Machon Ma'ayan—S. Daniel Abraham Israel Program
We aim to prepare a vibrant group of young Jewish leaders committed to their Judaism, the Land of Israel, their Jewish community and the Jewish people.We are dedicated to providing our students with an enjoyable and meaningful year of Torah study and Jewish experience in a warm and open spiritual environment.We encourage the acquisition of skills that enable students to understand the principles and practice of Torah and Mitzvot and their application in society. We aspire to train young Jewish leaders who can enthusiastically lead programs in youth groups, community synagogues, and university campuses, among other community endeavors. Their focus will be to enrich and invigorate Jewish life in locales throughout North America.
The pulse of Israel beats like no other place. Archeological relics and remains from thousands of years of struggle and triumph are tangibly felt at every corner. Complex dynamics of modern Israel, at the center of the world, creates challenges in every sector of society today. Fascinating seminars, meaningful internships, engaging classes and exhilarating tiyulim will offer opportunities to make a personal connection to the land and to the people. Israel's magic will draw you in, making an impression on you, while encouraging you to create your own lasting imprint for the future.
Attitude towards Israel and Medinat Yisrael
We celebrate Yom Ha’atzmaut and Yom Yerushalayim and they become highlights of the students’ connection to Mediant Yisrael and Am Yisrael
Attitude towards University Studies
Students are encouraged to attend University and to take advantage of all of the Jewish opportunities available on their Jewish or secular college campus. Machon Maayan students typically become leaders in their Hillels or in other Jewish campus groups.
Attitude towards Extracurricular Activities
Extra-curricular activities are strongly encouraged. In addition to community internships twice per week, Machon Maayan offers students a full range of chugim each week including Salsa dancing, hip-hop, baking, swimming, body toning, improv and other fun and exciting opportunities.
Preparation for Post Israel
While nothing can fully prepare a student to transition from seminary to university, Machon Maayan staff does the utmost in both formal and informal ways to prepare students to return to their respective environments.
The "Successful" Student
Machon Maayan is an innovative one-year program in Israel offering young women from diverse backgrounds a unique post-high school opportunity.
Students at Machon Maayan participate in thought-provoking courses, interactive seminars, challenging internships, and meaningful experiences - in a comfortable Torah observant atmosphere.
The successful student is committed to personal and religious development, leadership, community involvement, and a positive relationship with the land and people of Israel.
We appreciate that tzniut/modesty is more than sleeve length and hemlines and we hope that over the course of the year you will gain a greater perspective on this important aspect of our lives. The following laws of tzniut should be used as guidelines for dress at all times:
Skirts must cover the knee when sitting.
Shirt/blouse should reach the elbows.
Necklines should reach the collar bone.
Shirts should be long enough to cover the midriff.
All wording and designs on clothes should be appropriate.
Slits in skirts should cover the knee when sitting.
Clothing should not be tight fitting.
No body piercing.
Please help us avoid uncomfortable situations and only wear clothing that meets these standards.
Machon Maayan’s warm and caring staff is available 24/7 to help students with all issues, from mundane questions about daily life in Israel to deep philosophical questions about life’s larger struggles. Our trained staff members pride themselves on developing personal relationships with each student and a coordinated effort is made to pair students and faculty members to ensure that no student “falls through the cracks.”
Your safety and well-being are our primary concerns at Machon Maayan. Therefore, each dormitory house is staffed by a dorm counselor and the dorm parents live in an apartment nearby. All students are required to participate in a school cell-phone plan and must carry their cell phones with them at all times.
Machon Maayan offers a unique curriculum of formal Jewish studies classes integrated with twice weekly community internships (service learning), weekly tiyulim and frequent informal educational opportunities.
A full range of Tanach, Jewish law, Jewish philosophy, Jewish history courses are offered. Please check our website for a more detailed description.
Please refer to our website.
Language of Instruction
English, while those who want to improve their Hebrew can learn a selection of classes in Ivrit.
Ulpan or Hebrew Class
Five levels of ulpan are offered. Although ulpan is not required, it is strongly encouraged.
Assessment and Grading
Part of the growth process is developing ideas that were learnt in classroom and applying them to different situations and scenerios. Methodologies and skills have been acquired and need to be strengthened. At the end of each semester each student has the opportunity to continue their personal growth through evaluations. Projects, presentations, and term papers are assigned at the end of each semester to allow for maximum growth.
