Shalom! Ready to go to Israel?

This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for teens ages 18-19 (post high school) interested in having a unique Israel experience, coordinated and planned by Maccabi World Union. If you are looking for a meaningful year of exploring Israel, experiencing the Israeli culture and views, while learning and growing. Throughout the programs, there will be many opportunities to discover and see Israel from many perspectives while making connections to Jewish teens in Israel and from around the world. Explore the different options Maccabi has to offer and if you're interested in the programs, add your name to the list below and we'll be in touch with you about the experience.

If you're ready to apply NOW, jump right to the
registration section!

A Glimpse Into Your Year

Explore all of the different opportunities you have for your Gap Year. Over a year in Israel, you should find many things that will be exciting, new, educational, and fun. The programs include medical insurance, meals, accommodations, transportation, and programming. All Gap Year programs are fully supervised and coordinated by Maccabi World Union Madrichim under the supervision of the Program Directors. If you have any questions about the programs, reach out to BBYO Central Shaliach, Ofir Shinhertz.

Maccabi Gap Year

In the 8 months long, Maccabi Gap Year program, participants will have the opportunity to build their leadership skills through our Machon LeMadrchim seminars. You'll have the option to join the IDF’s Marva experience, train and assist with the Magen David Adom emergency service, live and work on a kibbutz, and tour all over Israel. There will also be a period of time when participants will live in Tel Aviv. This is the ultimate way to experience life in Israel.

Israel Startup Experience

Israel Startup Experience (ISE) Is one of the most popular and leading educational long-term programs that focus on entrepreneurship, innovation, and leadership intended for young Jewish teenagers. ISE brings a game-changer educational experience with more than 5 different stages during the 8 months program. These last are based on our participant’s teenagers’ needs: Personal, interpersonal, vocational, and cultural. ISE is the best choice to take advantage of every opportunity Israel and the Startup and technological environment has to offer in order to become a future leader.

Israel Sports Experiences

Israel Basketball Experience&Israel Football Experience are both 7-months long programs, open for boys and girls, where you will be able to feel and live as professional basketball and football players. The program will provide the participants with a professional player’s daily routine. During the program, you will train, learn and play like professionals. Compete in the official Israel basketball/ football leagues, train in high standard venues, visit famous and prestigious stadiums and meet & greet the young adult divisions from the most prestigious local teams. Your home base will be in Tel Aviv/ Ramat Gan in VIP apartments together with your program partners.

Year of Service

A unique Gap Year program in Israel, providing participants an opportunity to live with Israeli teens, volunteer with children or seniors from disadvantaged communities, engage in Maccabi Tzair youth movement activities, explore Israel and Israeli society, and experience life as part of a group, managing a household. Participants will be joining the Israeli Maccabi Tzair teens that are choosing to do a year of service prior to their IDF Service, and together they will be  contributing to the Israeli society and their new local community.

About Maccabi World Union

Maccabi World Union (MWU) is the largest and oldest Jewish sports organization spanning over five continents, in 80 countries, 450 clubs, and 450,000 members.  MWU is a Zionist organization that utilizes sports as a means to bring Jewish people of all ages closer to Judaism and Israel in addition to various informal educational activities in a manner that surpasses politics and sectarianism.

Maccabi World Union is proud to be one of the leaders in Short & Long-term Israel Programs. With more than 1500 fellows from more than 15 countries around the world as regular participants, Maccabi World Union develops educational & tourism meaningful and affordable program experiences intended for Worldwide Jewish; teenagers, young professionals, and adults.


Ready to go? Start your application in the link below and make sure to indicate you are applying for the BBYO experience on the form. Applicants will be accepted on a rolling basis—the earlier you apply, the better!

Gap Year Options and Costs

  • Maccabi Gap Year:
    September 5, 2024-June 8, 2025
    Cost: TBD

  • Israel Start-Up Experience
    September 5, 2024-January 5, 2025
    Cost: $12,500
    (Optional Marva Extension: January-March 2, 2025 - $3,300)

  • Maccabi Israel Football Experience
    Dates: Fall 2024-Spring 2025
    Cost: $20,000
    Application deadline: March 1, 2024

  • Maccabi Israel Basketball Experience
    Fall 2024-Spring 2025
    Cost: $20,000
    Application deadline: February 1, 2024

  • Maccabi Commune Track
    September 5, 2024-June 8, 2025
    Cost: TBD
    Optional Program Extension: June 8-August 8

Apply Now

Scholarships are available. If you have questions about the program or want to learn more about scholarships, reach out to BBYO Central Shaliach, Ofir Shinhertz. He's excited to talk to you about this opportunity!


There are many avenues in which you can apply for scholarship for this program. Many organizations are super excited about you spending a year after high school in the Jewish homeland.

Masa Israel Journey

Masa is a joint initiative of the Israeli Government and the Jewish Agency for Israel whose purpose is to make long-term programs in Israel more affordable by giving need based scholarships to participants. This program is approved by Masa and applications can be obtained through the Masa website. Here is a full list of additional scholarship you can apply to.

Jewish Federation

Contact local Jewish Organizations – a full list can be found here.

Even if your Federation is not listed on the list provided, it is worthwhile to contact the Jewish Federation in your community. How? Call their office, do not email them. When you call the Federation, ask to speak with the Financial Aid Director, the person in charge of scholarships, or the Israel desk. Explain your situation and ask if you‘re eligible to apply to any of their scholarships. Each Federation has different scholarships to offer – if you have any questions call Nitzan for help.

Listed below are Federations that only give scholarships to people who are located in and or around their city. Please do not contact them if you’re from a different area:
1. Cleveland area – (216) 371–0446
2. Indianapolis – (317) 255–3124
3. Orange County, CA – (949) 435–3450
4. Phoenix – (480) 634–4900, ext. 1119
5. Rhode Island – 401.421-4111 ext. 179
6. San Francisco – If you’re from the San Francisco Bay Area, contact the Financial Aid Director, (415) 751-6983, ext. 107.d.      

Israel within Reach Scholarship – visit their website to learn more about their scholarships (for San Francisco and Bay Area teens)

The Jewish Service

Jewish Service connects high school graduates (17–19 years old) to a wide variety of extraordinary 8–12 month-long programs in Israel. These programs offer high school graduates a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to live, volunteer, learn and grow in Israel through meaningful, and often life-changing volunteer placements. Students will gain practical experience that can provide a critical advantage when applying to competitive university programs, while volunteering side by side with Israelis of the same age and making a real contribution to the country.

For additional scholarship please reach out to BBYO Central Shaliach, Ofir Shinhertz.