Summer Experiences

Israel Journey

Join us for BBYO Passport’s flagship 3-week summer experience in Israel! Travel with teens from around the world on a cross-country and cross-cultural journey in the Jewish Homeland. 

  • Discover Israel's many treasures traveling between the Golan Heights in the far north to the tropical Red Sea in the deep south. Experience a Shabbat in the heart of Jerusalem, watch the sunrise from atop Masada and tap into the innovative spirit of Tel Aviv.

    Israel Journey covers all of the classic sites you need to experience – ancient Jerusalem, modern Tel Aviv, the lush Galilee mountains, the vast Negev Desert, the unsinkable Dead Sea and the mountaintop fortress on Masada. But we'll also take you much further. Enjoy a BBQ on the beach, take part in an active archaeological dig, sample the world's very best falafel and spend a night under the stars.

    More than a tour, this journey is about discovering your own personal connection to this very ancient and very modern land. It's about exploring what it means to be Jewish from an Israeli point of view. It's about understanding the complex politics of the Middle East with real world insights. And it's about living Jewish values through hands-on community service and local Shabbat experiences.

    Want to explore Israel in a different way? Don't forget to check out Trek Israel and Israel Journey Plus!

     

    Program Highlights

    For a more detailed view of the program, check out the Program Itinerary

     

    Discover 3,000 years of Jewish history and traditions in Jerusalem's Old City
    Experience floating in the Dead Sea and scale the heights of Masada for sunrise
    Navigate the wilderness on a camel trek and enjoy a delicious desert tent feast
    Get your hands dirty and learn a new skill on the Dig-for-a-Day Archaeological Seminar
    Cool off rafting down the Jordan River and swimming under the Ein Gedi desert waterfalls
    Browse Mahane Yehuda's open-air market, the Nahalat Binyamin street festival and nightlife on Ben Yehuda Street
    Explore the seaport of Haifa, the ancient city of Acco and the ocean caves at Rosh Hanikrah
    Swim in the Red Sea, in the Mediterranean Sea and in the Sea of Galilee
    Learn first-hand about contemporary Israeli geo-politics and experience co-existence in action
    Spend Shabbat in the heart of Jerusalem and learn about Judaism's mystical tradition in Tzfat
    Soak up the cultural richness and innovative spirit of modern Tel Aviv
    Bond with new friends as you celebrate a meaningful and adventure-filled summer in Israel

    Itinerary Snapshot

    A complete sample itinerary is available for an even fuller sense of the experience.

    WEEK #1 | Jerusalem & Mediterranean Coast

    Land at Israel's Ben Gurion Airport and begin the ascent to Jerusalem where we'll devote the first part of the week to exploring the Old City. Retrace 3,000+ years of epic history wandering the tunnels, rooftops and passageways of ancient Jerusalem. From Jerusalem we travel along the Mediterranean Coast to the Western Galilee and spend our first Shabbat near the beachfront.

    WEEK #2 | Galilee, Golan Heights & Tel Aviv

    Travel east through the lush Galilee highlands as we discover the mystical history of ancient Tzfat, take in the views from the Golan Heights, discover contemporary kibbutz life, and cool off in Israel's most water-filled region! We close out week two with our first visit to Tel Aviv, Israel's cultural capital and one of the world's most innovative cities.

    WEEK #3 | Eilat, Negev Desert & Jerusalem

    Head due south from Tel Aviv to the Negev Desert, taking part in an active archaeological dig along the way. In Israel's far south, we'll snorkel in the tropical Red Sea, discover the richness of the desert ecology, and experience what it means to wander in the desert as part of a desert orienteering experience. Then hike up Masada for sunrise, float in the Dead Sea, and return to Jerusalem for a somber Yad Vashem visit followed by a moving Shabbat at the Western Wall.

    BBYO + Israel + You!

    Each summer, we convene nearly all our Israel experiences for a massive celebration called BBYO B’Yachad (Hebrew for "togetherness"). True to its name, the event unites an international community of Jewish teens from across North America and countries as diverse as France, Bulgaria, Mexico, Australia, Switzerland, Turkey, Latvia and Singapore. Join us for the party of the summer in Israel!

