FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wash U. Among Top Universities Picked For Study Abroad Grants for Programs in Israel
Funding comes, in part, from Jewish Federation of St. Louis through the
Jewish Agency for Israel & Masa Israel Journey.
Washington University’s Olin Business School is one of eight top American universities chosen to receive a $25,000 grant for study abroad programs in Israel in 2011 and 2012. The funding comes, in part, from Jewish Federation of St. Louis through the Jewish Agency for Israel (JAFI) and Masa Israel Journey, a New York non- profit supported by the Israeli government and JAFI. JAFI is a Jewish Federation of St. Louis international beneficiary agency.
Masa Israel Journey provides simple access to gap year, study abroad, post-college, and volunteer programs in Israel and helps participants navigate the entire process.
The Olin Business School is partnering with the Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) in Herzlilya, which teaches information technology and global markets. “Olin was chosen because we’ve been able to create study programs in Israel that focus on business administration and entrepreneurship,” said Steve Malter,Ph.D., Assistant Dean for Student Development & Strategic Initiatives, undergraduate programs at Olin Business School.
“Our goal specifically is to examine how the Israeli economy has performed so well. There is so much going on in business. This is a country with few natural resources and almost no geographic trading partners that experiences tremendous economic success on a worldwide scale,” Dr. Malter pointed out. He explained that for the semester IDC program, the students take courses, intern, conduct original research and write a paper. “Three students participated last year working for start-up companies that were acquired for tens of millions of dollars when the students were in Israel. Talk about an experience that can’t be taught anywhere else…"
The Israel study program was spurred by $400,000 in grants to the eight universities as part of a new capacity-building initiative to encourage study abroad and academic exchange in that country. The goal is to propel “Israel into the top 15 study abroad destinations over the next few years by encouraging more universities to open programs in Israel that speak to the most compelling interests of their students and faculty,” said Masa Israel North American Director, Avi Rubel. Currently, Israel is 22nd out of the top 25 study-abroad destinations for students from the United States, according to the Institute of International Education, which advised Masa on the programs.
Dr. Malter also teaches, “Business, Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Israel” at Wash U in the Olin Business School and promotes study in Israel. “The first semester students learn about Israel’s economy. In the spring we travel to Israel for eight days to immerse ourselves in Israel’s economy. The students then write a research paper comparing the U.S. economy to that of Israel. Last year 16 students signed up. They met top economic and political figures and visited IDC. They also went to St. Louis’s sister-city Yokneam-Megiddo to study the high tech industry there.”
The other institutions receiving money from Masa for the study in Israel program are Arizona State University, Barnard College, Case Western Reserve University, Michigan State University, the New Jersey state-university system, the University of Florida, and the business school of the University of Maryland.
Visit www.MasaIsrael.org for more information.