March of the Living
MARCH OF THE LIVING

March of the Living – BBYO’s National Teen Delegation

The March of the Living is a two-week international experience bringing Jewish teens from around the world together each spring to bear witness in Poland and celebrate the Jewish Homeland in the State of Israel.

“Thou Shalt Not Stand Idly By.” – Elie Wiesel

UPDATE: Early registration savings are now available for a limited time! REGISTER NOW!

BBYO’s National Teen Delegation to the March of the Living is a two-week, annual rite of passage where Jewish teens from five continents converge in Poland and Israel for an emotional journey impacting their sense of history, perspective, and identity.

Prior affiliation with BBYO is not necessary to participate.

This program occurs each spring and coincides with the commemoration of Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Memorial Day, where you will march in unity from Auschwitz to Birkenau, and then the celebration of Yom HaAtzmaut, Israeli Independence Day, where you’ll dance in the streets of Jerusalem. Along the way, travels are uniquely enriched by the presence of Survivors who share their own personal testimony, perseverance, and wisdom.

Led by Rabbi Meir Tannenbaum and a team of professional educators, the goal of The March is to educate Jewish teens about the richness of our past and to perpetuate our future. It’s also an opportunity to reinforce Jewish and universal values of compassion, tolerance, and action. Past participants have maintained their level of Jewish commitment by returning to Israel, seeking a Jewish lifestyle in college, acting to protect human rights, and developing a sense of leadership and responsibility for the world around us.

Program Highlights

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

Explore historic Jewish communities in Krakow, Warsaw, and Lublin
Bear witness in Auschwitz-Birkenau, Zbylitowska Góra and Majdanek
Honor the courage of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising and the Righteous Among the Nations
Commemorate Yom HaShoah marching with thousands of teens from 60+ countries
Celebrate Yom Ha’Atzmaut dancing down the streets of Jerusalem
Discover 3,000 years of Jewish history and traditions in Jerusalem’s Old City
Spend a memorable Shabbat as a group in Lublin, Poland and in Israel’s lush Galilee

Connect with fellow Jewish teens who live in modern Europe, and learn from their experiences

A Journey of Remembrance & Renewal

A complete Program Itinerary is available for an even fuller sense of the experience

Your travels begin with an exploration of the Jewish People’s proud history in Europe. With a deeper appreciation of the past, you’ll confront the destruction wrought by the Holocaust – bearing witness at the death camps of Treblinka, Majdanek, and Auschwitz-Birkenau. Along the way, you will honor the courage of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising and of righteous gentiles at Oscar Schindler’s factory in Krakow.

A three-kilometer march from Auschwitz to Birkenau on Yom Hashoah (Holocaust Memorial Day) is the seminal moment in Poland. Together, you’ll retrace the “March of Death” to the gas chambers at Birkenau. Only, this march is a “March of the Living” as you sing Am Yisrael Chai (the Jewish People live).

Your emotional journey in Poland concludes in Warsaw where the focus shifts to the modern-day resurgence of Jewish communal life in Europe.

Celebrate arrival to the Jewish Homeland with a welcome ceremony on the Mediterranean Coast, and a visit to Atlit where you’ll honor the bravery of those Jewish refugees who fled Europe for the Land of Israel against unimaginable odds.

Your final week unfolds primarily in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv where you will walk in the footsteps of history as well as explore the challenges and opportunities defining the future. On Yom Hazikaron (Memorial Day), you’ll stand with all of Israel to mourn those who have fallen. The following day is Yom Ha’Atzmaut (Independence Day) where you’ll reunite with thousands of teens for a second march in Jerusalem followed by an international celebration event that evening.

Having been a witness to utter darkness in Poland, being a part of these national celebrations in Israel is uniquely meaningful.

Community Delegations

In addition to our National Teen Delegation, BBYO Passport partners with local organizations to organize community delegations.  If your school, synagogue, federation or other local Jewish agency is interested in taking part in the March of the Living as a community delegation, contact us about partnering opportunities.

