How will my teen travel to the program?
An optional group flight is offered – typically from New York City. In some cases a group flight may also depart from Newark, Atlanta, Boston, or Miami. You are responsible for your transportation to the group flight departure city. Flight arrangements will be released in the spring. Families are also able to book their own tickets that mimic the group flight itinerary or book separate flight itineraries entirely and make arrangements to meet our staff at Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv. Learn more about our group flights
Where will my teen be sleeping?
Many of the accommodations we stay at are kibbutz-based guest houses that are located in Israel's countryside and provide space for exploration within a secure environment. We use conventional hotels in Jerusalem and occasionally in other cities. Each teen will have their own bed. All of the accommodations that we use have a dedicated guard and a secure area.
How is the program staffed?
Each bus group is accompanied by a team of madrichim
(counselors), two Israeli guides, a security/medical escort and a dedicated bus driver. In Israel, senior staff circulates between the groups as well. Learn more about our staff team
What's the summer weather like?
Temperatures range from hot to hotter in the summer. Clothing should be lightweight and comfortable in the heat. Whenever outside for an extended period, you’ll be required to have a hat, a shirt with sleeves, sunscreen, and water. Over exposure to the hot Middle Eastern sun can cause heatstroke, dehydration, and sunburns. The good news is the heat is mostly dry – there is very little humidity. The other good news is that the chance of rain in Israel during the summer is practically zero. No umbrellas needed!
Evenings in Israel tend to get chilly quickly – frequently into the 50’s or 60’s. Because we will not always return to our accommodations to change before an evening activity, always bring a day-pack with a windbreaker, long-sleeved shirt, or light sweater.
How do you approach 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, we always travel with an armed guard, and we are registered for monitoring through Israel's Situation Room. Learn more about our approach to safety & security
in Israel and worldwide.
What's the typical group size?
Although it varies from year to year, our average group size on ILSI is 120 teens, including European and Israeli teens. Our travel is organized as three distinct bus groups, and each bus group is divided into two educational clusters.
What's the food like?
The food on all Israel trips is kosher throughout. Expect to eat Middle Eastern and Mediterranean foods such as falafel, hummus, schnitzel, shakshouka, bourekas, and much more. Some meals will be provided according to our “pizur” system – an allowance for purchasing your own meal at a local eatery. Participants can buy whatever food they wish with pizur funds.
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 Israel. If you travel with a passport from another country, you may need a visa. Contact your nearest Israeli embassy or consulate for additional details.
What's the Host Family Weekend?
The second Shabbat in Israel is an optional Host Family Weekend. This is the perfect opportunity to visit with relatives or family friends while in Israel. Participation in the Host Family Weekend is not mandatory, and the itinerary during this weekend is fully programmed for those teens staying with the group. More details about the Host Family Weekend will be available in the pre-trip prep guide.
For more information, check out our general FAQs.