    Travel to Israel presents a unique opportunity for teens to form a personal connection to our history and to experience their Judaism from a new perspective. But why go to Israel in high school? We believe and studies have shown that a multi-week experience in Israel during the high school years can have a profound impact on the development of an enduring and fulfilling Jewish identity. Explore More

    Since 1956, BBYO has organized teen programs in Israel with a fundamental commitment to providing a safe and meaningful experience. Our programs adhere to Israel’s comprehensive security policies, and our itineraries are designed with caution in mind. Each group is accompanied by a licensed medic/guard and trained staff who supervise the teens. Explore More

    We believe all Jewish teens should experience Israel during their formative high school years. To that end, we provide needs-based scholarships on the local and national level regardless of prior BBYO involvement. Many Jewish Federations provide additional need-based and grant-based scholarship. Funding availability is limited, so you'll want to apply early. Explore More

  • We have provided the following sample itinerary to give you a better feel for this experience, including the types of accommodations we use. The actual program may vary slightly. An updated itinerary is distributed 3-4 weeks prior to the start of the program.

    DAY #1 | Tuesday | Take Off

    • Depart from New York City on a supervised group flight (optional)
      Take-off and spend the night in the sky en route to Israel

    DAY #2 | Wednesday | Introduction to Jerusalem

    • Arrive to Ben Gurion Airport – Meet your Israeli staff team and begin the ascent to Jerusalem
    • Check-in and orientation at our accommodations in Jerusalem
    • Overnight: Crowne Plaza Hotel, Jerusalem

    DAY #3 | Thursday | Jerusalem’s Old City

    • Welcome to Israel! Shecheyanu ceremony overlooking the Old City
    • Enter the Old City’s Zion Gate – Explore the ancient squares & rooftops of the Jewish Quarter
    • Lunch and exploration time in the Cardo area of the Jewish Quarter
    • Reflections at the Kotel (The Western Wall) and visit the Southern Wall excavations
    • Discover how King David established a Jewish capital at the “City of David” complex
    • Get wet! Walk through Hezekiah’s underground aqueduct beneath Jerusalem
    • Evening Speaker – The Geo-Politics of Israel Today
    • Overnight: Crowne Plaza Hotel, Jerusalem

    DAY #4 | Friday | Along the Mediterranean Coast

    • Begin traveling north to the Galilee along the Mediterranean Coast
    • Caesarea – Explore the Roman amphitheater and royal palace on the beach
    • Enjoy a picnic-style lunch on the Mediterranean shores
    • Explore the Beit Shearim catacombs – Exile and continuity in the land of Israel
    • View the Bahai Gardens on Mt. Carmel overlooking Haifa
    • Arrive to our accommodations and prepare for Shabbat
    • Evening: Kabbalat Shabbat on the beach followed by a festive dinner at our accommodations
    • Overnight: Acco Guest House, Acco

    DAY #5 | Saturday | Shabbat on the Beach

    • Shabbat programming and group lunch
    • Old Akko Seaport – Crusader castle, Templar Tunnels and the Irgun Prison
    • Play sports, hang out by the beach and enjoy relaxation time at our accommodations
    • Evening: Boat cruise on the Mediterranean Sea from Akko Seaport
    • Overnight: Acco Guest House, Acco

    DAY #6 | Sunday | Adventures in the Western Galilee

    • Take part in a coexistence workshop at the Galilee Foundation
    • Descend into the ocean caves at Rosh Hanikrah
    • Hike to Ma’arat Keshet – The natural stone arch of Keshet
    • Travel east through the Galilee hills towards the Kinneret – The Sea of Galilee
    • Check-in to our guest house accommodations in the Galilee
    • Overnight: Kibbutz Amiad Guest House, Galilee

    DAY #7 | Monday | Mystics of the Galilee 

    • Walking tour of mystical Tzfat – The historic center of Judaism’s Kabbalah movement
    • Browse the Tzfat artist colony and meet Kabbalistic artist, Avraham Lowenthal
    • Travel to Israel’s Upper Galilee region and hike to the waterfalls of the Banias
    • Finish the day cooling off rafting down the Jordan River
    • Overnight: Kibbutz Amiad Guest House, Galilee