Adult Participation

The March of the Living experience is no longer just for teens. BBYO Passport invites adult travelers of all ages to take part in this powerful journey as part of the Adult Delegation. Choose from traveling to Poland only, or include Israel as well. Accommodations, meals and most programming is organized separately from BBYO’s National Teen Delegation. Explore more.

Summer Opportunities

BBYO’s March of the Living alumni qualifies for a $250 registration discount towards any BBYO Passport summer experience. Take advantage of it and plan your next summer journey with us.

Not able to travel on the March? BBYO offers a 4-week summer experience in Israel and Poland that covers many of the experiences on March of the Living. Learn more at Central Europe Discovery + Israel Journey .

We have provided the following projected 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 4-6 weeks prior to the start of the program.

Sunday, April 19, 2020 | Depart for Poland

  • Depart from NYC in the early evening on the supervised group flight
    Take-off and spend the night in the sky en route to Europe

Monday, April 20, 2020 | Confronting Reality

  • Arrive to Krakow in the early afternoon and meet local staff team
  • Explore the grounds of Birkenau Death Camp, including the Children’s Barrack
  • Check-in to accommodations in Krakow and get oriented to the journey
  • Overnight: TBA – Kraków, Poland

Tuesday, April 21, 2020 | Yom HaShoah – Holocaust Remembrance Day

  • Visit the ground of Auschwitz and then join thousands of teens from around the world for the March of the Living
  • Take part in the official Yom HaShoah ceremony at Birkenau
  • Group night out at Market Square in Krakow
  • Overnight: TBA– Kraków, Poland

Wednesday, April 22, 2020 | Glimpses of a Glorious Past

  • Morning visit to Płaszów labor and concentration camp on the outskirts of Krakow
  • Tour of Kazimierz – Krakow’s historic Jewish Quarter dating back to the 14th Century
  • Trace the history of the Holocaust at the Krakow Ghetto and Oscar Schindler Factory
  • Meet-up with international teen delegations
  • Overnight: TBA – Kraków, Poland

Thursday,  April 23, 2020 | The Tale of Tarnow

  • Travel through Poland’s Galicia countryside towards Lublin
  • Visit the Bima Shul in Tarnow and then enter the forest of Zbilatowska Gora where the Jews of Tarnow were murdered and buried in mass graves
  • Break along the way to explore the Castle of Lancut and learn about the local Jewish community
  • Arrive to Lublin, and check-in to accommodations
  • Orientation walking tour of Lublin
  • Overnight: TBA – Lublin, Poland

Friday, April 24, 2020 | Shabbat in Lublin

  • Visits the Yeshiva of Lublin, a famed center of Jewish learning and the site of a massive Nazi book burning
  • Depart Lublin for a solemn visit to the Majdanek Extermination Camp
  • Return to Lublin and prepare for the start of our Shabbat in Poland
  • Experience Kabbalat Shabbat services and dinner together
  • Oneg Shabbat and community-building activities
  • Overnight: TBA – Lublin, Poland

Saturday, April 25, 2020 | Horrors of Majdanek

  • Shabbat programming and lunch in Lublin
  • Afternoon walking tour in Lublin, including the historic Old City, Jewish Ghetto, Maharshal, and Grodzka Gate
  • Havdalah – Mark the end of Shabbat and the start of a new week
  • Overnight: TBA – Lublin, Poland

Sunday, April 26, 2020 | Defiance in Warsaw

  • Depart Lublin in the morning and continue onto Warsaw, Poland’s largest city and capital
  • Umschlagplatz – Gathering place before transfer to Treblinka Death Camp
  • Explore the remains of the courageous Warsaw Ghetto Uprising
  • Closing ceremony in Poland at the Rappaport Memorial – The Monument to Ghetto Heroes
  • Encounter with Polish teens at the acclaimed Museum of the History of Polish Jews
  • Travel to the Warsaw Airport and check-in for an overnight flight to Israel

