A Week in the Life of Workshop!

Workshop 70

What is Workshop? 

Workshop is the longest running North American gap year program in Israel.  This nine month program offers participants a fulfilling and challenging encounter with Israeli Society and their Jewish identity.  Participants take part in immersive group-centered learning on Jewish history, Zionism, the Hebrew language. For six months of the program, they are building social justice through messima (service-learning) in placements as mentors at Israeli schools, and after-school youth clubs.  Participants lead alongside Israeli youth from HDNA’s sister movement, HaNoar HaOved veHaLomed. Participants also embark on a week-long journey to Poland in the Spring to learn about the Holocaust and the powerful history of Jewish youth resisting and rebelling against the Nazi regime.

Participants on Workshop have life-changing and eye-opening experiences, and return home to be leaders of Habonim Dror and the wider Jewish community. 

2020 Dates

September 2020 - May 2021 (Exact dates TBA soon!)

Program Cost

 American participants: $18,400 USD

Canadian participants: $14,100 USD


19% of Habonim Dror alumni hold leadership positions in multiple Jewish or Israel-related organizations.

Components at a Glance



Workshop participants spend the first two months of the program taking Hebrew and leadership classes on Kibbutz to prepare them for the second half of the program. During these first months as well as throughout the rest of the year they will also be taking classes about Jewish & Zionist history, and will take part in seminars, hiking trips, and immersive educational excursions.


Workshop participants spend the second half of the program living in an Israeli city and employing the skills they learned during Shorashim. They apply these skills and experiences to their mesima, or service-learning placements, where they have the opportunity to work with Israeli youth from all sectors of society. Mesima allows the participants to build responsibility and confidence as leaders. They are not just volunteering or contributing to tzedakah - Workshop participants will actively contribute to the building of social justice and peace by immersing themselves in Israeli society.

Masa Poland 

 For nearly 18 years, Workshop participants have had the privilege of travelling on a life-changing trip to Poland during the Chava portion of the program. This week-long journey to Poland gives participants the opportunity to study the Holocaust, dive into discussions concerning the nature of man, and explore the role of youth and the youth movement-led rebellion. During the lead up and following the completion of the trip, a number of preparatory and debriefing seminars will be had.


"I'm working in different Arab villages, in schools and youth clubs, and educating about equality and shared existence."

- Hannah, Workshop 63

Ma’apilimot – The Future of Habonim Dror

Following their year in Israel, Workshop participants return to North America in time to work as tzevet (staff) for the six Habonim Dror machanot (summer camps). As madrichimot (counselors), they are encouraged to share their newfound knowledge and experiences with their chanichimot (campers) and with the movement as a whole. Most Workshop participants return to North America and become active on university and college campuses in social, political, and educational activities connected to Israel, Judaism and social justice.

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© 2014 Daisy Mella