    DAY #8 | Tuesday | Israel's Pioneering Values

    • Leket – Service project harvesting for the hungry at Moshav Nahalal
    • Tel Amal – Discover the can-do spirit of modern Israel’s founding pioneers
    • Swim in the natural springs of the Sachne – Israel’s “Garden of Eden”
    • Kinneret Cemetery – Discover the story of the poets and pioneers of the Galilee
    • Overnight: Kibbutz Amiad Guest House, Galilee

    DAY #9 | Wednesday | Perspectives from the Golan Heights

    • Ascend the Golan Heights – Get wet climbing down the water-filled Nahal Jilaboun Canyon!
    • Tour of the region on a historical off-road jeep tour of the Golan
    • View across Israel and her neighbors from atop Mt. Ben-Tal
    • Swim, relax and enjoy a memorable BBQ dinner on the beaches of the Kinneret
    • Overnight: Kibbutz Amiad Guest House, Galilee

    DAY #10 | Thursday | Zionism & Co-Existence

    • Volunteer project at Pitchon Lev – fighting poverty in Israel
    • Enjoy a uniquely delicious lunch in the Druze Village of Ussafiya
    • Atlit – Explore the challenges faced by Jews fleeing the Holocaust prior to Israel’s founding
    • Depart from the Galilee and arrive at our accommodations in Central Israel
    • Overnight: Neve Ilan Hotel, Judean Hills
    NOTE: This weekend is the optional Host Family Weekend. If applicable, plan for your host to pick you up at our scheduled accommodations on Thursday evening and return you to our accommodations on Saturday evening.

    DAY #11 | Friday | Israeli Arts & Culture

    • Travel to Tel Aviv – Israel’s cultural and financial capital
    • Visit to the Rabin Center – Explore the history of modern Israel through the life story of its most famous soldier and statesman
    • Enjoy the colorful Nahalat Binyamin street festival and Carmel Market
    • Discover a different side of Tel Aviv on a Hebrew graffiti art walking tour
    • Afternoon: Free time to enjoy Tel Aviv’s lively beach culture
    • Return to our hotel and prepare for Shabbat
    • Kabbalat Shabbat ceremony and festive Shabbat dinner at hotel
    • Overnight: Neve Ilan Hotel, Judean Hills

    DAY #12 | Saturday | The Day of Rest

    • Wake up to Shabbat in the rolling foothills of Jerusalem – Take part in an optional group hike
    • Shabbat programming and group lunch at accommodations
    • Play sports, hang out by the pool and enjoy relaxation time at our accommodations
    • Evening: Group night out at the high-tech Azrieli Tower Mall in Tel Aviv
    • Overnight: Neve Ilan Hotel, Judean Hills

    DAY #13 | Sunday | To the Negev Desert

    • Dig-for-a-Day! – Take part in an archaeological seminar with the professionals
    • Travel south into the heart of the Negev Desert – Stop for lunch in Be’er Sheva
    • Sde Boker – Learn about David Ben Gurion and his vision for the desert
    • Stop to view the Ramon Crater from the crater’s edge
    • Check-in to our desert kibbutz accommodations outside of Eilat
    • Evening: Group dinner and pool party!
    • Overnight: Kibbutz Yahel Guest House, Arava Valley

    DAY #14 | Monday | Eilat and the Red Sea

    • Wake up early to climb up (and jump down) the mountainous Kassui sand dunes
    • Hike through the magically colorful Red Canyon
    • Depart to the Red Sea city of Eilat – Discover underwater treasures snorkeling at Coral Beach
    • Afternoon – Relaxed beach time and banana boating on the tropical Red Sea
    • Overnight: Kibbutz Yahel Guest House, Arava Valley

    DAY #15 | Tuesday | The Desert Blooms

    • The Arava Institute - Learn how Israel thrives in the desert and protects its ecological treasures
    • Enjoy lunch, swimming and relaxation time at our kibbutz accommodations
    • Travel to the Judean Desert, stopping along the way for fresh ice cream at the Yotvata dairy farm
    • Camel trekking and enjoy a "hafla” style Bedouin tent dinner feast!
    • Evening: Bonfire party and night under the bright desert stars
    • Overnight: Kfar Hanokdim Tent, Judean Desert

