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Join the Atlanta Israel Gap Year Fellowship – earn up to $15,000 toward a gap year program in Israel! 

  • Experience personal growth and independence
  • Deepen your connection to Israel and Judaism
  • Gain a clearer vision for your future
  • Earn college credits
  • Boost your resume
  • Expand your worldview
  • Make lifelong friends and valuable connections
  • Excel in your future college experience
  • Take a break from traditional academics

All while you explore the desert, work at an Israel based NGO, visit high-tech startups, engage in meaningful social action, learn and connect with thousands of years of Jewish life in Israel!



Did you know you don’t have to start college immediately after completing high school?

It’s true! The increasingly popular year-long break between high school and college is known as a gap year. Gap years may involve travel, volunteer work, an internship, or participation in a formal gap year program.

Studies have found that an exploratory year between high school and college often contributes to a boost in performance when students enter college. Additionally, students who participate in gap year programs are often more mature, self-reliant, independent, and employable than students who choose to go directly to college.

With so many benefits to the gap year path, JumpSpark, in partnership with The Zalik Foundation, wants to make it easier for students to pursue this option in Israel! A select number of lucky students will be awarded a prestigious Atlanta Israel Gap Year Fellowship, while also receiving a $10,000 – $15,000 scholarship.

Students planning to attend Seminaries, Stern College, or Yeshiva University are not eligible to be a part of the Fellowship.



The Atlanta Israel Gap Year Fellowship is open to current (2023-2024) Atlanta high school seniors who identify as Jewish, regardless of financial need.


The Atlanta Israel Gap Year Fellowship applies to the 2024-2025 school year and the following summer of 2025 (optional).

Please note: This Fellowship may be used during the 2024-2025 school year only. Don’t miss out on this unique opportunity! Application deadline is March 31st, 2024. Applicants will be notified by email early May 2024.


Israel! Students will choose from one of several pre-approved Israel gap year experiences. Students who are awarded the additional $5,000 service subsidy may volunteer or work with Jewish organizations in greater Atlanta following the gap year program. Eligible programs have been selected based on a variety of criteria. If you are interested in a program that is not eligible for the Fellowship, scholarships may be available through the program provider or Masa. Please contact Masa directly at:

About the Fellowship

The Atlanta Israel Gap Year Fellowship offers a unique opportunity for Atlanta teens to expand upon their gap year experience with sessions developed to deepen leadership skills, connect with Israeli experts, and explore ways to apply what they learn after the Fellowship. This will be done in coordination with a list of targeted partners in different focus areas. Dates for sessions are to be announced.

  • Two sessions following acceptance in the Fellowship and before departure.  These sessions will provide an opportunity for the Fellows to connect with each other and participate in an enhanced send-off event, featuring Eli Sperling, a professor of Israeli history and culture at University of Georgia.
  • In partnership with Masa, four sessions in Israel are focused on expanding Fellows’ knowledge of Jewish peoplehood and the relationship between Israel and the Diaspora. These will include:
    • Participation in the new two-day leadership program supported by the Rabbi Jonathan Sacks Legacy program
    • Shabbaton in Yokneam-Megiddo (2 days, 1 night) that will focus on Jewish Peoplehood
    • Thanksgiving celebration with Atlanta lone soldiers and Israeli dignitaries from different fields
    • Participation in the Masa NextStep Conference, with special sessions for Atlanta Fellows, focusing on leadership on campus, as well as additional strategies for Fellows to engage with and participate in Israel activities, courses, and organizations on campus.
  • Upon return, Fellows will participate in two additional sessions to reflect on their year in Israel and strategies for recruiting future Fellows, in partnership with Hillels of Georgia.  A commencement program held during winter break focuses on additional opportunities for Israel engagement including Onward, other Masa programs, and volunteer experiences with Israel.


Additional Service Subsidy Opportunity

JumpSpark will award a limited number of additional $5,000 stipends for gap year scholarship recipients who commit to volunteering or working in the Jewish community during the summer following their gap year (May-August 2025).

Volunteer work may take place in greater Atlanta and may include work at a summer camp, an internship at a Jewish organization, working at an Israeli based NGO, and more.

Students and their families are responsible for covering program costs in excess of the scholarship. The additional cost ranges from $10,000-$15,000 depending on the program selected.

Find the Israel gap year program that’s right for you!

The eligible participating gap year programs span a range of focus areas, cities, and religious affiliations. There’s an Israel gap year experience for everyone and we will help you identify the one that’s right for you.

To help in this process, JumpSpark will be hosting a Gap Year Information Session Series in early 2024 There will be opportunities to learn about each program, meet the staff, and hear from current and past teen and parent participants. This is a great opportunity for you to learn more about which program might be a good fit.

Connect with current gap year students and parents

There are currently 28 Atlanta students on gap year programs in Israel who received this scholarship last year. We know that this process can be overwhelming and speaking with these students can help you figure out which program is best for you. Please let us know if you would like to connect with current students and/or their parents.

Hear from Emily Gavrielov, a 2021 Atlanta Jewish Academy graduate, who is currently on Israel XP at Bar Ilan University.

Check out our Gap Year Instagram Highlights

Want to explore on your own? Access program websites using the links below.

CLICK HERE TO APPLY NOW! Applicants will need to submit a letter of recommendation that addresses their leadership skills. Contact Susie Mackler at for more information.

Eligible programs have been selected based on a variety of criteria. If you are interested in a program that is not listed, please contact Masa directly at:, or the program provider for information on scholarships.

The Atlanta Israel Gap Year Fellowship is made possible through the generous support of The Zalik Foundation Fund.


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