as a volunteer with MDA at one of the ambulance stations, you must pass a final exam (in English) which will test both your knowledge of Paramedic theory, and practical skills. Once you pass, you will be placed in one of the Tel Aviv area ambulance stations.

NOTE: Each course has a limited number of spaces available, and admission is strictly at the discretion of MDA staff; full registration details must be received, interview completed & medical information reviewed before any decisions are made.

  1. Academic Studies
    Participants will have the opportunity to study 1-2 days per week for 8 weeks at either Business Entrepreneurship in Ono Academic College in Kiryat Ono, or Archaeology & Ancient Modern Israel at Bar Ilan University in Ramat Gan.
    **Program Syllabi available upon request.
  2. The Israeli Foundation for Olympic Excellence (IFOE)
    The IFOE provides the resources for top Olympic grade coaches to scout, support and train Israeli children gifted with Olympic potential. At the same time, the IFOE promotes a sporting culture of fairness and aspiration for excellence. Participants will have the opportunity to volunteer once a week with this foundation and work alongside Olympic grade coaches and the children they assist.
    Arik Zeevi, Founder and CEO of this IFOE is a retired Israeli Judoka, and is widely recognized as the country's most prominent Judoka during his career.


Living and working on a Kibbutz places you in a social setting different to any other living situation you have been accustomed to.  It is a co-operative community or a communal co-operative approach to living and working. Your first couple days are for settling into this lifestyle, your accommodations, explanations, and planning your work schedule. You will be accompanied by a live-in Madrich and a Kibbutz contact person.

While living on the Kibbutz, you will work 3 days a week, 4-8 hours per day, depending on the requirements of the particular Kibbutz and workplace. Two days a week, after work hours, you will study Hebrew & then have free time for activities, the swimming pool, sports, and more. Your Madrich will organize activities once or twice weekly which may include optional lectures, movies, recreational activities, trips in the vicinity of your kibbutz, outings to the city, integration with Kibbutz youth, etc. In addition there will also be other activities that are organized by the Kibbutz.



Service in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) is a basic element in the life of young Israelis, a personality-forging rite-of-passage that strengthens their patriotism and identification with the State of Israel.  We therefore consider taking part in Marva to be of huge personal significance for our participants which will undoubtedly deepen their sense of belonging to the Jewish People.


Marva will deliver various typical 'boot camp' experiences of military life; as well as acquiring practical skills and learn the ethical content of the IDF, the world's only authentic 'Civilian Army'. Throughout the program, participants will be led by a team of Officers and Sergeants, and will be under their command 24/7.

NOTE: While the Marva is an army experience, participants will never be exposed to danger or be placed in an operational situation.

**Acceptance into Marva is strictly at the discretion of the IDF, and your application will be reviewed after full registration details are received, medical information reviewed, and after a final interview.

Pre-Seminar - December 19 – December 22, 2019

Post Seminar - December 29 - December 31, 2019

Prior to the Poland trip participants will have a 4-day Seminar that will prepare them for their journey to Poland. This will be presented in conjunction with Yad Va'Shem.

In Poland the group will visit significant locations of the Shoah; in Warsaw, Krakow, Lodz, pre-war Jewish neighborhoods and Synagogues, Ghettos, Concentration Camps, Death Camps and museums.

Upon return, there will be a seminar for the participants to debrief & share their experience.

This 3-month program is a gathering in Jerusalem of young participants from the various Youth Movements which educates and strengthens youth leadership focused on Israel and Zionism.  There are a variety of courses; Inside the Israel/Arab/Palestinian Conflict, Inner workings of Jewish Identity & Culture throughout the Ages, Core Hadracha to Relevant, Real Life case studies from your own communities, Israeli Society through the Film Lens, Culture & Arts in Israel, and more.

This is a real life interactive leadership journey where all participants will learn about each other, be better equipped with answers to understand the complexity of conflict, have a deeper understanding & learn how to share the information once they return home.

The Machon is an educational community composed of Educators from all sectors of the Jewish and Zionist world in which everyone, both the team and the participants, assume commitments and responsibilities based on an educational concept that seeks a balance between the autonomy of the individual and the commitment to collective needs.

The Machon program was built on three objectives:  

  • Strengthening the Connection with Israel
  • Strengthening the Jewish Identity
  • Providing tools for Leadership and Hadracha

Maccabi Tzair is Maccabi World Union's Youth Movement with branches all over Israel.

A specific Maccabi Tzair branch will be assigned to & host the participants throughout the program in various events such as the Maccabi Torch Relay, Purim festivals and home hospitality during some weekends.

We are working with Goldfish Productions, a leading Israeli Event Production firm who creates unique, fun experiences. Their clients consist of Israel's top 100 firms as well as smaller companies and municipalities.

The participants will work alongside Goldfish staff and take part in sport productions such as Triathlons, Marathons, and Night Runs etc. Participants will experience the back stage of these events. At Maccabiah 2017, Goldfish Productions produced & created the Junior Maccabiah HUB in Haifa.

There will be opportunities throughout the program where participants will visit a sports TV studio and see television coverage of games, meet with sport's reporters, visit the editorial of a newspaper, examine press coverage, watch a Maccabi TLV game from the press room, and see how the actual game is broadcasted. There will also be a dialogue between participants and the CEO of one of the main Israeli sport teams regarding his & their views on sports & media.

Price Table


Gap Year Date Options Cost
August 19, 2019 – January 5, 2020 $12,500
August 19, 2019 – February 27, 2020 $15,500
August 19, 2019 – June 9, 2020 $20,500

How to get a scholarship

    1. The MASA Project – Scholarships
      The MASA project is a joint initiative of the Israeli Government and the Jewish Agency for Israel whose purpose is to make long-term programs in Israel more affordable by giving need-based scholarships to participants. BBYO Gap Year program is approved by MASA and applications can be obtained through the MASA website. Here is a full list of additional scholarship you can apply to
    1. Jewish Federation
      Contact local Jewish Organizations – a full list can be found here. Even if your Federation is not listed on the list provided, it is worthwhile to contact the Jewish Federation in your community. How to do so? Call their office, do not email them. When you call the Federation, ask to speak with the Financial Aid Director or to the person in charge of scholarships or Israel desk. Explain your situation and ask if you‘re eligible to apply to any of their scholarships.
      Each Federation has different scholarships to offer – if you have any questions call Nitzan for help.
    1. The Bureaus of Jewish Education listed below only give scholarships to people who are located in and or around their city. Please do not contact them if you’re from a different area:
      1. Cleveland area – (216) 371–0446.
      2. Indianapolis – (317) 255–3124.
      3. Orange County, CA –(949) 435–3450.
      4. Phoenix – (480) 634–4900, ext. 1119.
      5. Rhode Island – 401.421-4111 ext. 179.
      6. San Francisco – If you’re from the San Francisco Bay Area, contact the Financial Aid Director, (415) 751-6983, ext. 107.
    1. Israel within Reach Scholarship – visit their website to learn more about their scholarships (for San Francisco and Bay Area teens)

If you would like to hear more about the program, please leave your contact details and our Israeli Shaliach Daniel will be back to you by phone or email

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