What is the format of the TOS program?

TOS is a hybrid of both in-person and online programming, with the goal of getting the best of both types of formats. Our seminars will be conducted both online and in-person (six times meeting online, three times in person), taught by master teachers. The technical parts of these classes are maintained by teaching assistants to ensure a smooth educational and class experience and to allow the seminar leaders to focus on teaching. Over the course of the year, we’ll have nine in-person events at our Jerusalem office. Each of these events will feature a lecture or debate with leading Israel public figures. In addition, we’ll have in-person discussions with your particular seminar group that will allow you to meet your classmates in person. We’ll serve a delicious meal during which you can meet students from all of the different seminars. Finally, we will host two shabbatonim over the course of the year to deepen our intellectual, religious, and social bonds.

How many seminar tracks can I enroll in?


How much does this program cost?

The program is free of charge to the students.

Do I need to be an alumna or alumnus of a Tikvah Fund high school program to participate?

No. The program is open to all post high-school students studying abroad in Israel who are in Israel for the duration of the academic year.

What are the requirements for participants?

Students must commit to attending each seminar and event, completing the assigned readings before each seminar, and actively participating in group discussions. As a practical matter, they should locate an area on their school’s campus that has a stable internet connection for the online seminars. The reading assignments will be very reasonable and take into account the busy schedule of shana ba-aretz programs. Attendance at each online seminar is mandatory unless one receives an excused absence. Students who are unable to meet these requirements may be asked to leave the program.

Which yeshivot, seminaries, and gap-year programs have participated in TOS?

Since the program began in 2010, TOS has included participants from over twenty-five different yeshivot, midrashot, and other gap-year programs.

Is the TOS schedule coordinated with participating institutions?

One of the advantages of online programming is that it allows for students to participate from any location. As such, we do not anticipate too many scheduling conflicts for the online seminars. Students who will be on a school trip on a given day will receive an excused absence.

What happens if I have a school program on the day of an in-person Friday event?

Occasionally, your institution might have a trip or an event on a Friday. If that event is optional, we expect you to attend the TOS event. If that event is mandatory, we will help coordinate with your school to work out a way to attend both the TOS seminar as well as your school’s program. In some cases, this might include finding alternative transportation options to the Tikvah event (like after Friday morning shiur) or TOS providing transportation to your school’s event (such as a shabbaton). If the conflict is unavoidable, the student will receive an excused absence for the TOS event. 

How do I set up my interview? What should I expect in my interview?

Once you have completed the entire registration form and clicked “submit,” you will have the opportunity to schedule a 15 minute online interview. During the interview, applicants will have a chance to speak about their hobbies, interests, and aspirations. They will also be asked about their thoughts and perspectives various issues, including current events, political debates, or intellectual queries relating to the themes of the program. There are no right or wrong answers—we promise! Students are simply expected to articulate their thoughts on a range of matters intelligently and compellingly. 

Have more questions? Please reach out to Ariella Gentin at agentin@tikvahfund.org

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