What have past years said?

Honestly? I could make an endless list telling you what Shnat involves, but without sounding clichéd, you have to do it to understand what it really is. Whilst here I’ve travelled Israel, learning about its history, culture, and potential for the future, I’ve found a deeper connection with Habonim and developed valuable leadership skills. I’ve built unbreakable bonds with worldwide Habonim members, from America, Canada and Australia to South Africa and Aotearoa New Zealand. I’ve been granted a second family through living in a kvutzah. I’ve challenged myself and grown as a person. You really want to know what Shnat is? Try it for yourself!”

What is Shnat?

Shnat is our 7 month gap year program in Israel for 18 years old school leavers. The program has three components; Shorashim– 3 months on Kibbutz of group bonding and learning, Adama or South Africa– Spend a month either living in Jerusalem or being on Machaneh in South Africa as Madrichimot and Anafim–  3 months living in an Israeli city volunteering, running Kennim, teaching English in schools and running afterschool clubs.


A unique aspect of the Habonim Dror Shnat program is the emphasis placed on the group experience. The participants live in a group, or kvutzah, with whom they share their day-to-day living with as well as many personal experiences. It is through this Kvutzah that individuals are urged to take responsibility for both themselves and others. Each Kvutzah discusses values and tools to help them live and work together and create their own culture and norms, allowing their individual and collective creativity and identity to be expressed. This intense group experience allows participants to create meaningful and close relationships with each other, lasting for many years to come.

Shnat is an unparalleled opportunity to understand, explore and experience both Israel and Socialist-Zionism. Spending 7 months in Israel allows chanichimot to experience living in a Jewish society as they immerse themselves, over the course of the program, in Israeli culture and society.

Shnat is an incredible social experience: living with a group of close friends in Israel, meeting and bonding with fellow Habo shnatties from across the world, engaging with Israelis and the country itself and learning Hebrew in a fun and relaxed environment. It is filled with opportunities to make tons of friends, create incredible memories and experience life in a whole new and exciting way whilst being fully supported by madrichimot and kvutza. 

Download the Shnat 2022/23 brochure here. For any further details, please contact harrison@habodror.org.uk