</Get a Head Start
In The Startup
This is your opportunity to Design your future
Develop your career in hi-tech by building your resume with BIG IDEA! You will intern at top Israeli tech companies and Startups. Get inspired by Israeli entrepreneurs. Become a professional app developer with our training course which will give you the skills and knowledge to succeed with your future hi-tech correr.
Want more? Why not mix things up with trips, Hebrew education, volunteering, and make friends that will last forever! Add it all up to create a once in a lifetime experience!
Why BIGIDEA Gap Year?
- The only technologically focused gap year in Israel.
- Professional certification in mobile and web app development.
- Gain work experience as an intern at hi-tech companies.
- Meet fascinating entrepreneurs and hi- tech developers.
- One price fits all!
Get Trained for a Profession in Hi-Tech
We accept only the exceptional! If you are a motivated young adult between the ages of 18-20 with great potential in the hi-tech industry, then you have come to the right place! Our participants will have to pass a personal interview, and technological ability test, however there is no prior experience necessary!
Learn to hone your Hi-tech skills and distinguish yourself with our professional certification
The course is led by Ness College, a leading Israeli institute inside a professional Hi-tech training center with an advanced technological environment. The college offers studies throughout the country in collaboration with companies such as: IBM, Microsoft and SAP.
After completing the course, you will be eligible to take an exam to become certified by Microsoft. Click here to see the course syllabus.
Ness College website: https://www.ness-college.co.il/
Invent the technologies of the future – Work on your final semester project in a hub together with your peers.
A unique window into Israel’s Startup nation through meetings with top Israeli entrepreneurs and Hi-tech industry professionals. An essential part of the educational program is inspiring presentations and workshops by key members of the Israeli tech industry. During the program you will also meet with: Eran Lasser, Ziv Ofek, Prof. Niv Ahitov, Uzi Navon and more.
What better place to make your first steps in the Hi-tech industry than where the most creative ideas in world came from – Israel!
Make a social change in the CDI Negev. Take initiative and develop tech solutions for issues in your community. Use your knowledge and skills to make an impact on real people’s lives.
Gain hands on experience in a two month long internship at CDI, in collaboration with leading tech companies in Be’er Sheva. The Center for Digital Innovation (CDI) is a leading-edge, non-profit innovation center, created through the collaborative efforts of Israel’s top entrepreneurs and Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. Meet entrepreneurs, professionals, subject matter experts, industry leaders, citizens, government agencies and be a part of the world’s unique innovation playground, Digital Health Lab.
Read more: http://cdi-negev.com/
Live Your Dream in Israel
Connect to Israel’s past and future
Once a week you will leave your everyday routine in order to delve into Israeli society, culture and Hi-Tech industry!
Explore The Startup Nation
Visit startups, world known international Hi-tech companies, and see the new inventions before everyone talks about it
Make New Israeli Friends
Live in a student neighborhood and get to know your community
Weekly Field Trips All Around Israel
Explore cities, nature, and the amazing landmarks of Israel’s unique landscapes
Get a Deeper Look at Israeli Society
Learn about Israeli minorities, coexistence and the amazing diversity of our small, but proud society
- Live in a fully furnished apartment.
- Multiple apartments in Be’er Sheva, all next to your fellow gap year goers.
- Stay in a 2-4 bedroom apartment with a separate kitchen, bedrooms and living room, each accommodating 4 to 7 roommates.
- WIFI access throughout the apartment.
- The kitchen is fully equipped with all major appliances, table and chairs, and kosher cutlery and cookware.
During the program you will learn how to live independently, how to live with other people, and grow individually as a person. Cook, clean and live together with your roommates, who will soon be like your family.
In Ulpan (Hebrew language learning) classes you will learn how to speak, read and write in Hebrew.
With your new Hebrew skills you will be able to communicate with Israelis and become a part of Israeli society. In Addition, you will gain the platform to enter the Israeli work force.
There are several levels of Ulpan. The Ulpan classes are fitted for advanced Hebrew speakers as well as people who are learning for the first time.
The safety and security of our BIG IDEA Gap Year participants is our top priority.
- We have strict standards for safety and security. Our staff is highly experienced in long term programs in Israel and available for the participants 24/7.
- We are in constant contact with the appropriate Israeli security/public safety authorities.
- Our program is approved daily with the “situation room” administered by the Israeli Ministry of Education, Military, and Police.
- If there is any change in the security situation in israel, participants and their families will be briefed.
Health insurance is provided throughout your stay in Israel from the day of arrival until the last day of the program. Harel Insurance Company is the leading provider of a wide range of health insurance programs in Israel. Doctors affiliated with the Harel plan are located throughout Israel, and participants can easily schedule an appointment. The policy does not cover pre-existing conditions with the exception of Diabetes, Asthma, and allergies (if the participant was treated and was under stable conditions during six months prior to the trip, doctor’s proof will be required).
For any reason, participants can consult with the program staff at anytime.
- Further details regarding health coverage will be provided.
- Participants are required to have additional personal medical coverage for the duration of the program.