    DAY #16 | Wednesday | Masada and the Dead Sea

    • Pre-sunrise climb up Masada, a fortress overlooking the Dead Sea, via the Roman Ramp trail
    • Tour of Masada – Herod’s mountaintop desert fortress – and descend via the Snake Path
    • Swim under the cool desert waterfalls at Ein Gedi Nature Reserve
    • Experience effortless floating at the Dead Sea’s Ein Bokek Beach
    • Take in the stark desert scenery as we travel back to Jerusalem in the late afternoon
    • Overnight: Jerusalem Gardens Hotel, Jerusalem

    DAY #17 | Thursday | Remembrance & Renewal

    • Experience Yad Vashem – The World Holocaust Remembrance Center
    • Tour of the Knesset (Israel’s parliament) – Learn about Israel’s unique democracy
    • Ammunition Hill – Recount the unification and explore the future of Jerusalem
    • Speaker – Meet with an activist pursuing religious pluralism in Israel
    • Evening: BBYO B’Yachad – Celebrate a summer in Israel with all groups in Israel!
    • Overnight: Jerusalem Gardens Hotel, Jerusalem

    DAY #18 | Friday | Jerusalem Prepares for Shabbat

    • Vision & Sacrifice – The Theodore Herzl Museum and the Mt. Herzl National Cemetery
    • Enjoy the sights and smells of the Mahane Yehuda open-air marketplace
    • Return to our accommodations and prepare for Shabbat in Jerusalem
    • Evening: Experience an open-air Kabbalat Shabbat service at the Jerusalem First Train Station
    • Walk back to the hotel and enjoy Shabbat dinner as a group
    • Overnight: Jerusalem Gardens Hotel, Jerusalem

    DAY #19 | Saturday | Relax and Reflect

    • Experience a Jerusalem Shabbat with the option to attend services at a local synagogue
    • Visit to the Israel Museum – Discover the Dead Sea Scrolls, Temple Model and much more
    • Afternoon: Soak up the sun relaxing in Jerusalem’s Saker Park
    • Evening: Return to the Old City to experience layers of Jewish history in the Kotel Tunnels
    • Overnight: Jerusalem Gardens Hotel, Jerusalem

    DAY #20 | Sunday | Founding Modern Israel

    • Depart for the Tel Aviv region in the morning
    • Machon Ayalon – The story of the Haganah and the creation of the IDF
    • Walking tour, exploration time and lunch in the ancient Jaffa Seaport
    • Independence Hall – Discover the founding values of modern Israel
    • Reflections at the Yitzhak Rabin Memorial Square
    • Tree planting ceremony and closing banquet dinner party at Neot Kedumim Park
    • Late Night: Return to Ben Gurion Airport for an overnight return flight

    DAY #21 | Monday | Shalom and L’Hitraot!

    • Arrive back to New York City in the morning

  • You have questions? We've got answers! Our most frequently asked questions for this program are answered below. Additional program-wide FAQs are also available. Contact us to learn more.

    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 sleeping accommodations. All of the accommodations that we use have a dedicated guard and a secure area.

    How is the program staffed?
    Each group is accompanied by a team of madrichim (counselors), an Israeli guide, 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 50s or 60s. 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?
    Group size varies depending on the date of the program. Our average group size is 30 teens. In some cases multiple groups will travel on a similar path, although each group has its own dedicated staff, guide and guard.

    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.

  • BBYO makes it easy to combine two experiences for an extended summer of adventure, learning and self-discovery. 

