Shnat Hachshara

Our 10-month long gap-year programme in Israel for our post-matric Bogrim. 

What's It All About?

Shnat is Habonim Dror SA’s premiere leadership programme. It is a 10 month long gap year programme in Israel, where the ‘Shnatties’ get to challenge their own ideologies, explore and engage with that of HDSA, and have an incredible social experience: living with a group of friends in Israel, and engaging with Israelis and other foreigners on similar programs, and the country itself.

Why Take A Gap-Year?

An extra year in the scheme of things is nothing! And what you will gain from it makes it completely worthwhile…
A gap year straight after school is a phenomenal opportunity to develop and mature as an independent young adult. Take a year to challenge you values, to gain invaluable life experience at this formative age, to meet people from other countries, and to have fun. 

The Shnat Programme


The first three months of Shnat is called Machon. Living with people from all over the world, and with some of the best educators in Israel in their respective fields, Machon offers an educational and social experience of a lifetime. The Machon is a world-renowned Institute for the training of young leaders from the Diaspora. It offers an exciting and hands-on look into Israeli History and Current Society, Jewish Civilization, Hebrew, Leadership skills, Political Insights and lots more! Moreover, the Machon environment is one in which you will make lifelong friends in no time, and thereafter you’ll be living, learning and travelling with them as if you have known them your whole life.


The next part of the programme is called Kaveret. This part is broken into two sections: Summer Kaveret and Winter Kaveret. Kaveret is where the Shnat group move into a house together: you’ll cook, clean and shop for yourselves. On top of that, you will have the opportunity to volunteer and make a different to the communities around you – whether that be with foreign workers, refugees, Arab-Israeli communities or one of many more options. A new element of the Kaveret is also spending some time working in the kenim of our Israeli sister youth movement, HaNoar Ha’Oved Ve’Halomed. Here, our shnatties will learn how to plan and run peulot (activities) as well as see what it takes to run a movement. The challenges of communal living will bond your group even more, not to mention exploring and partying in the city and the rest of the country when you have free time. 


In the time between Summer and Winter Kaveret, the Shnatties spend around a month on Kibbutz Yizreel.  You’ll be able to bond further with your group and continue living together in a different environment. You’ll work on the kibbutz in anything from kitchen to the Refet (dairy). Hard labour in the day, free weekends to travel the country, getting to know the Kibbutzniks and their way of life, all contribute to the experience of this part of the programme.


Throughout the year the Shnatties will partake in seminars with Habonim countries from around the world. The main seminars that you will experience are the following: 

  • May Day Seminar
  • Rabin Seminar
  • HHH (History of Habonim Hagshama) 
  • Poland Seminar 
  • Yam Le Yam 

The Shnat programme varies from year to year, but above is the general outline. If you would like to find out more about Shnat, please email