Summer Resources

Summer Resources

Join us for a summer of new experiences, new friendships and a new way of looking at the world. Passport programs for teens span destinations on five continents and combine elements of active touring, community service, and meaningful Jewish experiences.

Experiences by Place

BBYO Passport offers summer experiences on five continents and across 22 countries. What part of the world will you explore this summer?

Israel

Watch the sunrise on Masada, float on the Dead Sea, explore Tel Aviv and discover the epicenter of Jewish history in Jerusalem. More Info »

Europe

Explore medieval castles, wander through cobble-lined streets and explore the many cultural treasures of Europe. More Info »

Africa

Discover a land rich in cultural traditions, stunning landscapes and all manner of exotic wildlife roaming free. More Info »

Latin America

Experience colorful traditions, lush jungles and discover the meaning of "pura vida" (pure life) with all your senses! More Info »

North America

You don't have to travel far to experience world-famous national parks, dynamic cities and the beauty of the wilderness. More Info »

Experiences by Type

BBYO Passport offers different types of summer experiences for teens with diverse interests. Discover which BBYO Passport program is right for you!

Stand Up

Perfect for teens who want to travel, immerse themselves in a new culture, give back to a community and experience a rewarding summer. More Info »

Ambassadors

A unique opportunity to travel and bond with local Jewish teens while exploring a new society and giving back along the way. More Info »

Discovery

Experience a summer of cultural travel full of landmark cities, world heritage sites and horizon-broadening experiences. More Info »

Israel

Watch the sunrise on Masada, float on the Dead Sea, explore Tel Aviv and discover the epicenter of Jewish history in Jerusalem. More Info »

Trek

Active travel experiences are the perfect way to get to know the lay of a new land and challenge yourself in the great outdoors! More Info »

Leadership

The opportunity to acquire leadership skills while bonding with new friends and exploring a new destination in a meaningful way. More Info »

Experiences by Age

BBYO Passport summer experiences are available to teens currently enrolled in 6th through 12th grades. See what's available for you!

6th-7th Grades

Choose a Connect experience in the Pacific Northwest and/or the American West. More Info »

8th Grade

Choose from a range of experiences in North and South America. More Info »

9th Grade

Choose from a range of experiences across five continents. More Info »

10th Grade

Choose from a range of experiences across five continents. More Info »

11th-12th Grades

Choose from a range of experiences across five continents. More Info »

We've answered some of the most common questions about our Summer Experiences below. Program-specific FAQs are located within the program descriptions. If you didn't find the answer to your particular question, contact us, and we'll be happy to help!

About Us

BBYO Passport represents BBYO's groundbreaking initiative for Jewish travel and service learning experiences. Organized in partnership with Authentic Israel, a leading educational travel provider, BBYO Passport combines the best of informal education and travel expertise for today’s teens. Learn more about BBYO Passport.

Israel: BBYO does Israel like none other! We offer experiences focused on leadership, adventure and discovery, Each program connects teens with their Jewish history, promotes modern Israeli culture and fosters a sense of community using the Land of Israel as our classroom and playground.

Ambassadors: These experiences are unique opportunities for teens to travel with their peers from the program’s host country and build a global network of friends. Combining touring, service and cross-cultural exploration, Ambassadors programs offer a highly immersive summer experience.

Stand UP: Located in dynamic destinations in America and around the world, Stand UP experiences are perfect for teens who are seeking a rewarding summer full of meaningful service projects, enrichment and exploration.

Trek: Active travel experiences are the perfect way to get to know the lay of a new land and challenge yourself in the great outdoors! Hiking, kayaking, and horseback riding are a few of the adventures that await on a Trek summer program.

Discovery: Experience a summer of cultural travel in Europe – full of landmark cities, world heritage sites and horizon-broadening experiences. Teens can look forward to an exceptional summer as they gain a new appreciation for the achievements of Western Civilization, discover new aspects of their Jewish heritage, and expand their horizons together with a group of new friends.

