FAQs for Volunteering in Israel
1. What is the difference between Masa Israel Journey and the program provider?
2. What kind of volunteer programs do you offer?
3. Can I volunteer for shorter than 5 months?
4. How much does it cost?
5. What’s included?
6. What if I don’t see volunteer opportunity I am interested in on the site?
7. What is the difference between the providers?
8. How much funding will I receive from Masa?
9. What does the application process look like?
10. When are the start dates?
11. Besides the Masa grant, are there more scholarships I can apply for?
12. How far in advance can I apply?
13. Can I apply if I’m not Jewish?
14. Will I know my volunteer placements before I get to Israel?
15. What if I have other questions? What should I do?
Masa Israel is the umbrella organization for long-term Israel programs. We connect young adults to these programs, provides grants and scholarships to help fund their experience, and offers additional enrichment activities throughout the year. The enjoy entire experience provider sets up your specific volunteer work, housing, and other day-to-day programming.
Masa Israel Journey offers unique opportunities for you to volunteer in communities throughout Israel. Through our partnerships with grassroots and community-based organizations, you can affect change in some of Israel’s most vulnerable populations. Many volunteers work with at-risk youth, immigrant populations, Arab-Israelis, and other groups. Get started by reviewing Masa Israel’s volunteer experiences.
All Masa programs are 5 months or longer. Many of our volunteer programs offer summer internship programs but you would not be eligible for Masa funding.
Volunteer programs generally cost $1,000 – $6,500 before the Masa grant. Your net cost depends on the type of the program, the length of your program and whether you receive both our universal grant and our needs-based scholarship. If you are receiving only our universal grant, a 5 month program would cost around $1,000-$5,200. If you are also eligible for our needs-based scholarship (see requirements below), your cost could be even less. Also keep in mind, in addition to Masa’s funding, there are other scholarships out there that many of our participants apply for which could lower the cost even more. For specific pricing details, check out our program provider comparison chart.
Housing, Hebrew classes, occasional trips around Israel, health insurance, and a bus pass for travel to your volunteer placements. Masa Israel offers additional optional weekend seminars and retreats.
Our volunteer providers are always working to find new placements. You can work one-on-one with a volunteer coordinator to find the right opportunity for you.
Many of our volunteer programs are focused around working in a specific community with specific needs. The providers also differ depending on cost, location and start dates, and extracurricular activities. Particular housing styles vary too. Some providers use dorm-style housing, while others have apartments. Other differences include average participant age, structure of orientation and the size of the program cohort.
The amount of Masa funding that you will receive depends on your age, nationality and the length of your program.
To be eligible for a Masa Israel universal grant, you must: • Be Jewish • Be a graduate of a secondary school and/or between the ages of 18 and 30 • Not have Israeli citizenship OR if you do, you must have left Israel before the age of 14 and have lived outside of Israel for at least four consecutive years prior to receiving your grant • Have not been on an organized program (including an academic program) of more than four months in Israel since September 2004
All post-college participants (21+) automatically receive a universal grant of: • $3,000 for programs between 5 and 6.5 months • $3,750 for programs between 7 and 9.5 months • $4,500 programs between 10 and 12 months.
We also offer-needs based scholarships. You can apply either as a dependent or as an independent. See requirements:
Financially-dependent participants on Masa Israel-recognized programs of any length can apply for a need-based financial aid grant of up to $3,000 if they demonstrate that their families’ annual income does not exceed $22,500 per person. This is in addition to the general Masa grant.
Financially-independent participants on Masa Israel-recognized programs of any length can qualify for a need-based financial aid grant of up to $3,000 if they fit the following requirements:
• They present a notarized letter from their parents confirming their independence.
• They have an income of $45,000 or less per year and must provide proof of this income in the form of salary/pay slips for 6 months prior to the start of the Israel program
• They demonstrate fiscal independence by showing a housing lease with their names for at least six months prior to the start of the Israel program – college/university housing is not acceptable.
This is in addition to the general Masa grant.
Visit our “How to Apply” page for step-by-step instructions on the application process.
Programs start throughout the year but most volunteer programs begin early September and February.
Yes. We recommend contacting your local federation or synagogue, or the program itself. Check out our list of possible scholarships for Masa participants.
It is never too early to start planning but generally it’s best to start 3-5 months in advance.
Some of these programs are open to everyone, but to receive funding through the Masa grant you must identify as Jewish.
In many cases you will know your volunteer placements before you get to Israel but many participants decide after visiting different opportunities in Israel.
Reach out to us! Here at Masa Israel Journey have a team who would love to help you by answering questions on the programs, the grant, or anything else call 1.866.864.3279 or email us.