Come work, study and explore Israel while living in Jerusalem. The Onward Israel ASCEND program is designed for students who want to combine an internship or other resume building opportunity with intermediate level Torah learning. The vibrant evening programs offer a full array of teachers, social events, and learning opportunities. This program will also give participants an opportunity to explore Israel through different trips and cultural experiences. At the end of the summer participants will not only have a better love and appreciation for both their Judaism and the land of Israel, but they will be able to build their resume and benefit from the many professional development opportunities.
Who: Students ages 18-22, both men and women who are either current college students or post senior year of high school
When: In Israel: June 22 – August 9, 2022
Remote portion: August 11 – August 17, 2022
Participants MUST be available to participate for the entire length of the program
If for public heath or security related reasons the program cannot take place in Israel, Onward Israel will make efforts to conduct the program remotely. Please note, if this happens, it will affect the types of internships available. Participants who do not wish to participate on an entirely remote program will be permitted to withdraw and receive a full refund for their program fee, within a week of the decision for the program to be conducted remotely. If a program is cancelled completely due to heath or safety conditions in Israel, participants will be able to receive a full refund of their program fee.
~Spend the summer in an amazing location in the heart of the Old City of Jerusalem.
~Professional internship placement* for college students and resume-enhancing opportunities** for pre-college students. Our professional team will find an internship or volunteer opportunity that fits your skill set.
~Incredible excursions across Israel designed to explore the land and heritage of Israel in a fun way!
~Fun social programming to explore Jerusalem and make friends.
~Vibrant Torah study on a variety of topics with amazing teachers from across Israel and America. The learning program is accessible for people of all learning backgrounds and skill levels.
~The remote portion of the program allows participants to reflect on their summer learning about how to bring what they have learned onto their campuses through different speakers and educators.
The program includes:
~Housing in the Old City of Jerusalem (including WiFi, AC, and kitchen)
~Professional and personalized internship placement 4-5 days per week in the field of your choice
~Educational staff and programming
~Trips exploring Israel
~Shabbat meals and programming
~Occasional weeknight dinners
ASCEND Program Tracks:
**Applicants will indicate which track they would like to be part of on their application
The program tracks under the ASCEND program are geared towards creating a space for students to connect with their peers in a more intimate environment. While much of the program is together, the tracks allow for students to participate in programming that is created specifically for their program track.
General ASCEND College track – The General ASCEND learning track will consist of college students from around the world. The learning will be very hands-on, allowing for students to ask questions and explore their Judaism in a spiritual and experiential way. You will meet students from many different campuses, allowing you to expand your network and form connections with like-minded students. The various trips and programming will have you walking away with lasting friendships. If you are looking for a memorable, impactful and life changing experience in Jerusalem this summer, come join this track.
West Coast Track – Come join the optimal David Kashani and West Coast college students for some vibrant and exciting Torah learning and social events. This learning track will not only allow for you to learn Torah with you fellow West Coast college community, but it will also bring you closer to the magnificent city of Jerusalem and the land of Israel as a whole. Through different trips and mingling events, this track will make your summer on Ascend even more OPTIMAL.
25 for 25 Track – $25 for 25 has been connecting hundreds of students across the globe through Torah. And this summer, we are so excited and grateful to bring its success to the holy city of Jerusalem! Prepare to expand your social network immensely by meeting students from all over the world! Whether you are part of the $25 for 25 semester project or you just want to have a fun, meaningful and social learning experience, the $25 for 25 track is most definitely for you. See you there!
Post High School Track – If you are currently a high school senior and are not planning to spend a gap-year in Israel, this track is for YOU! The post-high-school track was created to give rising college first-years the opportunity to connect with Israel and Judaism on a deeper level, expand their professional networks, and build lasting friendships. Through trips, internships, Shabbatons, Torah study, and group activities, you will explore the land of Israel and your personal Jewish identity, and will walk away feeling empowered to take those connections and relationships with you to your college campus.
Before applying, please ensure you read our COVID-19 Response to understand the current entry requirements and other important information. Please be aware as you review our Covid-19 Response page that your program is considered a non-Masa program.
This Onward Israel program is operated through a partnership between the Beacon and Shapira Foundations and other leading philanthropists and The Jewish Agency for Israel. Beginning in 2022, Onward Israel will merge with Birthright Israel and will operate as a division within Birthright Israel.
Admission is rolling. Applications will close in March or earlier if the program fills.
Note, there is a chance that health/safety conditions will require us to implement a quarantine period upon arrival in Israel for some or all participants. There is also a chance that the program will shift to entirely remote if travel is further restricted. For more information, visit our FAQ responding to COVID-19.
Participants will be required to submit a $300 security deposit online via credit card. Deposits will be refunded at the end of the program pending good standing.
All participants are responsible for the cost and arrangement of their own flights. Participants should not purchase flights until approximately one month before the program begins. Participants are encouraged to purchase flights with a good refund policy or flight insurance. Onward Israel is not responsible for the cost of flights should the program be cancelled or shifted to be remote.
*If this becomes a remote program, the program cost will change to reflect this shift in expenses. The program cost will then be $150 and the difference will be refunded.
The actual cost of the Onward Israel program is much higher, and is subsidized up to 70% by Onward Israel, private donors, and local Jewish communities and institutions.
Apartment or dorm-style housing in Jerusalem.
The number of participants to an apartment or room is dependent on the size of the accommodations and number of participants on the program. While meeting common standards, Onward Israel housing differs by and within each program. To learn more about this and other Onward Israel housing details, please visit our housing FAQ.
~ Applicants must be high school graduates
~ Must identify as Jewish
~ Fluent in English
~ Have a valid Passport (passports must be valid for at least 6 months after the program finishes)
~ Previous participation in Taglit-Birthright Israel is encouraged but not required
*Internship opportunities for college students include:
- Intern at a Startup Hub
- Emergency Medicine
- Software Developer
- Physical Therapy
- Assistant to Knesset Member
- Analyst Apprentice
**Resume-enhancing opportunities for pre-college students include:
- Working with Lone Soldiers
- Working with children with special needs
- Teaching English as a foreign language
- Interning at a museum
- Placement in the fields of marketing, fundraising, education, and research
Not sure what type of internship you are looking for or unsure if you can find it in Israel? Our internship coordinators work one-on-one with each participant!
*In the event that the program needs to shift to be entirely remote, there could be additional limitations on the types of internship placements available. Participants will be asked to be flexible under these circumstances and Onward Israel is committed to making sure participants still have a professional and positive work experience.
Applicants interested in internships in the fields of Engineering, Computer Science, Finance, Law and Medicine please click here for some important information regarding placements:
Remote Internship Opportunities
Participants will be paired with an Israeli company or organization and assigned work projects to complete over the course of the program. It is expected that participants complete their work projects during the designated dates of the program and fully participate in all required enrichment and education activities. Note that there could be a shift in the type of work conducted after transitioning from remote work to in person. We appreciate your flexibility and understanding as even within a specific field, the nature of your work will change throughout the program.