Kesher Hadash: Semester in Israel Program

Been to Israel before, but want to experience its complexity more deeply?
Want to figure out how to educate about Israel in compelling, authentic ways?

Make a New Kind of Connection with Israel

Four women smile in front of scenic landscape

Join The Davidson School's annual cohort of select students, and spend five months as part of an exclusive, intensive semester in Israel. 

A select group will receive the opportunity to live and study in Israel while gaining expertise in Israel education. This innovative and intensive program is fully funded for eligible students by The Davidson School and the Jim Joseph Foundation. You do not need to be enrolled in The Davidson School's master's degree program to be eligible. 

In addition to the fully funded program, The Davidson School also provides:

  • Round-trip airfare
  • $1,500 living stipend
  • $3,000 housing stipend

Academic Courses: Explore cutting-edge approaches to teaching about Israel, study alongside Israeli citizens, and deepen your knowledge of Israel's culture, history, and politics. Academic courses include:

  • The State of Israel: Origins, Early History—provides students with the tools by which to understand Israeli society: its ideological origins, its pre-state history, and the major voices and schisms today
  • Contemporary Israel in Contemporary Jewish Education—an exploration of the philosophical and educational significance of Israel for Jews today, providing an expansive introduction to varied questions relating to Israel education
  • Curriculum and Program Implementation—includes visits to Israeli educational settings and study of Israeli curricula
  • Diversity in Israeli Society at the David Yellin Academic College of Education—an intracultural workshop in which American Jewish, Israeli Jewish, and Palestinian-Israeli students discuss questions of identity, religion, and nationality

An Experiential Program: Students explore every facet of Israeli society through diverse experiences, engaging in challenging discussions with Israelis on shab

batonim and participating in trips that address pivotal topics in contemporary Israeli life. Programs include:

  • An in-depth exploration of the conflict with the Palestinians and its place in Israel education, in collaboration with Encounter and Perspectives Israel
  • Kibbutz Lotan: An Israeli Reform Community and Ecological Education Site
  • Kibbutz Hannaton: A Self-Renewing Israeli Conservative Community
  • Yad Vashem Through Different Eyes: The Place of the Shoah in Israeli Identity
  • Har Herzl: A Case Study of Educational Narratives
  • Text and Context in Israeli Society (in collaboration with the Conservative Yeshiva)
  • The Alma Institute: The Secular Jewish Cultural Renaissance
  • Mea Shearim: An Exploration of Haredi Society in Israel
  • The Reut Institute: Strategic Issues in the Global Jewish Community

The program also includes:

Access to the Ma'aleh School of Television, Film & the Arts: Kesher Hadash students have the privilege of spending a semester in the school learning how to create a video that can be used for Jewish educational purposes. Ma'aleh is situated in the heart of Jerusalem, and is the only film school in the world devoted to exploring the intersection of Judaism and modern life. Ma'aleh films are screened regularly at film festivals worldwide, and consistently win top awards.

Hebrew Immersion: Experience customized Hebrew language instruction and the opportunity to practice your Hebrew with Israeli peers. 

Individual Growth and Development: Each student is assigned a tutor to help synthesize the experiences of learning in Israel.

Applying to Kesher Hadash
Space is limited. The priority deadline is March 1. The secondary deadline is May 1. Students will be notified of a decision shortly thereafter, and must decide whether to enroll in Kesher Hadash by June 30. A rolling admissions process is offered subsequent to the above deadlines.

Complete the Kesher Hadash application for non-MA applicants (PDF)

MA applicants should complete the MA application, which includes a Kesher Hadash section.

Read about Kesher Hadash in the Press
The Davidson School's Kesher Hadash Israel Program is "Bringing Israel Education Home" in the Jewish Daily Forward.
The Jewish Week features The Davidson School's Israel program in "Kesher Hadash: Forging Their Own 'New Connection.'"

Kesher Hadash Electives
Select units of the Kesher Hadash program are open to students and friends at other institutions. Read more about Kesher Hadash electives for non-Davidson School students