Family & Education

Cuts to Israel yeshivah grants for UK students

Masa says Brits and North Americans under the age of 22 will no longer be eligible for support at yeshivot and seminaries


British students under the age of 22 going to yeshivah or seminary in Israel will no longer be able to apply for grants from Masa, which specialises in programmes for youth and young adults from the diaspora.

The withdrawal of grants for younger yeshivah and sem students will affect North American participants as well.

The organisation, founded by the Jewish Agency and the Israeli government in 2004, has been forced to make cuts as Covid-19 hit the Isaeli economy.

Masa's acting chief executive Ofer Gutman said, "At the same time, demand for Masa programmes is increasing significantly as job markets tighten and universities remain closed for in-person classes.

"With over 7,000 pre-registrations, together with our funders, we had to make difficult choices that advanced our strategic priorities while maximising our funds."

Participants who do not quality for a grant still have an option to apply for a Masa visa and therefore receive other programme benefits, the organisation said. 

A Jewish Agency spokesman said fit had created an "exclusive arrangement" for Jewish study programmes, "where the government of Israel will match funding raised by programme organisers. We are working, along with their donors, to try and secure this funding, as well as some of the basic support to these participants."

Masa offers a variety of schemes in Israel from five to 12 months for young people aged from 18 to 30.

Mandie Winston, chief executive of UJIA, said,  “UJIA’s extensive bursaries for gap year programmes offered by Masa Israel Journey have not been reduced. We continue to back a wide range of internship, volunteering and study programmes with Masa and we’re delighted that these programmes are set to go ahead from September.”


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