Today’s Perspectives. Tomorrow’s Possibilities.

SULLAM ISRAEL RESIDENCY

Location

Tel Aviv, and around Israel

Audience

Employed early-career community professionals in North America

Cohort 1

January 27 – February 23, 2025

Cohort 2

June 30 – July 27, 2025

What?

Taglit Birthright Israel Onward, in partnership with M², brings you the Sullam Israel Residency: a new professional development opportunity for Jewish community professionals in the early stages of their careers..
The program is a month-long, immersive program based in Tel Aviv.

Why?

Jewish professionals, in particular since October 7, will benefit from the opportunity to learn about and process the profound shifts in Israel and the Jewish world. This is an opportunity to engae with and reaffirm the core principles of Zionism and the Jewish collective, as well as develop critical thinking through an authentic interaction with Israel and Israelis.

How?

The multifaceted curriculum focuses on Jewish and Israel education, as participants gain valuable new insights and knowledge to enrich their professional growth and is an opportunity to engage with the implications of post October 7 Jewish life,

VISIT SULLAM ON ONWARD'S WEBSITE

KEY Experiences

Experience, understand and grapple with Israel from within, in a program that integrates each participant’s individual journey with the group experience.

Immersive Deep-Dives

Select in-depth 3-day explorations offered by partner organizations, at different locations. Electives likely include: Environmental Issues, Arab-Israelis in Israeli society, Jewish Texts and Big Ideas, Contemporary Hebrew Culture, Palestinian Voices and Hopes.

Day-Long Seminars

Choose from a range of thematic day long experiences exploring topics such as arts and culture, politics and society, justice and civic responsibility, Israel and the U.S, economics and innovation, and much more.

Group Shabbat Experiences

Nurture your body, mind and soul on two group Shabbat experiences, with an opportunity to celebrate, learn and build relationships in a pluralistic and creative Shabbat atmosphere, in Jerusalem and the desert.

info sessions

July 16

9:00 AM PST / 12:00 PM EST

July 22

9:00 AM PST / 12:00 PM EST

July 31

10am PST / 1:00 PM EST
(for Employers)

August 7

9:00 AM PST / 12:00 PM EST

August 11

10:00 PM PST / 1:00 PM EST

August 19

9:30 AM PST / 12:30 PM EST
(For Employers)

August 22

9:00 AM PST / 12:00 PM EST

M² and birthright Onward Israel

Sullam is a Birthright Israel Onward program, The multi-disciplinary and exciting educational curriculum is designed by M²: The Institute for Experiential Jewish Education, with a focus on the challenges of the post October 7 world. Participants will question, probe, listen, and develop their own insights and new approaches to the realities of contemporary Israel.

HOW 
YOU 
WILL GROW AT SULLAM

Throughout Sullam, you will….

Ask your supervisor to nominate you if…

  • You feel that being in Israel now is critical to your work as a Jewish professional
  • You want to expand your professional network and reflect on your trajectory within the Jewish communal field
  • You’re in Jewish communal work, but now considering a focused career as a Jewish professional
  • You are curious about Israel and your own personal Jewish growth relating to Israel
  • You’ve been to Israel before and are looking for a new and enriching experience
  • You want to immerse yourself in the complexity and joy of Israeli living and learning
HOW YOUR 
EMPLOYEE 
WILL GROW

As a result of Sullam you can expect your employee to…

Nominate your employee for Sullam if...

  • You have an employee who shows promising talent and potential, initiative, and curiosity
  • Increasing knowledge and confidence in Israel enhances their professional efficacy and impact at work
  • They are curious about Israel and its relationship with the global Jewish community
  • You want to help facilitate their transformative journey of personal and professional growth
  • You want to play a memorable role in advancing their Jewish and professional journey
  • Bridge the diaspora-Israel gap, fostering communication and strengthening Jewish institutions’ connections with Israel

Eligibility and Nominations

We are thrilled you’re interested in the Sullam Residency Program!