Half or full year program available. In addition to having the full range of shana aleph teachers and administrators available to them, Shana bet students enjoy specially tailored classes and activities and a designated shana bet coordinator.
Machon Maayan participates in both the Touro Israel Option and Yeshiva University’s Joint Israel Program. Students can obtain a full year of American academic college credits for their studies at Machon Maayan.
Rav Ira Kosowsky (Director) is a dynamic and inspirational educator who believes in personal growth through open discussions, in-depth Torah study, and community involvement. He established Student Leadership Programs in many countries – including England, South Africa and the United States – that are characterized by practical leadership training, which has empowered the graduates to get involved in many meaningful challenges in the Jewish world. He has rabbinical ordination from Yeshiva University, and a Master's degree in Bible from Bernard Revel Graduate School.
Rav Ben Tzion Goldfischer (Mashgiach Ruchani) is a talented and popular educator both in the formal and non-formal realms. He has inspired and affected countless students at Midreshet Moriah, Birthright, Aish Hatorah, NCSY, Reishit Yerushalayim and Torat Shraga, among others. Rav Goldfischer founded and directs NCSY’s Jerusalem Journey and Ambassadors Programs (TJJ/TJJA), a month-long touring and learning program in Israel for public school students. He received his Rabbinical Ordination from Yeshiva University and holds a BA in Biology and History. He is also a licensed tour guide through the Ministry of Tourism of Israel. Rav Goldfischer grew up in West Orange, NJ. He made Aliya in 1999 and lives in Modiin with his wife and five children.
Mrs. Meryl-Lee Avraham (Assistant Director) has an ability to impart her passion for Torah and mitzvot in a manner that is truly unique. She is able to synthesize classroom curriculum into the terms of daily living, while building confidence and self-esteem in her students. Meryl-Lee was the director for many years of a vast network of outreach programs throughout New Jersey known as L.A.V.E. (Life And Values Education). She founded the Ari Kraut Friendship Circle, which provides community assistance to families with special needs children, by pairing the children with trained and eager teen volunteers.
Mrs. Dina Blank (Director of Finances) has been part of the Machon Maayan family since its inception. As a faculty member, Dina’s sense of humor and down-to-earth mannerisms have filled her classrooms and challenged our students. Over the years, Dina has also run Machon Maayan’s successful shana bet program and maintained close relationships with Machon Maayan alumni for years. In September 2012, Dina joined the Machon Maayan administration as Director of Finance, drawing on her vast experience managing educational institutions in Israel. Dina lives in Beit Shemesh with her husband and four children.
Mrs. Shulamith Baruch is originally from Lawrence, NY. She is a talented fine artist, graphic designer and illustrator. She has been involved in outreach with Partners in Torah. She is one of the founders of Kulanu, an organization that was conceived around her kitchen table along with a small group of mothers of children with special needs. She is dedicated to developing relationships with her students, while inspiring and encouraging them to recognise their own unique talents and creative styles.
Rav Michael Bramson is a warm and engaging teacher, who caters to the needs of each individual student. The influence of his talents have been felt during the summers by the Ethiopian community of Natzrat Elit in Israel, during Shavuot & Simchat Torah in the city of Newport News, Virginia, on Shabbatonim throughout New Jersey, and as one of the most successful teachers at the Berman Hebrew Academy of Greater Washington. Rav Bramson has Rabbinical Ordination from Yeshiva University and a BA in Psychology. His summer daily halacha is subscribed to by almost 60 of our alumni.
Mrs. Dina Etigson's students thrive on her rare combination of intellect and spirituality. After receiving her BA from State University of New York at Albany and working at Morgan Stanley, Mrs. Etigson moved to Israel and joined the Matmidot Program at Matan. In addition, Mrs. Etigson participated in the Machon Gevoha Program at Nishmat.
Rav Uri Etigson received semicha from Yeshiva University and holds a Masters degree in Jewish Philosophy. He has guided students from various yeshivot and midrashot into the depths of Jewish thought and mystical teachings. Rav Etigson has also served in Tzahal as a hospital Chaplain. His warm smile, patience and understanding are only part of the reason that many students feel connected to him.
Mrs. Pesha Fischer has worked as the Campus Torah Educator at the University of Maryland. Previously she was the Judaic Studies Coordinator at Yavneh Academy in Dallas. Mrs. Fischer has studied in the Bruriah Scholars program at Midreshet Lindenbaum and Matan. She holds a Master's Degree in Jewish Education from Yeshiva University. She has taught at MMY and Michlelet Neve Daniel and is also currently teaching at Tiferet.
