Are you 18-27 years old? Have you been to Israel once before? Would you like to return while simultaneously jumpstarting your career? Then the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia’s Onward Israel program is for you! With Onward Israel, you’ll immerse yourself in Israel while spending two months of the summer in a personalized internship tailored specifically to your interests and field of study, earning invaluable professional experience.
Our Onward Israel program takes place off the usual Israeli tourism path, in the rising tech hub of Be’er Sheva, a city known both as the capital of the Negev and the next Silicon Valley. Home to Israel Aerospace Industries, Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, Ben-Gurion University — one of Israel’s leading research institutes — and the Soroka Medical Center, Be’er Sheva was already a center for innovation. But for the last several years, it has also been a magnet for tech talent, with startups and creative entrepreneurs flocking to establish offices in the city’s central district of Gav-Yam Advanced Technologies Park. Though Gav-Yam emphasizes cyber-security, companies including Deutsche Telekom, Paypal, Oracle, IBM, Lockheed Martin, and WeWork have all opened facilities there. It is expected that 20,000-30,000 cyber and related jobs will be created in Be’er Sheva over the next 10 years. No wonder Prime Minister Netanyahu has predicted that the rise of Be’er Sheva’s tech development “will change the history of the State of Israel.”
The influx of students and young families has also helped turn Be’er Sheva into one of Israel’s fastest-growing cities. Still, it’s quieter than Israel’s urban centers, giving Onward Israel participants abundant opportunities to engage with Israeli peers and a taste of daily life that feels more authentically Israeli. You’ll also be just a quick ride from Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, and Netivot and Sdot Negev — the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia’s Partnership2Gether region — where, as an Onward Israel group, you’ll do a weekend shabbaton, witnessing first-hand the energy of southern Israel.
Throughout Onward Israel you’ll also form connections with your 19 fellow participants, all from Greater Philadelphia, turning this once-in-a-lifetime Israel opportunity into a lifelong community of friends. And, of course, you’ll also return with professional experiences sure to propel your career.