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9 MONTHS・CO-ED・ENGLISH 

CANADA・EUROUPE・UK・USA 

Kivun is a life-changing gap year program where you’ll experience living independently in Israel, encounter Israeli society first-hand, and engage with Judaism like never before!

The program is for young adults who are highly motivated to get the most out of their year in Israel with World Bnei Akiva and want to grow as a Jew and develop as a person.

Over the course of Kivun you’ll gain a unique understanding of Israeli life through an incredible array of experiences and authentic interactions all while having amazing fun together with new friends from around the globe. You’ll live in apartments in Jerusalem, discover all of Israel, gaining independence, Jewish growth, and real-life skills to take back home.

*Note:

All World Bnei Akiva programs are continuing to run during this challenging period in Israel.

 

Applications for 2024 are still open! The deadline, which runs in line with the Joint Yeshiva & Seminary application was extended until 24th of January 2024. We will continue to accept applications past the deadline until places are full.

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At a glance

Duration: 9 months

Sep: Kibbutz - Pioneering Experience

Oct: High Holidays 

Nov/Dec: Internships

Jan/Feb: Electives: MDA/Marva

Mar: Volunteering & Israel/Judaism Seminars

Apr: Zionism & National Holiday Seminars

May: Learning & Leadership

June: Closing seminar

Your first year after school is your first real opportunity to shape your future life direction and choose the values you wish to live by.

That’s why we’ve designed the Kivun program, to help you explore your Judaism and Zionism in a positive and non-judgmental environment, and to help you forge your own personal direction.

Kivun will facilitate your personal and religious growth through diverse and challenging experiences, giving an authentic encounter with Israel. It will deepen your understanding of Judaism through relevant and contemporary learning from ancient texts to modern, cutting-edge issues.

Bnei Akiva believes that our learning and personal growth must be matched by a commitment to action - or in other words, Torah Va’Avodah. On Kivun you will become active contributors to Israeli society, making a tangible difference to people and communities.

And Kivun doesn’t end there: our vision is for graduates of Kivun to make a lifelong commitment to giving back to others, through being involved in Bnei Akiva, the wider community and Israel.

