Kivunim answered so many burning questions and pushed me to ask more of my own. The Kivunim experience—and its enduring impact—have brought new layers of meaning to my life.
— ZS 2011-12
What’s so special and important about Kivunim is that it teaches you perspective. It’s unique approach to hands-on learning prepared me for college and life in ways beyond what any traditional schooling could.
— LM, 2013-14
My time on Kivunim helped shaped who I am and what I plan on doing with my life. It instilled in me the importance of fully understanding history to contextualize our present. The program taught me that there is ALWAYS time to give back to your community. And, it was my first real interaction and learning experience about the history of the Occupation. It taught me that all the justice work I do should be deeply rooted in my Judaism. It also taught me to use a bathroom when I am near one, to always carry snacks, as well as how to sleep on any surface and in any moving vehicle.
— ZV, 2010-11

KIVUNIM students are informed and inspired to interpret the past and understand the present in order to build and ensure the future.


Welcome to KIVUNIM, the Premier Gap-Year Program. Not a "year off" but a year incredibly and intensively ON! A gap-year is a gift that you give to yourself in more ways than you can even imagine. As you move through our website, we hope you will find that we are the right program for you next year.  If we have piqued your interest, begin your KIVUNIM journey by applying now and continue to read through our website to get a complete picture of who and what we are!  

Merit and needs-based scholarships are available on a first-come, first-served basis. 

Here's what some of our alumni say (and the full remarkable study is available on request):

"Can't believe it has been nearly two years since I finished Kivunim...To engage in this experience at a young age is a blessing. In forming relationships with people who selflessly, generously shared with me all of themselves, I was gifted parts of myself. For this reason and more, our travels on Kivunim humbled me and built me up. The lessons I learned in and outside of Israel, traveling the world and the inner traipses of my mind, continue to touch, teach, and motivate me. I am forever indebted & grateful to you...." (Student enrolled 2014-15)

"I’m in the process of applying for a Fulbright scholarship for study/research and I am wondering if you would be willing to write a recommendation letter for me. Kivunim is what sparked my passion for international relations and cross-cultural dialogue. I believe that because of that shared experience, you would be able to speak to my ability to thrive in new environments and to engage with people across cultural and geographic landscapes, as well as think critically about the connectivity of seemingly diverse peoples and places." (Student enrolled in 2013-14)

“KIVUNIM exposed me to the world in the most thoughtful, thought provoking way imaginable. With this, KIVUNIM helped me to create new facets of myself; facets that are increasingly curious, facets that see the world through a lens that encompasses everything I learned last year. As a freshman in college, I think Kivunim most manifests in that I try my hardest to listen to what other people feel and say, specifically those who I may disagree with. When I go out of my way to listen, and I see another group shocked and touched by my presence, it is one of the many times I can be sure that if not for KIVUNIM, this could not have happened. I know that as I grow older and wiser and more confident and more creative, my experience on KIVUNIM will continue to inspire me.”         (Student enrolled in 2014-2015)

“KIVUNIM is most formative in its encouragement of expanded consciousness…But even more so, a humble awareness of how much there is to truly do and see in one lifetime. I believe KIVUNIM helps to create a foundation of self, but that self continues to evolve toward career and personal choices that come from culminated experience, not a single course or program. Still, KIVUNIM arguably has a much more profound impact than most institutions, encouraging a rigorous exploration of so much in such a short time. KIVUNIM left me with more questions than answers, and that's why it elicits true learning.” (Student enrolled in 2009-2010)


KIVUNIM Is like a puzzle.

International travel supported by engaging academics; service to others through our social responsibility program and a deep encounter with Israel. And you get to play with all of the pieces:

israel experience

KIVUNIM students forge a lifelong relationship with the Land, People and State of Israel...

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The future leadership of the Jewish people must become better informed about the broader world in which we live...

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Travel is rooted in academics providing a serious intellectual underpining to everything we do...

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social responsibility

The ethical imperative of improving the world is at the heart of KIVUNIM’s philosophy and program...

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For a taste of the significance of our international and inter-religious work, please take a few moments to read this newspaper article about a unique and quite historic event sponsored in December, 2015 by KIVUNIM.  We think you will be surprised!