Masa Israel Teaching Fellows (MITF) will open the 2019-20 academic year with 200 English-speaking volunteers to serve schools in Israel’s periphery
MITF, a Masa initiative in partnership with Israel’s Ministry of Education, is set to launch its ninth year of programming. 200 English-speaking young Jewish professionals will arrive in Israel from around the world at the start of the academic year. This program testifies to the growing commitment of world Jewry to Israel with the number of participants increasing five-fold over the last eight years.
Fellows will teach English in elementary and middle schools within Israel’s social and geographic periphery, including in the cities of Beit She’an, Ramla, Nazareth, Bat-Yam, Rishon LeZion, Haifa, Ashdod, Rehovot, Netanya, Beit-Shemesh, Jerusalem, and Tel Aviv. Over the course of 10 months, they will teach in classrooms or in small groups, depending on the schools’ needs.
“We are particularly excited to work with Israel’s Ministry of Education this year to increase English literacy among Israel’s youth,” said Liran Avisar Ben Horin, the Chief Executive Officer of Masa. “And in addition, we fulfill our mission—to connect the younger generations of the Jewish diaspora to the global Jewish community and Israel.”
This year’s cohort is comprised of a diverse group of individuals. They join the program from a wide array of English-speaking countries, mainly from the United States, England, Canada, and Australia. Fellows range in levels of cultural or religious Jewish observance. There is also a growing number of fellows from top universities, including Harvard, Columbia, Berkley and Sorbonne. Many fellows hold teaching certifications and have previous field experience; some having already taught English outside of their home country: in Thailand, Hungary, Easter Island, and more.
“I will arrive in Israel straight from Ahmedabad, India, where I am overseeing a student volunteer delegation dedicated to women’s empowerment,” said New Jersey native and Harvard graduate Holly Millet. “I am very excited to continue this work in Israel.”
The MITF program not only provides opportunities for professional development; it increases the global Jewish community’s connection to Israel. Thirty-five to forty percent of MITF alumni have immigrated to Israel with some choosing to continue working in various frameworks of education.
As Yana (Jane) Levin, who is pursuing a master’s in social work at San Diego University and will be part of MITF this year, puts it: “I was not raised in a family that actively practiced Judaism, but this program combines my love for children with an opportunity to develop a deeper connection to my roots.”
About Masa Israel Journey: Masa Israel Journey is the largest immersive, long-term educational experience for young adults ages 18-30. On its programs that range from two-months to a year, Masa offers an authentic, unmediated and challenging journey into Israeli society, culture, politics and history – and acts as the largest pipeline for the Jewish diaspora to access the finest Israeli businesses, social enterprises and academic institutions. Since its 2004 founding by the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office and The Jewish Agency, Masa has served over 120,000 young people from more than 62 countries.