Monday, April 27, 2020 | Humble Beginning

  • Land at Israel’s Ben Gurion Airport in the early morning hours
  • Travel north along the Mediterranean Coast and stop for a welcome ceremony and breakfast on the beach as the sun rises in Israel
  • Tour of the Atlit detention center, and learn about what many Jewish refugees fleeing Europe faced as they arrived on the shores of the Land of Israel
  • Volunteer on behalf of the hungry of Israel at Leket’s food processing center in Ranaana
  • Ascend to Jerusalem, stopping for a welcome ceremony at the Haas Promenade overlooking the Old City
  • Check-in to hotel and rest!
  • Mark the beginning of Yom HaZikaron, Israeli Memorial Day
  • Overnight: TBA – Jerusalem

Tuesday, April 28, 2020 | Yom HaZikaron – Israeli Memorial Day

  • City of David Excavations – Discover the foundations of Jerusalem dating back to King David’s time
  • Cool off in the spring-fed underground aqueduct running below Jerusalem
  • Observe the Yom HaZikaronnational siren as Israeli society comes to a standstill
  • Follow the ancient “Pilgrim’s Route” from City of David into the Old City and onto the Kotel – the Western Wall Complex
  • Continue on to explore the Jewish Quarter of the Old City with time for personal exploration
  • Return to the hotel for dinner and to prepare for the evening
  • Celebrate the beginning of Yom HaAtzmaut (Israeli Independence Day) at Ben Yehuda Street Pedestrian Mall
  • Overnight: TBA – Jerusalem

Wednesday, April 29, 2020 | Yom Ha’Atzma’ut – Israeli Independence Day

  • Sleep in from the previous night’s festivities
  • Be inspired by the social entrepreneurship of Tikkun Olam Makers
  • Re-join with groups from around the world for the March in Jerusalem
  • Celebrate the anniversary of Israel’s independence at the March of the Living’s “Central Event”
  • Overnight: TBA – Jerusalem

Thursday, April 30, 2020 | Choose Your Experience

Today is an elective day, and you’ll be able to choose the experience of your choice from the projected options below

  • Option #1 – Tour of Masada and float in the Dead Sea
  • Option #2 – Innovation and entrepreneurism in Tel Aviv
  • Option #3 – Discover the geopolitical complexity of Israel
  • Option #4 – Desert oasis trek from Nahal David to Nahal Arugot
  • Re-group as we check-in to our hotel along the coast of Netanya
  • Overnight: TBA – Netanya

Friday, May 1, 2020 | The Spirit of Tel Aviv

  • Travel to Tel Aviv, and celebrate modern Israel’s founding values at Independence Hall
  • Lunch and browsing time at the Nahalat Binyamin street festival and nearby Carmel Market
  • Tap into the spirit driving modern Israel at the Peres Center for Innovation in the ancient city of Jaffa
  • Return to accommodations for swimming, sports, and relaxation time
  • Prepare for Shabbat
  • Ethiopian cultural experience and group night out in Beit Shean
  • Overnight: TBA – Netanya

Saturday, May 2, 2020 | Shabbat in the Galilee

  • Shabbat programming and lunch at accommodations
  • Beach time along the Mediterranean Coast!
  • Wrap-up session and closing dinner
  • Celebrate Havdalah and the start of a new week in Israel

Sunday, May 3, 2020 | Shalom U’Lhitarot

  • Arrive back to JFK Airport, NYC in the morning

 

You have questions? We’ve got answers! Frequently asked questions are answered below. Contact us to learn more.

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 the food like?

All meals will be provided by March of the Living and will be Kosher. Participants with special dietary situations (i.e. lactose intolerance, gluten-free, etc.) should contact us in advance to be sure we can accommodate your needs during the program. All in-flight meals will also be Kosher.

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 Rabbi Meir Tannenbaum, and 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 immunization policy . Additionally, vaccine guidelines vary by country and are continually evolving. We recommend consulting with your physician as well as the latest Centers for Disease Control (CDC) 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. The Scholarship application deadline is November 7, 2019.
  • When will I be notified if I receive funding from BBYO’s national scholarship fund? You will be notified around mid December, before the payment deadline of December 19, 2019.
  • 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 December 5, 2019. All cancellations must be made by writing – please email us at info@bbyopassport.org.
  • What if I have additional scholarship questions? Contact Us

What if I can’t pay my balance by the payment deadline?

