Frequently Asked Questions

General

Am I eligible for WUJS?

WUJS is open to university graduates between the ages 21-35.  If you have not graduated from university you are still eligible as long as you meet the age requirement.  Participants can be single or married without children.  In order to participate in the programme you should have a decent level of English.  This ensures that you will be able to understand, speak, read and write, at a level that will allow you to participate in discussions and to communicate with the staff and your peers.

What certification do I get at the end of the programme?

Upon successfully completing the programme, you will receive a certificate of completion from WUJS.  In addition, you will receive a letter of recommendation from the WUJS staff and the internship in which you were placed.

In what language is the programme conducted?

All classes and activities are conducted in English, apart from the Hebrew language ulpan.  While participants of WUJS come from around the world and speak a variety of languages, all of the official communication between the staff and participants is in English.  While it is not a requirement for English to be your first language, you will need to be able to understand, speak, read and write at a level that will allow you to participate in discussions and to communicate with the staff and your peers.  Those participants who can communicate in Hebrew will have a wider choice of internship placements available to them.

 I am thinking about making Aliyah.  Should I come on WUJS first?

Yes.  WUJS is a great stepping-stone for someone who is considering Aliyah.  Spending five months in Israel before Aliyah can help ease your transition to Israeli life.  Additionally, being on WUJS will help you build professional and personal connections as well as a sense of community.  WUJS makes special efforts to expose its participants to Israeli society and to help them feel comfortable in their surroundings.

Will WUJS help me make Aliyah once I am in Israel?

Yes, we will help you through the exciting yet bureaucratic process of making Aliyah.  In the middle of the programme there is an Aliyah seminar where you will hear from experts about Aliyah rights and benefits, education, employment, army, and navigating the Israeli bureaucratic system.  Additionally, a WUJS staff member will help you create a CV in Hebrew and in the Israeli style, and will meet with you multiple times to help you with apartment hunting and navigating employment websites.

Can I be religious on WUJS ?

Absolutely!  If possible, we will try to create separate apartments for all those who keep kosher.  In cases when this is not possible, we will provide you with your own utensils.  In regards to Shabbat, all programme activities will be “Shomer Shabbat” but participants are allowed to behave according to their own beliefs in their apartments.  Being religious can mean different things to each person and the level of observance can vary significantly.  If you have more specific questions on that matter, please contact us at office@fzy.org.uk.

Will I have a chance to get to know Israelis?

Yes, but it will depend on your own efforts to take advantage of the opportunities.  Depending on the number of applicants who come on the programme we invite Israeli peers – either students or young professionals – to live in the building with WUJS participants and to take part in some WUJS programming.  The programme also tries to build connections with Israelis through events and combined activities.  These opportunities allow participants to meet Israelis of similar age, to learn about Israeli society and culture, and to make Israeli friends that will last a lifetime.

Finances & MASA

Am I eligible for a MASA grant?

Most WUJS participants are eligible for a MASA grant.  The grant is a universal one and is not linked into financial needs, etc.  If you are between the ages of 21 and 30, do not have Israeli citzenship or left Israel before the age of 14, have not been on an organised long-term immersion programme to Israel before and have not spent 4 consecutive months or longer in Israel in the 24 months prior to WUJS beginning, then you should be eligible for the MASA grant.  To find out more information you should check out the MASA website.

If I am ineligible for the MASA grant, how much will the WUJS programme cost me?

The price of WUJS should you be ineligible for the MASA universal grant is:

  • Tel Aviv Internship programme will cost £5,549 instead of £3,615
  • Tel Aviv Arts programme will cost £5,619 instead of £3,685
  • Jerusalem Internship & Arts programmes will cost £5,479 instead of £3,545
  • Haifa Internship programme will cost £3,949 instead of £2,015
  • Haifa Arts programme will cost £4,229 instead of £2,295

Are there any bursaries or scholarships available to go on WUJS?

If you are eligible for a MASA universal grant then there are also MASA needs-based scholarships which are available.  Currently there are no other bursaries of grants that are available however if finance is an obstacle for you participating in WUJS please speak to the FZY Office (+44 208 201 6661 or office@fzy.org.uk) and they may be able to suggest alternative sources of funding.