    7-Day Israel Extension

    Keep the memories going by extending the core Israel Journey program for a fourth week. We call it Israel Journey PLUS. During the first part of the week participants choose from either a Sea-to-Sea Hike, a service learning experience in the Galilee or the IDF's Gadna basic training simulation. The second part of the week is based in the Haifa-to-Tel Aviv coastal corridor and is dedicated to exploring Israel's many cultural and technological innovations. The 7-day Israel extension is a great compliment to the traditional touring and is designed to shed light on unique aspects of Israeli society. Learn More: Israel Journey PLUS

    Connected Experiences

     

Discover Israel's many treasures traveling between the Golan Heights in the far north to the tropical Red Sea in the deep south. Experience a Shabbat in the heart of Jerusalem, watch the sunrise from atop Masada and tap into the innovative spirit of Tel Aviv.

Israel Journey covers all of the classic sites you need to experience – ancient Jerusalem, modern Tel Aviv, the lush Galilee mountains, the vast Negev Desert, the unsinkable Dead Sea and the mountaintop fortress on Masada. But we'll also take you much further. Enjoy a BBQ on the beach, take part in an active archaeological dig, sample the world's very best falafel and spend a night under the stars.

More than a tour, this journey is about discovering your own personal connection to this very ancient and very modern land. It's about exploring what it means to be Jewish from an Israeli point of view. It's about understanding the complex politics of the Middle East with real world insights. And it's about living Jewish values through hands-on community service and local Shabbat experiences.

Want to explore Israel in a different way? Don't forget to check out Trek Israel and Israel Journey Plus!

 

Program Highlights

For a more detailed view of the program, check out the Program Itinerary

 

Discover 3,000 years of Jewish history and traditions in Jerusalem's Old City
Experience floating in the Dead Sea and scale the heights of Masada for sunrise
Navigate the wilderness on a camel trek and enjoy a delicious desert tent feast
Get your hands dirty and learn a new skill on the Dig-for-a-Day Archaeological Seminar
Cool off rafting down the Jordan River and swimming under the Ein Gedi desert waterfalls
Browse Mahane Yehuda's open-air market, the Nahalat Binyamin street festival and nightlife on Ben Yehuda Street
Explore the seaport of Haifa, the ancient city of Acco and the ocean caves at Rosh Hanikrah
Swim in the Red Sea, in the Mediterranean Sea and in the Sea of Galilee
Learn first-hand about contemporary Israeli geo-politics and experience co-existence in action
Spend Shabbat in the heart of Jerusalem and learn about Judaism's mystical tradition in Tzfat
Soak up the cultural richness and innovative spirit of modern Tel Aviv
Bond with new friends as you celebrate a meaningful and adventure-filled summer in Israel

Itinerary Snapshot

A complete sample itinerary is available for an even fuller sense of the experience.

WEEK #1 | Jerusalem & Mediterranean Coast

Land at Israel's Ben Gurion Airport and begin the ascent to Jerusalem where we'll devote the first part of the week to exploring the Old City. Retrace 3,000+ years of epic history wandering the tunnels, rooftops and passageways of ancient Jerusalem. From Jerusalem we travel along the Mediterranean Coast to the Western Galilee and spend our first Shabbat near the beachfront.

WEEK #2 | Galilee, Golan Heights & Tel Aviv

Travel east through the lush Galilee highlands as we discover the mystical history of ancient Tzfat, take in the views from the Golan Heights, discover contemporary kibbutz life, and cool off in Israel's most water-filled region! We close out week two with our first visit to Tel Aviv, Israel's cultural capital and one of the world's most innovative cities.

WEEK #3 | Eilat, Negev Desert & Jerusalem

Head due south from Tel Aviv to the Negev Desert, taking part in an active archaeological dig along the way. In Israel's far south, we'll snorkel in the tropical Red Sea, discover the richness of the desert ecology, and experience what it means to wander in the desert as part of a desert orienteering experience. Then hike up Masada for sunrise, float in the Dead Sea, and return to Jerusalem for a somber Yad Vashem visit followed by a moving Shabbat at the Western Wall.

BBYO + Israel + You!

Each summer, we convene nearly all our Israel experiences for a massive celebration called BBYO B’Yachad (Hebrew for "togetherness"). True to its name, the event unites an international community of Jewish teens from across North America and countries as diverse as France, Bulgaria, Mexico, Australia, Switzerland, Turkey, Latvia and Singapore. Join us for the party of the summer in Israel!