Leadership: Intended primarily for BBYO members, Leadership experiences combine educational touring, leadership training, interactive seminars and meaningful community service. The emphasis on these programs is on teens building leadership skills applicable to their BBYO involvement at home and to their community at-large.

BBYO makes it easier than ever for teens to combine different kinds of experience into a single connected summer journey. Details about which programs can be connected and how the connections work can be found on individual program pages.

Passionate and caring staff are at the heart of all BBYO Passport experiences. Our programs are staffed by a highly selective group of educators, community professionals, logistical managers and madrichim (counselors) -- all of whom are backed up by our year-round leadership team. 90% of our staff works with teens year-round and 52% of our staff are repeat staffers. Learn more about our staff.

Our programs are staffed by a team of professional staff and madrichim (counselors). The exact number of staff on an individual program differs according to the size of the group, the age of the participants and the type of experience.

Once selected through a multi-tiered application process, BBYO Passport staff members attend a multi-day staff training program. During this in-person training, our staff receives comprehensive training resources and have the opportunity to learn from returning staff who typically compromise over half our team in any given summer season.

As an organization that has been serving teens for over 90 years, and teen travel programs to Israel since 1956, our philosophy is to treat each and every BBYO Passport participant as a member of our own family. As such, the safety and well-being of our groups will always be our guiding consideration. This means that we plan our itineraries to avoid areas of concern, limit opportunities for free time, generally use accommodations outside of city centers, and in certain countries we travel with a security/medical escort. And while safety is our guiding priority, we are equally committed to providing you with a meaningful and entirely fun experience. You can learn more about our approach to safety and security on our Safety page.

Jewish Approach

Exploring new destinations is inherently enriching, but traveling with a group of Jewish peers can be uniquely powerful. No matter your background, we strive to create a sense of community on the road where everyone feels welcome and part of something bigger. Connecting through our shared identity and learning about our rich history will ensure that you not only have a great experience, but a meaningful one, too.

BBYO Passport organizes summer experiences for Jewish teens of all backgrounds. Our travels are infused with the Jewish values of tikkun olam (service), kehila (community), and derech eretz (ethical living). Although our destinations are diverse, we always learn about the Jewish history of where we travel and incorporate Shabbat experiences in local communities.

The food on all Israel experiences is kosher throughout. On experiences in Europe, the Americas and Africa, meals are either kosher or vegetarian. On most programs some meals are provided as a cash allowance so that teens can choose what they wish to eat and can interact with the local community.

Shabbat is a special time, and can be an amazing opportunity for rest and reflection.  Friday nights and Saturdays will include prayer, informal discussions and various Shabbat programming. Where possible, we try to include visits to local synagogues to give participants a flavor of how Judaism is observed locally. Often times our best or only option is a traditional Orthodox service. Even if this is not part of your tradition, it is an opportunity for a rich cultural experience, and can be meaningful, too.

We strive to provide a number of alternative options for celebrating Shabbat, and participants are encouraged to take a leadership role in how the experience is shared with the group. As a program, we do not drive on Shabbat and we do not oblige or encourage participants to break the rules of Shabbat which they observe. At the same time, what participants do during non-programmed time on Shabbat is their own personal decision. We only ask that everyone be mindful and considerate of each other’s practices.

Yes! Teens from all Jewish backgrounds are welcomed on BBYO Passport experiences. Our approach is best described as "pluralistic", which means we plan our programs in a way that teens from diverse Jewish backgrounds will feel comfortable traveling with us. Past experience has taught is that forming a community on the road comprised of many different kinds of Jewish teens can be especially rewarding and powerful.

Group Composition

Passport experiences are open to BBYO members and non-members alike, and no prior involvement with BBYO is necessary*. The ratio of members to non-members tends to be about half/half, and our staff makes great efforts to ensure that no one feels left out.

*ILSI is designed primarily for BBYO members as a leadership experience.

Group size varies depending on the nature of the experience and the dates of the program. See the program specific FAQs for the individual program sizes.

