A Week in the Life of Workshop!
What is Habonim Dror Workshop?
Workshop is the longest running North American gap year program in Israel. Fall 2023 marks our 73rd consecutive year of running the program! This 8-month program offers participants a fulfilling and engaging encounter with Israeli Society and their Jewish identity. During the first part of the program, Shorashim, participants take part in immersive group-centered learning on Jewish history, Zionism, and Hebrew, and contribute to Israeli society through agriculture. In the second portion of the program, Adama, participants will live and learn in Jerusalem, the historical and religious centre of Israel. For the last part of the program, Anafim, participants will move to Haifa - a vibrant multicultural city - where they will build social justice through coexistence education, and work with Israeli youth in schools and after-school youth clubs in connection with Habonim Dror North America’s sister movement, HaNoar HaOved VeHaLomed.
Participants on Workshop have life-changing and eye-opening experiences, and return home to be leaders of Habonim Dror and the wider Jewish community.
Workshop 2024-2025 Dates
Program runs from mid-September to mid-May. Exact dates TBA
The cost of the 2024-2025 program is expected to be between $19,000-$20,000 USD. HDNA is committed to making Workshop an accessible program and working with interested participants to find subsidies and scholarships.
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 and a half months of the program living and learning on a kibbutz. This is a time to focus on their group dynamics and participate in collective learning about Jewish and Zionist history, and take part in seminars, agricultural work, hiking trips, and immersive educational trips.
In the second portion of the program, Workshop participants move to the historical, religious and culturally rich city of Jerusalem. Here, they will begin to explore the complexities and tensions of Israeli society, in the classroom and on day trips around the city. They will get to connect with Jerusalem-based grassroots organizations and develop their leadership skills. Participants will also continue to study Hebrew and will adjust to life in an Israeli city.
In the final three and a half months of the program, Workshop participants will live in the Haifa area and put into practice the skills they learned during Shorashim and Anafim. Participants apply their leadership skills and experiences to their messima, or service-learning placements, where they have the opportunity to connect with Hanoar HaOved VeHaLomed (HDNA's sister movement in Israel) and work with Israeli youth. Messima allows the participants to build responsibility and confidence as leaders. They are not just volunteering or contributing to tzedakah - Workshop participants actively contribute to the building of social justice by immersing themselves in Israeli society.
"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, many 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 youth 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.