Bridging the gap

A consequence of the introduction of University tuition fees has been additional financial pressure upon students who take a gap year before university. The impact this year has been particularly acute, with students effectively being landed with a £9000 bill which would not have applied had they chosen not to defer.

Israel gap year schemes can play an important role. The unique experience is the key to developing successive generations of national leaders for youth movements. Working with the Board of Deputies and youth movements we explored all of the available avenues to work for a relaxation to the new regime for gap year participants, unfortunately this was not forthcoming.

We were approached by FZY and other movement leaders with proposals to mitigate the risks. They suggested a scheme to ensure sustained engagement between JLC member organisations and young people who are unable to take a gap year. It will nurture future leaders who will cherish the values of their own youth movements as part of their identity. The programme will include a seminar providing the opportunity to engage with all JLC members. Internships within JLC member organisations will be offered, giving participants a taste of working in the Jewish community and more of an insight into communal life. Our member organisations will benefit from developing relationships and internships with high-calibre young leaders.

FZY Mazkir Joshua Marks commented:

"We proposed this initiative to solidify the connection between our members and the major communal organisations. As the pressure on gap year participation continues, this scheme will provide an important additional mechanism for future leaders to engage. We are delighted to be working in partnership with the JLC, UJIA and other youth movements to make our exciting idea a reality."