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 September 2017, 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 2017-18, we will be running the programme in two locations: London and Manchester. Together, they will have just 35-40 participants, who will be selected to participate in a course that will look in-depth at Israel today and help develop expertise to become an informed leader.
Key marketable skills that will be nurtured are:
– Communication, Debating & Presentation
– Analysis and Research
– Leadership, with an emphasis on Peer Leadership
– Negotiation and Conflict Resolution
– Understanding Multiple Narratives
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.
There is one meeting per month for UJIA Israel Fast Track. You are expected to attend all or almost all of the sessions, including the whole of the Israel seminar in February:
Sunday sessions – there will be Sunday sessions in September, November, December, January and March. These will be half-day sessions, usually 11am-5pm, but exact timings will be confirmed upon acceptance. If you are in the Manchester group, you will come to London for the December session; if you are in the London group, you will come to Manchester for the January session. All others will be in the city in which you are based. The sessions will each explore one particular aspect of Israel in depth, for instance, Israel within British political life, or the peace process. We will bring in the very best experts and educators. The first Sunday session, which also acts an orientation, will be on Sunday 17 September. The other sessions are currently scheduled for 19 November, 10 December, 14 January and 11 March; we will confirm dates at the end of the summer.
Two residential weekends – these will be in the city in which you are based, one at the start and one near the end of the programme. These will be where we form you as a group, begin to explore some of the big issues Israel faces and, at the second residential, learn about how Israel plays out on university campuses. The first weekend will be 20-22 October 2017, and the closing residential is currently scheduled for 13-15 April 2018. We will start before Shabbat comes in and the weekend will be Shabbat-compliant.
Israel seminar – this will be a trip to Israel during the February half-term, 11-15 February 2018. 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 but we guarantee you will come away better informed and excited to debate and discuss the many questions you will have about Israel. The London and Manchester groups will join together for this trip, and it’ll be a trip you’ll be raving about for a long time.
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, 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. That’s guaranteed.
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.
Last year’s 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 – as Robin kept on saying, 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.”
What do I need to do to apply?
Applications are now closed. You will find out if you have been invited to join the programme by Friday 1 September.
I’ve got questions
Friday 1 September – Confirmation of acceptance onto the programme
Sunday 17 September – First Sunday session (orientation)
Friday 20 – Sunday 22 October – First Residential
Sunday 19 November (TBC) – Sunday session
Sunday 10 December (TBC) – Sunday session, Manchester group to come to London
Sunday 14 January (TBC) – Sunday session, London group to come to Manchester
Sunday 11 – Thursday 15 February – Israel seminar
Sunday 11 March (TBC) – Sunday session
Friday 13 – Sunday 15 April (TBC) – Closing Residential
You can stand out through this prestigious course.
Population of the Western Galil
Decline in size of UK Jewish population since its post-war peak
Our programmes directly reach 11,500 young Jewish lives in the UK each year
School students benefiting from our UJIA JAMS programme in the last year
Young people sent on UJIA-supported Israel tour, gap year and other Israel experience programmes last year
WE SEND MORE THAN 50% OF OUR 16 YEAR-OLDS TO ISRAEL WITH THE UK YOUTH MOVEMENTS EVERY YEAR