WUJS Israel
post-college Israel programs


Program Overview
Drawing inspiration from the surroundings of the world's most special city, Jerusalem, participants on the WUJS Jerusalem Arts program are able to combine studies in Hebrew language and Israeli art with their own personal art medium such as visual art, music, photography, writing and performing. Integrated into the general WUJS Jerusalem program, participants will take classes within a pluralistic, open-minded environment. Our holistic educational approach incorporates time in the classroom, weekly field trips, overnight hikes, meetings with Israeli peers and artists, volunteer options and a variety of fun and enriching activities. Participants live and study in a warm yet dynamic environment and are supported by professional and experienced staff.

The WUJS Arts track does not teach individual artistic skills. Rather participants are given the time and space to develop their own art with the opportunity of an exhibition at the end of the program. Therefore applicants to the WUJS Arts track will have an academic artistic background as a way of demonstrating that they can take the necessary initiative in working alone during their personal creative time.

The Exhibition
Artists will have the opportunity to present their work in an exhibition towards the end of the program at the Hadassah Art Gallery in Jerusalem. At the beginning of the program all the participating artists will decide on a collective theme for the exhibition and will then spend the following months working on individual artistic projects based on that theme.

Facilities and Mentors
One of the benefits of the WUJS Arts track is that each participant will have a personal mentor with whom s/he can meet twice a month. The aim of the meetings should be to find guidance and inspiration towards the final exhibition and your art work in general.

The WUJS program can provide basic facilities for each participant such as a modest studio and easels for visual artists. Participants who require more specific facilities such as advanced digital printers and scanners, pottery wheels or a dance studio will have to fund those from their own pocket however the WUJS staff can assist on locating those facilities before your arrival in Israel. In the past WUJS artists have included painters, photographers, singers, dancers, calligraphers and more.

During the first month of the program, participants on the WUJS Arts track are required to take the 3-week intensive Hebrew Ulpan and the Key Issues in Israel Seminars. Following that participants are required to take the Art and Israel and Israeli Society through Film courses. All other activities are optional including the continuing Hebrew Ulpan program. During the rest of the time, artists are free to create and develop their own art either in the studio or around the city. Participants are also free to take advantage of all the other evening options made available by the WUJS staff. 


Program Courses

Hebrew Ulpan
The Hebrew Ulpan classes on the WUJS program in Jerusalem are run by the Hebrew Department of Young Judaea Israel Programs. During the five month program, the studies are broken up into four parts:
1. 3-week intensive ulpan during first month of the program. This builds up a strong feeling of self-confidence in using Hebrew to communicate in Israel from the very beginning of the program.
2. 1-week intensive ulpan during the third month of the program.
3. 1-week intensive ulpan during the fifth month of the program.
4. Short Hebrew activity every Tuesday morning throughout the entire program (apart from intensive weeks).

Art and Israel
This course seeks to allow participants to touch the plethora of artistic opportunities in Israel today. Part of the course will examine the history of art in Israel and within Jewish history in general. The course also focuses on modern day Israel and the various expressions that can be found around the country. While most of the course is classroom based, participants will also take field trips to important sites and meet with current leaders within the arts today.

Israeli Society through Film
Learning about Israeli history and society through the lens of films produced in Israel. Topics such as the "image" of the Israeli- the Sabra-; Zionist mythology and legend; Confronting issues of the Secular-Religious debate; Children in Israeli Film; Israel in the eye of the observer.

Judaism 101
Example of class on the course:
Why do Jews Pray? Prayer is Tough
The concept of Tefilla (Prayer) in Judaism is vastly more complex than simply asking God to fulfill our needs. For these two sessions we will be diving into the world of Jewish Prayer. We will answer the questions 'Does God really need MY prayers?', 'What if I think praying is boring?', 'I don't even understand the prescribed prayers when I read them in English, so why do it at all?', 'I'm not even sure I believe in God, so why pray?', and 'Going to Synagogue makes me nervous, can't I just pray on my own?'

We will look into the Siddur (prayer book) and see what the rhythm of some of the services is. Also, we will travel through the Amida, which is the central Jewish prayer, and see the three elements that are considered integral to the act of praying. In addition, we will look at the various categories of Brachot (blessings) and see that there is a comprehensive system of blessings for almost every occasion imaginable. By the end of our time together we will understand that, in its ideal form, prayer is really a constant ongoing process of self transformation.

Key Issues in Israel Seminars
During the first month of the program, in addition to the Hebrew Ulpan, participants will have the opportunity to engage in a variety of educational seminars that tackle the key issues that any participant on a long-term program in Israel should consider. These may include such topics as: History of Israel, Overview of Israeli Political System, Religion and State, Understanding the Conflict, The People of Israel, Israeli Culture and more.

Siyurim and Tiyulim
One of the highlights of the WUJS program is the field trips that take place every Tuesday. This is an opportunity to take a break from the week's routine and get out and about seeing Israel through your own eyes and feet. The field trips are based on a variety of topics and can take you to somewhere local in the city of Jerusalem or beyond and into the country at large. Previous field trips have included: The Old City of Jerusalem, Yemin Moshe and Rechavia, Neot Kedumim, Neve Tzedek in Tel-Aviv, Sderot, Yad Vashem, Rosh Haayin, Kibbutz Metzer and many, many more.

