Currently, some 1,500 American university students study in Israel each year. The Masa program, which is part of the Jewish Agency, hopes to boost those numbers considerably so that one day they are on a par with places like London and Paris, where tens of thousands of young Americans go to spend a semester abroad each year.
The partnerships include Washington University’s Olin Business School with IDC Herzliya; Columbia’s Barnard College with Hebrew University; and the University of Maryland’s Smith School of Business with the University of Haifa. The other participating universities are Arizona State University, Case Western Reserve University, Michigan State University, the New Jersey state university system and the University of Florida.
Other universities with already existing programs in Israel are Harvard, which partners with the Hebrew University, and the University of Miami’s UGalilee, which receive a combined total of $85,000 in seed grants from Masa Israel.