BBYO Passport experiences attract Jewish teens from all over North America and around the world. Last year we hosted Jewish teens from a wide spectrum of the world – representing communities in the United States (36 States), Canada (6 Provinces), Argentina, England, Switzerland, Spain, Israel, France, Italy, Mexico, Singapore, Bulgaria, Latvia, Turkey and Ecuador.

Rooming is typically between two to four per room, and each teen will always have their own sleeping accommodations. Bathrooms are in most cases private to the room. We stagger rooming assignments whenever we change locations in order to give all participants a chance to get to know each other better. Please understand, that while some teens come with friends, others come alone and we want to ensure that all of our participants feel comfortable.

Yes, you are welcome to travel with a friend, and we will facilitate all such requests. During the registration process, you will have an opportunity to let us know with whom you want to travel and whether you have any special bus group requests. Please contact us directly if you plan to travel with a larger group of friends.

Some teens choose to sign up together with a friend or two, while most teens choose to come on their own. Either way, our participants will have the opportunity to meet a diverse group of peers from many different locations, which makes exploring a new place together even more exciting.

How We Travel

Our all-inclusive approach provides the comfort of knowing your full costs upfront. The tuition for each program cover accommodations, meals, programming, local transportation and any staff gratuities. All programs outside of the United States also cover basic medical insurance (excluding pre-existing conditions). Laundry is included for programs exceeding two weeks in length.

A group flight from North America (most typically from NYC) is available for summer experiences in Israel, Europe, South Africa, Argentina and Nicaragua. Programs in Costa Rica and the USA do not include group flights, however, optional supervised flights may be available. Exact flight details are released in the spring. Learn more about flying to the program.

Participants are solely responsible for their own medication. Our staff should be made aware of any medical conditions and necessary prescriptions prior to the start of the program. In addition, our staff will carry a limited supply of over-the-counter medications.

Families will be asked to note during registration if any special food considerations apply, and we will plan ahead to accommodate those needs wherever possible on the road. Contact us with specific questions.

A couple weeks prior to the start of the program, we will post a detailed pre-trip preparation manual for each experience, including packing tips, money tips, and emergency contact numbers. If you have any specific questions that you would like answered in advance, please contact us.

BBYO Passport requires its participants to be up-to- date with most vaccines recommended by the American Academic of Pediatrics and the Center for Disease Control. Please review our policy at http://www.bbyopassport.org/immunizations. Additionally, vaccine guidelines vary by country and are continually evolving. We recommend consulting with your physician as well as the latest Center for Disease Control guidelines.

For programs outside of the United States, BBYO Passport tuition includes a basic local health insurance coverage for all non-pre-existing conditions. Full policy details are available on request. Additionally teens are required to travel with their own valid medical insurance, which are also provided as part of most travel insurance policies.

Meeting up with friends/family during the summer is allowed with a few caveats. Any such arrangements needs to be coordinated in advance with our staff and planned for non-programmed time, Participants cannot leave the group under any circumstances. All of our experiences in Israel do include an optional home hospitality weekend which provides the opportunity for teens to spend time with loved ones in Israel (more details will be available tin the pre-trip prep guide).

Enrollment & Scholarships

There’s no time better than now! Most programs will fill up, and prices are subject to change without advance notice. Any why not plan in advance? BBYO Passport offers commitment-free registration for early planners. Sign up now to lock in your spot, and the $250 program deposit will be fully refundable through the cancellation deadline. Check out our Enrollment page for more details.

Yes, we have teen and parent references who are ready to share feedback and tips with you about their BBYO Passport experience. Contact us, and we’ll make the connection.

In keeping with BBYO Passport's mission to share the experience of Israel with as many Jewish teens as possible, BBYO has established need-based scholarship funds for all summer experiences that include Israel travel. Jewish communities throughout North America have created special Israel travel funds as well. One Happy Camper offers a scholarship for teens participating in their first Jewish overnight program in the USA. New York residents also have the opportunity to apply for the New York Teen Initiative scholarship for any of our worldwide programs. Learn more about scholarship opportunities.