We can set-up a payment plan for your family if necessary. If you need a payment plan, please Contact Us with a proposed payment plan that will work for your family.

What if I am not able to travel during the school year?

BBYO Passport offers a similar 4-week experience in Poland and Israel each summer. The program features ten days of travel in Poland, Prague and Budapest followed by a 3-week journey in Israel. Complete details are available at Central Europe Discovery + Israel Journey .

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. Note: travel insurance is only valid for registrations paid in full.

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.

  1. Enroll Online

    To get started, complete the online registration. Registration only takes a few minutes.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Review the Terms

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

    Payment Schedule

    • A $250 refundable deposit is required to secure your spot; due date TBA
    • November 7, 2019*: BBYO National Scholarship application deadline and second payment of $750 due
    • December 5, 2019*:  Third payment of $750 due, cancellation to receive a full refund deadline, and all forms including Passport* must be completed and Israel extension requests due
    • December 19, 2019** Full program payment due* and travel insurance plans must be purchased.

    *$25 fee incurred for late payment
    **$75 fee will be incurred for late payment
    **Please note that your passport cannot expire prior to December 2020 in order to enter Israel. If your passport needs to be renewed, please do so immediately. Please make sure that the name in your online registration account matches the name on your passport. Once your airline ticket is issued, any name changes fees from the airline will be your responsibility.

    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 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 $350 initial deposit.

    Cancellation Policy

    All payments are fully refundable through December 5, 2019. Following that date, all program payments are non-refundable. 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 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.

Welcome to the 2020 March of the Living! Each spring BBYO sends a National Delegation to the March of the Living to join thousands of other participants from over 60 countries. We are very proud to be the only national youth group to consistently participate in the March of the Living since its inception in 1988. Thank you for being a part of this meaningful tradition and life experience.

The goal of the March of the Living is to educate Jewish teens beyond the textbook: to explore the richness of our past, to keep the past alive, and to perpetuate Jewish future. Studies have determined that past participants of the March maintain their level of commitment. Teens return to Israel, seek Jewish life on college campus, are active in human right causes, continue their Jewish studies, and marry within the Jewish faith. In other words, participating in the March of the Living can be a highly powerful and transformative experience. Of course, we have a lot of fun too. Thank you again for being part of our delegation and this celebration of life. Please take the time to read all of the important details below designed to help prepare you for the journey ahead.

What to look forward to…

  • Pre-Trip Preparation Manual – Click here to view
  • Flight Details – February
  • Bus Assignments & Staff – March
  • Orientation Conference Call & Confirmed Itinerary – April
  • For information regarding phones while traveling abroad, click here and scroll down to March of the Living.

Your payment history and forms can all be accessed in your account.

How to prepare educationally and emotionally:

The March of the Living can be seen as a journey from darkness to light. In Poland, with Survivors by our side, we will witness the atrocities of the Second World War. While in Israel, we will celebrate Yom Ha’atzmaut (Independence Day). This is a highly emotional and educational experience. Participants may feel a wide range of emotions during this program, or they may feel nothing at all. There is no right way or wrong way to respond to the intense demands of the program. That being said, we would like to remind you that BBYO staff are prepared to help you process through meaningful programs, educational experiences and discussions.

Deadlines

    • Immediate: $250 deposit to secure a spot; due date TBA
    • November 7, 2019* – BBYO National Scholarship Application Due and second payment of $750 due
    • December 5, 2019* – Third payment of $750 due,  cancellation refund deadline, all forms including Passport* form must be completed, and Israel extension requests due
    • December 19, 2019**– Full program payment due* and travel insurance plans must be purchased

*$25 late fee will be incurred for late payment
**$75 late fee will be incurred for late payment
**Please note that your passport cannot expire prior to December 2020 in order to enter Israel. If your passport needs to be renewed, please do so immediately. Also, please make sure that the name in your online registration account matches the name on your passport exactly. Once your airline ticket is issued, any name changes fees from the airline will be your responsibility.

Trip Documents

Trip documents will be linked after they are released

Shabbat Emails

Shabbat emails for 2020 coming soon.

