GAP YEAR Life in Tel Aviv
In addition to studying at the BINA Secular Yeshiva and social action in the neighboring communities, you'll also enjoy various enrichment activities, including tours throughout the country, encounters with a variety of social activists, activities with Israeli peers, and more. Shabbat and holidays will be celebrated in a pluralistic, inclusive atmosphere designed and led by you and your fellow participants.
Live in apartments in the south Tel Aviv neighborhood of Shapira. The apartments are furnished and equipped with all of the basic necessities. You will be sharing a room with one or two other participants, in an apartment of Gap participants, and next-door to your Israeli peers.
Living in a group
Our program encourages participants to live as a group using communal resources. This means many daily living decisions are made democratically, as a group. In addition, the group has a joint sum of money that is used collectively for buying groceries and other necessities. Meals are usually cooked together or are provided during learning days.
Truly immerse yourself in Israeli society!
What better way to practice your Hebrew than living and speaking with Israelis your own age?!
For your Israeli peers, this is their gap year before their mandatory military service. They choose to spend the year with BINA, exploring their identities, Jewish and otherwise, through study and social activism.
Join in on their life-changing year! You'll be supported as an English-speaker with classes in English, as well as an English-speaking counselor. Whether you come with no Hebrew, went to Jewish Day School, or grew up in a Hebrew-speaking home, your Hebrew and understanding of Israeli society will grow exponentially. And you'll make 50+ new best friends!
Cultural Exchange on All Sides
You'll be surprised about the diversity within the Israeli Mechina.
This innovative program is just as much about the Israelis learning from you, as it is you learning from them. All participants will be able to share what being Jewish means to them; to learn about the similarities and differences with your peers who grew up on the other side of the world.
You'll soon be invited to spend Shabbat at one of your new friend's family's home - a treat while you're far away from your own home, as well as a unique cultural experience for everyone involved!
Every participant on the Gap/Mechina program will join a committee (tzevet in Hebrew) to take responsibility over their experience. From organizing community Shabbat and holiday events, to writing a Gap/Mechina newsletter, planning a group hike trip (from start to finish), or activism.
Participants will have other opportunities to take on other projects they're passionate about benefitting themselves and the group.
BINA Gap year program participants will leave with a strong sense of responsibility for themselves, the group, the Jewish people, Israel, and the world; along with the tools to act.
The Gap program encourages intentional relationships, through dialogue, group decision making, peer leadership, and conflict resolution.
As the Mechina participants prepare for their army service, Gap participants prepare for University. After Gap, participants are better prepared and motivated for taking full advantage of their University studies and experience.
Gap participants can choose to take part in the Mechina's pre-army activities, learning more about Israeli society, strengthening their Hebrew, and engaging with their peers.