Journeys to Israel: The impact of longer-term programs upon Jewish Engagement & Israel Attachment

By Steven M. Cohen, Ezra Kopelowitz

Jewish Agency for Israel (JAFI), October 2010

Participation in semester or year programs in Israel is directly linked to stronger Jewish affiliation and leadership – regardless of the Jewish background growing up, a study commissioned by Masa Israel Journey finds. Masa, a joint project of the Jewish Agency for Israel and the Israeli government which serves an umbrella for 180 semester and year programs in Israel, commissioned the study to measure the efficacy of long term Israel programs for future Jewish involvement and affiliation. The study was conducted by Professor Steven M. Cohen, Director of the Berman Jewish Policy Archive at NYU Wagner and Research Professor of Jewish Social Policy at Hebrew Union College, and Dr. Ezra Kopelowitz, principal of Research Success.

The study found that the longer the time program participants spent in Israel and the more repeated the experiences, the greater the level of Jewish identification. The study surveyed over 13,000 Israel program participants, more than 11,000 of whom were Americans, and most of whom had been on short term experience or Masa program from 2005 to 2010. It compared three groups who had been on short term programs: 1) those who been on Birthright not returned to Israel; 2) those who returned to Israel for another short term; and 3) those who had been on Birthright and then went on a Masa program. The study also examined two other groups who had been on long term programs only -- 4) those non-Orthodox young adults who had been on Masa without going on Birthright, and 5) those who were raised Orthodox and had been on Masa. These two groups reported far stronger Jewish background and childhood Jewish education than did the three Birthright groups.


Topic: Young Adults, Jewish Identification, Orthodox Judaism, Israel Experience, Survey, Leadership, Affiliation, Marriage

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Genre: Report

Coverage: Israel , North America

Language: English

Copyright Holder: Publisher

Copyright Information: Download for personal use, freely distribute link

Bibliographic Information:
Cohen, Steven M. Kopelowitz, Ezra. Journeys to Israel: The impact of longer-term programs upon Jewish Engagement & Israel Attachment . Jewish Agency for Israel (JAFI). October 2010:


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