Paid Work – Programs

Want to really understand Israel, as an insider, as a truly independent adult? Then, get a job. A legit paying job.

There are tons of Israel experiences catering to young Diaspora Jews that cost money, even when volunteering. They are essentially geared toward education. The work may help Israeli employers, but probably not enough to cover all the expenses you’re generating through accommodation, training, care and feeding, insurance, weekly tours, etc. So, they still have to charge you (or, ahem, your parents) something. These are curated experiences that focus more on what Israel can do for you, than what you can do for Israel.

If you’re ready to “go native” and try to live like a real Israeli and earn your keep, then this page is for you.

An Emerging Trend

The idea of Diaspora Jews coming to Israel for work is relatively new and, I believe, gaining momentum. The current paradigm for Diaspora Jews working in Israel is to make a permanent move, aka “making aliyah”. This is portrayed as a major step and fateful decision in one’s life. But why? Why can’t it be just a “for now” decision with low/no commitment, the way you might move from Detroit to Austin to take a job, or from Toronto to SF? Moving for work and to experience places is natural. No one expects it to be forever. My view is we all have to chill on this “permanent move” thing and just make it easy for Diaspora Jews to work in Israel. The good news is Israel is starting to move in that direction.

It’s All About Tech

When I say a legit, paying job, I’m thinking a job in the high-tech sector. This is the richest and fastest growing part of Israel’s economy. It is also where Diaspora Jews can earn the most and where their international skills are most valued. If you’re a techie, it’s going to be a lot easier to find work. If you’re not a techie, but have related skills or are willing to learn, there are programs that will fill the gaps. If you want nothing to do with tech, I think it will be a hard slog, but I haven’t really investigated it (I’m a techie so I might just be ignorant of the options). 

All Inclusives

There are two paths to getting paid work in Israel. One is to take advantage of the growing number of programs offered that have paid employment as their goal. I think of these as “all-inclusives” because they take care of all the details so you can focus on the fun stuff. The other route is to do it yourself and forge your own path. 

Let’s look at the all-inclusives first. There are three programs operating that I am aware of that offer paid employment in tech. All of them are supported by the Government of Israel via the Jewish Agency, but they have different spins. 

If you have at least 3-years’ work experience in a tech role (e.g., programming, engineering, development, and design positions such as: Front End, Back End, Full Stack, DevOps, UX) and are willing to commit to work in Israel for 2 years, this program offers the best way to make this happen. You get help finding a job, getting a visa, and making a soft landing in Israel (first month’s housing and health insurance, Hebrew lessons, mentoring, networking, trips around the country). 

You have to find your own job before coming to Israel, assisted by recruiters in Masa Tech. Interviews are remote/online. When you get an offer and sign the contract, you have to get your butt over to Israel within 30-45 days to start work. 

Your job is a regular paying job, where you get a competitive salary to your peers, paying 14K-30K NIS/month gross (14K-15K is standard for junior developers).

This program is relatively new, but it builds off of decades of experience running internship programs through Masa. Costs of the program are covered by the government (thanks to you, the future taxpayer). 

Go here to learn more:

If you’re not ready to commit to a multi-year work contract, but have a minimum 2-years’ work experience, the FastTrack Pro program offers entry level paid jobs in tech for 7-10-month minimum terms. You get a regular salary (at least 14K NIS/month), just like Masa Tech. However, with FastTrack Pro you also get placed in an apartment for the length of your stay. The program has an upfront fee of $8K-$20K, which covers your accommodations, health Insurance, mentoring, trips, etc. Applying for a Masa grant can substantially reduce the overall cost.

With this program, just be aware that recruiting is done locally. That means when you register, you fly to Israel, move into your apartment, and then start your job search. There is a risk your job search will take time and you’ll be spending more time in cafes and at the beach than you planned. This is the adult world. No guarantees.

For more information, visit one of the two organizers that run this program:

If you don’t have tech experience but want to get into the space and have solid math and science skills, then ITC (Israel Tech Challenge) may be your way in.

ITC is a bootcamp modeled after the elite 8200 signal intelligence unit in the Israeli army. This is the unit responsible for cyber-intelligence and cyberwarfare. 8200 graduates are welcomed into Israeli high-tech with the esteem afforded MIT and Stanford grads in the US. The founders of ITC came from 8200 and decided to teach other techies how code like the best. 

Participants come from a range of universities around the world, including Israel. No previous tech experience is required but a STEM degree is needed for this Data Science Fellows program. Full-time studies take place at the downtown Tel Aviv campus. They also have a part-time program that can be done over Zoom.

Tuition runs from 26.5K to 44K NIS, but there are numerous grants and financial assistance programs. There used to be an option to pay the tuition back only after finding a high paying job in Israel, but I don’t see that offer anymore. Might be worth asking.

Once you graduated, you get 6 months of support from them to find a job in Israel. They boast a 95% placement rate for their Data Science grads and 90% for Full-Stack Developers.

Go here to learn more:


The above three programs should cover most people’s needs and they provide tons of support to make sure you land on your feet in Israel. But what if you don’t fit any of those cases? Maybe the timing isn’t right, or you’re over the age limit, or you just like forging your own path, then stay tuned for my next blog talking about how to do it yourself.

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