In the fall of 2005, Project Masa awarded its first subsidies to thousands of young adult Jews from around the world who will be spending from five months to a year or more in Israel. The new initiative of the Office of the Prime Minister of Israel and the Jewish Agency for Israel seeks to bring thousands of young adult Jews to Israel for long-term programs, and to substantially increase the current levels of participation in a variety of opportunities for study, travel, volunteering, and other activities.
If this initiative is to succeed, that is, if it is to dramatically increase the number of long-term program participants, it will have to succeed in the United States, home to the majority of young adult Jews living in the Diaspora. In its early stages of operation, Project Masa is still shaping the policies and practices and, in particular is examining two related questions related to the overall goal of recruiting young adults, age 18 and over, to participate in long-term programs in Israel. In particular, Masa seeks to understand:
1) What are the most effective and economical financial assistance packages to offer that will maximize Masa participation?
2) What program alternatives need to be developed to broaden the appeal of longterm periods in Israel to attract the sorts of young adults who have not (yet) been
coming to Israel for extended stays?