Travel to Israel presents a unique opportunity for teens to form a personal connection to our history and to experience their Judaism from a new perspective. But why go to Israel in high school? We believe and studies have shown that a multi-week experience in Israel during the high school years can have a profound impact on the development of an enduring and fulfilling Jewish identity. Explore More

Since 1956, BBYO has organized teen programs in Israel with a fundamental commitment to providing a safe and meaningful experience. Our programs adhere to Israel’s comprehensive security policies, and our itineraries are designed with caution in mind. Each group is accompanied by a licensed medic/guard and trained staff who supervise the teens. Explore More

We believe all Jewish teens should experience Israel during their formative high school years. To that end, we provide needs-based scholarships on the local and national level regardless of prior BBYO involvement. Many Jewish Federations provide additional need-based and grant-based scholarship. Funding availability is limited, so you'll want to apply early. Explore More

We have provided the following sample itinerary to give you a better feel for this experience, including the types of accommodations we use. The actual program may vary slightly. An updated itinerary is distributed 3-4 weeks prior to the start of the program.

DAY #1 | Tuesday | Take Off

  • Depart from New York City on a supervised group flight (optional)
    Take-off and spend the night in the sky en route to Israel

DAY #2 | Wednesday | Introduction to Jerusalem

  • Arrive to Ben Gurion Airport – Meet your Israeli staff team and begin the ascent to Jerusalem
  • Check-in and orientation at our accommodations in Jerusalem
  • Overnight: Crowne Plaza Hotel, Jerusalem

DAY #3 | Thursday | Jerusalem’s Old City

  • Welcome to Israel! Shecheyanu ceremony overlooking the Old City
  • Enter the Old City’s Zion Gate – Explore the ancient squares & rooftops of the Jewish Quarter
  • Lunch and exploration time in the Cardo area of the Jewish Quarter
  • Reflections at the Kotel (The Western Wall) and visit the Southern Wall excavations
  • Discover how King David established a Jewish capital at the “City of David” complex
  • Get wet! Walk through Hezekiah’s underground aqueduct beneath Jerusalem
  • Evening Speaker – The Geo-Politics of Israel Today
  • Overnight: Crowne Plaza Hotel, Jerusalem

DAY #4 | Friday | Along the Mediterranean Coast

  • Begin traveling north to the Galilee along the Mediterranean Coast
  • Caesarea – Explore the Roman amphitheater and royal palace on the beach
  • Enjoy a picnic-style lunch on the Mediterranean shores
  • Explore the Beit Shearim catacombs – Exile and continuity in the land of Israel
  • View the Bahai Gardens on Mt. Carmel overlooking Haifa
  • Arrive to our accommodations and prepare for Shabbat
  • Evening: Kabbalat Shabbat on the beach followed by a festive dinner at our accommodations
  • Overnight: Acco Guest House, Acco

DAY #5 | Saturday | Shabbat on the Beach

  • Shabbat programming and group lunch
  • Old Akko Seaport – Crusader castle, Templar Tunnels and the Irgun Prison
  • Play sports, hang out by the beach and enjoy relaxation time at our accommodations
  • Evening: Boat cruise on the Mediterranean Sea from Akko Seaport
  • Overnight: Acco Guest House, Acco

DAY #6 | Sunday | Adventures in the Western Galilee

  • Take part in a coexistence workshop at the Galilee Foundation
  • Descend into the ocean caves at Rosh Hanikrah
  • Hike to Ma’arat Keshet – The natural stone arch of Keshet
  • Travel east through the Galilee hills towards the Kinneret – The Sea of Galilee
  • Check-in to our guest house accommodations in the Galilee
  • Overnight: Kibbutz Amiad Guest House, Galilee

DAY #7 | Monday | Mystics of the Galilee 

  • Walking tour of mystical Tzfat – The historic center of Judaism’s Kabbalah movement
  • Browse the Tzfat artist colony and meet Kabbalistic artist, Avraham Lowenthal
  • Travel to Israel’s Upper Galilee region and hike to the waterfalls of the Banias
  • Finish the day cooling off rafting down the Jordan River
  • Overnight: Kibbutz Amiad Guest House, Galilee

