Financing Your Year in Israel

For many students, one of the challenges that studying for a year in Israel poses is financial. Below is a partial list of scholarship options and their websites, which are available in order to help defray those costs.

 Some Popular Scholarships

Amount Scholarship
$0-$15,000 Yeshiva/Seminary/Gap Year Program: Contact your program directly. Many schools have scholarship funds for qualifying students.
$1,000-$3,700 MASA: Apply online at http://www.masaisrael.org/masa/english/
$? Synagogue/Rabbi Discretionary Fund: Call and email the local Synagogue Rabbis
$250-$2000 NCSY International Torah Fund: Apply at https://ou.wufoo.com/forms/ncsy-national-torah-fund-scholarship-program
Due by May 15, 2014
$400 Jeff Seidel: Apply at www.jeffseidel.com
$0-$1000 Atlantic Seaboard NCSY: Available to very active Atlantic Seaboard teens. The applications form can be found at: http://atlanticseaboard.ncsy.org/israel-scholarship-form/
Due by May 15, 2014
$1000-$2500 Torah Letzion: Apply at http://torahletzion.org/apply/.
$1000+ Nechamos Yisrael: Call 718-851-0340 for more information. Only for yeshiva/seminary attendees from non-observant homes who currently attend public school or a non-denominational school.

Additional Scholarship Opportunities:

Apply to every sort of organization – synagogues, schools, Jewish Federations, Hillel, and the student organizations. Regardless of affiliation of the synagogue, you should apply to every synagogue in your area – Reform, Conservative, Orthodox, Reconstructionist, etc.

Apply to people and organizations in every community in which you have lived.

Tell people of your interest to study in Israel. You never know who may hear that you need help. And who knows? They may be able to help you.

Jewish National Fund (JNF) “Plant Your Way to Israel” Initiative
You can help JNF and also help yourself by selling trees to be planted in Israel and earn money toward your Israel trip. For every $36 donation that you receive, $18 will go to the purchase of new trees and $18 will go towards your tuition. Start your own personal fund raising web page at www.jnf.org/pyw. Some people may be willing to buy trees by the dozens which can earn you lots of money towards your tuition.

The Amy Adina Schulman Memorial Fund
http://www.amyadinaschulmanfund.org/

124 Snowden Lane
Princeton, NJ 08540
AmyAdinaSchulmanFund@verizon.net

This scholarship is limited to programs that have a strong volunteering component.

Free Airfare
Taglit-Birthright Israel provides COMPLETELY FREE (including airfare) 10-day trips to Israel. If you’re between the ages of 18 – 26 you may be eligible! If a student attends a Birthright trip in August for example, you can extend your airline ticket to be able to stay in Israel for up to a year. Speak to your Birthright trip organizer to find out if extensions are possible. There are many different types of Birthright trips offered by different organizations – one we have worked closely with for years, is Israel Free Spirit – more information can be found at www.israelfreespirit.com. They are consistently ranked amongst the top trip organizers and offer priority acceptance to NCSY Alumni.

Local Jewish Federations (North America)
Many local Jewish Federations have scholarship programs for trips to Israel. Contact your local federation and inquire about sources of funding from within the organization and ask the staff to also recommend other sources of funding available in your local community. Check the website of your Federation or speak to a representative in your city. Every Federation in North America has its own policies on scholarship funding and the details can change from year to year. Please use this link to locate the Federation in your area.

Local Jewish Organizations
Many synagogues, Jewish Community Centers, and other community organizations provide scholarships for Israel programs. It’s worthwhile taking the time to see what funding is available for you. Should you require financial assistance, we encourage you to seek out and contact these funding sources as early as possible to meet any required deadlines.

Synagogue
Many synagogues have scholarship funds to assist young members in participating in Israel programs. In addition, some Rabbis have discretionary funds available that they may award as they deem responsible. Call your family’s synagogue and inquire what assistance may be available to you. Ask your Rabbis if they know of other sources of possible funding.

College Scholarships
Check online college databases, by searching the internet for “college scholarships.” Here are a few: www.college-scholarships.com, www.scholarships.com, www.financialaidfinder.com.

FAFSA www.fafsa.ed.gov/ is a free application for U.S. Govt funding for US Citizens. By participating in a Joint Israel programs, you will be recognized as a student attending the overseas program of a registered American college and are therefore eligible to receive FAFSA grants and loans. Although it is recommended, it’s important to realize that students do not necessarily have to continue their education after Israel at the college in which they are enrolled for the Joint Israel program. There are a few options of Joint Israel programs listed below. Please contact them to find out which one most suits your needs. There may be additional charges from these institutions for their services, however bear in mind that only through a Joint Israel program will you be able to apply for a FAFSA grant.

S. Daniel Abraham Joint Israel program (Yeshiva University) – Students who participate in the S. Daniel Abraham Israel Program may receive federal and state aid if they are eligible. They should apply in the same manner as do students on campus. Students should apply for financial aid for the S. Daniel Abraham Israel Program as soon as possible after January 1st of the year the student will attend the Israel Program. Students must complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). Yeshiva University institutional aid is not available for study in Israel. However, all Federal and State aid is available including Pell, Work-study, Perkins loan and Stafford loans. It is important to apply early so the money is available for your attendance on the Israel Program. Once the processed FAFSA is received by the Office of Student Aid, a Financial Aid Allocation Letter will be sent to you, which will outline the Financial Aid available. See here for more info: http://www.yu.edu/jip/

Touro College Israel Option – Touro College maintains a formal Study Abroad in Israel Option, TCIO, in cooperation with leading Israeli Yeshivas and women’s colleges, and other institutions of Jewish learning. This option has proved extremely popular at Touro: approximately 40% of baccalaureate degree students in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences have studied in Israel. See here for more info: http://www.touro.edu/las/programs/Israel/

Michigan Jewish Institute Joint Israel option – The Michigan Jewish Institute Study Abroad Program was designed to permit our students to spend a year or two of intensive post secondary study in a foreign country.  MJI encourages its students to participate in intensive study abroad as a way of experiencing personal growth and expanding intellectual and educational horizons.  Students often speak of the immense benefit and fresh perspective gained from a change of scene, a new school and immersion in a foreign culture.  The MJI Study Abroad Program enables the student to have all of these benefits with the guarantee that the course work completed will earn credits toward the completion of an MJI BAS degree. See here for more info: http://www.mji.edu/templates/mji/article_cdo/aid/545123/jewish/Program-Description.htm

Hebrew Theological College – The Israel Experience Program (IEP) offered by Hebrew Theological College enables a student to spend a year of intensive study in an Israeli yeshiva or seminary while earning college credit. Most students find the year in Israel a challenging and enriching experience that serves as a guide in developing a lifestyle consonant with Torah values. See here for more info: http://htc.edu/index.php/IEP/IEP.html