Who is eligible to participate?
This program is appropriate for Jewish high school students from North America who exhibit maturity. Most students think of the March of the Living as a capstone experience for their high school senior year.
Is this program open to non-members?
Our National Teen Delegation is open to BBYO members and non-members alike. No prior involvement with BBYO is necessary, however, this program does tend to attract a high percentage of BBYO members.
How will my teen travel to the program?
A group flight is included from New York City. You are responsible for your transportation to/from New York. Flight arrangements will be released in January or early February.
What's our approach to safety & security?
The safety of the teens under our care is our guiding consideration. As a program, we take a number of precautions to reduce security risks -- we travel on a private coach bus, we stay at accommodations with security, we plan our itineraries to avoid areas of concern, and we always travel with an armed guard. In Israel, our program is registered for monitoring through Israel's Situation Room and our program in Poland is fully coordinated with the local security services. Learn more about our approach to safety & security in Israel and worldwide.
Who staffs the program?
BBYO's National Teen Delegation is led by Sherrie Stalarow, a beloved Jewish educator, who started staffing the MOTL in 1994. Each bus group is accompanied by a team of 2-3 North American madrichim (staff) who are typically full time BBYO professionals. An Israeli educator and a security escort travels with each bus group in Poland and Israel as well. A medical professional accompanies our delegation as a whole. Finally, we are fortunate to welcome a Holocaust Survivor as part of the group experience. Learn, cry, and laugh with all the wisdom that only a Survivor can offer.
What's the typical group size?
Although it varies from year to year, our average group size is 35 teens per bus group, and we typically host 3-5 bus groups as part of our delegation.
What's included and what's not?
Our all-inclusive approach provides the comfort of knowing your full costs upfront. The tuition for each program covers accommodations, meals, programming, local transportation and any staff gratuities. Basic medical insurance (excluding pre-existing conditions) is also included. Laundry is not included and offered on an optional basis.
Can I extend my ticket in Israel?
Yes, this is possible, and a flight deviation fee will apply. Plan ahead since any deviation requests after ticketing will result in higher fees and reduced availability. Contact us to make arrangements.
Where will my teen be sleeping?
In Poland we stay in a variety of 3-star or 4-star hotels, and each teen will have their own sleeping accommodations. In Israel many of the accommodations we stay at are kibbutz-based guesthouses which provide space for exploration within a secure environment. All of the accommodations that we use in Israel have a dedicated guard and a secure area.
How is medication handled?
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.
Do I need any vaccines?
BBYO Passport requires its participants to be up-to-date with most vaccines recommended by the American Academy 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.
How is medical insurance handled?
BBYO Passport tuition includes 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 is also provided as part of most travel insurance policies.
Will I need a visa?
If you travel with an American, Canadian, or EU passport – good news! – you don’t need a visa to enter Poland or Israel, but your passport will need to be valid for at least six months from your date of entry to Poland.
How do I obtain permission to miss school?
We recommend using the following documents:
How do scholarships work?
BBYO has a limited amount of need-based scholarships available on the national and regional level for participation in the March of the Living. Learn More.
- When can I apply? After you register and submit a $250 deposit, you can start applying for scholarships. You must be a registered applicant in order to apply and receive scholarship funding.
- When will I be notified if I receive funding from BBYO's national scholarship fund? You will be notified around late November, before the payment deadline of November 30, 2016.
- What happens if I don't receive outside scholarship funds by the program payment due date? Please have the organization that will be sending funding send us a letter or email of how much scholarship money you'll be receiving and the date of when we should expect to receive it.
- Where should I send outside scholarship checks? All scholarships should be paid by e-check\ACH. Your scholarship donor can contact us directly with any questions.
- What happens if I don't receive enough funding and need to cancel? Your program deposit and any money you put down for March of the Living is completely refundable until November 30, 2016. All cancellations must be made by writing - please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
- What if I have additional scholarship questions? Contact Us
What if I am not able to travel during the school year?
BBYO Passport offers a similar four-week experience in Poland and Israel each summer. The program features ten days of travel in Poland, Prague and Budapest followed by a three week journey in Israel. Complete details are available at Central Europe Discovery + Israel Journey
and Central Europe Discovery + ILSI
Is travel insurance worthwhile?
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.
Can I only participate in the Poland part of the March?
No, participants are required to participate in both the Poland and Israel parts of the program as they constitute a full experience together.
What are the basic program rules?
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
Is free time allowed?
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. Under no circumstances can a teen leave the group.
Where can I get additional questions answered?
Sherrie Stalarow (Program Director)
BBYO Passport Email | 202.537.8091