App. Developer Course / Evening group activity
Ulpan (Hebrew learning) / App. Developer Course / Project time Free Evening
Day tour/ career seminars/ explore start-up nation/ Volunteering day
Uplan+ App Dev. Course/ Apartment meetings
App. Developer Course or internship/ Free evening
World’s Cybertech Capital
Be’er Sheva is in the midst of a development boom. The high-tech park establishment there, attracts technological companies from around the world; and Israel’s national cyber headquarters has moved on-site as well. In a study by the American University, Brandeis, Be’er-Sheva was chosen as the city of the future for high-tech industries of the world. As a matter of fact, according to Forbes magazine Be’er Sheva is “A New Silicon Valley In The Middle East.”
According to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “Be’er- Sheva will not only be the cyber capital of Israel but one of the most important places in the cyber security field in the world”
Ben Gurion University, located in Be’er Sheva, attracts regularly around 30,000 students, including 8,000 undergraduates in the fields of engineering, the highest rate of students studying engineering in the entire country. The city benefits from a thriving and developing university and is well known as the number one student city in Israel. In the city you will find arts and culture, and thanks to the many students there, you will also enjoy the amazing nightlife.
Be a part of the cyber ecosystem. Live next to the Gav-Yam Negev Advanced Technologies Park, including companies such as: DELL, Oracle, Paypal, WIX, JVP Cyber labs and many more!
BIG IDEA Gap Year PLUS – Leave your Hi-Tech footprint in Israel
BIG IDEA Gap Year PLUS is a five-month internship extension program. Use your knowledge in developing mobile and web applications and gain more hands-on work experience.
Be a part of the Israeli Hi-tech industry, intern in an Israeli Hi-tech company. Travel and explore Israel, work on your hebrew and live independently with your friends.
Participants who sign up for BIG IDEA Gap Year PLUS will participate in the 5 month gap year program in Be’er Sheva and then continue on for another 5 month internship program extension in Tel Aviv or Be’er Sheva.
Why BIG IDEA GAP YEAR PLUS?
- Gain work experience from the one and only StartUp nation, and become part of the action!
- Use your profession, in mobile and web app development, in a real and challenging environment.
Work next to Israeli Hi-tech developers and incredible entrepreneurs.
- Build your resume.
- Extend your journey away from home.
- Live with your close friends for another five months.
- Strengthen your connection to Israel.
- Improve your Hebrew more with, additional practice opportunities and continued Ulpan lessons.
- All is taken care of – furnished apartments, scheduled programs, etc.
BIG IDEA Gap Year PLUS is a great opportunity for those who wish to stay in Israel and be a part of a structured program with the guidance of our professional and supporting staff.
The goal is to accept all people that meet the acceptance criteria. Those who are able to succeed in the technological course and can be independent for five month away from home.
Paying $200 application fee
The ability test is a measure of the basic capacity to understand technological materials and it identifies the ability to solve problems from first principles. The test is suitable for all levels of ability and takes 60 minutes to complete
An official high school transcript
An autobiographical essay
A letter of recommendation
Dates & Costs
You are about to make the most amazing decision of your life- The first step in your successful career in the Israeli Hi-tech industry
September 4, 2017 – February 5, 2018
February 19, 2018 – July 23, 2018
Full Year Experience
September 4, 2017 - July 23, 2018
$200 application fee + $13,750 for full tuition!
Extra $200 discount for MASA grant
$1000 scholarship for BIG IDEA Israel Summer Camp alumni.
Spring semester special discount of $1,000 until June 30
Mobile and web app. developers course, accommodation, local bus pass, Hebrew Ulpan, weekly field trips, overnight trips, insurance, educational and professional seminars, Aliyah support, available 24/7 staff! Price also includes preparation seminar in May in the New York area (transportation not included).
Price does not include- flights and personal expenses
$200 application fee* paid upon submission of your application to BIG IDEA Gap Year.
This fee is a part of the tuition payment. In the case of not passing the ability test or the personal interview, $100 will be refunded.
After passing the ability test, an initial first tuition payment of $2000 is due. The full payment plan will be sent via email.
MASA is an organization funded by the Jewish Agency for Israel and the government of Israel to help fund people who want to go on Israeli programs. On their website there is a list of all eligible programs: http://www.masaisrael.org/
Your Local Synagogue
Synagogues often set aside funds for young adults and/or travel to Israel. For a list of synagogues in your area, visit www.jewishfederations.org
Your Local Jewish Federation
Contact local Jewish Organizations. Even if your Federation is not listed on the list provided, it is worthwhile to contact the Jewish Federation in your community. www.jewishfederations.org
We encourage you to search and contact these funding sources early, as deadlines do exist.
Israeli Track – Making Aliyah, Joining the Army
Garin Lotem is a new and exciting initiative of BIG IDEA, along with the IDF elite computer unit (Tikshuv force), and together with Nefesh B’Nefesh, and the Jewish Agency for Israel.
Garin Lotem is for young Jewish Americans who choose to serve in the IDF, and who wish to be placed in an elite computer unit, and to make their first footstep in the Israeli Hi-tech industry.