DAY #8 | Tuesday | Israel's Pioneering Values

  • Leket – Service project harvesting for the hungry at Moshav Nahalal
  • Tel Amal – Discover the can-do spirit of modern Israel’s founding pioneers
  • Swim in the natural springs of the Sachne – Israel’s “Garden of Eden”
  • Kinneret Cemetery – Discover the story of the poets and pioneers of the Galilee
  • Overnight: Kibbutz Amiad Guest House, Galilee

DAY #9 | Wednesday | Perspectives from the Golan Heights

  • Ascend the Golan Heights – Get wet climbing down the water-filled Nahal Jilaboun Canyon!
  • Tour of the region on a historical off-road jeep tour of the Golan
  • View across Israel and her neighbors from atop Mt. Ben-Tal
  • Swim, relax and enjoy a memorable BBQ dinner on the beaches of the Kinneret
  • Overnight: Kibbutz Amiad Guest House, Galilee

DAY #10 | Thursday | Zionism & Co-Existence

  • Volunteer project at Pitchon Lev – fighting poverty in Israel
  • Enjoy a uniquely delicious lunch in the Druze Village of Ussafiya
  • Atlit – Explore the challenges faced by Jews fleeing the Holocaust prior to Israel’s founding
  • Depart from the Galilee and arrive at our accommodations in Central Israel
  • Overnight: Neve Ilan Hotel, Judean Hills
NOTE: This weekend is the optional Host Family Weekend. If applicable, plan for your host to pick you up at our scheduled accommodations on Thursday evening and return you to our accommodations on Saturday evening.

DAY #11 | Friday | Israeli Arts & Culture

  • Travel to Tel Aviv – Israel’s cultural and financial capital
  • Visit to the Rabin Center – Explore the history of modern Israel through the life story of its most famous soldier and statesman
  • Enjoy the colorful Nahalat Binyamin street festival and Carmel Market
  • Discover a different side of Tel Aviv on a Hebrew graffiti art walking tour
  • Afternoon: Free time to enjoy Tel Aviv’s lively beach culture
  • Return to our hotel and prepare for Shabbat
  • Kabbalat Shabbat ceremony and festive Shabbat dinner at hotel
  • Overnight: Neve Ilan Hotel, Judean Hills

DAY #12 | Saturday | The Day of Rest

  • Wake up to Shabbat in the rolling foothills of Jerusalem – Take part in an optional group hike
  • Shabbat programming and group lunch at accommodations
  • Play sports, hang out by the pool and enjoy relaxation time at our accommodations
  • Evening: Group night out at the high-tech Azrieli Tower Mall in Tel Aviv
  • Overnight: Neve Ilan Hotel, Judean Hills

DAY #13 | Sunday | To the Negev Desert

  • Dig-for-a-Day! – Take part in an archaeological seminar with the professionals
  • Travel south into the heart of the Negev Desert – Stop for lunch in Be’er Sheva
  • Sde Boker – Learn about David Ben Gurion and his vision for the desert
  • Stop to view the Ramon Crater from the crater’s edge
  • Check-in to our desert kibbutz accommodations outside of Eilat
  • Evening: Group dinner and pool party!
  • Overnight: Kibbutz Yahel Guest House, Arava Valley

DAY #14 | Monday | Eilat and the Red Sea

  • Wake up early to climb up (and jump down) the mountainous Kassui sand dunes
  • Hike through the magically colorful Red Canyon
  • Depart to the Red Sea city of Eilat – Discover underwater treasures snorkeling at Coral Beach
  • Afternoon – Relaxed beach time and banana boating on the tropical Red Sea
  • Overnight: Kibbutz Yahel Guest House, Arava Valley

DAY #15 | Tuesday | The Desert Blooms

  • The Arava Institute - Learn how Israel thrives in the desert and protects its ecological treasures
  • Enjoy lunch, swimming and relaxation time at our kibbutz accommodations
  • Travel to the Judean Desert, stopping along the way for fresh ice cream at the Yotvata dairy farm
  • Camel trekking and enjoy a "hafla” style Bedouin tent dinner feast!
  • Evening: Bonfire party and night under the bright desert stars
  • Overnight: Kfar Hanokdim Tent, Judean Desert

