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Masa and Israeli Education Ministry Launch Program for College Grads to Teach English in Israel

(New York, NY) – 100 exemplary North American college graduates will be chosen to teach in underprivileged communities in Israel for a 10-month service program in May 2011, Masa Israel Journey announced on February 28. In order to address Israel’s educational inequity and the widespread underperformance of youth in low-income communities, Masa Israel Journey and the Israeli Ministry of Education are launching Israel Teaching Fellows to serve as volunteer English teachers throughout Israel.

Israel is joining the trend of foreign governments sponsoring college graduates who are native English speakers to teach English in their countries. Similar programs are JET in Japan, EPIK in Korea, Teaching Assistant Program in France, North American Language and Cultural Assistants in Spain, and English Opens Doors in Chile.

With young adults’ growing interest in international volunteer opportunities, Masa Israel, a joint project of the Government of Israel and the Jewish Agency for Israel, is making Israel a global hub for service programs. Out of 180 five-to-12-month volunteering, career development, and academic programs, Masa Israel has nearly 10,000 participants and 16 post-college programs exclusively dedicated to service.

“It’s important to give young adults the opportunity to express their idealism through volunteering and Israel is a place where they can really make a difference,” said Masa Israel’s North American Director, Avi Rubel. “The Israel Teaching Fellows will enhance English education in Israel while building bridges between the American and Israeli communities.”

Following an initial training period, the Teaching Fellows will live in small groups in communities in Israel and teach for 20 hours a week. The Teaching Fellows will also choose or design secondary volunteer projects in their communities. Ongoing pedagogical support, Hebrew Ulpan, host families, and trips will be provided throughout their time in Israel.

Accepted Teaching Fellows must have college degrees and experience as educators and leaders. They must also demonstrate the ability to excel in a challenging, cross-cultural environment and the desire to be immersed in Israeli society.

In November 2010, Masa Israel brought representatives from 19 leading American service organizations, including Teach for America, Peace Corps, City Year and the American Jewish World Service to explore volunteering opportunities offered through Masa Israel Journey. The study tour enabled American and Israeli service organizations to share best practices in leadership development and community service.

The inaugural Israel Teaching Fellows program will run from August 2011-June 2012. Applicants will be notified of their acceptance in May 2011.

For more information about Israel Teaching Fellows, visit: www.israelteachingfellows.org and contact North American Director of Masa Israel Journey, Avi Rubel at (212) 339-6938, (781) 308-4880 or avir@masaisrael.org.

Masa Israel is a project of the Government of Israel and the Jewish Agency for Israel and is made possible through the generous contributions of the Jewish Federations of North America and Keren Hayesod-UIA.
Visit MasaIsrael.org for more information.

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