Masa calls on Israeli startups, firms to foster foreign interns

Internship program sees 3,000 Jews from around the world specialize in a variety of positions; initiative generates $211 million annually for Israeli economy, Masa says

Shoshanna Solomon is The Times of Israel's Startups and Business reporter

Masa interns working at a company in Israel (Masa)
Masa interns working at a company in Israel (Masa)

Masa, a nonprofit organization that seeks to bring Jewish communities closer to Israel, is calling on startups and other Israeli firms and organizations to provide internships for young professionals in Israel.

The nonprofit is currently leading a process of recruiting more companies to take on international interns for various positions, the organization said in a statement Monday.

“This is an incredible opportunity for employers across the Israeli economy who are interested in upgrading their human capital with workers that are young, talented, and multilingual,” said Acting Masa CEO Ofer Gutman in a statement. “Many firms — from start-ups to established corporations — have worked with Masa for a number of years to bring Masa interns to their offices, and some of them have even kept them on as regular workers once their internships concluded after realizing the value they were adding to their firms.”

“Masa interns who complete their internships and then return to their home countries end up functioning as representatives of the Israeli companies that employed them while they were in Israel, and in so doing, they spread awareness not only of their companies, but of the spirit of the Start-Up Nation as well.”

Masa is an initiative of The Jewish Agency and the Israeli government that aims to bring Jewish communities in North America and other countries closer to Israel via education and career development experiences in Israel. Each year, approximately 12,000 young Jews from 60 countries come to Israel to study, teach, and volunteer in various programs organized by Masa.

One of Masa’s main initiatives is the internship program, which sees about 3,000 people come per year to specialize in different professions and in different firms.

All are graduates of various academic institutions with diverse professional backgrounds, and most have experience working in their home countries, bringing “with them a culture and knowledge that will contribute to the company in which they specialize,” the statement said. Each participant is embedded in a company that is matched to them and receives a residency and scholarship.

Masa organizers said these internships have generated some NIS 722 million ($211 million) annually for the Israeli economy, since the inception of the program eight years ago.

Some 20,000 interns have participated in the programs since its start, Masa said. Among the companies and organizations that have taken part in the project are: IBM, HP, Minute Media, The Floor, Amdocs, Walkme,, Mindspace, PayPal, and Motorola, Masa said.

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