Mrs. Esther Grossman originally from Elizabeth, New Jersey, received her Teacher's Certificate from Michlalah Jerusalem College for Women. She graduated with a BA in Judaic Studies from Stern College for Women, and received her Masters in Secondary Jewish Education from the Azrieli Graduate School. She has taught and/or lectured in numerous seminaries including Midreshet Moriah, B'not Chayil, Nishmat, & Shalavim for Women. Additionally, back in the United States, she was a full-time teacher of Judaic Studies at the Weinbaum Yeshiva High School in Boca Raton for nine years.
Rav Simcha Hochbaum is a resident of Chevron's Avraham Avinu neighborhood. His song-filled and soul-stirring shiurim in Chassidut, Tefila, and other various topics have inspired thousands of students. A long time student and musmach of Reb Shlomo Carlebach, zt"l, Rav Simcha graduated Yeshiva University with a B.S. in accounting and studied at the Azrieli Graduate School of Jewish Education. He was the Rabbi of The Eldridge Street Synagogue in New York City, a Judaic studies instructor at Bi-Cultural Day School in Stamford CT, and has taught at a number of Israeli yeshivot and midrashot. In addition, Rav Simcha has founded a number of "Carlebach Minyanim" throughout Israel. He is the Director of Tourism in the Holy City of Chevron and delivers tours of Chevron, The Old City of Jerusalem, Kotel Tunnels as well as neighborhoods throughout Yehuda and Shomron.
Dr. Dodi Tobin is a graduate of the Matan Advanced Tanach program, and is completing an M.A. in Tanach at Bar Ilan University. Dr. Tobin holds a B.A. in Psychology from Barnard College and a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. In addition to teaching at Machon Ma’ayan, she is the Director of Matan Bet Shemesh, and lectures at Matan branches throughout Israel. Dr. Tobin's inspirational lectures combine literary analysis, classical commentary, modern scholarship and psychological expertise to facilitate a rich understanding of biblical texts while underscoring their message for contemporary society. Dr. Tobin has worked as a psychologist and researcher, and has published studies on the post-high school Israel experience and aliya absorption issues. She is the former Director of Social Services for Nefesh B'Nefesh and has served on the administrations of Nishmat and Pardes. Dr. Tobin made aliya in 1998, and resides in Beit Shemesh with her husband Marc and four children.
Rav Aharon Wexler made aliya after high school and studied in Yeshivat HaKotel. After Yeshiva, he studied for his BA in Archeology and then went back to Yeshivat HaKotel for his Rabbinic Ordination. Rav Wexler went on to earn an MA in Jewish History and is now a Doctoral Candidate. Rav Wexler teaches in many post-high school Yeshiva programs and during the summers leads Birthright-Israel tours, and other educational touring programs.
Mrs. Rachel Moore (Director of Communications) moved back to Israel after a 12-year hiatus in the United States in July 2012. While there, she worked as Machon Maayan's US Representative three years. Rachel has been working in the Jewish non-profit world in Israel and the US in public relations, communications and management for fifteen years, including Jerusalem City Hall, Milah, Ramah Programs in Israel, Lamdeni, and the Shalom Heritage Center. Rachel blogs regularly about living in Neve Daniel, Gush Etzion, and her seven children.
Living in Israel and interacting with Israelis is a cornerstone of the Machon Maayan experience.We have moved to a beautiful campus in Givat Washington which hosts several women's study programs for Israelis. The Beit Midrash is a meeting place for young women form around Israel - and the world - for Torah study.
Special Informal programs
As part of our commitment to experiential learning Machon Maayan offers monthly shabbatonim around Israel, weekly seminars and tiyulim, twice-weekly community internships, weekly chugim (extra-curricular activities) and Wednesday night “out of the box” programs such as inspiring speakers and fun leisure activities.
Our New Campus
The beautiful Givat Washington campus includes state-of-the-art sports facilities including a fitness center indoor swimming pool, tennis courts, basketball courts, dance classes (in a gorgeous dance studio), track and field. There are also computer rooms, a performing arts studio, and several music rooms.
Programming for Shabbat and Yom Tov
Machon Maayan sponsors one mandatory off-campus shabbaton per month, giving students the opportunity to visit a variety of different communities across the country and enjoy some of Israel’s most beautiful vacation destinations. Additionally, Machon Maayan sponsors one optional on-campus shabbaton per month. Students who choose to stay in for Shabbat work together to create a personally meaningful and spiritually uplifting Shabbat experience.
Although the dormitories are open and students are permitted to stay in the dormitories whenever they choose, an important element of the Israel experience includes spending Shabbat with families and friends in various communities throughout Israel. We encourage you to make the most of your Free Shabbatot. The Eim bayit (dorm mother) and madrichot (dorm counselors) will set you up with families for Shabbat hospitality.
The Golan, the Galil, the Negev, Eilat, the Dead Sea, and the Judean Mountains are just some of the major regions in Israel that Machon Maayan experiences on several four-day long Tiyulim adventures. Additionally, as part of our commitment to using Israel as our classroom, students enjoy one-day tiyulim and field trips every Thursday.
From beginner -- advanced
Hebrew Knowledge Required
Religious Observance Required
Machon Maayan offers a unique opportunity - regardless of one's background - to participate in the process that has engaged and sustained our people for thousands of years: the study of our living Torah. In Machon Maayan, the Torah comes to life through fascinating presentations and interactive discussions. Stimulating classes encourage students to contribute to the classroom setting by questioning, challenging, and sharing ideas in the pursuit of acquiring a much deeper understanding of Torah.
At Machon Maayan, we believe that Torah Judaism must be lived in order for it to be truly appreciated. Much of the classroom learning is reinforced by experiences that are shared by the group as a whole and internalized on the individual level. Throughout the year in Israel, Machon Maayan's experiential methodology will guide the students through the relevant texts as they discover the beauty of life as a Jew.
Type of American Student
Machon Maayan is an innovative one-year program in Israel offering young women from diverse backgrounds a unique post-high school opportunity.
Our students come from a wide variety of types of high schools, and from across the United States.
Machon Maayan provides a nurturing environment for students committed to personal and religious development, leadership, community involvement, and a positive relationship with the land and people of Israel.
Overall Number of Students (Kollel, Israeli, Foreign)
Foreign Student Percentage
No information provided
Number of 1st Year American Students
Number of 2nd Year American Students
1 -Germany, 1/2 - Colombia
Number of Students per Class
The dorms in our beautiful new campus are newly renovated. There are 3 students in a room, with an en suite bathroom, air conditioning in each room, and 3 lounge areas in the dorm building.
The Machon Maayan educational facility includes a comprehensive Jewish library that the students and staff utilize to prepare for classes, internships, special programs, and Shabbatonim.
The Eim Bayit and Madrichot are talented, spirited young women who are always available to assist in program planning, aid in community internships, help prepare for classes, or just to have fun with. The Madrichot live with the students in the dormitories and the Eim Bayit, who is accessible to the students at all times, lives nearby. This informal team is committed to helping the student create and enjoy a wonderful and unforgettable year in Israel.
Availability of Private Kitchen Facilities
A delicious lunch and dinner are provided each day by a local caterer and special care is taken to meet particular dietary needs. Should students wish to self-cater, the dormitories are equipped with modern, dairy kitchens. The kitchen in each house includes a refrigerator, toaster oven, microwave, sandwich maker, kettle, toaster, pots, pans and cutlery.
Facility use during Shabbat and Yom Tov
Machon Maayan wants your dorm to become your home. We do our best to provide comfortable, home-like accommodations and we keep the dorms open during vacation periods and every Shabbat. One Shabbat per month is a "Shabbaton” on which we provide all Shabbat meals. (On other Shabbatot, you are welcome to stay home, and you can wither eat in the dining room or cook and eat in the dorms. When the Eim and Av Bayit are in for Shabbat, you are welcome to eat with them.
The dorm is closed for the Yom Tov of Sukkot and Pesach. Machon Maayan’s staff will be available to help arrange home hospitality for students during these holidays. The dorms re-open during chol hamo’ed Sukkot and Pesach. There is always a staff member available, on a rotating basis, during the vacation time.
Curfew is at 11:30p.m. on Sunday, Tuesday and Wednesday evenings. On Monday, Thursday and Saturday night, curfew is at 12:45a.m. Everyone must check into their dorm by this time. Madrichot check to ensure that everyone is in their respective dorm.
In addition to a code lock on every house, each dormitory house is alarmed and has 24-hour video surveillance. Periodically, during vacation periods, guards patrol as deemed necessary. Machon Maayan is in constant contact with the Sochnut and follows Israeli government and army security precautions on tiyulim.