In addition there are three hikes that take place during the course of the program. One in the North of the country, one in the Judaean Desert and the Dead Sea and one in the Arava that is situated in the South of the country and involves a Shabbat experience at Kibbutz Ketura. The tiyulim to the North of the country and the Arava are overnight

Typical Week for WUJS Arts

Semester 1
Personal Art Time
Personal Art Time

Hebrew activity followed by WUJS group meeting

Personal Art Time
Personal Art Time
Free Weekend - why not go on a camping trip with friends to the Golan Heights
Free Weekend – why not have a cultural weekend visiting Jerusalem 'off the beaten track'
Siyur (field trip) may run until late
Israeli Cinema and Photography
Art and Israel
Evening Free Evening Hebrew Ulpan
Judaism 101
Free Evening

Beyond the Classroom

Jewish Experience
One of the greatest advantages of spending six months in Jerusalem is the opportunity to experience Judaism. Explore the options, feel the fervor, learn and encounter Judaism as you never have before. WUJS, as part Young Judaea/FZY Israel programs, is a Jewish pluralist program; whether you are Orthodox, Reform, Conservative, Reconstructionist or non-affiliated, you will be given your space to express your Judaism in your way.

Israel Experience
Beyond the classroom and the siyur (field trip), participants on the WUJS Arts program will have the option of participating in a variety in informal educational and cultural activities that primarily take place in the evenings. These may include meeting local Israeli artists, visiting a new exhibit, Israeli film night, going to an international soccer match, visiting a new bar in the German Colony, going to a political rally, meeting an environmental lobby, going to a concert or play and much more. In addition, during free time, participants can enjoy all the wonderful cultural and social opportunities that Jerusalem has to offer.

Adopted Families
The WUJS Israel program arranges for students to be "adopted" by a family in Jerusalem. This provides a home away from home and an opportunity to get to know an Israeli family. These families are often immigrants themselves from around the world. It can be a way of practicing Hebrew and discovering Jerusalem from a different angle. While this is not a compulsory part of the program, experience has proven that life-long relationships can be formed between students and local families.

The weekends are often one of the highlights of the program as participants have the time to get out and about exploring the country from north to south. All WUJS participants have the luxury of using our tiyul (hiking) consultant who will help you to plan your treks around Israel and even provide you with maps, tents and gas burners.

There are a number of group Shabbatot weekends over the course of the program in Jerusalem. Each Shabbat can be meaningful in its own way either due to a new and interesting encounter or simply because of the unique atmosphere that each Shabbat brings. Just be ready to be spiritually uplifted in some way.

All participants on the Jerusalem Learning program receive accommodation in apartments within the city of Jerusalem. The apartments are situated in the Baka neighborhood conveniently situated close to the trendy Emek Refaim and a short ride away from downtown Jerusalem. The area provides easy access to all of Jerusalem's highlights including restaurants, cafes, bars, museums, theaters and more. Each apartment is equipped with beds, closets, sofas, table and chairs. In addition the kitchen is supplied with a toaster oven, electric stove, refrigerator, freezer and all necessary cooking utensils.

Getting Around the City
As anyone who lives in Jerusalem will tell you the most enjoyable way to get around the city is on foot. However, just in case, participants will also be provided with monthly bus passes that allow you to get around the city freely using the vast public transportation system.

Apply now to secure your place on WUJS Israel

WUJS Israel Programs

To be eligible for the WUJS Arts program, prospective students should be:

  • Jewish
  • Between the ages of 21-35
  • Single, or married without children
  • Graduates of university or some other institute of higher education

Program Dates
The WUJS Israel Hadassah program runs twice a year and each session lasts for five months.
Upcoming Sessions:

  • September 12th 2011 – February 12th 2012
  • March 12th 2012 – August 12th 2012

Program Cost
The cost of the WUJS Arts track for September 2011 is $7,600 prior to the MASA automatic grant. WUJS Payment Schedule and Refund Policy
WUJS Israel Hadassah is recognized by MASA. As such, all participants are eligible to apply for MASA funding.

Apply now to secure your place on WUJS Israel

Staying in Israel
Over the last 40 years, almost one third of all WUJS participants have remained in Israel after the program and made Aliyah. We have an Aliyah consultant on staff who can answer all related questions. On top of that, the WUJS program organizes an Aliyah day for its participants, where seminars are arranged to cover topics such as Aliyah rights and benefits, employment, higher education and the Israeli Army. Included in this day is an opportunity for you to meet with WUJS alumni who have made Aliyah so you can hear their stories and experiences.
Additionally, WUJS provides two other services that we feel will significantly aid our participants with their first steps in Israel. We work together with participants to translate their resumes into Hebrew and, we offer participants five personal meetings with WUJS staff member to assist in employment and housing search.