Jewish World

Imagine Yourself in Israel

  • Explore the land with your peers
  • Change the world by volunteering
  • Study at top universities
  • Kick-start your career with an internship
  • Discover a new world

Explore your passion for Israel and see what the Jewish United Fund/Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago offers high school students, college students and young adults. Whether you're looking for a way to get involved locally or an opportunity to discover Israel, there is something for you.

High School

Israel Experience Trips

Tour the country, meet the people, taste the food,and speak the language for three weeks, three months or longer. Find the trip that is right for you, including JF's Chicago Community Program (CCP) and the Community Foundation for Jewish Education Ta'am Yisrael trip for 8th grade students. Contact us at israelexperience@juf.org.

Write On For Israel (11th Grade Students)

A two-year local program that combines history, politics and advocacy with hands-on training in writing and public speaking. This program includes an Israel trip that goes beyond tourism.

Camp Chi Israel Program

Established in the heart of JCC'S Camp Chi in Lake Delton, Wisconsin, an Israeli Village buzzes with activity as campers learn about the history of the modern State of Israel through a creative blend of informal activities, discussions, hikes, projects and adventures.

College and Post-College

Taglit-Birthright Israel and Birthright Israel NEXT (ages 18-26)

Taglit-Birthright Israel provides the gift of first-time, peer group, educational trips to Israel for Jewish young adults ages 18 to 26. Birthright Israel NEXT provides a variety of programming in Chicago and college campuses for Taglit-Birthright Israel alumni and their peers including educational, volunteer and social opportunities.

Israel Initiative and Hillels of Illinois (College Students)

The Israel Initiative on Illinois Campuses is a partnership of the JUF Jewish Community Relations Council and The Hillels of Illinois. The Israel Initiative engages and educates both Jewish and non-Jewish Illinois college students about Israel. Hillel provides opportunities for Jewish students to participate in Israel cultural and advocacy programming on Illinois campuses.

Kefiada (ages 18-25)

Camp counselor program for English-speaking five week summer camp in JUF's Partnership Together Region (P2G) of Kiryat Gat-Lachish-Shafir in Israel. No knowledge of Hebrew necessary.

OTZMA and OTZMA: Israel Teacher Corps (ITC) (ages 20-26)

A nine-month program (September-June) including three months in JUF's Partnership Together Region of Kiryat Gat-Lachish-Shafir. A service-based leadership development program offering a unique opportunity to contribute and acquire an in-depth understanding of Israeli life. ITC is a 10 month program for North American college graduates to teach English in underserved Israeli public schools.

Masa Israel Journey (ages 18-30)

Masa Israel enables thousands of Jewish youth to spend five months to a year in Israel in over 170 programs, helping them build a life-long relationship with Israel and a commitment to Jewish life. Programs include gap year, study abroad, internships, career development, community service and graduate studies.

Volunteering with JUF's Partnership Together Region

JUF's Partnership Together Region of Kiryat Gat-Lachish-Shafir hosts volunteers from Chicago throughout the year. Volunteers have a variety of opportunities and live in P2G's volunteer apartment at no cost to them.

Aliyah Council

The Aliyah Council, in partnership with the Jewish Agency for Israel, encourages and supports families and individuals moving to Israel (Aliyah) by providing educational programs, logistical assistance, one-on-one guidance and modest financial grants in order to make a successful Aliyah plan and absorption in Israel.

How to Afford your Trip to Israel

Israel Experience Savings and Scholarship Programs

The JUF offers a variety of savings and incentive programs, including Send-a-Kid-to-Israel Partnership (SKIP), Gift of Israel, Bar/Bat Mitzvah Israel Experience Certificate program and Walk with Israel vouchers. A wide-range of scholarships, including financial and merit-based for high school, college and graduate students to age 28, are also available. Scholarship deadlines are November 1 and March 1 each year.

Masa Israel Journey

Universal grants and need-based scholarships available for participants of Masa Israel programs.