Applicants must have at least 18 months and no more than 5 years of experience as a full-time professional in a role dedicated to actively engaging with community members, with the intent to remain in the field. Non-Jewish applicants will be considered. Applicants must be available to live and learn in Tel Aviv for the full duration of the program from January 27th to February 23rd, 2025.

The program will cover essential aspects of the experience, including accommodation in comfortable single bedrooms within shared apartments, round-trip airfare from select North American gateway cities, enriching educational programming and seminars, meals during educational sessions, Shabbat retreats, basic medical insurance, and ground transportation within Tel Aviv.

Applicants must be nominated by their supervisors. Nominations will be subject to a competitive selection process.

Tuition:

Fully subsidized

Residency:

Free of charge

Refundable Security Deposit:

$400 paid by participants

* Employers are expected to pay participants their regular salary for the duration of the program

18 months to 5 years of relevant field experience

Full-time professional in a role dedicated to actively engaging with community members

Non-Jewish early-career professionals may apply

Availability to participate in January 2025

Staff and Faculty

Welcome to the Sullam Israel Residency team! We are a passionate group of individuals deeply connected to the Jewish world and with a genuine love for Israel. We are looking forward to meeting you on this incredible journey.

SHLOMIT
NAIM NAOR
Facilitator
Clare
Goldwater
Chief Strategy Officer, M²
Ayal
Beer
Israel Program Director, M²
Shuki
Taylor
CEO, M²
Ilan
Wagner
VP Birthright Israel Onward
For more information

FAQs for Supervisors

As a result of this program and your investment in your employee, you can expect them to be:

  • More committed to your organization
  • More knowledgeable about contemporary Israel, and able to share their knowledge with team members and constituents
  • More motivated, confident, and capable of incorporating Israeli voices into their work
  • Better equipped to effectively communicate about Israel in an authentic and open manner
  • More confident in their own Jewish or Jewish-adjacent identity

Support your employees to come on Sullam if:

  • They show promising talent
  • Becoming more knowledgeable and confident about Israel will benefit their role
  • You believe that a month in Israel would be valuable for their professional development
  • They are curious about Israel and its relationship with the global Jewish community
  • You want them to have a transformative personal and professional growth experience
  • You want to play a significant, memorable role in advancing their Jewish and professional journey

Aside from a refundable security deposit of $400, which is covered by the participant (details below), the Sullam Israel Residency is free of charge for your employee and your organization.
Employers will continue to pay participants their regular salary for the duration of the program.

If you have questions about this, please contact sullam@onwardisrael.org.

Participants are required to submit a $400 participation and security deposit. Deposits will be refunded at the end of the program based on good standing.

Aside from the refundable security deposit paid by the participant, the Sullam Israel Residency is free of charge for participants and their employers. Employers will continue to pay participants their regular salary for the duration of the program.

The program will cover essential aspects of the experience, including:

  • Accommodation in comfortable single bedrooms within fully-equipped shared apartments
  • Round-trip airfare from select North American gateway cities
  • Enriching educational programming and seminars
  • Meals during educational sessions
  • Shabbat retreats
  • Basic medical insurance
  • Ground transportation within Tel Aviv

Participants will be expected to provide for the remainder of their food costs during the month in Israel.

Israel has a wealth of Jewish expressions and we encourage you to experiment with the new, or find expressions of Jewish life that you feel at home with.
Sullam takes a pluralistic, open approach towards Judaism and celebrates the multiple ways that Jewish life can be lived. We hope that Jews of all stripes will participate in the program.
Shabbat is an important part of the program, in which participants will be able to explore, learn and celebrate together. For the Group Shabbat there will be a range of different prayer options, although none will be mandatory. Technology will not be used publicly on Shabbat.

All food is kosher.

We hope that non-Jewish participants will also gain enrichment from the Jewish components of the program, even if they are not part of their own traditions.

