400 Diaspora gap year students explore their futures in Israel

Hundreds of Diaspora Jewish students studying in Israel during their 'gap year' after high school attend Israel Fair in Jerusalem.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

 Israel Fair Saturday night
Israel Fair Saturday night
Elana Greenbaum

Here Next Year, in partnership with Nefesh B’Nefesh, hosted its 6th annual Israel Fair this past Saturday night in the center of Jerusalem. The fair was designed to help young potential Olim, currently in their gap year, learn about their options for IDF service, Israel National Service (Sherut Leumi), Ulpan, and higher education in Israel.

The Israel Fair is Here Next Year’s largest event of many throughout that year. The goal of the event is to give these young adults an opportunity to best learn about the many options available to them in Israel. At the fair there were representatives from Nefesh B’Nefesh, the IDF and Sherut Leumi support programs, universities and colleges from all over Israel, as well as various communities which contain large Oleh populations.

Additionally, over 50 young Olim volunteered to share their own personal experiences and act as peer resources for the gap year students. This provided the gap year students a glimpse of what life in Israel could look like should they choose to stay, and was an excellent opportunity to meet like-minded friends and create a strong support system for the future.

“With 33 booths, advisors, institutions, and organizations from all over the country, nine informational sessions about Sherut Leumi, the Army, University, and Aliyah we are extremely proud to be guiding the more than 400 participants in making informed decisions about their futures in Israel,” said Yael Engelhart, Director of Here Next Year. “The Israel Fair is a place where young gap year students on the brink of making important decisions about their future can find not only resources and facts, but a sense of community and support.”

Founded in 2015, Here Next Year assists yeshiva and seminary students who choose to stay in Israel for IDF service, Sherut Leumi (civilian national service), or to study in Israeli colleges. Since 2017, Here Next Year has been partnered with Nefesh B'Nefesh.