Hillel is working with the MASA Israel Journey program of the Jewish Agency for Israel to promote "A Better Stimulus Plan," a national campaign to help students and recent graduates find long-term internship, volunteer and graduate academic opportunities in Israel as an alternative means of career development during the current economic crisis.
A report recently released by the National Association of Colleges & Employers (NACE) indicates that 66 percent of employers surveyed plan to lower or eliminate spring hiring. As a result, experts like Bridget O'Connell, director of outreach and marketing for American University's career center, advise students and recent graduates to "continue to build their resumes so that they are prepared to compete in an economy that may offer fewer job opportunities."
Heeding this advice, increasing numbers of young adults have begun to seek out volunteer and internship placements in lieu of a paying job. Since August 2008, MASA has received more than 5,000 inquiries about its post-college programs in Israel.
MASA, an umbrella group that coordinates more than 150 programs in Israel ranging from five to 10 months in duration, offers young Jewish professionals a host of opportunities to advance their careers - while expanding their worldview - in Israel, one of the world's leaders in technology, science, medicine, education, eco-farming, and more.
"MASA's volunteer, internship and graduate academic opportunities befit a wide range of backgrounds and interests, providing jobless twenty-somethings a variety of options outside the traditional framework of post-college career development to enhance both their life experience and resume in an international setting," says MASA North American Director Avi Rubel.
A variety of MASA professional internship programs, such as Career Israel and WUJS Intern in Tel Aviv, offer placement in the public or private sector in cities like Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. Whatever their passion, young adults seeking a respite from the current economic downturn can find programs to meet their needs, in a wide range of fields including media, medicine, law, computer science, business, and education.
Volunteer programs in Israel, such as Israel Service Corps and OTZMA, place volunteers in schools and after-school programs as English tutors and in Magen David Adom ambulance services as emergency workers; the programs LIFE and Leaders for Tikkun Olam enable volunteers to pursue humanitarian fieldwork in Israel, India, Africa and beyond.
Graduate academic programs at Israeli universities - some of the best academic institutions in the world - offer North American students advanced degrees for half the price of private American programs.The Interdisciplinary Center at Herzliya, for example, offers English-language MBAs in International Management and Entrepreneurship. Its faculty includes professors who previously taught at Columbia's Business School, NYU's Stern School of Business, Duke University, and the University of Chicago.
MASA Israel Journey, a project of the Government of Israel and the Jewish Agency for Israel, enables young Jewish adults aged 18-30 from around the world to build lasting relationships with Israel, strengthen their Jewish identities, and gain meaningful experiences through participation in one of more than 160 long-term Israel programs. Since 2003, MASA has been a catalyst in the developing new and exciting, quality programs which express the multi-faceted experience of Israel.