What is Year Course?
Year Course is a 9 month gap year programme in Israel giving chanichim (participants) the opportunity to study, volunteer, travel, learn to live independently and gain invaluable skills.
Who is Year Course designed for?
Year Course is aimed at FZY’s members and the wider British Jewish community aged between 17 and 19. Although the majority of chanichim will be those wishing to spend a constructive year in Israel prior to commencing studies for a degree, the course is not restricted to those going on to further education.
The year in Israel should not be considered a “year-off”. Professional educators run the Year Course programme and the discipline of studying and volunteering are an integral part of the course. However, Year Course should be seen as a break from the formal regimented education of school days and a transition to the teaching methods and individual initiative that are part and parcel of British higher education.
Most institutions of further education encourage a years break before beginning a degree if the year is spent in a constructive manner on a course such as this. The experience of a year of study and opportunities in Israel provides chanichim with the perfect grounding for their entry into further education on their return.
How Year Course works?
Year Course is a professionally run, exciting and challenging full-time programme, which is designed to give chanichim an in-depth understanding of the complexities that make up modern Israel. The year is made up of two semesters, each around four months, and a ‘special interest’ month. Everyone will participate in formal studies, volunteer throughout Israel, and have an opportunity to experience a new and different aspects of Israeli society. All of the Year Course participants will be with American chanichim from Young Judaea (our North American sister movement), and members of the Israeli Scouts (Tzofim), as well as FZY chanichim from all over Britain and Europe.
The Main Elements of Year Course
Year Course contains a number of major components. The following is a brief outline of each of these elements; more details are given in the links.
On FZY Year Course, chanichim have the opportunity to study a huge variety of subjects and areas. Throughout their studies, participants will grapple with issues which are relevant to young British Jewish Zionists today. All studies are augmented by educational seminars and day trips in and around the local city. The studies are high level and serious, chanichim should bare this in mind when applying for FZY Year Course.
FZY Year Course chanichim live and volunteer their time in towns and cities across Israel. They have the opportunity to volunteer in a huge variety of different placements. From teaching in schools, working in an orphanage, making sandwiches for school children, to looking after animals at risk, there is an option for everyone!
The Israel Experience section of Year Course allows participants to choose a part of society they wish to have further knowledge and experience in. Israel is a diverse country with many cultures and peoples, and we believe that we can offer insights into many aspects of Israeli society. The chanichim have the option to take part in Marva – an army simulation programme; volunteer in ambulances with Magen David Adom; volunteer at Yemin Orde, a youth village for children at risk; or they can choose from a variety of volunteering options in Bat Yam.
Special Interest Period
The Special Interest component of the year provides participants with numerous different options in order to tailor part of their Year Course journey. Options have included a Kibbutz experience, time in Yeshiva, Hiking across different Israeli landscapes, Interning in business and partaking in a Surfing course amongst many others.
FZY year Course has a huge variety of opportunities and options available for chanichim to add on to their year in Israel. In addition to the Regular Year Course Programme, there are options for Jewish Enrichment (Shevet), Volunteering in Africa (Tikkun Olam), Special Interest (Art, Medicine and others), Travel (Olami) and a week long trip to Poland (Kuma). Details on all of these options are available in the brochure.
Year Course has so many added extras on the programme that make FZY Year Course the best programme available. These include a number of overnight tiyulim (hikes), a series of seminars throughout Israel at various times of the year joint with other UK youth movements, Israelis on the programme, Israeli Scouts that join and organise activities, UJIA programming and activities in the North of Israel.
The year is made up of two semesters, each around four months, and a ‘special interest’ month.