DAY #16 | Wednesday | Masada and the Dead Sea

  • Pre-sunrise climb up Masada, a fortress overlooking the Dead Sea, via the Roman Ramp trail
  • Tour of Masada – Herod’s mountaintop desert fortress – and descend via the Snake Path
  • Swim under the cool desert waterfalls at Ein Gedi Nature Reserve
  • Experience effortless floating at the Dead Sea’s Ein Bokek Beach
  • Take in the stark desert scenery as we travel back to Jerusalem in the late afternoon
  • Overnight: Jerusalem Gardens Hotel, Jerusalem

DAY #17 | Thursday | Remembrance & Renewal

  • Experience Yad Vashem – The World Holocaust Remembrance Center
  • Tour of the Knesset (Israel’s parliament) – Learn about Israel’s unique democracy
  • Ammunition Hill – Recount the unification and explore the future of Jerusalem
  • Speaker – Meet with an activist pursuing religious pluralism in Israel
  • Evening: BBYO B’Yachad – Celebrate a summer in Israel with all groups in Israel!
  • Overnight: Jerusalem Gardens Hotel, Jerusalem

DAY #18 | Friday | Jerusalem Prepares for Shabbat

  • Vision & Sacrifice – The Theodore Herzl Museum and the Mt. Herzl National Cemetery
  • Enjoy the sights and smells of the Mahane Yehuda open-air marketplace
  • Return to our accommodations and prepare for Shabbat in Jerusalem
  • Evening: Experience an open-air Kabbalat Shabbat service at the Jerusalem First Train Station
  • Walk back to the hotel and enjoy Shabbat dinner as a group
  • Overnight: Jerusalem Gardens Hotel, Jerusalem

DAY #19 | Saturday | Relax and Reflect

  • Experience a Jerusalem Shabbat with the option to attend services at a local synagogue
  • Visit to the Israel Museum – Discover the Dead Sea Scrolls, Temple Model and much more
  • Afternoon: Soak up the sun relaxing in Jerusalem’s Saker Park
  • Evening: Return to the Old City to experience layers of Jewish history in the Kotel Tunnels
  • Overnight: Jerusalem Gardens Hotel, Jerusalem

DAY #20 | Sunday | Founding Modern Israel

  • Depart for the Tel Aviv region in the morning
  • Machon Ayalon – The story of the Haganah and the creation of the IDF
  • Walking tour, exploration time and lunch in the ancient Jaffa Seaport
  • Independence Hall – Discover the founding values of modern Israel
  • Reflections at the Yitzhak Rabin Memorial Square
  • Tree planting ceremony and closing banquet dinner party at Neot Kedumim Park
  • Late Night: Return to Ben Gurion Airport for an overnight return flight

DAY #21 | Monday | Shalom and L’Hitraot!

  • Arrive back to New York City in the morning

You have questions? We've got answers! Our most frequently asked questions for this program are answered below. Additional program-wide FAQs are also available. Contact us to learn more.

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 sleeping accommodations. All of the accommodations that we use have a dedicated guard and a secure area.

How is the program staffed?
Each group is accompanied by a team of madrichim (counselors), an Israeli guide, 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 50s or 60s. 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?
Group size varies depending on the date of the program. Our average group size is 30 teens. In some cases multiple groups will travel on a similar path, although each group has its own dedicated staff, guide and guard.

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.

BBYO makes it easy to combine two experiences for an extended summer of adventure, learning and self-discovery. 

7-Day Israel Extension

Keep the memories going by extending the core Israel Journey program for a fourth week. We call it Israel Journey PLUS. During the first part of the week participants choose from either a Sea-to-Sea Hike, a service learning experience in the Galilee or the IDF's Gadna basic training simulation. The second part of the week is based in the Haifa-to-Tel Aviv coastal corridor and is dedicated to exploring Israel's many cultural and technological innovations. The 7-day Israel extension is a great compliment to the traditional touring and is designed to shed light on unique aspects of Israeli society. Learn More: Israel Journey PLUS

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