The Sullam Residency is the bold initiative of a group of major funders in the Jewish community. They are motivated by a desire that the next generation of Jewish community professionals are inspired by and connected to Israel and the Jewish People.

FAQs for Candidates

As a result of this program, you, the participant, will gain:

  • An impactful, authentic month-long period in Israel with a chance to see firsthand the current reality and examine what it means for you
  • A sense of connection to the wider Jewish community, and an appreciation of your place in the field of Jewish professionals
  • A professional network of diverse Jewish professionals
  • Appreciation for, and deeper understanding of, the inspiring and complex reality of modern Israel
  • Clarity regarding your own personal connection to Judaism and its meaning in your life

You should request to be nominated for Sullam if:

  • You are looking to expand your professional network and are thinking about your own professional trajectory within the Jewish communal field
  • You want to connect and/or strengthen your day-to-day work to Israel in some way
  • You feel that better understanding Israel today is critical for your professional efficacy
  • You found yourself in Jewish communal work, but now want to consider a focused career as a Jewish professional
  • You are curious about Israel and your own personal Jewish growth
  • You may have been to Israel before but are looking for a chance to return for a new experience
  • You want to immerse yourself in Israeli living and learning

Aside from a refundable security deposit fee of $400 (details below), the Sullam Israel Residency is free of charge for you and your employer. Your employer will continue to pay you your regular salary for the duration of the program.

Yes! If you have never visited Israel before you will find that the Sullam Residency will be a fantastic way to gain a deep perspective into Israel, at a very unique time in the country’s history. At the same time, the program is not intended to provide an overview of the country and does not include basic visits to some of the most popular sites (Masada, Jerusalem’s Old City etc.,). You will have time on free Shabbatot to visit those sites, or we suggest you come a few days early.

Yes! The Sullam Residency offers a deep-dive into Israel with many choices for learning. If you have been on Taglit Birthright Israel, or even on a longer program (a Gap Year or Onward program), we are confident that you will see things you have never seen before, and dive more deeply into issues and topics you are not familiar with. Now in particular is an especially critical time to spend an extended period in Israel.

Yes! If you work for the Jewish community and are interested in exploring Israel and its relevance to you and your work you are eligible for the program. The program assumes a willingness to engage with Israel on multiple levels and you will have a choice of what is most meaningful to you. You will be expected to participate in the group Shabbat celebration and in your free time you will also have an opportunity to visit other religious sites if you choose.

Israel has a wealth of Jewish expressions and we encourage you to experiment with the new, or find expressions of Jewish life that you feel at home. Sullam takes a pluralistic, open approach towards Judaism and celebrates the multiple ways that Jewish life can be lived. We hope that Jews of all stripes will participate in the program. Shabbat is an important part of the program, in which participants will be able to explore, learn and celebrate together. For the Group Shabbat there will be a range of different prayer options, although none will be mandatory. Technology will not be used publicly on Shabbat.All food is kosher.We hope that non-Jewish participants will also gain enrichment from the Jewish components of the program, even if they are not part of their own traditions.

The Sullam Israel Residency is based on the foundational belief that the State of Israel is the historical home of the Jewish People, which holds special meaning for Jews around the world today. Sullam upholds the legitimacy and the values of the State of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state that is interconnected with global Jewry and that has the moral right and imperative to defend itself. Beyond this core conviction, the program does not have a particular agenda or ideology regarding Israel and how the State should address its challenges or realities today, nor does it aim for participants to adopt a particular approach or set of opinions.
We also recognize that every presentation of Israel contains bias and underlying assumptions and we strive to make our biases and assumptions as transparent as possible. We will do this by offering multiple perspectives and attitudes, through the range of speakers, texts, and experiences that will be included.
Participants across the political spectrum – including those who may not be sure where they stand – are welcome. In fact, participants will be expected to engage with one another, with the program, and with current events in a spirit of curiosity and learning, even (and especially) as people may have diverse personal and/or organizational priorities with respect to the People and State of Israel. In particular after October 7th, the debate about these issues is even more critical.

