GAP year program for Ausralia and Sout Africa We are proud to bring Jewish young adults from around the world to experience Israel. The program is for students ages 18-20 who are not currently affiliated with a youth movement (that provides gap- year programs), yet who are interested in a long term gap- year program in Israel.
IBC is open to participants from all levels of religious background, political belief and community involvement. The program observes all laws of Shabbat and Kashrut to allow those wishing to observe these customs the opportunity to do so, and to establish mutual respect between participants.
IBC introduces participants to a wide range of social, political and religious points of view to allow each participant to explore and gain an understanding of the complexities of modern Israeli society.
Our name, Israel by Choice, originates from the foundations of the program which concern pluralism, personal expression and empowerment, as participants contribute to the design and progress of their gap-year program. Participants are involved in decision making processes which impact where and how they will spend their time during the program. This is performed within a well structured and supportive framework, flexible enough to meet the interests of each participant.
We are committed to presenting Israel as a “home for Jews from all over the world”. Participants are encouraged to develop and maintain a connection, and commitment to the State of Israel, as well as to their local communities upon returning home. We establish alumni networks to facilitate involvement in home communities, and to enable our graduates to apply the skills they developed at IBC and make a difference in the world around them.
IBC operates according to the following objectives:
1. Personal Growth
We encourage our participants to utilize their potential, gain new perspective, and develop self-confidence. They are guided to act autonomously and independently through various activities such as:
Participants live independently in their own apartments during part of the program. Here they are expected to cook, clean and manage a budget for themselves.
Participants are involved in various proactive committees to develop various components of the program according to the students’ personal preferences.
Participants are exposed to a range of learning opportunities and interactions with the people that together form modern Israeli society. These exposures allow each participant to develop, question and explore their personal opinions, beliefs and understanding of Israeli society and all that it encompasses.
2. Group Dynamics
IBC works with participants to build a sense of responsibility for the group when they learn to live as members in a community. Under the guidance of a professional, we place importance on the cohesiveness of the group as a whole, and meeting the needs of each individual participant. The participants learn to appreciate the power of the group in reaching personal and collective goals.
3. Pluralistic Environment
IBC believes in the importance of tolerance for a wide range of belief systems. We are open to participants of all backgrounds; religious and non-religious, left and right wing, traditional and non-traditional. We encourage an open dialogue as participants develop appreciation for all those around them, and learn from each other.
4. Bonding with Israeli Youth
We facilitate participants’ interaction with their Israeli counterparts. Opportunities to meet, engage and live with Israeli youth are provided throughout the program at mechinot (pre-army leadership development academies), post-army groups, with soldiers and youth involved in community based programming and activities.
5. Comprehensive Exposure to Israeli Society
Throughout the program, participants gain insight into the various perspectives of Israeli society. Participants encounter a wide range of living within the Israeli community including; big cities, kibbutzim and small communities. Participants are given the opportunity to explore the beautiful Israeli landscape as it crosses from the snow, to the beach, to the desert, to the hills.
6. Experiencing Israel from the Israeli Perspective
The IBC program is run entirely by Israelis, allowing participants to experience Israel from the Israeli perspective. Participants learn and experience various aspects of Israeli society, its people, traditions and landscape, which are beyond the reach of those based in the Diaspora.
Registration Procedure: on line application and personal interview