While we do encourage you to guarantee your spot (and take advantage of our commitment-free registration), if you need more time to decide, you can always sign up to learn more and/or request a brochure on our contact us page.

Program participation is governed by your current grade in school. The grade ranges we have established are based on the demands of the individual program and the expected level of maturity required of the teens. Expectations to these rules are made in very rare occasions.

Families are highly encouraged to sign-up for travel insurance in order to protect their investment and plan for the unexpected. BBYO Passport has partnered with Travel Insured International to provide a discounted group travel insurance option specially designed for teen travel. The policy provides benefits which include cancelation, delayed flights, missed connections, trip interruption, baggage loss/delay, and medical insurance. Learn more about our group travel insurance option. Only available to USA residents. Contact us directly if you are an international resident and are interested in travel insurance.

Program Expectations

BBYO is a teen leadership organization, and as such, we place great trust and responsibility on our participants. The basic program rules include treating fellow teens and staff with respect and decency, staying with the group at all times, no weapons, no purchase, possession or consumption of drugs, alcohol, tobacco, marijuana and no new tattoos or piercings during the program. By agreeing to participate in the program, you are agreeing to abide by the terms of our Release Form and the BBYO Code of Conduct.

While the itineraries are quite intensive, we do set aside time for relaxation, shopping, and personal exploration. Because we take your safety and security so seriously, there will understandably be some limits on personal exploration time, especially when we are traveling in major cities. With the exception of the optional home hospitality weekend in Israel, under no circumstances can a teen leave the group.

Our program does allow for the use of cell phones/smart phones during non-programmed time only. But since your teen will be busy exploring, we promise to keep friends and family up-to-date with plenty of postings and pictures from the road.

You are welcome to call or email the BBYO Passport office with any questions during the summer. In order to ensure that our program staff keeps maximum focus on the teens, we do not permit parents to communicate directly with staff on the ground. Rest assured, you will be provided with an emergency phone number that one of our office staff will be connected to for use during the program.

You probably have a few questions about how you'll get to your destination. Learn more below about how travel planning works. There are three way to begin your journey: group flight, supervised flight, and independent travel.

Group Flight

Available for summer experiences in Israel, Europe, South Africa, Argentina and Nicaragua

A group flight is offered separately from program land costs. Ticket costs vary greatly by destination and dates. We will announce our group flight details in the spring. Listed below is the average roundtrip group flight rates from the past summer:
  • Israel Journey/Plus | Trek Israel | ILSI: $1,500-$1,800
  • Europe + Israel: $1,700-$2,000
  • Europe Only: $1,200-$1,600
  • Africa: $1,750-$2,000
  • Argentina: $1,300-$1,500
  • Nicaragua: $600-$850

Most group flights depart from JFK Airport in New York City. In some cases a group flight may also depart from Newark, Atlanta, Boston, or Miami. We strongly recommend participants book their connecting flights after the group flight details are announced

Our programs fly a range of reputable international air carriers. Airlines vary by year and are selected according to schedule, availability, and cost. In some cases, we will use a combinations of airlines for programs that involve multiple countries.

All connecting flights are included for programs that connect Europe and Israel or connect within Europe. For teens connecting programs within the United States, families are responsible for making their own connecting travel arrangements based on guidance we will provide in the spring.

Participants are able to book their own tickets that mimic the group flight itinerary or book separate flight itineraries entirely. Once group flight information is announced you will be able to confirm a ticket with us for a limited time, or you can choose to make your own arrangements and forgo the group flight option.

  • All airline meals are pre-reserved as kosher, when available. If you want a special meal (vegetarian, etc.) note this in your registration account. Special meal requests may not also be kosher.
  • Seating is pre-assigned by the airline on our group flights, and special requests can be made at check-in but not ahead of time.
  • If desired, participants are responsible for obtaining reward points via the airline using the ticket information obtained at check-in.

