A Sunset - Trips to Israel
SUMMER EXPERIENCES

Israel Journey PLUS

Join us for BBYO Passport’s flagship 4-week summer experience in Israel! Form new friendships as you travel 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.

More than a tour, Israel Journey is an opportunity to discover your own 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, understanding the complex politics of the Middle East with real-world insights, and living Jewish values through hands-on volunteering and local Shabbat experiences.

Israel Journey PLUS covers all of the classic sites you need to experience – ancient Jerusalem, modern Tel Aviv, the lush Golan Heights, the vast Negev Desert, the unsinkable Dead Sea and the mountaintop fortress on Masada. Along the way, you’ll enjoy a BBQ on the Mediterranean Coast, take part in an active archaeological dig, explore models for co-existence in Galilee, sample the world’s very best falafel, spend a night under the desert stars, and so many other memorable experiences to cherish.

Want to explore Israel in a different way? Explore Trek Israel PLUS.

What Makes it “PLUS”?

Israel Journey PLUS contains an extra enrichment week designed to shed light on unique aspects of Israeli society. It’s a perfect compliment to the traditional touring experiences on Israel Journey.

PART 1: Choose Your Path

The first half of the week is an elective. Choose from these options:

Sea-to-Sea Hike
israel hike for teensHike from the Mediterranean Sea to the Sea of Galilee on your own two feet. Cross through the lush canyons and mountaintops of the Galilee, camping out under the stars all along the way (all camping gear is provided). Learn how to navigate and survive in the wilderness as our ancestors did, explore Israel’s most scenic terrain, visit picturesque villages on the route, and connect to the beauty of the land in a way few ever do. Most important? Gain a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment that you will cherish for years to come.

Volunteering & Service Learning
israel summer trip for teensGive of yourself on a series of service projects and depart Israel with a sense that you not only visited but also gave something back. Based on a college campus in Israel’s Galilee region, teens will engage in a process of learning, direct service and reflection. Actual projects will vary throughout the elective period and may include work with immigrant youth, Israel’s minority communities, environmental restoration, and infrastructure improvement. Along the way, you’ll gain a new sense of perspective and connect with Israeli society on a personal level.

The IDF’s Gadna
summer trip to isreal high schoolersOrganized by the Israel Defense Forces and located on a specialized army educational base, Gadna is a “basic training”-style experience for high school teens from abroad. Since every Israeli teen is required to serve in the Israeli army, Gadna offers a glimpse of this uniquely Israeli experience. The Gadna program is not political or militaristic in nature. The experience is about learning new skills, hiking in the outdoors, and simulating what life is like on a real Israeli army base. Gadna is a challenging and character-building life experience you can look back on with a definite sense of accomplishment.

PART 2: Culture & Innovation

The second half of the week is based in the Haifa/Tel Aviv corridor and is dedicated to exploring Israel’s many cultural and technological innovations. Highlights include experiencing what it means to be a “Start-Up Nation” at a high tech campus, taking part in a creative workshop at Ein Hod artists colony, and meeting some of the emerging leaders shaping the course of Israeli society. You’ll also explore Israel’s beautiful Carmel Mountains and spend a Shabbat in Haifa, a city rich in diversity and beauty. Discover a new and thoroughly modern side of Israel!

NOTE: The enrichment week also brings together teens on our Trek Israel PLUS program.

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
Learn desert survival skills in the Negev
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 geopolitics and experience co-existence in action
Spend Shabbat in the heart of Jerusalem and learn about Judaism’s mystical tradition in Tzvat
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
Electives: Trek from sea-to-sea, challenge yourself on Gadna or take part in a service-learning experience

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 in 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

summer travel to israel

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 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

jewish teen israel trip scholarships

We believe all Jewish teens should experience Israel during their formative high school years. To that end, we provide need-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. The actual program may vary slightly. An updated itinerary including confirmed accommodations 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 flight (optional)
    Take-off and spend the night in the sky en route to Israel