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Glance
  • Leadership Training
    With our professional guidance‭, ‬and carefully crafted activities and workshops‭, ‬participants develop their own unique leadership‭ ‬skills‭, ‬and the confidence to serve as a personal example‭. ‬Through their own initiative and teamwork they establish and run committees that steer the very course of the program‭, ‬and work on individual and group projects to hone their skills‭. ‬Committees are responsible for many aspects of Mechina life including educational content‭, ‬PR‭, ‬cooking‭, ‬army preparation‭, ‬tiyulim and more‭.‬
  • Torah learning and lifestyle
    Our learning program teaches a religious Zionist and Modern Orthodox educational philosophy‭. ‬We believe in learning for the sake‭ ‬of growing which makes classes lively‭, ‬positive‭, ‬relevant and involved‭. ‬Topics studied include Torah and Jewish texts‭, ‬tfilla‭, ‬emuna‭, ‬Jewish history‭, ‬Zionism‭, ‬and philosophy‭. ‬You’ll be guided throughout‭, ‬and different levels will be catered for‭. ‬To be a participant on the Mechina‭, ‬you don’t need prior knowledge in Jewish studies‭ ‬‮–‬‭ ‬you just need commitment to learn and to grow‭.‬
  • Community Service
    As part of the immersion into Israeli society and to contribute to it‭, ‬participants dedicate time to volunteer within a local community‭. ‬Projects include teaching English in schools‭, ‬visiting the elderly‭, ‬working with people with disabilities‭, ‬and agricultural work‭.‬
  • Love of Israel
    Participants discover Israel both geographically and socially‭, ‬as we encourage them to challenge their pre-existing perceptions‭ ‬of the country and the people‭. ‬They are exposed to all sectors of the Israeli population‭, ‬and develop their own understanding of‭ ‬how the pioneering spirit is still very much alive in contemporary Israel‭. ‬With the Love and connection to the Land of Israel being such a core element of the program‭, ‬our participants grow to become the newest link in the chain of pioneers‭.‬
  • Fitness Camp and Army Preparation
    We make every effort to ensure that participants going into the IDF have a meaningful service‭. ‬Therefore‭, ‬there are classes and‭ ‬activities carefully designed to deal with a wide range of subjects relating to army service including ethics‭, ‬leadership and structure of the IDF‭. ‬Twice a week there are physical training classes for all participants‭. ‬Classes are run by professionals as well as by participants‭. ‬Participants gain self-empowerment through coping with physically challenging situations‭, ‬and develop physical fitness and mental stability‭.‬
  • Hebrew Learning
    Throughout the program‭, ‬our international participants take part in our own dedicated‭ ‬“Ulpan”‭ ‬‮–‬‭ ‬intensive Hebrew learning course‭, ‬with 2‭ ‬classes a week divided according to 3‭ ‬different levels‭: ‬beginner‭, ‬intermediate and advanced‭. ‬However the best Hebrew learning is through their daily interactions with their Israeli peers at the Mechina with whom‭ ‬they share everything‭.‬
  • Jewish Peoplehood
    The Mechina Olamit strives to bolster the link between Israel’s Jews and Diaspora Jewry through their common historical‭, ‬religious‭, ‬and cultural heritage‭. ‬We actively work to instill within‭ ‬our participants a desire for mutual action and commitment to a stronger and positive Jewish future‭.‬
  • Seminars, Camp, and Trips
    There are regular three to six-day seminars and trips around the country to expose the participants to a wide array of topics and build an intimate familiarity with land of Israel‭. ‬Seminars include‭: ‬Israeli society‭, ‬Shoah‭, ‬Zionism‭, ‬Jewish Peoplehood‭, ‬Gush‭ ‬Etzion‭, ‬Navigation‭, ‬Army preparation‭, ‬Desert Survival and Chovek Israel‭ ‬‮–‬‭ ‬the final two-week trip from North to South of Israel‭ ‬planned entirely by participants‭. ‬Participants help plan and run many aspects of each trip and seminar‭, ‬including building educational elements‭, ‬accommodation‭, ‬cooking‭, ‬navigating‭, ‬and guest speakers‭. ‬
  • Safety and Security
    We understand that applicants and their families may have concerns about participant safety over the course of the program, and about the dynamic security situation in Israel. Your safety & security is our number one priority. As an approved MASA program, all World Bnei Akiva Hachshara Israel programs follow the safety and security guidelines outlined by MASA for all their programs. Please visit the MASA safety page for more information and interactive video with MASA’s Chief Security Officer, Amir Keinan.
  • Health and Wellbeing
    World Bnei Akiva take our participants’ physical & emotional wellbeing very seriously. Noting the rise in emotional challenges amongst youth, we have commissioned the services and support of “Keshev”- a professional organization in the mental health and wellness field. Keshev provides us a with a wide variety of services including group sessions and one-on-one meetings with participants on topics of mental health such as anxiety, depression, sexuality, eating disorders and more. They provide emergency on-call support to staff, and designated on site hours for any participant who needs extra support mentally or emotionally. Through their team, our participants and staff are offered guidance and support needed, to help them to have an emotionally healthy and safe year. To learn more visit www.keshevcenter.com
Program
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Bnei Akiva - a global community

 

Kivun has been uniquely created to meet your needs as young Jews. Most of the program is with likeminded youth from North America, England, mainland Europe and beyond. Additionally, significant parts of the year have been designed to cross paths with other World Bnei Akiva Hachshara programs from around the world.  This means you will have the opportunity to learn, hike and celebrate chagim with other young Jews from over 15 different countries; from Australia to Italy and from Uruguay to South Africa. The coming together of future Jewish leaders from so many different countries and backgrounds will enrich your year and give you friends from around the world.

