Living in Israel

One of the things that makes studying at Pardes so special is that you are living in the country while you are learning about it and its traditions and history. Israel becomes a laboratory for experiencing Israeli culture firsthand. Special workshops, faculty panels, guest speakers and lunchtime activities offer opportunities to learn more.

These are enriched by educational day trips around Israel and Jerusalem with a focus on both history and contemporary issues. We visit Jerusalem’s historical sites, attend cultural events, and enjoy hikes around the country, which often include people and places that are off the beaten path.

Specific classes also include special trips as part of their curricula. For example, the Social Justice Track travels to South Tel Aviv to explore issues of illegal immigrants and foreign labor and to the Arava to look at environmentalism and economics.

Click here for one student’s blog post about traveling with the Social Justice Track.

The Pardes calendar includes several vacations during the year. Many students use their vacation periods to travel within Israel.

You can click here to read one students perspective of traveling during his/her vacation.

By living in Jerusalem you will have the opportunity to meet and live amongst Israelis. Additionally, Pardes facilitates encounters with Israelis periodically throughout the year. In the past, we have had joint learning sessions with Israeli students and meetings with soldiers. We have hosted a new Israeli learning initiative. Students also regularly interact with Israelis through their weekly social action projects.

Students can participate in a series of mifgashim (immersive encounters with Israelis) during shabbatonim (weekend retreats during Shabbat).

However, Pardes is an English-speaking program and the majority of student interactions are with other English-speaking students. Pardes students who are particularly interested in forming meaningful relationships with Israelis will need to take extra personal initiative to make this an aspect of their Pardes experience.

We understand and share the safety concerns of students and their families. We take precautions to maximize safety while at Pardes and on Pardes trips, and we offer guidelines and support on a continual basis. Personal safety issues are discussed during orientation.

One of the concerns students have when deciding on spending the year in Israel is the cost of living. Pardes has surveyed 4 students with a range of spending habits to give a greater understanding as to what a sample budget for the year may look like. See Student Life and click on the Sample Budget section.