NEW YORK (Press Release)—Masa Israel Journey, the leader in immersive international experiences in Israel, announced Tuesday that it will double the number of participants in its flagship Masa Israel Teaching Fellows program, beginning this coming school year. The expansion will bring 300 young professionals into classrooms across Israel to teach English as a Second Language. It is made possible through a partnership with the Ministry of Education and is part of the Ministry’s plan to strengthen English as a Second Language programming nationwide.
Masa Israel Journey and the Ministry of Education launched Masa Israel Teaching Fellows in 2011 for recent college graduates ages 21-30 who are native English speakers. Since then, more than 800 native English speakers have served as fellows in the 10-month program. To account for increasing needs in the Israeli school system, Masa Israel and its partners at the Ministry, Israeli Government, and Jewish Agency for Israel are expanding the program’s presence. Many of the schools in which the teaching fellows serve have been identified by the Ministry as among the lowest performing in the country and in need of additional support. In the fall, as part of the expansion, Bat Yam and Eilat will be added to the current list of 12 cities where fellows teach.
Beginning this September, the fellowship will offer a new track for teachers who are certified to teach in their home countries, who will, after initial trainings, lead their own classrooms with English as a Second Language curricula. As in the past, individuals with undergraduate degrees will serve as teaching assistants alongside elementary and middle school full-time teachers.
“Masa Israel Teaching Fellows are serving in communities that are on the margins of society and in need of good, passionate, young teachers,” said Naftali Bennett, Israel’s Minister of Education. “They do very important work, and the Ministry is proud to have them in our classrooms.”
Tamar Zilbershatz, Director, Gap & Service Programs at Masa Israel Journey, added, “Masa Israel Journey is thrilled to partner with the Ministry of Education to bring more highly qualified English teachers into the Israeli school system through our teaching fellowship. This program offers young teachers the rare opportunity to develop their professional skills and engage in self-discovery while having a deep impact on the ground in Israel. We invite all educators to join us for this rewarding experience.”
All teaching fellows will have the opportunity to boost their resumes while immersing themselves in Israeli culture through tailored trainings, certificate programs, community service projects and guided tours across the country.
Nitzah Santiago-Horseman served as a Masa Israel Teaching Fellow in the city of Ramla in 2013-2014. Today, thanks to her experience as a fellow in Israel, she teaches high school special education in Syracuse, N.Y., while pursuing a master’s degree in early childhood special education at Syracuse University. Nitzah was a public school teacher before working in Israel, but as she shared, “After my Masa Israel teaching fellowship, I’m a different teacher. I experienced significant personal and professional growth and change in a very short amount of time. As a teacher today, I’m more confident, more capable—and grateful for the time I spent alongside teachers and students in Israel.”
*Preceding provided by Masa Israel Journey