Birthright Israel onward launches a first-of-its-kind, monthlong program for young Jewish professionals from North America  | Shalom Austin

Birthright Israel onward launches a first-of-its-kind, monthlong program for young Jewish professionals from North America 

The Jewish Outlook

Jun 30, 2023

Birthright participants visiting in Israel. Courtesy Birthright Israel

Birthright Israel Onward announced today that it has launched The Sullam Israel Residency, a first-of-its-kind, monthlong program for young professionals in Jewish communal service. The program’s main goal is to offer them the opportunity to kick-start their careers with an all-immersive experience living in Israel.

The pilot program, sponsored by a group of philanthropic foundations, will take place in January 2024, based in Tel Aviv. “Jewish communal professionals play a key role in engaging North American Jews with Israel. We hope that giving them an opportunity to live and learn there will deepen their connection and strengthen their ability to serve as a bridge to Israel and its people for years to come,” said a spokesperson on behalf of the philanthropic partners.

One hundred people from North America will be chosen through a competitive application process.

Participants will experience Israel, connect with Israelis, explore their personal and professional paths and solidify their identities as Jews and their connections to Israel and the global Jewish world. The rigorous curriculum, designed by M²: The Institute for Experiential Jewish Education, focuses on Jewish and Israel education, with participants gaining valuable skills to become better professionals in their communities.

Participants will engage in deep learning and exploration through educational and elective classes, while living in apartments in Tel Aviv. The program includes Shabbat retreats, work-related commitments and time to experience Israel independently. The curriculum provides a comprehensive understanding of Jewish communities’ history, values and contemporary challenges.

Applicants must have between 18 months and five years of service as a full-time professional (with some exceptions) in a role dedicated to actively engaging with Jewish-community members. They are expected to remain in the field of Jewish communal service, and prior Israel experience will be considered. Non-Jewish applicants may apply, too. Applicants must be recommended by their respective supervisors. Nominations from supervisors and directors will be subject to a competitive selection process to ensure a balanced cohort.

“These young professionals would strengthen their Jewish identities and bonds with Israel and its culture, while fostering connections to the global Jewish community. Exactly what the Sullam Israel Residency vision is all about,” said Birthright Israel CEO Gidi Mark.

This highly subsidized pilot program covers accommodations, round-trip airfare from select North American gateway cities, enriching educational programming and seminars, meals during educational sessions, Shabbat retreats, basic medical insurance and ground transportation within Tel Aviv.

Applications are being accepted through July 31, with decisions communicated in early September. More information can be found at

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