Winter 2008-2009

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MERCAZ USA Newsletter — Winter 2008-2009

New Israel Study Programs

As its partnership with MASA, the joint program of the Israel Government and the Jewish Agency for long-term study programs in Israel, enters into a second year, the Conservative Movement has announced the creation of two new Israel study programs.

The first new program is for students in the gap year between high school and college. As the long-term guesthouse at the Fuchsberg Center in Jerusalem has reached full capacity, with the 116 participants in this year's USY's Nativ Year Course, the United Synagogue's Youth Department has launched for 2009-2010 a new program to be based outside of Jerusalem: Nativ-Gesher.

The Nativ-Gesher program will have two focal points: the centrality of Israel and the emerging Conservative/Masorti communities in Europe. During the first semester, students will take courses in Jewish identity, the history of European Jewry and Israeli society study at Oranim College, located outside of Haifa.

The second semester will be centered on visits to two European cities, among them London, Budapest and Berlin, with each stay lasting for 4-5 weeks. Participants will work in a variety of volunteer projects connected with the local Masorti community, including kindergartens, Hebrew schools, adult education and special holiday programming.

For more information about the various Nativ programs, including the new Nativ-Gesher, contact USY: 212-533-7800 ext 1119, or visit

The second new program is for college juniors and seniors. In a cooperative effort with the Hadassah Academic College, the Conservative Yeshiva in Jerusalem will be starting this Spring a new accredited semester-long program: "Discover Jerusalem".

The unique program, taught in English, will offer a learning experience that includes religious text study combined with historical and cultural courses about Jerusalem. For more information, contact or visit

Finally, registration for the Spring semester MAROM Program in Environmentalism and Jewish Studies at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev is still continuing. The MAROM-BGU Semester, based in Yeroham, combines study with volunteer activities and is worth one full semester of university credit. For more information, including academic calendar and registration forms, visit or call MERCAZ USA: 212-533-2061.


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