gap year in israel
Gap year in israel - aardvarkisrael


You’re an adult. That means that your relationship with Judaism, your future as a member of the Jewish people, and the legacy you want to pass on is now defined by you and only you. 

If you want to use your time in Israel to discover what being Jewish means on a personal level…

If you’re looking to become more committed to your Jewish self…

If you want to do all of this at your own pace and in your own way…

Then come join us for a Jewish gap year experience on Selah.

It’s Your Judaism, Come Live It.

A Jewish learning program that allows you to explore Jewish values, learn about Jewish history, and practice spirituality without judgment or expectation.
A unique combination of workshops, classes, outings, and activities that allow our students to learn, make connections, and discover the role they want Judaism to play in their lives. Through a unique curriculum of “Tanach Tiyulim,” students will see the Torah and our heritage come alive by visiting and hiking throughout the sites where our ancestors lived. Imagine studying about David and Goliath while hiking through Emek Ha-Elah where the battle between them took place. With periodic Shabbatonim, you’ll also have the opportunity to celebrate shabbat in a variety of special communities throughout the country.
Why are we called Selah?
Selah is a Hebrew word (סלה) that appears in the Bible, mostly in the book of Tehillim (Psalms), as well as in the siddur, the prayer book. Some commentaries explain that it means ‘this is true and correct.’ Others say the word comes as a break between the main ideas. The word ‘Selah’ might also have been a call to the Levites in Temple times to sing louder or to change the tune. We call ourselves ‘Selah’ because we think that all Jews need to take a break to think about what is true and important. (Based on the commentary of the Radak (12th century France) the Malbim (19th century Ukraine) and the Daat Mikra (20th century Israel)

Sample Activities:

Selah FAQ

Our students come from different backgrounds and it really doesn’t matter whether you studied in a Yeshiva High School, Community school, or public school. Our approach to learning is one that works for beginners and advanced students alike as well as for those with little or no Hebrew.
Selah is a Jewish gap year program where any denomination of Judaism is welcome – Reform, Conservative, Orthodox, Secular, or any other. If you are interested in Judaism and want to get closer to your heritage then you will certainly find something of meaning in what we offer, irrespective of your denominational label or synagogue/temple affiliation. We are open-minded whilst being deeply committed to Jewish tradition.
Selah is open to everyone. As long as you are happy to be in an environment where different Jewish voices and views can be heard, then Selah is for you too. Although not everyone may be as religious as you are, everyone who chooses Selah does so because they want to connect and feel closer to their Judaism. Both men and women learn together. We are open-minded yet deeply committed to Jewish tradition.
Yes. Selah students live in the same apartment buildings, have the same counselors, go on the same weekly trips and overnights and study Hebrew in Ulpan together. Selah is a part of Aardvark Israel. You will have plenty of opportunities to hang out with and make friends with the rest of the Aardvark Israel participants.

Many students use Shabbat as a time to visit friends and family around the country. Some also find it a great time to relax in the apartments. There is always a counselor on duty each weekend and students sometimes organize themselves to join together to eat meals. The Selah staff are also on hand to point out local Shuls and Shabbat events.

Students may choose to do Selah for either or both semesters. In the Fall Semester, Selah runs in Jerusalem, and in the Spring it runs in Tel Aviv. Although the cities change in the middle of the year, the goals of Selah do not. Students who complete both semesters have a more prolonged and meaningful experience.

More Special Interest Tracks

Gap year in israel - aardvarkisrael


Spring Semester — TLV — 5 Months
Curious about what makes the start-up nation tick? Excited to learn – first hand – how entrepreneurs take ideas and turn them into companies? Want an insiders look at successful global companies like Intel, Mobileye, and others?
Gap year in israel - aardvarkisrael


Spring semester — JLM — 5 months
(Relevant for 2023-2024 only)
Adrenaline junkie? Love pushing your limits? Looking for a thrilling way to explore Israel and yourself? Extreme could be the leadership and personal development program for you!


Love action? Passionate about medicine? Excited by the opportunity to save lives? Take a crash course in emergency medical care and become a certified first responder through MADA.
Gap year in israel - aardvarkisrael


Fall semester — 8 Weeks
If you’ve ever wondered… How would it feel to wear the uniform of the Israel Defense Forces? What do Israelis go through when they enlist? Could I really do it? Then Marva might be for you.
Gap year in israel - aardvarkisrael

Sea Sports

Surf. Sun. Sports. Say No More. Love to be active? Crazy about the beach? Join the bustling beach athletics culture in Israel and get your blood pumping with the Sea Sports Track.
Gap year in israel - aardvarkisrael


You’re an adult. That means that your relationship with Judaism, your future as a member of the Jewish people, and the legacy you want to pass on is now defined by you and only you.