DAY #2 | Wednesday | Introduction to Jerusalem

  • Arrive at Ben Gurion Airport – Meet your Israeli staff team and begin the ascent to Jerusalem
  • Check-in and orientation at accommodations
  • Dinner at accommodations
  • Overnight: TBA – Jerusalem, Israel

DAY #3 | Thursday | Jerusalem’s Old City

  • Welcome to Israel! Travel to Neot Kedumim Biblical Park for tree planting ceremony, leadership workshop, and group cooked lunch
  • Shehecheyanu ceremony overlooking the Hass Promenade
  • Discover how King David established a Jewish capital at the “City of David” complex
  • Get wet! Walk through Hezekiah’s underground aqueducts beneath Jerusalem!
  • Reflections at the Kotel (The Western Wall) and visit the Southern Wall excavations
  • Uncover layers of history in the Kotel tunnel tour
  • Overnight: TBA – Jerusalem, Israel

DAY #4 | Friday | Along the Mediterranean Coast

  • Walk the Rampart Walls of the Old City from Jaffa Gate to Zion Gate
  • Enter the Old City’s Zion Gate, explore the ancient squares & rooftops of the Jewish Quarter
  • Head north to explore the ancient catacombs of Beit Shearim
  • Stop for an overlook of the Kinneret – the Sea of Galilee
  • Arrive to accommodations and prepare for Shabbat
  • Kabbalat Shabbat experience and dinner at accommodations
  • Overnight: TBA – Galilee, Israel

DAY #5 | Saturday | Shabbat on Kibbutz

  • Shabbat programming and group lunch
  • Tour of the kibbutz and learning about the history of the kibbutz system
  • Pool, sports, and free time!
  • Dinner at accommodations followed by a Havdalah ceremony, celebrate the start of a new week
  • Boat cruise on the Kinneret and group night out in Tiberias
  • Overnight: TBA – Galilee, Israel

DAY #6 | Sunday | Mystics of the Galilee

  • Walking tour of mystical Tzvat, the historic center of Judaism’s Kabbalah movement
  • Browse the Tzvat artist colony and meet Kabbalistic artist, Avraham Lowenthal
  • Finish the day rafting down the Jordan River and scaling the adventure ropes park
  • Enjoy a fresh-cooked pizza dinner on the bank of the Jordan River
  • Overnight: TBA – Galilee, Israel

DAY #7 | Monday | Perspectives from the Golan Heights

  • Ascend the Golan Heights, and hike along the water-filled Nahal Yehudiya canyon
  • Tour of the region on a historical off-road jeep tour of the Golan
  • View of the region and explore former IDF bunkers on the summit of Mt. Ben-Tal
  • Overnight: TBA – Galilee, Israel

DAY #8 | Tuesday | Co-Existence in the Galilee

  • Help fight poverty in Israel volunteering at Pitchon Lev in the city of Karmiel
  • Take part in a co-existence dialogue with Arab-Israeli teens with the Galilee Foundation
  • Explore the city of Haifa and take in the spectacular view of the Baha’i Gardens
  • Overnight: TBA – Haifa, Israel

DAY #9 | Wednesday | The Carmel Mountains

  • Meet Shomer Hadash at Nir Etzion Place, participate in agriculture work
  • Atlit – Learn about the challenges faced by Jews fleeing the Holocaust prior to Israel’s founding during the British Mandate Era
  • Surfing class, beach time, and BBQ dinner on the Mediterranean Coast
  • Overnight: TBA – Haifa, Israel

DAY #10 | Thursday | Pioneering Values

  • Visit Caesarea and explore Herod’s Roman amphitheater and grand palace on the beach
  • Travel to Tel Aviv, Israel’s cultural and financial capital
  • Head to the ancient port city of Jaffa for lunch
  • Tour Jaffa and browse the colorful Jaffa flea market
  • Save a Child’s Heart – meet children from around the world seeking lifesaving treatment in Israel
  • Overnight: TBA – Central Israel

NOTE: This weekend is the optional Host Family Weekend. If applicable, plan for your host to pick you up at scheduled accommodations on Thursday evening and return you to accommodations on Saturday evening.