  • Leadership Training
    With our professional guidance‭, ‬and carefully crafted activities and workshops‭, ‬participants develop their own unique leadership‭ ‬skills‭, ‬and the confidence to serve as a personal example‭. ‬Through their own initiative and teamwork they establish and run committees that steer the very course of the program‭, ‬and work on individual and group projects to hone their skills‭. ‬Committees are responsible for many aspects of Mechina life including educational content‭, ‬PR‭, ‬cooking‭, ‬army preparation‭, ‬tiyulim and more‭.‬
  • Torah learning and lifestyle
    Our learning program teaches a religious Zionist and Modern Orthodox educational philosophy‭. ‬We believe in learning for the sake‭ ‬of growing which makes classes lively‭, ‬positive‭, ‬relevant and involved‭. ‬Topics studied include Torah and Jewish texts‭, ‬tfilla‭, ‬emuna‭, ‬Jewish history‭, ‬Zionism‭, ‬and philosophy‭. ‬You’ll be guided throughout‭, ‬and different levels will be catered for‭. ‬To be a participant on the Mechina‭, ‬you don’t need prior knowledge in Jewish studies‭ ‬‮–‬‭ ‬you just need commitment to learn and to grow‭.‬
  • Community Service
    As part of the immersion into Israeli society and to contribute to it‭, ‬participants dedicate time to volunteer within a local community‭. ‬Projects include teaching English in schools‭, ‬visiting the elderly‭, ‬working with people with disabilities‭, ‬and agricultural work‭.‬
  • Love of Israel
    Participants discover Israel both geographically and socially‭, ‬as we encourage them to challenge their pre-existing perceptions‭ ‬of the country and the people‭. ‬They are exposed to all sectors of the Israeli population‭, ‬and develop their own understanding of‭ ‬how the pioneering spirit is still very much alive in contemporary Israel‭. ‬With the Love and connection to the Land of Israel being such a core element of the program‭, ‬our participants grow to become the newest link in the chain of pioneers‭.‬
  • Fitness Camp and Army Preparation
    We make every effort to ensure that participants going into the IDF have a meaningful service‭. ‬Therefore‭, ‬there are classes and‭ ‬activities carefully designed to deal with a wide range of subjects relating to army service including ethics‭, ‬leadership and structure of the IDF‭. ‬Twice a week there are physical training classes for all participants‭. ‬Classes are run by professionals as well as by participants‭. ‬Participants gain self-empowerment through coping with physically challenging situations‭, ‬and develop physical fitness and mental stability‭.‬
  • Hebrew Learning
    Throughout the program‭, ‬our international participants take part in our own dedicated‭ ‬“Ulpan”‭ ‬‮–‬‭ ‬intensive Hebrew learning course‭, ‬with 2‭ ‬classes a week divided according to 3‭ ‬different levels‭: ‬beginner‭, ‬intermediate and advanced‭. ‬However the best Hebrew learning is through their daily interactions with their Israeli peers at the Mechina with whom‭ ‬they share everything‭.‬
  • Jewish Peoplehood
    The Mechina Olamit strives to bolster the link between Israel’s Jews and Diaspora Jewry through their common historical‭, ‬religious‭, ‬and cultural heritage‭. ‬We actively work to instill within‭ ‬our participants a desire for mutual action and commitment to a stronger and positive Jewish future‭.‬
  • Seminars, Camp, and Trips
    There are regular three to six-day seminars and trips around the country to expose the participants to a wide array of topics and build an intimate familiarity with land of Israel‭. ‬Seminars include‭: ‬Israeli society‭, ‬Shoah‭, ‬Zionism‭, ‬Jewish Peoplehood‭, ‬Gush‭ ‬Etzion‭, ‬Navigation‭, ‬Army preparation‭, ‬Desert Survival and Chovek Israel‭ ‬‮–‬‭ ‬the final two-week trip from North to South of Israel‭ ‬planned entirely by participants‭. ‬Participants help plan and run many aspects of each trip and seminar‭, ‬including building educational elements‭, ‬accommodation‭, ‬cooking‭, ‬navigating‭, ‬and guest speakers‭. ‬
  • Safety and Security
    We understand that applicants and their families may have concerns about participant safety over the course of the program, and about the dynamic security situation in Israel. Your safety & security is our number one priority. As an approved MASA program, all World Bnei Akiva Hachshara Israel programs follow the safety and security guidelines outlined by MASA for all their programs. Please visit the MASA safety page for more information and interactive video with MASA’s Chief Security Officer, Amir Keinan.
  • Health and Wellbeing
    World Bnei Akiva take our participants’ physical & emotional wellbeing very seriously. Noting the rise in emotional challenges amongst youth, we have commissioned the services and support of “Keshev”- a professional organization in the mental health and wellness field. Keshev provides us a with a wide variety of services including group sessions and one-on-one meetings with participants on topics of mental health such as anxiety, depression, sexuality, eating disorders and more. They provide emergency on-call support to staff, and designated on site hours for any participant who needs extra support mentally or emotionally. Through their team, our participants and staff are offered guidance and support needed, to help them to have an emotionally healthy and safe year. To learn more visit www.keshevcenter.com

Journey to Poland

Kivun participants have the special opportunity of visiting Poland as part of their year with World Bnei Akiva: Hachshara. Starting and ending in Israel, the trip focuses on the experiences of Polish Jewry throughout its history.