 

 

PROGRAM REVIEWS

We know you'll love a BBYO Passport experience. But don't just take our word. Check out these real reviews from our past teen travelers.

 

“Thou Shalt Not Stand Idly By.” – Elie Wiesel

UPDATE: Early registration savings are now available for a limited time! REGISTER NOW!

BBYO’s National Teen Delegation to the March of the Living is a two-week, annual rite of passage where Jewish teens from five continents converge in Poland and Israel for an emotional journey impacting their sense of history, perspective, and identity.

Prior affiliation with BBYO is not necessary to participate.

This program occurs each spring and coincides with the commemoration of Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Memorial Day, where you will march in unity from Auschwitz to Birkenau, and then the celebration of Yom HaAtzmaut, Israeli Independence Day, where you’ll dance in the streets of Jerusalem. Along the way, travels are uniquely enriched by the presence of Survivors who share their own personal testimony, perseverance, and wisdom.

Led by Rabbi Meir Tannenbaum and a team of professional educators, the goal of The March is to educate Jewish teens about the richness of our past and to perpetuate our future. It’s also an opportunity to reinforce Jewish and universal values of compassion, tolerance, and action. Past participants have maintained their level of Jewish commitment by returning to Israel, seeking a Jewish lifestyle in college, acting to protect human rights, and developing a sense of leadership and responsibility for the world around us.

Program Highlights

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

Explore historic Jewish communities in Krakow, Warsaw, and Lublin
Bear witness in Auschwitz-Birkenau, Zbylitowska Góra and Majdanek
Honor the courage of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising and the Righteous Among the Nations
Commemorate Yom HaShoah marching with thousands of teens from 60+ countries
Celebrate Yom Ha’Atzmaut dancing down the streets of Jerusalem
Discover 3,000 years of Jewish history and traditions in Jerusalem’s Old City
Spend a memorable Shabbat as a group in Lublin, Poland and in Israel’s lush Galilee

Connect with fellow Jewish teens who live in modern Europe, and learn from their experiences

A Journey of Remembrance & Renewal

A complete Program Itinerary is available for an even fuller sense of the experience

Your travels begin with an exploration of the Jewish People’s proud history in Europe. With a deeper appreciation of the past, you’ll confront the destruction wrought by the Holocaust – bearing witness at the death camps of Treblinka, Majdanek, and Auschwitz-Birkenau. Along the way, you will honor the courage of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising and of righteous gentiles at Oscar Schindler’s factory in Krakow.

A three-kilometer march from Auschwitz to Birkenau on Yom Hashoah (Holocaust Memorial Day) is the seminal moment in Poland. Together, you’ll retrace the “March of Death” to the gas chambers at Birkenau. Only, this march is a “March of the Living” as you sing Am Yisrael Chai (the Jewish People live).

Your emotional journey in Poland concludes in Warsaw where the focus shifts to the modern-day resurgence of Jewish communal life in Europe.

Celebrate arrival to the Jewish Homeland with a welcome ceremony on the Mediterranean Coast, and a visit to Atlit where you’ll honor the bravery of those Jewish refugees who fled Europe for the Land of Israel against unimaginable odds.

Your final week unfolds primarily in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv where you will walk in the footsteps of history as well as explore the challenges and opportunities defining the future. On Yom Hazikaron (Memorial Day), you’ll stand with all of Israel to mourn those who have fallen. The following day is Yom Ha’Atzmaut (Independence Day) where you’ll reunite with thousands of teens for a second march in Jerusalem followed by an international celebration event that evening.

Having been a witness to utter darkness in Poland, being a part of these national celebrations in Israel is uniquely meaningful.

Community Delegations

In addition to our National Teen Delegation, BBYO Passport partners with local organizations to organize community delegations.  If your school, synagogue, federation or other local Jewish agency is interested in taking part in the March of the Living as a community delegation, contact us about partnering opportunities.

Adult Participation

The March of the Living experience is no longer just for teens. BBYO Passport invites adult travelers of all ages to take part in this powerful journey as part of the Adult Delegation. Choose from traveling to Poland only, or include Israel as well. Accommodations, meals and most programming is organized separately from BBYO’s National Teen Delegation. Explore more.