DAY #11 | Friday | Israeli Arts & Culture

  • Travel to Tel Aviv – Israel’s cultural and financial capital
  • Machon Ayalon – Explore the story of the Haganah and the struggle to gain independence at this secret historical munitions factory
  • Enjoy the colorful Nahalat Binyamin street festival and Carmel Market
  • Free time to enjoy Tel Aviv’s lively beach culture
  • Return to accommodations and prepare for Shabbat
  • Kabbalat Shabbat ceremony and festive Shabbat dinner at the hotel
  • Overnight: TBA – Jerusalem Hills, Israel

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 accommodations
  • Dinner at accommodations followed by a Havdalah ceremony to celebrate the start of a new week
  • Night out in Malha Mall
  • Overnight: TBA – Jerusalem Hills, Israel

DAY #13 | Sunday | To the Negev Desert

  • Dig-for-a-Day! Take part in an archaeological seminar with the professionals
  • Break for a traditional Ethiopian-style lunch with home hosts
  • Travel south into the heart of the Negev Desert
  • 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 desert kibbutz accommodations outside of Arava Valley
  • BBQ dinner at our accommodations
  • Overnight: TBA – Arava Valley, Israel

DAY #14 | Monday | Eilat and the Red Sea

  • Wake up early to climb up and jump down at the Kassui sand dunes
  • Hike through the colorful Red Canyon trail
  • Depart to the Red Sea city of Eilat – Discover underwater treasures snorkeling at Coral Beach
  • Relaxed beach time and banana boating on the tropical Red Sea
  • Overnight: TBA – Arava Valley, Israel

DAY #15 | Tuesday | The Desert Blooms

  • Learn how Israel thrives in the desert and protects its ecological treasures at the Arava Institute
  • Lunch at Ktura
  • Travel north up the Arava Valley to the Judean Desert
  • Experience effortless floating at the Dead Sea’s Ein Bokek Beach
  • Camel trekking and enjoy a “hafla” style Bedouin tent dinner feast!
  • Bonfire party and night under the bright desert stars
  • Overnight: TBA – Judean Desert, Israel

DAY #16 | Wednesday | Masada and Ein Gedi

  • 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
  • Breakfast at ANA Masada
  • Swim under the cool desert waterfalls at Ein Gedi Nature Reserve
  • Take in the stark desert scenery as you travel back to Jerusalem in the late afternoon
  • Dinner at accommodations
  • Group night out on Cinema City
  • Overnight: TBA – Jerusalem, Israel

DAY #17 | Thursday | Remembrance & Renewal

  • Meet with an activist pursuing religious pluralism in Israel
  • Enjoy the sights and smells of the Mahane Yehuda open-air market
  • Tour the Knesset (Israel’s Parliament) and learn about Israel’s unique democracy
  • Return to our accommodation and prepare for B’Yachad
  • BBYO B’Yachad: Celebrate the summer in Israel with all of the BBYO Passport groups at Kif Tzuba
  • Overnight: TBA – Jerusalem, Israel

DAY #18 | Friday | Jerusalem Prepares for Shabbat

  • Experience Yad Vashem*: The World Holocaust Remembrance Center
  • Vision & Sacrifice: The Mt. Herzl National Cemetery
  • Powerful Kabbalat Shabbat experience at the Kotel
  • Walk back to the hotel and enjoy Shabbat dinner as a group
  • Overnight: TBA – Jerusalem, Israel

DAY #19 | Saturday | Relax and Reflect

  • Experience a Jerusalem Shabbat with the option to attend services at a local synagogue
  • Visit the Israel Museum – Discover the Dead Sea Scrolls, Temple model, and much more
  • Soak up the sun relaxing in Jerusalem’s Saker Park
  • Evening Speaker: The Geopolitics of Israel Today with Neil Lazarus
  • Dinner at accommodations
  • Night out on Ben Yehuda Street
  • Overnight: TBA – Jerusalem, Israel

