Educational Content

Information for Participants

Onward Israel sees everything about your stay in Israel as an educational experience. Wherever you go and with whoever you are interacting, there are endless opportunities for learning and growing, about yourself, your future profession and about the diversity and complexity of Israel and its society. The program is built in such a way as to afford you with plenty of independence through your own work placement, access to enrichment activities and of course, lots of free time to explore Israel on your own terms.

The programs are also cohort based, and together with your group you will explore Israel in greater depth, variety and meaning. Each organizer will plan and deliver a full educational program, complete with trips, tours, speakers and hikes, covering the spectrum of opportunity and experience that Israel has to offer, as both a laboratory of your own growth and in learning more about the region’s unique and compelling position. In order to do this, most programs run a ‘group day’ once a week, along with evening gatherings and optional activities.

Beyond this, Onward Israel organizes a series of exciting events during the summer, offering each participant a Weekend Seminar Retreat on a theme of his/her choice, and running a series of Connections Day Conferences, all designed to elevate your experience, bring Israel to life and give you multiple opportunities for networking with new people.

Over the last few years we have been developing materials and tools for our organizers which champion an honest, meaningful discourse with Israel and which enable you to experience it on your own terms. And in the same manner, we encourage all our participants to capitalize on this unique, independent opportunity

Information for Organizers & Partners

Onward Israel views the entire stay of the participant in Israel as an educational experience, identifying opportunities for learning and growth in all aspects of the program – through internships, social interactions, group content, as well as time spent outside the formal program, alone or with peers. Our educational philosophy focuses on the following expectations for program providers:

  1. Coherence and Structure: Educational programs should be built around a written rationale which is easily communicable to staff and participants. Activities and programming days should make clear use of themes that are unique to the Israeli setting. The full program schedule should be available for all participants in advance of the program’s start.
  2. Framing: Participants should be given appropriate context and preparation for what they are experiencing, where issues can be viewed in local, national and global detail, as well as focusing on continuity between elements of the program and providing opportunities for further learning. Opportunities for reflection are an important part of this.
  3. Balance: Programs should work to cover a range of topics about Israel whilst providing participants with a variety of voices and perspectives throughout.
  4. Sophistication: Programming should build on basic narratives that have been covered in a shorter first trip to Israel, look for relevance and contemporariness in topics and geographical locations, and expose participants to complexity.
  5. Mifgash: Programs should strive to include meetings with young Israelis, whilst selecting young, local voices to speak to the group on relevant topics.
  6. Interaction: Programming should not be overly frontal, allowing for interactive, experiential learning at all opportunities, including hands-on workshops and offering a wide variety of activities.
  7. Choice: Programs should look to provide optionality through electives and additional activities. In addition the program should include one day in which participants choose the topic of focus and help to build and implement the day.
  8. Quality not quantity: Programs should strive to be selective with participants’ time, avoid excessive traveling on content days and provide ample time to go into depth on educational topics.
  9. Jewish Lens: Programs should be a space for allowing spiritual growth and identity building, with built-in opportunities for Jewish learning and reflection on the wider experience.

Simultaneously, Onward Israel provides ongoing guidance and support to organizers in building their educational programs and evaluates them in light of the criteria set out above. Final schedules are submitted to Onward Israel prior to the start of the program and authorized before participants arrive.

Furthermore, Onward Israel provides training to educational staff and counsellors which focuses on two main areas:

  1. The participant journey: Levels of EngagementElevating the level of thought and discussion amongst participants, going beyond the topic level and sparking questions around bigger-picture learning and personal engagement.
  2. Israel 360: Educational MappingMethods for breaking down educational ideas into topics, analyzing contemporary Israel, managing and holding complexity and supporting participants in engaging with disparate elements of the program.