What is Year Course?
Year Course is a 9 month gap year programme in Israel giving chanichim the opportunity to study, volunteer, travel, learn to live independently and gain invaluable skills.
Year Course is designed for 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 higher education.
Most institutions of further education encourage a year’s 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.
In 2009, FZY compiled a piece of research into the effects of the programme, and you can read the results of that survey here.
How it 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 lasting around four months, plus 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.
In the classroom and in the street, the Jerusalem Studies part of the Year Course programme combines campus living with an opportunity to explore Israel from every angle, all in the heart of Jerusalem. Lessons take place in the shuk (market) some days and in the sadeh (field) on others!
FZY Year Course chanichim spend this period of time living in Tel Aviv, volunteering their time with schools, orphanages, guide dogs, and wherever else they are needed.
During this period, some FZYniks choose to volunteer with MDA (Israel's ambulance service) or complete a short army experience called Marva. Others choose to spend time at the Agudozo Shalom youth village in Rwanda.
Special Interest Month
Normally the final month of the programme, chanichim choose how they want to spend their time. Kibbutz? Yeshiva/seminary? Hiking? Internship? Surfing? Something else? You choose it, we'll make it happen!
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 India (Tikkun Olam), Speciality tracks (including hiking, shabbaton, medicine, business) (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.
FZY works with partners from Masa, the Jewish Agency for Israel, UJIA and elsewhere in order to provide financial assistance. For confidential advice on financial assistance for year course, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 in conjunction 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.