UJIA Israel Fast Track

UJIA's flagship Israel Engagement programme for Sixth Formers

UJIA Israel Fast Track

UJIA's flagship Israel Engagement programme for Sixth Formers

Stand out from the crowd

UJIA Israel Fast Track is a programme like no other. Over eight months, starting in October 2019, you will go deeper into your understanding of Israel than ever before. It will help you stand out from the crowd, both in the Jewish community, in your university applications and your future career.

For the year 2019-20, we will be running the programme in London: With participants from all over the UK. There are usually 30-35 select participants from across the community. Participants should have a good basic knowledge of Israel before participating in the course. The course will look in-depth at Israel today from politics to history to society and develops participants as informed and inspired leaders.

Key marketable skills that will be nurtured are:
– Advanced Israel knowledge and understanding

– Negotiation and Conflict Resolution

– Understanding Multiple Narratives

– Communication, Debating & Presentation

– Analysis and Research

– Leadership, with an emphasis on Peer Leadership

You will also have access to Israeli politicians, journalists and other influencers on the Israel seminar, and benefit from top speakers and educators in the UK sessions.

The Programme

There is one meeting per month for UJIA Israel Fast Track which takes place on a Sunday. You are expected to attend all or almost all of the sessions, including the whole of the Israel seminar in February. (Please note all dates below are subject to change).

Sunday sessions

There will be Sunday sessions in October, November, December, January and March. These will be Day Seminars, usually 11am-5pm, but exact timings will be confirmed upon acceptance. If you are from outside London you can either come to London for the sessions or learn remotely. The sessions will each explore one particular aspect of Israel in depth, for instance, Israel within British political life, or the peace process. You will hear and learn from the very best experts and educators. The sessions are currently scheduled for 17 November, 8 December, 12 January and 15 March. 

Two residential weekends

These will be where we are able to really examine more in-depth some of the big issues that Israel faces. The first residential is when you form as a group, begin to explore the background to modern day Israel and develop your own skills.  At the second residential, we will learn about how Israel plays out on university campuses. The first weekend will be 1-3 November 2019, and the closing residential is 24-26 April 2020.

Israel seminar

This will be a trip to Israel during the February half-term, 16-20 February 2020. This is not a tour of the country. This is an intensive experience, where you’ll meet with Israeli politicians, journalists, activists and thinkers, all of whom will challenge you to think in new ways and push you to understand Israel’s unique challenges and opportunities. The days will be full, and you will come away better informed and excited to debate and discuss the many questions you will have about Israel.

Is this for me?

If you are someone who wants to explore, in a serious, high-quality, in-depth way, the big questions surrounding Israel today, and you want to use this expertise to become an informed leader of your peers and in the community, then yes, this is for you.

You’ll finish the programme more knowledgeable about Israel, more reflective about its options, and more able to articulate how you feel about its issues.

We are actively seeking a diverse group for this programme. We want people from across the religious and political spectrum, and who have a range of views about Israel. As long as you are supportive of the existence of Israel as a Jewish state (broadly defined), and are willing to hear and engage with a spectrum of opinions, we want you to apply.

Applicants are welcome from across the UK. The majority of seminars and residentials take place in or around London. Travel to these from outside London will be supported and reasonable travel costs are covered.

Past participants:

“My expectations were far exceeded – genuinely, hands down, this was the best Israel programme I have ever done. The group was diverse and bonded well. The people who came to speak to the group were amazing – meeting and getting to really have a dialogue with the Israeli Ambassador was a particular highlight. The Israel trip was fantastic. We heard multiple narratives, were asked hard questions and all came out knowing a massive amount more. I would thoroughly recommend signing up – it was an incredible experience.”

“In Israel, we met the Israeli analyst and author Yossi Klein Halevi. He spoke to us about how he sees the Israeli left and right, and his developing and sometimes conflicting ideas about the conflict with the Palestinians and the Israeli society. I came away with my head spinning – in the most positive way possible! It was the kind of experience that I would never get on any other Israel programme.”

“There genuinely didn’t seem to be an agenda, it wasn’t about trying to convince us of anything except that we should have really thought hard about our own opinions and be able to defend them with arguments and experiences. I feel like I have come out of this programme with much more knowledge and understanding – and many more questions.”

“I wanted to say thank you for what has been an amazing year. You have awoken in me a whole series of questions about Israel, Zionism, the relationship of Israel to the Diaspora and my own life choices. I’m now definitely going to take a gap year in Israel.”

“On the Israel trip and on one of the residentials, we did real-time simulations. They were so cool. In one, I played American Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, and I was meant to “host” peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians (being played by other Fast Trackers.) It was super-intense, but very quickly I began to think and feel how (I imagine) the real Tillerson might think and feel – the frustrations, the hopes, the expectations, the pressures. It helped me get under the skin of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in a way I had never thought possible before.”

“There was a great social dynamic. We were very different people, but there was mutual respect. I engaged with viewpoints I had never taken seriously before, and I am coming out with a much more nuanced understanding of Israel than I had before this programme.”

How much does it cost?

The programme is very heavily subsidised, therefore it will cost you £400. This includes all the UK based seminars and residentials and all the land costs for the Israel Study Trip in February. This does not include the cost of your flights to Israel Study Trip. If your family’s financial circumstances are such that this cost would prohibit your participation on the programme, we have financial assistance available. Please tick the relevant box on the application form.

What do I need to do to apply?

Applications are now open.

The closing date for applications is Friday 11th October

Find the form here.

Got questions?

Be in touch with the Programme Director, Sharon Wagner-Zauder, email: sharon.wagner-zauder@ujia.org

Key Dates 2019/2020

Friday 1 – Sunday 3 November – Residential

Sunday 17 November – Day Seminar

Sunday 8 December – UJS Conference

Sunday 12 January – Day Seminar

Sunday 16 February – Thursday 20 February – Israel Trip

Sunday 15 March – Day Seminar

Friday 24 – Sunday 26 April – final residential

You can stand out through this prestigious course.

In Numbers

*Some figures are approximations based on research

In Numbers

*Some figures are approximations based on research