New Collaboration Seeks to Address Academic Achievement Gaps in Israel

New partnership allows Masa Israel Teaching Fellows to receive additional training at Tel Aviv University before entering Israeli classrooms

JERUSALEM – For the first time in the program’s prestigious history, a new cohort of Jewish college graduates from English-speaking countries will soon begin coursework at Tel Aviv University to learn best practices in classroom management, discipline and instruction to supplement their months-long fellowship teaching English as a second language to underserved students in every sector of Israel’s diverse society.

The fellows, college graduates aged 21-30 from the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand, are participating in the Masa Israel Teaching Fellows program. MITF is a partnership between Masa Israel Journey, Israel’s Ministry of Education, and The Jewish Agency for Israel.

The MITF-Tel Aviv University partnership is a first of its kind agreement that will provide this year’s class of 135 Masa Israel Teaching Fellows with additional training over the course of their fellowship. The fellows will participate in a two-credit academic course, “Methods in Language Teaching: Theory & Practice,” taught by the academic staff of Tel Aviv University’s TESOL Master’s program. Throughout the program, the fellows will study under top international language instructors in Israel, focusing on understanding how individuals acquire a new language. The strategies learned through this program will help the fellows better connect with their students and address challenging classroom situations.

“Partnering with Tel Aviv University as part of Masa Israel Teaching Fellows’ pedagogical training program is yet another step toward achieving excellence that is the calling card of the teaching fellows program, and of Masa Israel’s programs as a whole,” said Tamar Zilbershatz, the director of Gap and Service Programs for Masa Israel Journey. “We aim to contribute to Israeli society while benefiting the fellows professionally, giving them the opportunity to be part of Israel’s prestigious academic ecosystem. It’s a win-win all around.”

Added Prof. Elana Shohamy, who chairs Tel Aviv University’s TESOL Master’s program, “We are very pleased to welcome Masa Israel Teaching Fellows to the Tel Aviv University family, and we look forward to providing them with a taste of TAU’s academic excellence. This partnership provides us with a unique opportunity to impact the next generation of young professionals, and to do so in Israel.”

The goal of the fellowship program is to reduce the educational achievement gap of underserved Israelis. The prestigious fellowship provides young Jews who are native English speakers with a 10-month experience living, working and volunteering in Israel. Masa Israel Teaching Fellows are assigned to various locations across Israel, including Nazareth and Rahat. Nazareth is the largest Arab city in Israel, and Rahat is the first and largest Bedouin city in Israel. Masa started the programs in both communities at the urging of Israel’s Ministry of Education, which has labeled schools in these areas as underperforming. Masa is expanding its teaching fellows’ presence in both of these communities this year.

Accreditation for this course will be given to those who successfully complete all course requirements. Fellows who later join Tel Aviv University’s TESOL Master’s program will be exempt from this course requirement.


Masa Israel Journey is the leader in immersive international experiences in Israel. Masa Israel connects young people ages 18-30 who are seeking to enrich their personal and professional growth with the top gap year, study abroad, service-learning and career development opportunities. Through subsidized, individually tailored programs, developed and implemented in collaboration with The Jewish Agency for Israel and the Government of Israel, Masa participants immerse themselves in the community and embark on a journey that will change both the course of their lives, and of the Jewish people’s future. More info at


Adam Muhlendorf, West End Strategy Team Cell: (202) 641-6216