Garin Lotem offers a group framework, support, and guidance for lone soldiers. Their first five months in Israel will be focusing on professional tech training, Hebrew learning, gaining living experience in Be’er Sheva, and getting to know the group that soon will be their new family in Israel. The program offers mental, emotional, and constant guidance that will ensure an easy adjustment into Israeli society.
How does it work?
- A preparation seminar will be held in the New York area in May.
- Get to know the group of friends that will soon become like your family
- Learn about the Aliyah process
- Meet a representative from the IDF computer unit
- Hear about Israeli society and relevant current events
- Start the process of becoming a soldier
With the BIG IDEA program
- Get a professional certificate in a mobile and web app development course
- Gain work experience as an intern in Hi-tech companies
- Live with your friends in your own apartment
- Become a part of Israeli society
- Learn Hebrew
- Carry on with your process of joining the army
One month long of intensive Ulpan to ensure that you obtain a fluent level of Hebrew (a basic condition for joining the army)
Army Service in the elite computer unit of the IDF
Join the army to the elite computer unite.
Training to the specific position you intended based on your capabilities:
Recognized as a lone soldier- get all of the benefits
Get all of the needed support from the staff
Live with your friends, meet them for social
About BIG IDEA
BIG IDEA Educational projects Ltd. has been creating meaningful experiences for kids and teens for the past 10 years, mixing technology, digital arts Israel programs and social bonding.
More than 5,000 participants have become a part of our vibrant community, which keeps growing every year.
Our team strives to positively impact children’s lives through innovative methods of informal education. We proudly serve families from all backgrounds in Israel, the Jewish diaspora, and other variations.
Our Educational Guidelines
Innovation and creativity
Mutual respect and tolerance
Israel and the Start-Up nation
Leadership and impact
Among our programs
BIG IDEA international tech summer camps in Israel
BIG IDEA @ the JCC- Israeli tech day and overnight camps in north America.
FunZone- tech day camps in Israel.
CyberCamp- cyber security training camp
StartUp nation experience- Israel teen trips
Meet the staff
Yael Sahar Rubinstein
Yael Sahar Rubinstein was born and raised in Ra’anana, a small town in the center of Israel and she currently lives in Giva’atayim. Yael is married and lives with her husband Doron ,their son Zohar and their dog Fistuk. In her youth, she was involved in the Israeli Scouts and before joining the army took a gap year volunteering with youth in a small neighborhood in Jerusalem. She served in the IDF as a Social Counselor and right after finishing her service, she returned to the Israeli Scouts as an Education Coordinator. She graduated from Tel Aviv University with a MA in Education. Yael worked for Young Judaea in the last 4 years as the Director of Amirim and Onward Israel summer programs, and as the Bat Yam City coordinator for Year Course gap year program.
Dotan created eCamp in 2007 and later created BIG IDEA. The idea formed after his experience in leading technological summer camps in the US. Before he started the first Jewish tech camp in Israel, Dotan served in a special tech unit in the IDF and worked in an Israeli start-up.
Erez holds an Executive MBA in Business Management from TAU. Erez is a board member in many Non-Profit Organizations such as “Variety”, and “Nahar-Hayrden-Youth-Village”. He is also a Business Mentor in IVN . In 1986, Erez founded “Lafayette” a Private Company Which imported many new kids and teen brands to the Israeli market (such as “Loony Toons”, “Disney”, “TMNT”, “Spider man” and more). With a lot of experience in marketing and branding for teens, Erez established the first commercial website for kids in Israel – “Cool toys”. Before creating BIG IDEA camps, Erez founded IN 2003, the first Israeli Summer Camp in Israel for Jewish teens from Israel and the diaspora.
Nir has 12 years of experience in international summer camps in Israel, and has a variety of roles in America, and in eCamp since 2010. Nir also served as the Jewish Agency Shaliach at the Jewish Federation of Kansas City. He has a BA in management in behavioral science from Ben Gurion University.
Rachel Becker was born in Brooklyn, New York. When she was younger, she attended a gap year program in Jerusalem, Israel. She loved it so much that she went back for a second year, which lead her to make Aliyah shortly afterwards. Now Rachel lives in Givat Shmuel, a small town in Israel's center, and is also a student at Bar Ilan University. Since moving to Israel, Rachel has enjoyed a variety of experiences, and has also worked in Hi-tech. Now Rachel desires to help others find their path in Israel as she once did, and does this by being the gap year enrollment coordinator at BIG IDEA
Eran is a former commander in Mamram, the IDF’s IT & Cyber Academy. In 1994, Eran established the successful Israeli private IT college- John Bryce Training, that within 5 years from its establishment, had dominated the Israeli market. Later on, he founded John Bryce in Hungary, Turkey and in China. Eran was a prestige member of the worldwide Microsoft’s Partner Advisory Council for training and learning. Today, he is the Executive Chairman of Extreme Group, and an Early Investor and Senior Advisor for Israeli Hi-tech investments in Synergy China Funds. Eran is one of the famous “faces” of Israel’s well known “Startup Nation”. Eran hold BSC in Computer and Mathematics from Bar Ilan University, and is a Graduate of the IDF IT training programming track, with 7 years of Military Service.