Learning Hebrew

Can I learn Hebrew on WUJS ?

Yes, yes, and yes!  WUJS offers a Hebrew language Ulpan.  In addition, there are opportunities to mix with local Israelis through internships, social activities, and by simply living an everyday life in the Jewish State.

Does the fact that most people are English speakers affect the amount of Hebrew I am likely to learn?

Despite the predominance of English speakers on the programme, there are plenty of opportunities to mix with Israelis and to speak the language.  While it is true that students tend to use English outside of the Hebrew classroom, you will find that you can speak as much Hebrew as you desire.  Our students are highly motivated learners and the participant body is homogenous in terms of age.  All this creates an atmosphere of serious study and enables motivated students to advance rapidly.

Will I have enough Hebrew at the end of the course to start work in Israel?

Your fluency in Hebrew upon leaving WUJS will depend on three factors: how much Hebrew you started with, your own linguistic ability, and the extent to which you apply yourself during the programme.  WUJS is proud to provide its students with a firm foundation of Hebrew and we are confident that our participants will have a strong enough base to successfully work in Israel.  If your profession is not one in which fluency is a necessity, you should have enough Hebrew by the end of the course to begin working.  However, certain professions – such as law, psychology, and social work – require more interaction with the Israeli populace and may pose a challenge if you are not fluent in Hebrew.

Internship Track

I want to use this opportunity as a career change – is that possible?

Yes, it is possible to explore a different field than your own on WUJS.  However, having a background in a specific field increases the likelihood of receiving an internship in that field.  Please keep in mind; skills, experience, and background are key factors in attaining any internship on WUJS.  If you wish to intern in a field in which you have no experience, you may have to begin with an entry level position.  WUJS seeks to provide you with opportunities and experiences that will be most beneficial to you and your career.

Is it possible to intern for an international company?

Yes.  Many WUJS participants have interned for international companies.  Many of them have received job offers and are now paid employees of these companies, both in Israel and in their home countries.

Can I meet with someone at my internship placement before the programme begins either on Skype or in person?

Yes.  WUJS will arrange a meeting between you and your internship option(s) to see if the placement is a suitable fit – for both you and the organisation.

Can I switch internships in the middle of the programme?

As a general rule, we do not encourage participants to switch internships in the middle of the programme.  Internship placements prefer candidates who are able to commit to a significant period of time because of the intense training and mentoring involved.  Interning with one company for the allotted 5 month period will also look better on your CV!

Can I switch early on?

If after a short period of time you find that the internship placement does not meet your expectations, we will find you a new placement.  Please keep in mind, the longer you wait, the harder it will be to find a meaningful internship.

What if I’m let go?

If your behaviour was the cause of the termination of the previous internship – being late, rude or unprofessional – it will be your own responsibility to find a new internship placement.  If you’re let go for another reason, we will work hard to find a new opportunity.

What kind of support will I receive from WUJS during my internship?

WUJS coordinators are in constant contact with you and with the internship placement to make sure both sides are satisfied.  The coordinators send your internship your entire schedule so that the internship is aware of your extra activities.  If there are minor issues between you and the internship placement (usually deriving from cultural differences), the coordinator will help you resolve them.  If in the rare case things do not work out between you and the internship placement, the coordinator will find you a new placement.

Can my internship lead to a job offer?

Absolutely YES!  Many of our participants have received job offers from their internship placements and are still working for them either in Israel or in their home countries.

Arts Track

Who is this programme for?

The WUJS Arts programme is for artists who want to take some time to work on their art, expand their portfolio while earning professional experience in an internship that’s related to their art.  The programme does not offers skills classes.  Participants have the time and space to work on their art with peers, and grow their connection to the Israeli art community.

Will I be able to participate in skills classes for my art, music, drawing, fashion designing, pottery, etc. classes?

Skills classes are not part of the WUJS programme.  However, you may take classes at your own expense during down time.  The WUJS Arts coordinator can help you find a suitable teacher or class.

I am an actor/musician, and I want to perform while I’m in Israel.  Will you help me get auditions or gigs?

WUJS Arts coordinators will do their best to provide you with information about auditions and venues where you can perform.  We cannot guarantee acceptance to any venue.  WUJS Arts puts on a final show that will allow all artists to perform their art in front of an audience.

