You are about to embark on a wonderful journey!
Moving to Israel is no small undertaking - neither is beginning your formal education to become a cantor, rabbi or educator! This website will provide you with a wealth of information, advice, and guidance before you begin your exciting studies in Israel.
We understand that there is a lot of information presented here and that it can be overwhelming. Please take your time to carefully read (and reread!) all of the information, starting with the “Preparing For Your Journey" section. Most, if not all, of your questions are covered in this site, but please see the "Contact" section if you have questions.
We have also included contact information for students who have participated in the YII program in the past, so feel free to reach out to them if you have any further questions. Their info is available in the Ask a Present YII Student section.
Finally, a Listserv will be set up for your class, which the administration will use to send you emails to keep you up-to-date with additional information, explanations, schedules, etc. A Facebook group will be set up for students to introduce themselves to the rest of the class, share information and insights about the year in Israel, find roommates, etc.
The curriculum of the Year-In-Israel program focuses on Hebrew language acquisition, Israel studies, introduction to classical texts, and professional development. Both inside and outside the classroom, students will have opportunities to acquire essential, foundational knowledge that will support their future studies and enable them to become visionary Jewish leaders who will serve the Jewish people with distinction as Jewish educators, cantors, and rabbis.
The program provides a unique opportunity for all of our first-year education, cantorial, and rabbinical students to form friendships and collegial relationships that will last throughout their careers. The decision to base the first-year program in Israel indicates HUC-JIR’s - and the Reform Movement’s - deep commitment to the State of Israel as a center of Jewish life and culture, the homeland of the Jewish people, and ראשית צמיחת גאולתנו (“the beginning of the flowering of our redemption”).
This is serious work, which requires a serious commitment. Our students are asked to study diligently, to explore beyond the walls of our campus, and to open themselves to being challenged, to making new friends, to praying and to practicing their Judaism in new ways. "May nothing Jewish be foreign to us."
It is our hope that living and studying for the year in Jerusalem will nurture in our students a lifelong commitment to, and thoughtful love for Israel and the Jewish people.