Detailed airport arrival and departure instructions will be sent well in advance. For the departure day, there is a designated meeting spot for each group where participants will meet our staff. For participants traveling to the group flight airport via a connecting flight, be advised that staff are not able to escort participants from/to their domestic gates.
 

NOTE: For Trek West, Trek Costa Rica, Stand UP DC, Stand UP Chicago, and Stand UP New England, where a group flight is not included, separate instructions apply (details will be provided in a specific flight document).

If you plan on extending your ticket beyond the end of the supervised program for personal travel, you can modify your plane reservation via our office. Although the rules vary, the deviation fees generally range between $250-$600. Keep in mind that availability on return flights may be limited, and there are often airline-imposed limitations on how many participants may extend their tickets. Booking a last-minute extension may be impossible or may result in large changes in fare. Please plan ahead.

Once your group flight details are confirmed, you can request an extension by sending an email to info@bbyopassort.org

Each airline has their own rules and separate age thresholds for mandatory "unaccompanied minors," and additional fees may apply. For families booking a flight, refer to your chosen airline for information, and contact us well in advance if special arrangements need to be made with our staff. Last minute requests for staff supervision of "accompanied minors" cannot be guaranteed.

Supervised Flight

A supervised flight option may be available for summer experiences to Costa Rica and for Trek West (to be announced in the spring)

This is a flight that will be chaperoned by our staff but not necessarily offered for purchase by BBYO Passport. We will have finalized supervised flight details and prices available by early spring. We strongly recommend participants book their connecting flights after the supervised flight details are announced.

Our supervised flights typically depart from cities like New York, Newark, Miami or Atlanta. Participants who live outside of these areas are encouraged to book a ticket that include the supervised flight leg(s).

Detailed airport arrival and departure instructions will be sent well in advance. For the departure day, there is a designated meeting spot for each group where participants will meet by our staff. For participants traveling to the supervised flight airport on a connecting flight, be advised that staff are not able to escort participants from/to their domestic gates.

Participants are able to book their own tickets separate from the supervised flight. Once supervised flight information is announced, contact our office if you choose to make your own arrangements and forgo the supervised flight option. Read below for more details on Independent Travel.

Each airline has their own rules and separate age thresholds for mandatory "unaccompanied minors," and additional fees may apply. For families booking a flight, refer to your chosen airline for information, and contact us well in advance if special arrangements need to be made with our staff. Last minute requests for staff supervision of "accompanied minors" cannot be guaranteed.

Independent Travel

Applicable for Stand UP Washington, DC, Stand UP Chicago, Stand UP New England and for anyone opting out of a Group Flight or Supervised Flight option

For families who book their own flights to/from our destination airport, we will coordinate a mutually agreeable plan for meeting and returning your teen. Additional airport transfer costs may apply for flights booked outside of a pre-specified arrival/departure window (to be announced in the spring).

Each airline has their own rules and separate age thresholds for mandatory "unaccompanied minors," and additional fees may apply. For families booking a flight, refer to your chosen airline for information, and contact us well in advance if special arrangements need to be made with our staff. Last minute requests for staff supervision of "accompanied minors" cannot be guaranteed.

Get started on your Summer Experience enrollment by following the steps below! And be sure to review the scholarship opportunities available for our teen Israel experiences

  1. Choose Your Experience

    Launch your registration after first finding the experience that is just right for you. Start your search using the Destination Guide.

  2. Enroll Online

    Click on the "Register Now" link at the top of the program page you choose to launch the enrollment process. Signing up only takes a few minutes, and a $250 deposit is required to complete your registration and hold your spot (fully refundable through March 8, 2017). *Note: Program price excludes all flight costs.

  3. Insure your Travel

    Travel insurance is highly recommended to protect your investment and plan for the unexpected. A group travel insurance policy through Travel Insured International can be selected and paid for as part of your BBYO Passport registration account and may be purchased up until the date you make full payment for the program. Learn more about travel insurance.