You’ll explore the immense and beautiful Jewry of pre-war Poland, dating back 800 years, and you’ll examine the years of the Holocaust by visiting Jewish ghettos, death and labour camps, and other significant sites. The trip is prepared meticulously by our educational team so that the experience is a meaningful one. Whilst in Israel, you’ll prepare for your journey to Poland, and on your return, you’ll deal with processing and concluding the many
concepts and issues that the trip covered.

(*The Poland journey, although highly recommended is an optional extra, for an additional cost)

Team

Meet The Team

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ARIEL VILNER

Head of Program – Kivun

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DAPHNA REFAELI

Director of Israel Programs

How to apply

HOW TO APPLY

  1. Click below on the APPLY HERE button  |  Once you have begun the application process, you can sign back in as many times as you like to continue the application.

  2. Register with MASA at www.masaisrael.org  |  Masa is a project of the Israeli government that offers Hachshara participants an automatic grant, with further needs based funding available.

 

How much does Kivun cost?
The cost of Kivun for 2023/24 is 105,000 NIS. The cost covers tuition, seminars, tiyulim, accommodation, special Shabbatot, group transportation, staff and medical insurance. Not covered by the medical insurance are costs related to optical care and treatment of prior dental problems, medical care relating to pre-existing conditions, hepatitis and MMR vaccinations (required by MDA volunteers). The full Maccabi insurance policy details and it’s exclusions can be viewed here.  In addition, you may want laundry done at certain parts of the year (eg. Marva/Mada periods), and you may be required to purchase your own books and learning materials for the study periods.

How will I know if I have been accepted?

After we receive and review your application, you’ll be invited for an interview. Your interview allows us to get to know you a bit better and assess your suitability for the program. It will also give you the opportunity to ask any specific questions you may have.

 

Shortly after the interview, you’ll be informed of your acceptance. Your place will be confirmed only after the payment plan has been agreed

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Carol, Miami

I absolutely loved being able to feel as if I lived as an Israeli, within a group of international students. One of my favorite things was being able to get the real Israeli working experience through my internship, which was with the deputy mayor of Jerusalem. I also really loved being able to grow as a Jew and as a Zionist with other Jewish, Zionist students from around the world, and learning about their cultures. For anyone looking for a program that really makes you feel as if you are an Israeli, I highly recommend Kivun. It is a one-of-a-kind life experience that you won't be able to get any other way.

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Eli, London

My year on Kivun has been the best year of my life. I've met the most amazing people and share some incredible experiences with them. I've been able to do so much, I've worked on a Kibbutz, Interned at the Ministry of Health, worked on a National Ambulance Service and learnt about my Jewish history and identity. I've also learnt about myself and grown as a person.

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Jake, London

Choosing to go on Kivun was the best decision I ever made because it has positively impacted my life to this day. I created new and meaningful friendships with people from all around the World; developed my Jewish identity and grew massively in my independence, all while exploring, and living in, Eretz Yisrael.

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Lior, Stockholm

A year of personal and Jewish growth and living in the Israeli society. Jewish learning that give you different perspectives. The best gap year experience I could have ever had.

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Lital, Philadelphia

My experience in Kivun has absolutely been incredible and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. I have met people from all over the world and have had amazing experiences I will never forget. I have gained independence, learned more about Israel, and integrated into Israeli society. Kivun has given me the opportunity to grow so much and I am so grateful to have chosen this program. It truly has the best to offer and is an experience that will last a lifetime!

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Olivia, London

My experience on Kivun was full of growth, fun, independence and a love for Judaism and Israel. Throughout the year the different experiences ranging from working on a kibbutz to internships to volunteering to hikes and seminars, guided me through what it means to live in Israel. I came to love Israel even more than I thought possible and my connection to am Yisrael strengthened even more. This program gave me friendship and memories that will last a lifetime. 

Testimonials
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