About Yozma

About Yozma

Yozma is a program track of Nativ dedicated to young adults with cognitive, social, organizational, and other challenges that would normally pose as obstacles to joining a gap year or college setting.  The Yozma program will not be offered for 2023-24.  Please check back in the Fall of 2023 for further information regarding applications for future years.


The program aims to further the development of life and leadership skills essential in leading independent, meaningful Jewish lives and successfully transitioning to a college program. Yozma is an inclusive track, fully integrated into every part of Nativ life alongside the other Nativ participants.

Yozma begins with a fall semester during which students study at Hebrew University, intermixed with leadership training opportunities and trips. The second part of the year involves volunteer work, learning and teaching, and community living. A variety of programming options are available for evenings, Shabbat, and winter and Pesach breaks.

Yozma focuses on the individual, and not on a specific diagnosis, in order to address the cognitive, social, or other challenges faced by each young adult.

Applicants must meet the following requirements:

  • 18-21 years old
  • High school graduate
  • College-bound
  • Able to monitor medication
  • Self-advocate
  • Possess a basic knowledge of Judaism/religious observance

In keeping inclusivity as a strong value, Yozma frequently examines its resources and capabilities and will evaluate what services it can provide on a case by case basis. At this time, Yozma cannot accept those who need help with basic daily life skills or those who cannot take their own medication.

Yozma Staff

The Yozma staff includes the assistant director of Yozma, based in Israel, who has a special needs background and works with the director of Nativ and the assistant director of admissions to help identify and recruit participants and formulate program guidelines and expectations. The assistant director will also work throughout the nine month program with specially trained counselors with special needs experience. These counselors will live with the participants and be available to them 24/7.

There will be approximately one staff member for every two to three Yozma participants. They will be seen as additional staff for the Nativ group but their focus is the success of the individuals in the Yozma program. The staff will support all aspects of the Nativ/Yozma program and will work with students on social, organizational, and independent skills including enhancing communication, personal/interpersonal skills, and helping to create life-long friendships.

Communication with Parents

The Yozma assistant director will have constant communication with the families and ensure open and transparent dialogue between the families and the Yozma participant.

For more information about Nativ and the supports for the Yozma track, please reach out to nativ@uscj.org.


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