How much time per week will I have to dedicate to my art?

It depends on where you will be based, but you could have anything from 1 day to 3 days a week to spend on your art.  You will also have the weekend to work on your art.

Will I get my own studio?

Participants on WUJS Arts Jerusalem may use the FZY/Young Judaea classrooms as a work space, upon availability.  Students are also given a small storage room to store artwork.  Participants on WUJS Arts Tel Aviv & Haifa tracks should discuss with their internship coordinator the possibility of having access to a studio in their internship placement.  If you require more specific facilities, such as advanced digital printers and scanners, pottery wheels or a dance studio, you will have to fund these yourself.  WUJS staff is available to assist students in locating these facilities before your arrival in Israel.

What type of art equipment do you have?

WUJS Arts Jerusalem participants have access to basic items such as easels and a closet to store materials.  Students will need to purchase other items which can be found in a number of stores in the neighbourhood.  Participants on WUJS Arts Tel Aviv & Haifa will discuss with their internship coordinator the types of equipment they have access to throughout their internship.  You should plan to buy all of your art materials, such as paint, clay, film, etc.  Please note that some of these materials are often cheaper in your home country than in Israel and it might be worthwhile to bring these supplies with you – depending of course on their size and weight.  The same rule applies to any software or digital equipment you may need.  WUJS coordinators can assist you in finding equipment and materials once you arrive in Israel.  So, again, please remember that participants pay for any needed equipment and materials that are not provided.

Should I bring my own art equipment (cameras, recording device, design software)

Yes.  It is important that all artists bring their own art equipment if possible.  WUJS Arts is not an arts school and therefore we do not have art equipment.  Additionally, some art equipment is not accessible in Israel or is very expensive.  However, if certain items are impossible to bring on the programme, the art coordinator will try to find the equipment in Israel, though you are responsible for any payments necessary.

My equipment is very expensive.  Will it be insured by you?

No, the WUJS Arts Programme will not insure art equipment.  It is your responsibility to insure any equipment before coming on the programme.

Can you guarantee me an internship in my field?

The internship coordinators on WUJS will do their best to cater the internship placements to your needs.  However, acceptance as an intern will depend on your skills, background, and if the organisation can accept interns at that time.

Can I meet with someone at my internship placement before my internship begins (either in person or on Skype)?

Yes.  Once the internship coordinator has contacted the various placement options, a Skype meeting will be arranged to see if the placement is a suitable fit for both you and the internship placement.

Activities and Downtime

What kind of informal education activities does WUJS offer?

WUJS is the only post-college programme that offers weekly classes and monthly field trips, along with occasional overnight trips, speakers, holiday celebrations, and parties.  On top of those programme activities, your madrich (leader) will help you put together activities according to the interests of your specific group – be it a football match, joint learning of Jewish texts, or meeting with Israeli soldiers.  Programming is offered 2-3 nights every week.

Are these activities mandatory?  What if I just want to relax?

During the first month of the programme all activities are mandatory in order for participants to be exposed to the different options WUJS offers.  After the first month, you can choose to join a class, a field trip, or any other activity.  The only mandatory activity throughout the programme is attending a group meeting once a week.  This is your time to meet as a community, to pass along information, and to discuss burning issues.

What do I do when I am not at my internship/studio or participating at WUJS activities?

WUJS accommodations are conveniently located close to the cultural centres of the cities.  During free time, students are encouraged to explore the many cafes, restaurants, bars, clubs, museums, theatres, shops, beaches, and more.  Over the weekends, further exploring can be done around the country including camping, hiking, and other leisure activities.  WUJS employs a weekend consultant who can help students plan their time effectively.

Staff

Who is responsible for the group in Israel?

There is an internship coordinator and a city coordinator who is responsible for the education, well being, and personal connections with participants.  On staff we also have an art coordinator, an Aliyah consultant, and a weekend consultant.

Accommodations

Where will I live?

WUJS Tel Aviv apartments are near the neighbourhood of Florentine.  WUJS Jerusalem apartments are in the neighbourhood of Baka.  WUJS Haifa apartments are in the neighbourhood of the Carmel Mountains.

What are the living arrangements?

