Gap Year Learning

During your Gap Year, you will learn about a variety of central themes within Judaism and Israel. All of our classes are taught from a pluralist perspective, learning from each individual's knowledge and experience. You'll meet great Jewish philosophers throughout the ages, learn political philosophy, and explore issues in contemporary Israeli society including refugees and social activism.


Classes will take place at BINA's Secular Yeshiva, located within the Botanical Gardens in the heart of south Tel Aviv. BINA's outstanding educators teach in an informal learning atmosphere, supporting open discussion and thought.

Hebrew Ulpan

You'll begin the program with a period of intensive Ulpan study with qualified Hebrew Ulpan teachers. The Ulpan classes are designed to get your Hebrew to a functional level for your volunteering, day-to-day life, and basic interactions with your Israeli peers. In order to keep improving your Hebrew, participants will continue to have Ulpan throughout the duration of the Gap program. Even if you come with no Hebrew at all, Ulpan will build your skill set in order to prepare you for the fully-immersive second semester.


If you already speak Hebrew fluently, you can be exempt from Ulpan classes, and/or have the opportunity to learn in Hebrew classes with Israeli participants. If you think this might apply to you, please contact us for more information.


Trips & Tours

On BINA's Gap Year in Tel Aviv, you will learn first-hand about Israeli society,

culture, and politics, including encounters with key members in Israeli society,

representing a wide range of leaders and social activists from Tel Aviv-Jaffa

and other parts of the country. Some key figures who have met BINA

participants in the past include Brig. Gen. Yossi Eldar, a veteran of the Yom

Kippur war; MK Stav Shafir; renowned philosopher Prof. Asa Kasher; Israeli

author and novelist Haim Be'er; Journalist and writer Dov Elbaum, and many



In addition, you will go on day tours and excursions throughout Israel,

including tours to Hebron, Jerusalem's Old City, the Negev Desert, the Golan

Heights, and more. Many excursions will be "off the beaten track," such as a

visit to unrecognized Bedouin villages or an encounter with the Druze community in the Carmel.


BINA Gap Year will also join the Israeli Mechina participants on all of the hikes and camping trips throughout the country.


Gap Year Courses

(subject to change)





Learn the history of philosophy through a Jewish lens, from ancient to modern thinkers, using the texts to develop yourself and your skills of critical thinking. Compare and contrast Jewish and Secular philosophies and analyze how the values in the world can influence us and manifest itself in our lives.

Social Justice Beit Midrash

Noga Brenner Samia

Reading chosen stories of the Talmud through the prism of different methods – literary, political, feminist, queer, psychological, environmental, and more. This class will make you more familiar with the original Jewish text, while also encourage you to consider how we as Jews view social justice.

Theater Beit Midrash

Yael Tal

Dynamic group building, problem solving.

"My favorite classes are Theater and Multi-disciplinary Beit Midrash. The first half of the year I had these classes in English and the second half of the year in Hebrew. I love these classes because they give me a chance to explore material in a more hands-on, discussion-based style than I did in High School."

- Hannah Glass, GAP 2017-2018 participant

Welcome to the Middle East


Welcome to the Middle East is an introduction class to the political and social environment of Israel and its surroundings. In class we discuss and learn about Israel's history, neighboring countries, as well as the the culture and atmosphere that consist the life of the people living in the Middle East, with an emphasis on Israel and its conflicts. The political climate of Israel today, as well as the recent events that led to this climate, are discussed in depth in this class.

Issues in Modern Israel

Yuval Linden

Learn about the burning, relevant issues in Israeli society today. Use historical and cultural sources to understand their influence on what is going on in Israel today. Think about fascinating questions such as if Israeli society is a melting-pot or a mosaic, how the Holocaust helped build the Israeli ethos, and what we can learn about Israeli society through sport.

Stories of the Chalutzim

Muki Tzur

Hear about the history of the pioneers of Israel from an expert in the area who has seen it all - Muki Tzur is one of Israel’s most celebrated authors and historians and is a leading expert on the first Aliyah movements, the early settlement period in Israel, the labor movement and Kibbutz life.

This class will offer a personal spin on Israel's history and a deeper knowledge of the pioneers who started it all.

Chamamot (Greenhouse)

Gap Year Participants

This is your chance to shine! Each participant will have the opportunity to lead a 45 minute class or workshop of their choice for the rest of their group, helping them to develop into a stronger educator and leader.

Monotheism (Optional)

Zoe Jick

Learn about the three monotheistic religions: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam – their theology, philosophy, and history. Examine their expression in the State of Israel, the Holy Land for all three religions.

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© 2018  BINA International Department

BINA operates under the Israeli nonprofit Merchavim, with the support of the Kibbutz Movement, Posen Foundation, and additional supporters.

For a complete list, visit: | 6 Lavon Steet, P.O. Box 12070, Tel Aviv-Yafo 6112001, Israel |
Israel (+972) 53-902-3329 (Call or SMS) | USA (+1) 646-883-5105 (Call or SMS)