DAY #20 | Sunday | Founding Modern Israel

  • Depart for the Tel Aviv region in the morning
  • Independence Hall – Discover the founding values of Tel Aviv and Israel
  • Learn about the start-up nation at the Tel Aviv Innovation Center
  • Break for lunch along the stylish Rothschild Boulevard in Tel Aviv
  • Overnight: TBA – Jerusalem, Israel

DAY #21-24 | Monday to Thursday | Elective Choices

  • Option #1: Sea-to-Sea Hike – Hike from the Mediterranean Coast to the Sea of Galilee
  • Option #2: Gadna – Basic training-style experience at the IDF’s Tzalmon educational army base
  • Option #3: Stand UP Israel – Service learning experience in the Galilee

DAY #25 | Friday | Haifa and the Carmel Mountains

  • Visit Rosh Hanikra
  • Take a tour and break for lunch at the old Akko Seaport
  • Enjoy Akko extreme sports park
  • Return to accommodations and prepare for Shabbat
  • Kabbalat Shabbat and dinner overlooking the Haifa Bay
  • Overnight: TBA – Haifa, Israel

DAY #26 | Saturday | Shabbat in Haifa

  • Enjoy a day of fun, swimming and relaxing at Sportan Country Club
  • Return to accommodations for dinner and Havdalah Ceremony, celebrate the start of a new week
  • Krav Maga activity with Achari Movement!
  • Overnight: TBA – Haifa, Israel

DAY #27 | Sunday | Culture & Innovation in Tel Aviv

  • Grafitti tour & workshop in Tel Aviv
  • Break in Tel Aviv for Pizur lunch and free time
  • Rabin Museum & facilitated group discussions to follow
  • Closing dinner ceremony at Tel Aviv’s Pinat Hashlosha
  • Late Night: Return to Ben Gurion Airport for an overnight return flight

DAY #28 | Monday | Shalom and L’Hitraot!

  • Arrive back to New York in the morning

*Note: For some teens, this activity can be perceived as emotionally, mentally, or physically challenging. If at any time your teen feels they need support, staff members will be available. Prior to the start of this activity, staff and/or activity providers will facilitate context to put the teens in the right frame of mind as well as go through all safety procedures. If a teen does not feel comfortable participating, they may opt-out and a staff member will be available to stay with them.

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 supervised flight is offered, often from the New York area. You are responsible for your transportation to and from this location. Flight arrangements will be released in the spring. Families are also able to book their own tickets using miles or points that correspond to our supervised flight itinerary, or book separate flight itineraries entirely. Learn more about our supervised 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. When booking our accommodations, we request for each teen to have their own sleeping accommodations in a shared living space. All accommodations utilized have a dedicated guard.

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 field staff circulates between the groups as well. Staff names are sent out approximately 3-4 weeks prior to your departure as part of the pre-trip preparation email series. Staff are asked to make welcome calls to families before departure. Learn more about 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, teens will be required to have a hat, a shirt with sleeves, sunscreen, and water. Overexposure 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, and 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?
As a travel-based program, our meals take a variety of forms and may include hotel buffets, restaurants, specially catered meals and allowance funds for participants to purchase a meal on their own. All food provided by BBYO Passport experiences in Israel is kosher. When a meal is served in a public buffet format (e.g. hotel breakfast), we will always ensure that there are vegetarian or pescatarian options available, but we will also not restrict teens from eating the food of their choice. Some meals may be provided via an allowance system whereby teens will be given cash to purchase the food of their choice. Such meals are typically arranged in an area where there are multiple restaurant options, and teens can choose the food of their liking. In situations where time is of the essence, staff may choose to facilitate meal orders on behalf of teens using their allowance funds. Participants with special dietary needs (i.e. lactose intolerance, gluten-free, kosher, etc.) should review our dietary restrictions commitment document and contact us in advance to be sure we can accommodate your needs during the program. Expect to eat Middle Eastern and Mediterranean foods such as falafel, hummus, schnitzel, shakshouka, bourekas, and much more.

