Gap Year Initiative

Through our Challenging Israel Course, The Israeli Hope Program at the Israeli President’s Residence, Tours, Seminars & Guest Speakers, Makom Teacher’s Lounge Podcast, and our Weekly News Updates, our Gap Year Initiative helps students develop their own Zionist narratives, hone their ability to articulate it and guide them to advance their knowledge in the issues. 

Makom’s Challenging Israel Course is not just a course about Israel. It is an exploration of Zionism and Israel through history, culture, politics, current events, and more. Students have the opportunity to examine multiple narratives, ask tough questions, engage in real conversations with their teachers and peers. This course is currently taught at 20+ Gap-Year Programs. If you’re interested in organizing this course for your institution — we can provide customized modules ranging from 8 to 25 hours — please contact BenjaminD@jafi.org.

For more background on the course and a sample syllabus, please click here.

The Israeli Hope Program at the Israeli President's Residence

For the first time in decades, President Rivlin has opened the gates of the President’s Residence in Jerusalem, with the establishment of the Visitors and Workshops Center. Since its opening, tens of thousands of visitors from the many diverse sectors in Israeli society have been able to visit the nation’s house. Now, thanks to a unique partnership, Makom have become the first, and exclusive, providers of tours and educational programs in the President’s Residence for English speakers. Gap year students in Israel have been the first to experience this transformative program, which includes a tour of the Residence, including the room for state ceremonies, an interactive onsite workshop learning about the Four Tribes of Israeli Society – Arab, Charedi, Religious Zionist and Secular – and how President Rivlin’s Israeli Hope mission is transforming the way Israeli society will function over the coming decades.

For more information about this program, please click here.

We believe that experiential learning is key to developing a solid Israel education, which is why we supplement our course with tours, seminars  and guest speakers. We offer students from our partner schools who may not be enrolled in our courses these experiences to explore Israel and engage with Israeli society.

For a list of our offerings, please click here.

Makom Teachers Lounge Podcast

The Makom Israel Teachers Lounge is a weekly podcast hosted by veteran Israel Educators Mike Unterberg and Alan Goldman, taking students, alunni and the Israel enthusiast behind the headlines to tackle what’s really going on in Israeli politics, news and culture. We host Israeli and American-Jewish thought leaders, politicians, journalists and activists to give us the most up to date and powerful insight for our students, alumni and Israel enthusiasts. Previous guests on our podcast include Natan Sharansky, Daniel B. Shapiro, and Gil Troy. Since many of our students and alumni are looking for engaging Israel content when they are outside of the classroom or no longer in Israel, our podcast has been an effective tool to reach them to bring Israel to them wherever they are at.

Weekly Israel News Updates

We send out weekly news updates to 500+ students that have opted in to this weekly update from our Israel education team. This is done through Whatsapp. Here is an example of an update: