AIGYA: The Israel Gap Year Guide

AIGYA: The Israel Gap Year Guide #beverlyhills #beverlyhillsmagazine #israel #folb #book #gapyear #college #education #travel

As colleges have been struggling to open their doors this Fall, now more than ever, students are asking:

  • Is a Gap Year right for me?
  • How can I make this coming year one of meaning and purpose? 
  • Is there still a place to do hands-on learning? 

Find Your Right Direction: The Israel Gap Year Guide, Redwood Publishing, available on Amazon September 9, promises to be the definitive resource on the subject. The book includes information about 60 individual gap year programs. Moreover, it makes a compelling case for Israel as the place of destination for your Gap Year.  


Writer Phyllis Folb, Founder and Executive Director of the American Israel Gap Year Association (AIGYA), is well-versed in all things gap. In addition, she specializes in Israel programs. She saw the need for a comprehensive resource guide.  Interest in Gap Years has grown exponentially, especially since the pandemic. Recent restrictions on classroom learning have made experiential learning, the hallmark of a Gap Year, even more appealing and valuable. As she points out, “There are a number of books on the market discussing the merits of the gap year, but none address a specific location, such as Israel, and its importance to the student.”  

Choosing Israel

Israel is one of the few international destinations still welcoming Gap Year students. Ethan Knight, Gap Year Association Executive Director states, “Israel is a bigger gap year destination than we thought. Almost 50% of those polled in a GYA 2020 National Alumni Survey reported that they’ve visited Israel.” 

“Israel is one-stop shopping for a variety of gap year experiences which makes it such an attractive destination. Whether it’s technology, agriculture, medical research or the arts, vibrant cities or amazing beaches and desert landscapes–there is no end to the possibilities available for fun, adventure, career, and emotional development,” Ms. Folb adds. 

The “can-do” nature of the Israeli society provides greater opportunities for internships and hands-on experience.  In addition, Israel’s unique history makes it a central and important place for students. Moreover, it is a meaningful locale from which to connect to their heritage and personal identity.

Finding Your Right Direction: An Israel Gap Year Guide

The book explains the life-long rewards of spending extended time in Israel. It also helps readers define individual goals and desires. This is considered a prerequisite to the practical matter of finding the right program fit.  The resource part of the book describes a range of programs that are secular, religious, adventurous, and career oriented.  Moreover, stories from AIGYA Ambassadors–recent gappers who have chronicled their year on the AIGYA Instagram site—are woven throughout the book. Indeed, not only does it personalize the text, it gives readers a taste of what is in store.

The American Israel Gap Year Association (AIGYA) is a non-profit organization. Focused on the breadth of opportunities in Israel, it offers events, counseling, and educational resources to help students. Find Your Right Direction: The Israel Gap Year Guide is rooted in AIGYA’s Executive Director’s decade long work in helping to send hundreds of kids each year to rewarding Gap Years in Israel. 

Special launch price from September 9 through November 15 will be $1.99 for the eBook and $9.99 for the paperback as a back to school special. Thereafter, Ebook ($9.99) and paperback ($15.99. For more information about the AIGYA and Find Your Right Direction: The Israel Gap Year Guide write to or visit


Impressive Accolades

“A well-organized, information-packed and interactive resource.   Phyllis Folb’s unique history and perspective has given the reader a story-filled, inspirational and motivating book that delivers an important and powerful message about the Gap Year in Israel.” Rae Nelson, The Gap Year Advantage by Karl Hailer and Rae Nelson 

“Israel is a bigger gap year destination than we thought, having almost 50% of those polled in GYA 2020 National Alum Survey reporting that they’ve gone there.  What Phyllis Folb is facilitating for young people will change their lives and this book will continue to help raise awareness, of the benefits and value of the Gap Year in Israel.”  Ethan Knight: Executive Director Gap Year Association.

“I’m glad to see that tens of thousands of young Americans have used the Israel Gap Year to enrich their Jewish knowledge and commitment. I hope that many more will follow the same exciting and enlightened path with the help of the Find Your Right Direction: The Israel Gap Year Guide.” Michael Medved, nationally syndicated radio talk show host, best-selling author of GOD’S HAND ON AMERICA

“Having been to over 20 countries on 5 continents to promote Israel Gap Year Programs, I can safely say that no one knows the field, more than Phyllis Folb.. She has a wealth of knowledge, experience and passion about matching participants with the perfect program. She herself is the ultimate Israel Gap Year Program resource. In a post- COVID-19 outbreak world, this book will be a valuable resource to help everyone looking for an Israel Gap Year Program.”Simon Cohen, Co-Founder and Admissions Director of Aardvark Israel Programs  

Phyllis’ knowledge of Israel Gap Year programs is second to none. This resource will provide valuable insight into these exciting options.

 Jim Patterson, Director of the Kutler Center, Harvard-Westlake School.

“Phyllis Folb leads readers on a VIP tour of the remarkable variety of experiences in Israel for gap year students. This is your go-to book to discover how transformative these experiences can be spiritually, intellectually, and personally.” Judy Gruen, author, “The Skeptic and the Rabbi: Falling in Love with Faith

“Find Your Right Direction: The Israel Gap Year Guide is a unique book that lets you see the breath of Israel programs that are available.  This is a resource that brings it all together for you.” Bruce Powell, President Jewish School Management.

A much needed resource. I can’t wait to promote with JCHSB families.” Lauren Cook, counselor, Jewish Community High School of the Bay.

Hannah Foreman
Hannah Jaehnig is a professional freelance creative writer. She has been writing professionally since 2014 and writing for entertainment for much longer! She has a bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing with a minor in History. She hopes to one day publish a fiction book. In the meantime, she’ll write about fashion!
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