Summer Opportunities

BBYO’s March of the Living alumni qualifies for a $250 registration discount towards any BBYO Passport summer experience. Take advantage of it and plan your next summer journey with us.

Not able to travel on the March? BBYO offers a 4-week summer experience in Israel and Poland that covers many of the experiences on March of the Living. Learn more at Central Europe Discovery + Israel Journey .

We have provided the following projected 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 4-6 weeks prior to the start of the program.

Sunday, April 19, 2020 | Depart for Poland

  • Depart from NYC in the early evening on the supervised group flight
    Take-off and spend the night in the sky en route to Europe

Monday, April 20, 2020 | Confronting Reality

  • Arrive to Krakow in the early afternoon and meet local staff team
  • Explore the grounds of Birkenau Death Camp, including the Children’s Barrack
  • Check-in to accommodations in Krakow and get oriented to the journey
  • Overnight: TBA – Kraków, Poland

Tuesday, April 21, 2020 | Yom HaShoah – Holocaust Remembrance Day

  • Visit the ground of Auschwitz and then join thousands of teens from around the world for the March of the Living
  • Take part in the official Yom HaShoah ceremony at Birkenau
  • Group night out at Market Square in Krakow
  • Overnight: TBA– Kraków, Poland

Wednesday, April 22, 2020 | Glimpses of a Glorious Past

  • Morning visit to Płaszów labor and concentration camp on the outskirts of Krakow
  • Tour of Kazimierz – Krakow’s historic Jewish Quarter dating back to the 14th Century
  • Trace the history of the Holocaust at the Krakow Ghetto and Oscar Schindler Factory
  • Meet-up with international teen delegations
  • Overnight: TBA – Kraków, Poland

Thursday,  April 23, 2020 | The Tale of Tarnow

  • Travel through Poland’s Galicia countryside towards Lublin
  • Visit the Bima Shul in Tarnow and then enter the forest of Zbilatowska Gora where the Jews of Tarnow were murdered and buried in mass graves
  • Break along the way to explore the Castle of Lancut and learn about the local Jewish community
  • Arrive to Lublin, and check-in to accommodations
  • Orientation walking tour of Lublin
  • Overnight: TBA – Lublin, Poland

Friday, April 24, 2020 | Shabbat in Lublin

  • Visits the Yeshiva of Lublin, a famed center of Jewish learning and the site of a massive Nazi book burning
  • Depart Lublin for a solemn visit to the Majdanek Extermination Camp
  • Return to Lublin and prepare for the start of our Shabbat in Poland
  • Experience Kabbalat Shabbat services and dinner together
  • Oneg Shabbat and community-building activities
  • Overnight: TBA – Lublin, Poland

Saturday, April 25, 2020 | Horrors of Majdanek

  • Shabbat programming and lunch in Lublin
  • Afternoon walking tour in Lublin, including the historic Old City, Jewish Ghetto, Maharshal, and Grodzka Gate
  • Havdalah – Mark the end of Shabbat and the start of a new week
  • Overnight: TBA – Lublin, Poland

Sunday, April 26, 2020 | Defiance in Warsaw

  • Depart Lublin in the morning and continue onto Warsaw, Poland’s largest city and capital
  • Umschlagplatz – Gathering place before transfer to Treblinka Death Camp
  • Explore the remains of the courageous Warsaw Ghetto Uprising
  • Closing ceremony in Poland at the Rappaport Memorial – The Monument to Ghetto Heroes
  • Encounter with Polish teens at the acclaimed Museum of the History of Polish Jews
  • Travel to the Warsaw Airport and check-in for an overnight flight to Israel

Monday, April 27, 2020 | Humble Beginning

  • Land at Israel’s Ben Gurion Airport in the early morning hours
  • Travel north along the Mediterranean Coast and stop for a welcome ceremony and breakfast on the beach as the sun rises in Israel
  • Tour of the Atlit detention center, and learn about what many Jewish refugees fleeing Europe faced as they arrived on the shores of the Land of Israel
  • Volunteer on behalf of the hungry of Israel at Leket’s food processing center in Ranaana
  • Ascend to Jerusalem, stopping for a welcome ceremony at the Haas Promenade overlooking the Old City
  • Check-in to hotel and rest!
  • Mark the beginning of Yom HaZikaron, Israeli Memorial Day
  • Overnight: TBA – Jerusalem

