Teaching English as a second language (ESL) is a rewarding career path often launched via government-sponsored programs. Such programs not only kick-start teaching careers, but they also offer enriching experiences and contribute significantly to CVs/resumes. The Masa Teaching Fellows Program invites Jewish ESL teachers, who are native English speakers, to come and live in Israel from across the globe. The program places both new and experienced teachers in public schools situated in various Israeli communities. Fellows are given the opportunity to engage small groups of students in honing their English reading, writing, grammar, and conversational skills.
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The program seeks native English speakers between the ages of 20 and 35 from any country, who identify as Jewish. Participants should have earned a Bachelor's Degree by mid-September of the year they intend to apply. The program duration is 10 months, from late August until early July, with a working schedule of 30-35 hours weekly, which may include classroom teaching and local community volunteering. A $1,000 payment is necessary to cover costs such as accommodation, orientation, Hebrew classes, teacher training, seminars, cultural tours, and health insurance.
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Hebrew proficiency is not a prerequisite for the program, and throughout your stay, you will be provided with Hebrew lessons. Both experienced teachers and beginners are welcomed to apply, and comprehensive teacher training will be offered. A TEFL or TESOL certification isn't mandatory before applying, but due to the program's high demand, having such a qualification can enhance your chances of acceptance by demonstrating your dedication to mastering the principles of English teaching.
The Masa Teaching Fellows Program is active in 14 regions across Israel, including Haifa, Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Ashdod, Netanya, and Bat Yam. You can state your location preference, but there are no guarantees as placements depend on availability. The demographics of your students may also differ based on location. You may be teaching secular or Israeli Jews, immigrant children from Ethiopia or the former Soviet Union, or even Christian or Muslim Israeli Arabs.
As the program primarily targets volunteers from abroad, it is typically not open to Israeli citizens. Officially, if you hold Israeli citizenship, you should have left the country before turning 14 and have resided outside Israel for at least four consecutive years before applying.
Participating in this program offers immense cultural, educational, and personal benefits as you get to immerse yourself in Israel's rich history, culture, and natural landscapes. Despite the program being volunteer-based, certified teachers will receive a monthly stipend of 4,000 NIS (approximately $1,090). Non-certified teachers will get 1,750 NIS (around $480). If you fulfill the 10-month program term, you will be reimbursed up to $1,000 for your flight expenses. Participants will also enjoy cultural activities and regular tours throughout their stay.