Israel Gov't Approves 'Birthright for Jewish Teachers' Program

January 26, 2009

Source: Jerusalem Post

A program to bring Diaspora teachers and community leaders on a subsidized educational trip to Israel has gained Israel government approval for the first time. At a recent cabinet meeting, the ministers approved a pilot program of Netivey Masa, or Masa Pathways, a joint government-Jewish Agency project that is intended to finance a majority of the expense for such trips. The teachers will visit schools in Israel, and meet other educators preparing them to help establish an interface between the Israeli education system and Diaspora Jewish education systems.

The program will be run through the five-year-old Masa organization, which runs five-month and year programs in Israel for Diaspora youths and is jointly owned by the government and the Jewish Agency for Israel.

The cabinet decision allocated a $500,000 grant to the program, to be matched by the Jewish Agency, with additional funds to come from participation fees from the teachers and their communities.

The pilot year is the precursor to a much greater plan; to bring every Diaspora Jewish educator to Israel within 10 years.

Updated: Feb. 08, 2009