Tuesday, April 28, 2020 | Yom HaZikaron – Israeli Memorial Day

  • City of David Excavations – Discover the foundations of Jerusalem dating back to King David’s time
  • Cool off in the spring-fed underground aqueduct running below Jerusalem
  • Observe the Yom HaZikaronnational siren as Israeli society comes to a standstill
  • Follow the ancient “Pilgrim’s Route” from City of David into the Old City and onto the Kotel – the Western Wall Complex
  • Continue on to explore the Jewish Quarter of the Old City with time for personal exploration
  • Return to the hotel for dinner and to prepare for the evening
  • Celebrate the beginning of Yom HaAtzmaut (Israeli Independence Day) at Ben Yehuda Street Pedestrian Mall
  • Overnight: TBA – Jerusalem

Wednesday, April 29, 2020 | Yom Ha’Atzma’ut – Israeli Independence Day

  • Sleep in from the previous night’s festivities
  • Be inspired by the social entrepreneurship of Tikkun Olam Makers
  • Re-join with groups from around the world for the March in Jerusalem
  • Celebrate the anniversary of Israel’s independence at the March of the Living’s “Central Event”
  • Overnight: TBA – Jerusalem

Thursday, April 30, 2020 | Choose Your Experience

Today is an elective day, and you’ll be able to choose the experience of your choice from the projected options below

  • Option #1 – Tour of Masada and float in the Dead Sea
  • Option #2 – Innovation and entrepreneurism in Tel Aviv
  • Option #3 – Discover the geopolitical complexity of Israel
  • Option #4 – Desert oasis trek from Nahal David to Nahal Arugot
  • Re-group as we check-in to our hotel along the coast of Netanya
  • Overnight: TBA – Netanya

Friday, May 1, 2020 | The Spirit of Tel Aviv

  • Travel to Tel Aviv, and celebrate modern Israel’s founding values at Independence Hall
  • Lunch and browsing time at the Nahalat Binyamin street festival and nearby Carmel Market
  • Tap into the spirit driving modern Israel at the Peres Center for Innovation in the ancient city of Jaffa
  • Return to accommodations for swimming, sports, and relaxation time
  • Prepare for Shabbat
  • Ethiopian cultural experience and group night out in Beit Shean
  • Overnight: TBA – Netanya

Saturday, May 2, 2020 | Shabbat in the Galilee

  • Shabbat programming and lunch at accommodations
  • Beach time along the Mediterranean Coast!
  • Wrap-up session and closing dinner
  • Celebrate Havdalah and the start of a new week in Israel

Sunday, May 3, 2020 | Shalom U’Lhitarot

  • Arrive back to JFK Airport, NYC in the morning

 

You have questions? We’ve got answers! Frequently asked questions are answered below. Contact us to learn more.

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 the food like?

All meals will be provided by March of the Living and will be Kosher. Participants with special dietary situations (i.e. lactose intolerance, gluten-free, etc.) should contact us in advance to be sure we can accommodate your needs during the program. All in-flight meals will also be Kosher.

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 Rabbi Meir Tannenbaum, and 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 immunization policy . Additionally, vaccine guidelines vary by country and are continually evolving. We recommend consulting with your physician as well as the latest Centers for Disease Control (CDC) 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. The Scholarship application deadline is November 7, 2019.
  • When will I be notified if I receive funding from BBYO’s national scholarship fund? You will be notified around mid December, before the payment deadline of December 19, 2019.
  • 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 December 5, 2019. All cancellations must be made by writing – please email us at info@bbyopassport.org.
  • What if I have additional scholarship questions? Contact Us

What if I can’t pay my balance by the payment deadline?

We can set-up a payment plan for your family if necessary. If you need a payment plan, please Contact Us with a proposed payment plan that will work for your family.

What if I am not able to travel during the school year?