WUJS participants live in apartments suitable for 4-6 people.  Each apartment has at least two bedrooms, a bathroom, kitchen and living area.  Participants should expect to share a room.  The apartments are furnished with basic items – beds, closets, sofas, table and chairs, and all kitchen equipment needed to live comfortably.  Please note that apartments in Israel may have lower standards than what some participants are used to.  Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Haifa are major cities, and like in many major cities, buildings are usually older and a bit run down.  However, the apartment locations in each city are second to none.

Can I be promised a single room on WUJS?

If you would like to apply for a single room, you need to mark it on the online application form.  A few days before the programme begins, when we know for sure how many participants we are expecting and how many of them have requested a single room, we will have a lottery between all those who have asked for a single room.  If for some reason a single room is not available, WUJS will notify you in advance and reimburse you.

If I live off campus will I receive a discounted price for the programme?

No.  The programme has a fixed price and all participants pay the same amount whether they live in programme housing or not.

Keeping In Touch

How can I get a mobile phone?

All participants of WUJS must have a mobile phone.  There are two options for getting a mobile phone while on WUJS.  You can either arrange for yourself a monthly contract with any of Israel’s mobile phone companies or you can rent a mobile phone from IsraelPhones.  The monthly contract is usually cheaper per minute and is better for smart-phones.  IsraelPhones allows participants to call each other free of charge and also offers special rates for overseas calls.  IsraelPhones can be arranged in advance here.  Israeli mobile phone companies do not have English versions of their website.  However, once you are in Israel, every city has a customer service centre with English speaking representatives.

How will people contact me while I am on WUJS?

The most efficient way to keep in contact is online.  All WUJS apartments have wireless access.  In addition, you can receive packages through one of the WUJS offices in Jerusalem and Tel-Aviv.

Address for Jerusalem-based participants:
Your name, WUJS Israel, PO Box 9241, Jerusalem, 91092, Israel
Phone: 972-2-632-2804
Fax: 972-2-672-2406

Address for Tel Aviv and Haifa-based participants:
Your name, WUJS Israel, 1 Struma Street, Bat-Yam, 59515, Israel
Phone: 972-3-508-9570
Fax: 972-3-509-0760

What computer facilities are there and can I bring a laptop?

There are wireless routers in all WUJS apartments.  It is important that you bring a laptop/smartphone or tablet computer with you, since a significant amount of information is sent to you via e-mail.  This includes weekly emails with schedules, sign-up documents for trips, programme activities and information on cultural activities taking place where you live.  People who are unable to go online daily will have a harder time following everything the programme offers.  It is important to note that internet connection might not be as fast or as reliable as you are used to.  Many local restaurants and coffee shops also offer internet access.

Miscellaneous

What is weather like in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, and Haifa?

Summers are very hot in Israel.  Tel Aviv and Haifa get humid while Jerusalem stay very dry.  The winters in Tel Aviv and Haifa are pleasant while in Jerusalem in can get very cold and even snow.

How do I do laundry?

Participants do their laundry in one of the local laundrettes.  For a small fee, participants can leave their laundry with the laundrette to wash for them.

Can I bring a pet?

No pets of any kind are allowed in WUJS apartments.

Are there gym and sports facilities?

You can become a member of local a gym in all of the cities.  To use the FZY/Young Judaea gym in Jerusalem and to join the local gyms, you must bring a letter from your doctor stating that you are in proper physical condition.

What about transportation?

You will receive a monthly bus pass that provides free transportation within the city of your programme choice.  In addition, there are direct buses from all cities to almost anywhere in the country.

What about banking?

The banks in all cities offer all of the banking services that you’ll need including ATM machines.  If you wish to open a bank account in Israel, it is highly recommended to contact the bank in advance to find out what kind of documents you will need.  In most cases, two identification cards with pictures on them will be enough, but some banks may want to see a transcript from your home bank.  It is highly recommended you bring enough cash for the first two weeks of the programme in the event that there’s a problem with your credit card or bank account.

Are there any security concerns?

WUJS arranges for all proper security measures on every excursion, including an armed escort and medic when necessary.  We encourage students not to visit potentially dangerous areas such as the West Bank while in Israel.  Further security instructions are given upon arrival to the programme.