  4. Complete the Forms

    As part of your registration account you will be able to complete an online program waiver, a medical history form, a connecting travel plan form, and upload a passport copy (international programs only).

  5. Review the Terms

    You're almost there! Take a moment to familiarize yourself with our straightforward terms of participation.

    Payment Schedule
    • First Payment: A $250 trip deposit is due with registration and required to secure a spot
    • Second Payment: $750 is due by January 25, 2017*
    • Third Payment: An additional $750 is due by March 8, 2017*
    • Fourth Payment: The full balance of payment is due April 6, 2017**

    *$25 fee will be incurred for late payment.
    **$75 fee will be incurred for late payment.

    Program prices are subject to some change and are not guaranteed until you complete your registration with a refundable deposit.

    Method of Payment

    Payment is accepted by check, e-check\ACH, or credit card. Should you wish to pay by credit card, a non-refundable convenience fee of 3% will be assessed for all payments except the $250 initial deposit.

    Cancellation Policy

    March 8, 2017 is the last day to cancel with a full refund. Beginning March 9 a cancellation penalty of $750 applies. The full cost of the program is non-refundable if a cancellation is made any time after April 6, 2017. All cancellations must be made in writing. Exceptions will be reviewed by BBYO on a case by case basis and at BBYO's sole discretion. All cancellations must be made in writing. Participants are highly encouraged to take out travel insurance.

    Terms of Acceptance

    Acceptance to the program is conditioned upon the receipt of a full application including a physical examination of the applicant that demonstrates his/her physical and mental fitness and ability to participate in all aspects of the program. Receipt of deposit and application forms does not guarantee acceptance to the program. BBYO reserves the right to deny acceptance according to its own discretion.

    BBYO also reserves the right to consolidate and/or cancel specific programs and/or trip dates according to its own discretion. We expect that a final roster of confirmed trip offerings and dates will be confirmed by March 8, 2017.

    BBYO reserves the right to adjust the price of the program by up to 5% based on exchange rate and airline fuel fee fluctuations beyond our control. Participants reserve the right to cancel and receive a full refund in the event of a price increase if they so wish.

Preparing for your Summer Experience with BBYO Passport is exciting! Here's how we'll help you get ready for the journey ahead.

Connecting with Your Peers

In the early spring we'll invite you (teens only) to join a Facebook group so that you can connect with the teens and staff that you'll be traveling with this coming summer.

Pre-Trip Documentation

Registered participants can access detailed pre-trip preparation information within their account leading up to the summer. Additionally, a series of destination-specific conference calls are organized to help you get ready for the experience. You can also expect a phone call from one of the madrichim (counselors) who will be staffing your program. Finally, you'll be recieving a mailed program t-shirt, emergency contact card, and luggage tags. Hold onto them for your program! 

Travel Insurance

Travel insurance is valuable for situations such as cancellations due to personal or family illness, delays resulting from connecting flights, medical insurance coverage for pre-existing conditions, luggage protection and much more. Please note that in some cases, certain benefits are available only if insurance is purchased before paying the program balance. Plan ahead and insure your experience in advance (available to USA residents only).

Pre-Trip Prep Manuals

Registered participants are able to access detailed pre-trip preparation information within their account leading up to the summer. Additionally, as the summer approaches, a series of region-specific conference calls will be organized for parents to review important pre-trip updates. Each participant also receives a phone call prior to departure from one of the madrichim (counselors) who will be staffing the program.

Friends & Family Updates

Get your family in on the experience. During the trip, parents of participants automatically receive email notifications whenever new pictures are posted or with important trip updates from abroad. Additional friends and family members can sign-up to receive these same updates by filling out the Friends & Family Trip Update List Form.

Get to know us in person! Learn more about our programs and meet our staff at a community event near you.

2017 Events Coming Soon

Community visits for 2017 programs will take place starting in late fall 2016 through early spring 2017. Our travel calendar for the coming season will be available here shortly.