BBYO Passport offers a similar 4-week experience in Poland and Israel each summer. The program features ten days of travel in Poland, Prague and Budapest followed by a 3-week journey in Israel. Complete details are available at Central Europe Discovery + Israel Journey .

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. Note: travel insurance is only valid for registrations paid in full.

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.

  1. Enroll Online

    To get started, complete the online registration. Registration only takes a few minutes.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Review the Terms

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

    Payment Schedule

    • A $250 refundable deposit is required to secure your spot; due date TBA
    • November 7, 2019*: BBYO National Scholarship application deadline and second payment of $750 due
    • December 5, 2019*:  Third payment of $750 due, cancellation to receive a full refund deadline, and all forms including Passport* must be completed and Israel extension requests due
    • December 19, 2019** Full program payment due* and travel insurance plans must be purchased.

    *$25 fee incurred for late payment
    **$75 fee will be incurred for late payment
    **Please note that your passport cannot expire prior to December 2020 in order to enter Israel. If your passport needs to be renewed, please do so immediately. Please make sure that the name in your online registration account matches the name on your passport. Once your airline ticket is issued, any name changes fees from the airline will be your responsibility.

    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 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 $350 initial deposit.

    Cancellation Policy

    All payments are fully refundable through December 5, 2019. Following that date, all program payments are non-refundable. 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 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.

Welcome to the 2020 March of the Living! Each spring BBYO sends a National Delegation to the March of the Living to join thousands of other participants from over 60 countries. We are very proud to be the only national youth group to consistently participate in the March of the Living since its inception in 1988. Thank you for being a part of this meaningful tradition and life experience.

The goal of the March of the Living is to educate Jewish teens beyond the textbook: to explore the richness of our past, to keep the past alive, and to perpetuate Jewish future. Studies have determined that past participants of the March maintain their level of commitment. Teens return to Israel, seek Jewish life on college campus, are active in human right causes, continue their Jewish studies, and marry within the Jewish faith. In other words, participating in the March of the Living can be a highly powerful and transformative experience. Of course, we have a lot of fun too. Thank you again for being part of our delegation and this celebration of life. Please take the time to read all of the important details below designed to help prepare you for the journey ahead.

What to look forward to…

  • Pre-Trip Preparation Manual – Click here to view
  • Flight Details – February
  • Bus Assignments & Staff – March
  • Orientation Conference Call & Confirmed Itinerary – April
  • For information regarding phones while traveling abroad, click here and scroll down to March of the Living.

Your payment history and forms can all be accessed in your account.

How to prepare educationally and emotionally:

The March of the Living can be seen as a journey from darkness to light. In Poland, with Survivors by our side, we will witness the atrocities of the Second World War. While in Israel, we will celebrate Yom Ha’atzmaut (Independence Day). This is a highly emotional and educational experience. Participants may feel a wide range of emotions during this program, or they may feel nothing at all. There is no right way or wrong way to respond to the intense demands of the program. That being said, we would like to remind you that BBYO staff are prepared to help you process through meaningful programs, educational experiences and discussions.

Deadlines

    • Immediate: $250 deposit to secure a spot; due date TBA
    • November 7, 2019* – BBYO National Scholarship Application Due and second payment of $750 due
    • December 5, 2019* – Third payment of $750 due,  cancellation refund deadline, all forms including Passport* form must be completed, and Israel extension requests due
    • December 19, 2019**– Full program payment due* and travel insurance plans must be purchased

*$25 late fee will be incurred for late payment
**$75 late fee will be incurred for late payment
**Please note that your passport cannot expire prior to December 2020 in order to enter Israel. If your passport needs to be renewed, please do so immediately. Also, please make sure that the name in your online registration account matches the name on your passport exactly. Once your airline ticket is issued, any name changes fees from the airline will be your responsibility.

Trip Documents

Trip documents will be linked after they are released

Shabbat Emails

Shabbat emails for 2020 coming soon.

 

 

PROGRAM REVIEWS

March of the Living – BBYO’s National Teen Delegation

The March of the Living is a two-week international experience bringing Jewish teens from around the world together each spring to bear witness in Poland and celebrate the Jewish Homeland in the State of Israel.

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