<Get a Head start
In The Startup

FOR AGES 18-21


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 career.

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 in Israel?

  • New - Up to $2000 masa grant!
  • SPECIAL EARLY BIRD discount of $1000 until November 10th!
  • 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!

Meet the current group of BIG IDEA gap year program in Israel

These are the participants who are currently on their Israel gap year experience.
They are smart, ambitious, and awesome.
They are having a great time participating in a unique Hi-Tech training course, Hebrew Ulpan, and trips all over Israel.
Each and every one of them is starting their journey of making an impact on our world, through technology.
gap programs in israel

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 Aptitude test, however there is no prior experience necessary!


You will participate in a four month Web and Mobile Application development course, which will provide you with the skills you need to create your very own app!

You will learn how to use Microsoft Visual Studio, along with a Microsoft Official Course, 20480B: Programming in HTML5 with JavaScript and CSS3.

Learn to hone your Hi-tech skills and distinguish yourself with our professional certification.

The course is led by iNT 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.

iNT College website: https://www.int-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 start up nation with Israel gap year program

Explore The Startup Nation

Visit startups, world known international Hi-tech companies, and see the new inventions before everyone talks about it

Israel gap program - design your future

Make New Israeli Friends

Live in a student neighborhood and get to know your community

travel Israel- gap year

Weekly Field Trips All Around Israel

Explore cities, nature, and the amazing landmarks of Israel’s unique landscapes

gap year in Israel

Get a Deeper Look at Israeli Society

Learn about Israeli minorities, coexistence and the amazing diversity of our small, but proud society

GAP YEAR Program aspects

Housing - Your Home Away From Home
  • 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.


Start Speaking Hebrew

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.

Safety and Security

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

Ulpan+ App Dev. Course/ Apartment meetings

App. Developer Course or internship/ Free evening

Free weekend

Be’er Sheva

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 four-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 4 month internship program extension in Tel Aviv or Be’er Sheva.


  • 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.

Application Process

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.

apply to gap year in Israel


Paying $200 application fee

Gap year in israel

Aptitude Test

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

learn more about Israel gap program

Video interview

Meet Yael, the program director, for a video interview to make sure you'll fit the program

Israel gap year


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

Gap Year programs for 2018 - 2019 in Israel


FEBRUARY 11, 2018 -  JUNE 10, 2019
 SEPTEMBER 3,  2018 - JUNE 10, 2019

Consists of Fall Semester, followed by a Hi-Tech company internship
ProgramFull TutionWith Masa Grant
Fall semester 2018$13,950$12,700
Spring semester 2019$13,950$12,700
Full year experience- with Tel Aviv Internship$22,950$20,950
Full year experience- with Beer Sheva Internship$20,950$18,950

Fall 2018 SPECIAL - Register by February 28, 2018, and receive $500 discount!
Spring 2019 EARLY BIRD SPECIAL – Pay deposit of $5,000 by September 1, 2018 and receive $1,000 discount!

Program prices are fixed in US Dollars ($). The price of BIG IDEA Gap Year includes program tuition, Hi-Tech Training course, housing, Hebrew Ulpan, bus pass, field trips, medical insurance, educational & professional seminars, Aliyah support (optional), 24/7 staff support and more.

What about food? Participants will be guided on food expenses and shown how to purchase groceries and prepare meals together. Our participants are most satisfied by having this type of control over their own dietary needs in comparison to sharing a group stipend.
Note that flights are not included in the program tuition. That means you can choose your favorite airline and preferences.

A $200 non-refundable application fee is required upon registering for all programs.

Fall semester and full year experience:

April 1 – Pay deposit of $5,000 to lock in your discounted tuition (This is refundable before June 1).

After April 1 - The program tuition will not include any discounts or reductions.

August 1 – Balance of tuition due.

A $500 late fee will be assessed for failure to submit tuition or a signed payment plan agreement by the August 1 deadline.

Spring semester:

September 1 – Pay deposit of $5,000 to lock in your discounted tuition (refundable before November 1).

After November 1- The program tuition will not include any discounts.

January 1 – Balance of tuition due.

A $500 late fee will be assessed for failure to submit tuition or a signed payment plan agreement by the January 1 deadline.

Cancellation Fees

All tuition payments are fully refundable 60 days prior to the first day of the program, with the exception of the non-refundable $200 application fee.
Cancelling less than two months before the program requires a $1000 cancellation fee. Any cancellations less than two weeks prior to the start of the program requires a $2500 cancellation fee.

* Please note that tuition and payment schedule are subject to change without notice, for new registrations.

Grants & Scholarships
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 Israel programs. Masa supervises our program regularly, and certifies our operation, Check our program on their website: https://www.masaisrael.org/programs/big-idea-gap-year

All eligible Masa participants get a $2000 masa grant for BIG IDEA full-year experience, or $1250 for a semester.
Masa provides extra need-based scholarships. Contact us for more info.
Until today, 100% of our participants earned Masa grants.

Your Local Synagogue
Synagogues often set aside funds for young adults travelling to Israel.
For a list of synagogues in your area, visit http://www.jewishfederations.org

Your Local Jewish Federation
Contact the Jewish Federation in your community www.jewishfederations.org 
For example, the Jewish Federation of Philadelphia awards grants to teens and college students wanting to participate in Israel programs.
We encourage you to search and contact these funding sources as early as possible.
Please contact us if you need further assistance.

Considering Aliyah?

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:

  • Programing
  • QA
  • IT

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


BIG IDEA Educational projects Ltd. has been creating meaningful Israel experiences for kids and teens for the past 10 years, mixing technology, digital arts Israel programs and social bonding.

Our vibrant community boasts more than 5,000 participants, and continues to grow and expand 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 - the Start-Up Nation
Leadership and Social Impact

our other 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

meet the staff- Israel Gap year

Yael Sahar Rubinstein

Director of BIG IDEA GAP YEAR program

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.

A few words for the parents

Gap year staff

Dotan Tamir

Founder and CEO

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 Roll Gap Year

Erez Roll


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.​

Gap year team members

Nir Gad


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.

Gap year in Israel team

Rachel Becker

Enrollment coordinator at BIG IDEA Gap Year

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

Team - Gap year

Eran Lasser

Senior Technological & Training Advisor

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.

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P.O. 51594, 29 Homa Umigdal St.
Tel Aviv 6777129, Israel

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