• University of Michigan Hillel Fellowship Program

    The Onward Israel Fellowship program is a 4-week immersive non-internship program that gives you the opportunity to live in Tel Aviv and learn about the Start Up Nation. The program includes two trip days (within Israel), a Shabbaton, various evening activities, Hillel business visits to leading companies and a course on Entrepreneurship in Israel. At the same time, you will get a taste of what it is like to live in Tel Aviv as an Israeli. This program is offered for participants of Hillel Birthright Israel trips who wish to stay in Israel for an additional 4 weeks and learn about the business environment, but still want to pursue additional summer plans back home.


    Applications for this program have closed

    The Start-Up Nation Business course will expose participants to the main components of the business ecosystem of Israel. They will learn about why and how Israel became of the world hubs for innovation in fields as Tech, Finance, Social Enterprises and Sustainability directly from leading experts and entrepreneurs in the field. The 2-4 days of classroom learning each week, will be complemented by hands on experiences with the senior management of major Israeli companies in the focus areas of the course. Additionally, the participants will work in small groups to identify and research one of the topics of the course throughout their time in Tel Aviv. Multiple times throughout the week, they will have semi-structured independent study to work with companies that will help them answer their prompt, supported by IGT’s network of businesses partners throughout the country. At the end of the course, participants will come together for group presentations on their independent study projects. In total, the Start Up Nation experience will be approximately 20 hours per week of instruction (slightly less during weeks with a travel day).

    There will also be a Hebrew learning component weekly with an experienced Hebrew teacher.

    *Please visit our COVID-19 Response for the most up to date information regarding vaccination requirements and entry into Israel.*

    – Participants coming for the classic Birthright Israel trip experience and staying on for the Fellowship program are responsible for their return flight arrangements, including extending the flight dates originally provided by Birthright Israel. This does not pertain if the original Birthright Israel provided flight already covered the dates through the end of the Fellowship program. Participants who complete the Fellowship Onward Program will receive a Certificate of Completion from Michigan Hillel

    All participants are responsible for spending money upon arrival in Israel (including for food).  Onward Israel is not responsible for the cost of flight extensions or changes connected to participation in the Fellowship program.  Note, participants will be told approximately a month or two before the program begins their expected arrival time on the program’s first day and the departure times on the program’s last day.

    The Onward Israel initiative is part of Birthright Israel and is supported by leading North American Jewish Foundations. The generous support of philanthropic funds makes Onward Israel possible and substantially reduces the program costs incurred by participants.

    Important Information

    May 23 – June 19, 2023

    Participants MUST be available to participate for the entire length of the program.

    If for public health or security related reasons the program cannot take place in Israel, Onward Israel will make efforts to conduct the program remotely. Click here to review our FAQ, including information on remote programs regarding internships, programming and more.

    Program Cost*

    The program cost includes housing, content and educational program, program staff, medical insurance, partial laundry provisions, and ground transportation within the city of residence. Participants are responsible for their own spending money (including the cost of food). In addition, participants will be required to submit a $200 security deposit via Zelle or check in advance of the program. Deposits will be refunded at the end of the program pending good standing.

    The actual cost of the Onward Israel program is much higher, and is subsidized up to 70% by Birthright Israel, private donors, and local Jewish communities and institutions.

    Acceptance Criteria

    ~Be a participant in a classic 10-day Birthright Israel trip which concludes shortly before the Onward Israel program starts
    ~Applicants between 19-30 years old (or at least one full year post-high school at the start of the program)
    – Be Jewish (please refer to our FAQ for more information)
    – Applicants must NOT have spent 3 or more consecutive months in Israel after high school (this includes semester abroad, gap year, or any other MASA or Onward Israel program)
    – Must meet Masa Israel Journey Eligibility criteria (click here to review), including not having received Masa funding towards participation on a previous program. Note, Alumni of Onward Israel and Masa Israel Journey programs are typically not eligible to participate on a second Onward Israel program. In a small number of cases it might be possible for alumni of both initiatives and those who do not meet Masa Israel Journey criteria to participate (individuals can check with Onward Israel staff on a case by case basis), but program subsidies will be significantly lower and therefore the program fee will be higher.

    ~Fluent in English
    ~Have a valid Passport (must be valid for at least 6 months after the program end date)
    ~Applicants must be Jewish students returning to the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor in the fall of 2023

    Apartment, hostel, or dorm-style housing in Tel Aviv.

    The number of participants to an apartment or room is dependent on the size of the accommodations and number of participants on the program. Though Onward Israel housing can vary from program to program, it generally meets basic Onward Israel standards. To learn more about this and other Onward Israel housing details, please visit our housing FAQ.

    Allison Bloomberg – allbloom@umich.edu


    Organizations That Make This Program Possible