Sullam’s approach to addressing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict involves fostering a community of Jewish communal professionals who are prepared to engage with the intricate narratives, individuals, and locations central to this complex issue. The program will include multiple opportunities for participants to learn about the Israel-Palestinian conflict, always through multiple perspectives from a position of curiosity and empathy. There will also be opportunities to hear from a variety of people with direct experience with the conflict, including Palestinians. The program will open with a specially-designed introductory course exploring Israeli history and contemporary issues. For those who want to dive more deeply into issues related to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, there will be elective programming opportunities to continue learning through site visits and meetings facilitated by local experts in the field. Participants who choose to participate in these elective program options can expect to hear from a broad range of perspectives from both Palestinians and Israelis about the current state of the conflict, as well as insights and opinions about various potential future scenarios.

Yes. Trip itineraries are approved daily with the “Situation Monitoring Room” administered by the Society for the Protection of Nature. The Situation Monitoring Room works closely with Israel’s security forces including the IDF, Israel Policy, and local security and reservation authorities.

Yes, meeting Israelis and having the opportunity to have formal and informal conversations with them is an important part of the program.

Sullam Residency is not a touring program and has a residential feel, ensuring that participants can feel settled and at home during the month in Israel. The primary living arrangement, for two and a half weeks of the program, is apartment living in Tel Aviv. The program has rented a block of apartments in several buildings all together in the center of Tel Aviv, which house up to 4 people, in single rooms. Apartments will contain kitchen and laundry facilities.

When participants leave Tel Aviv for electives or Shabbat programs, they will be able to keep this Tel Aviv base. During those short-term visits to other venues, for up to 3 nights, participants will be in hotel-level accommodation in double rooms.
In addition, for the first and last few days of the program, participants will be accommodated in single rooms in hotels.

All hotel accommodation will be at a 4-star level.

Yes. The program contains two free Shabbatot (Friday-Saturday), as well as other informal evening times when you can visit friends and family.

Absolutely. While people from all backgrounds and walks of life are encouraged to apply to Sullam, observant Jews will find the program accessible. All the food provided by our program will be Kosher and Saturday programming will also be Shabbat-friendly in public spaces. For those who want to pray in an orthodox minyan every day, there are plenty of accessible options in Tel Aviv. However, we cannot guarantee that a minyan will be accessible three times a day and participants are responsible to find their own minyan.

The Sullam Residency is designed so that participants take a break from their regular work, and focus on immersing in Israel. Therefore it is recommended that participants not make significant work commitments during this time and there will not be regular times available for working. At the same time, there are free days, evenings, and weekends throughout the program, and the time difference between Israel and the US is helpful if you wish to make periodic check-ins with work colleagues and projects.

The program in its current, pilot, form is designed only for Jewish community professionals to participate, without their partners and children. Talk to us individually if you have specific needs around this.

While we recognize that it is hard to commit a full month, it is also important that participants be fully present for the whole program and so we cannot have participants coming and going in the middle. If there are special circumstances, please talk to us about what is possible. Keep in mind that there are two cohorts of Sullam being offered in 2025- choose the one that works best for you.

The Sullam Residency is the bold initiative of a group of major funders in the Jewish community. They are motivated by a desire that the next generation of Jewish community professionals are inspired by and connected to Israel and the Jewish People.

Seed funding for the Sullam Israel Residency pilot program is generously being provided by the Maimonides Fund, the Jim Joseph Foundation, and the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Philanthropies

Sullam Israel Residency
What? Why? How?
Information Sessions
Key Experiences
M²’s partnership with Onward Israel
How you will grow at Sullam
How your employee will grow
Eligibility and Nominations
Staff and Faculty
FAQs
Our Supporters
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