What is Northeastern Hillel’s Taglit-Birthright Israel Trip?
Northeastern Hillel is partnering with Shorashim (see below) to offer Northeastern students the chance to travel to Israel for free – yes, free! – for ten days with their peers. In addition, there are opportunities for non-Northeastern students to join us if they live or are from the Boston area! Please direct all questions to Ariel Scheer, firstname.lastname@example.org.
What is Awesome Israel?
Awesome Israel is a nonprofit educational organization devoted to building bridges between Israeli and American Jews. “Mifgash” (encounter between Americans and Israelis) is the foundation of Awesome Israel. Americans and Israelis travel, live and learn side by side as they explore Israel. By the end of the ten-day Taglit-Birthright Israel program, participants are forever changed. North American participants have a deeper understanding of Judaism and Israel – not only because of what they did, but as a result of the people they met. Israeli participants are dynamic, warm, enthusiastic students and young adults. They are excited and ready to show the Americans the beauty and complexity of their country. In addition, they look forward to learning about Jewish life in America. Awesome Israel is committed to a pluralistic Jewish experience and reaches out to American youth who are unaffiliated and from all Jewish denominations and to Israelis from all backgrounds. To learn more about Awesome Israel, see their website www.awesomeisrael.com
It sounds too good to be true – is the trip really free?
Yes, the trip is free. There are really no catches other than the following:
-$250 deposit will secure your space on the program and will be fully refunded upon your return. Your deposit will also be returned if you withdraw your application before the date set forth in the waiver agreement (generally about 30 days before departure).
-Participants are responsible for travel to and from the departure gateway.
-Spending money for snacks or supplemental meals.
What does the gift cover?
It includes round-trip airfare to Israel from New York, accommodations in hotels and guest houses, two meals a day, ground transportation, entrance fees to all sites on the itinerary and the services of qualified staff and educators.
When are the departure dates?
We don’t know our dates for Winter 2011 quite yet. Check in with Ariel (email@example.com) for more information.
What is the deadline for Registration?
Registration for winter break 2011/12 is coming up – Wednesday, September 12 at 10am for 1st time applicants or Monday, September 10th at noon for those applying again. Make sure to put down your deposit before midnight on the day that registration opens for you!
Where do we go on the trip?
See the Sample Itinerary: http://www.awesomeisrael.com/trips/Pages/Awesome_Israel_Sample_Itinerary.aspx
I have been to Israel before but not with a peer group program, can I go?
As long as you have not been on a peer trip, the answer is yes! If you have been to Israel only with your family or for work, you are still eligible. If you traveled on a teen tour, attended college or university in Israel, served in the Israeli Army, you are not eligible. If you have any questions about your eligibility, contact Ariele (firstname.lastname@example.org) before you begin the application process. You can also learn more about eligibility at the Taglit-Birthright Israel website.
Is it safe to travel in Israel?
Safety and security of participants is the top priority for Northeastern Hillel, Awesome Israel and Taglit-Birthright Israel. While participants are in Israel, bus itineraries are reviewed daily with Israeli authorities to ensure maximum safety and changes are made if necessary. You can read for about our safety & security policy on the Awesome Israel website or contact us (email@example.com) with any questions.
Do I need a passport?
Yes, you must have a valid passport. Israeli law requires that your passport be valid for at least six months beyond the return date from Israel. If you are a U.S. citizen and you have a valid passport as defined above, you will not need a visa to enter Israel. If you live in the U.S. but are not a U.S. citizen you may need a visa for travel, depending on your country of origin. Contact the closest Israeli consulate and find out what the requirements are. Our office can help you with any documentation that you may need.
Can we visit family or friends on the trip?
Though you are never allowed to leave the group at any time, you can have friends or family in Israel visit you during the trip. On many nights and on Shabbat there is free time at the hotel for guests to come visit..
Can I extend my trip in Israel?
Yes. For a fee, trips can be extended for up to six months. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more info.
How many people are on the trip? How many to a room?
Your Northeastern Hillel Trip will have 40 students. Depending on the location, there are 2-3 participants per room. Each participant always has his/her own bed. Rooms are always divided by gender. Most nights you’ll be in hotels or guest houses, with the one exception being one night at a Bedouin camp site. Eight Israeli participants will join you for all ten days. A tour guide, Israeli guard/medic (or two) and two madrichim (trip leaders) will lead you around Israel!
What do I need to pack?
Please consult Hillel’s packing list, which can be found at http://www.hillel.org/israel/travel/bri_hillel/trip_prep/winter.htm for winter trips and at http://www.hillel.org/israel/travel/bri_hillel/trip_prep/summer.htm for summer trips.
This trip is a gift from Taglit-Birthright Israel and covers round-trip airfare plus ten days of educational programming in Israel. Any Jewish youth, 18-26 (post high-school), who has never been to Israel on a peer-group program is eligible to apply.
Taglit-Birthright Israel is a unique partnership between the people of Israel through their government, local Jewish communities (North American Jewish Federations through the United Jewish Communities, Keren Hayesod, and The Jewish Agency for Israel), and the Birthright Israel Foundation, generously supported by Jewish philanthropic partners.