Aardvark israel

Your life-changing
in Israel

The Aardvark Israel Mission is to foster personal growth, strengthen Jewish identity, and solidify a connection to Israel in young Jews from around the world. We celebrate diversity and welcome Jews from all backgrounds and affiliations.

Our Story

...three Jewish educators sat down to solve a problem

In 2010, three Jewish educators sat down to solve a problem. Students from around the world were looking for an Israel gap year program that did not yet exist– a program that perfectly balanced structure and freedom, a program that allowed them to grow professionally and personally, and, most of all, a year in Israel after high school or during college that empowered them to experience the breadth and depth of Israeli life and culture.

And so, Aardvark Israel was born. Since its inception, Aardvark Israel has established itself as the premier, professional gap year and study abroad program for recent high school graduates, current college students, and working young men and women ages 17-21. Our staff consists of highly-experienced administrators, world-class educators, and caring counselors that guide and support our students every step of the way.

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Why Take a Gap Year or Semester in Israel?

Read more research and information about the benefits of a gap year in The American Gap Association, TIME magazine, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal.

And check out Aardvark Israel featured in Forbes, “Here’s Every Reason You Should Take A Gap Year Before College

There are so many reasons, but let’s start with the basics.

A gap year in Israel will give you the breathing room to make tough decisions about your future, like what you want to study or what you want your Jewish life to look like. It will give you a taste of independent living without the pressure of a university setting, and best of all, it will give you some of the best experiences and friendships of your life.

“I gained a greater sense of myself.”

“I learned how to live away from home and how to make friends with people from different backgrounds”

“I now have the experience of real Israeli life with work, volunteering, study, and trips”

“I gained skills and knowledge that contributed to my career.”

“I now have a better understanding of other countries, people, cultures, and ways of living.”

In most students’ experiences, not only does taking time off have a positive effect on motivation, but it also translates into a real boost in performance in the following semesters at university, with positive effects lasting over all the remaining years of study. Major universities such as Harvard and Princeton are supporting and encouraging their incoming freshmen to take a gap year, and for good reason.

One Jewish People

Program participants and staff come from all over the world, all streams of Judaism, and represent a wide spectrum of political beliefs. All are proud to be Jewish and Zionists.

Our Students are...


All backgrounds, all affiliations.


Ready to learn, grow, and push themselves.


Open to experiencing all Israel has to offer.

The Aardvark Israel Team

Our high staff-to-student ratio enables us to provide each student with a custom, curated experience designed to advance his or her goals.

Ready to make Israel yours?