The Naale program (Hebrew: נעל"ה) is a program sponsored by the Israeli Ministry of Education and the Sochnut (Jewish Agency for Israel) which allows Jewish teenagers from the diaspora to study and earn a high school diploma in Israel.
This one of a kind program brings Jewish teenagers from around the world to study in some of the best Israeli high schools for three or four years.
Potential candidates have to register, fill out an application, send in documents and undergo a few tests in order to be accepted to the program. Candidates are accepted based on how they did on the tests and interviews.
Each student on the program gets a full scholarship funded by the Ministry of Education. The scholarship includes a flight to Israel (from anywhere in the world), full tuition, books, notebooks and writing utensils, health insurance, full room and board, an allowance for traveling in Israel, pocket money, money for clothing, a phone card and more. Graduates of the program are eligible for an additional scholarship of two years of academic studies anywhere in Israel. During its existence, over 10,000 teenagers that came to Israel without their parents have graduated from Israeli high schools.
The students are considered foreign students and therefore are not required to change their citizenship or immigrate to Israel throughout the course of their studies. The decision to remain in Israel is theirs alone. If a student wishes to leave the program at any point he may do so.
The program was established in 1992. Since then, over 17,000 students have participated in the program with about 90% staying in Israel and 60% of the parents immigrating as well.
About two thirds of the students are from Russia and Ukraine. About a third of the students are from the western world, especially from the United States (since 2002) and other countries around the world: Uruguay, Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Britain, Germany, South Africa, the Netherlands, Hungary, Zimbabwe, Mexico, Paraguay Peru, Chile, France, Colombia and Romania.
The students and the parents choose which school to go to. The students that are accepted come to Israel in the beginning of the school year. The schools are located all over Israel and cater to many different communities. Generally students participating in the program will have a local host family. These relationships often last long after high school.
Na'ale groups over the years
Below is the list of the Na'ale groups by year.
|Year 6||1997-1998||"Yuval"||in honor of Israel's 50'th birthday|
|Year 8||1999-2000||"Zohar"||in honor of Zevulun Hammer|
|Year 9||2000-2001||"Noam"||in honor of extending the program to the West|
|Year 10||2001-2002||"Asor"||in honor of Na'ale's 10th year|
|Year 12||2003-2004||"Revava"||in honor of Na'ale's 10,000th student|
|Year 21||2012-2013||"Shamir"||in honor of Yitzchak Shamir - one of the founders of Na'ale|