Building MASA: An Analysis of the U.S. Market for Long-term Programs in Israel

Publication Date: May 2008

Publisher: Maurice and Marilyn Cohen Center for Modern Jewish Studies; Steinhardt Social Research Institute

Author(s): Theodore Sasson; Mark I. Rosen; Leonard Saxe; Dana Selinger-Abutbul; Nicole Samuel

Research Area: Culture and religion; Education

Keywords: Israel attachment; Education; Youth; Program Evaluation

Type: Report

Coverage: United States


Recognizing the increasingly vital role of Israel experience programs in Jewish education, the Jewish Agency for Israel (JAFI) established MASA Israel Journey, whose aim is to encourage Diaspora young adults to spend a semester or year in Israel as part of an Israel experience program by providing “one stop shopping” for study, volunteer, and career development programs, and by providing grants and scholarships. This report presents research commissioned by MASA North America to guide the organization toward growth. Individual interviews with parents and focus groups with students and young adults were conducted in eight communities across the United States. The first section of the report describes MASA’s target population. The study’s research methodology is then described. Subsequent sections describe the views of prospective MASA parents and participants regarding opportunities for long term volunteer, study, and career development programs. The final sections explore the policy implications of the research findings.