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.

If your teen is an Israeli citizen…
If your teen has dual citizenship, they must enter Israel with their Israeli passport. Your passport cannot expire within six months of the program start date in order to enter Israel. If your passport needs to be renewed, do so well in advance. Keep in mind, your teen should travel with both passports. Teens who are 17 years of age, have Israeli citizenship, and live in the USA may have to arrange for a release from a service for the Israeli Army. We recommend that you reach out to the Israeli consulate in your state to confirm what is required to avoid issues while in Israel.

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. Please note, teens taking part in the Host Family Weekend must go for the entire time, no exceptions. More details about the Host Family Weekend will be available in the pre-trip preparation manual.

For more information, check out our general FAQs.

No connections or extensions are available for this program. View all connected program options here.
 

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 travelers and families.

 

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.

More than a tour, Israel Journey is an opportunity to discover your own 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, understanding the complex politics of the Middle East with real-world insights, and living Jewish values through hands-on volunteering and local Shabbat experiences.

Israel Journey PLUS covers all of the classic sites you need to experience – ancient Jerusalem, modern Tel Aviv, the lush Golan Heights, the vast Negev Desert, the unsinkable Dead Sea and the mountaintop fortress on Masada. Along the way, you’ll enjoy a BBQ on the Mediterranean Coast, take part in an active archaeological dig, explore models for co-existence in Galilee, sample the world’s very best falafel, spend a night under the desert stars, and so many other memorable experiences to cherish.

Want to explore Israel in a different way? Explore Trek Israel PLUS.

What Makes it “PLUS”?

Israel Journey PLUS contains an extra enrichment week designed to shed light on unique aspects of Israeli society. It’s a perfect compliment to the traditional touring experiences on Israel Journey.

PART 1: Choose Your Path

The first half of the week is an elective. Choose from these options:

Sea-to-Sea Hike
israel hike for teensHike from the Mediterranean Sea to the Sea of Galilee on your own two feet. Cross through the lush canyons and mountaintops of the Galilee, camping out under the stars all along the way (all camping gear is provided). Learn how to navigate and survive in the wilderness as our ancestors did, explore Israel’s most scenic terrain, visit picturesque villages on the route, and connect to the beauty of the land in a way few ever do. Most important? Gain a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment that you will cherish for years to come.

Volunteering & Service Learning
israel summer trip for teensGive of yourself on a series of service projects and depart Israel with a sense that you not only visited but also gave something back. Based on a college campus in Israel’s Galilee region, teens will engage in a process of learning, direct service and reflection. Actual projects will vary throughout the elective period and may include work with immigrant youth, Israel’s minority communities, environmental restoration, and infrastructure improvement. Along the way, you’ll gain a new sense of perspective and connect with Israeli society on a personal level.

The IDF’s Gadna
summer trip to isreal high schoolersOrganized by the Israel Defense Forces and located on a specialized army educational base, Gadna is a “basic training”-style experience for high school teens from abroad. Since every Israeli teen is required to serve in the Israeli army, Gadna offers a glimpse of this uniquely Israeli experience. The Gadna program is not political or militaristic in nature. The experience is about learning new skills, hiking in the outdoors, and simulating what life is like on a real Israeli army base. Gadna is a challenging and character-building life experience you can look back on with a definite sense of accomplishment.

PART 2: Culture & Innovation

The second half of the week is based in the Haifa/Tel Aviv corridor and is dedicated to exploring Israel’s many cultural and technological innovations. Highlights include experiencing what it means to be a “Start-Up Nation” at a high tech campus, taking part in a creative workshop at Ein Hod artists colony, and meeting some of the emerging leaders shaping the course of Israeli society. You’ll also explore Israel’s beautiful Carmel Mountains and spend a Shabbat in Haifa, a city rich in diversity and beauty. Discover a new and thoroughly modern side of Israel!

NOTE: The enrichment week also brings together teens on our Trek Israel PLUS program.

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
Learn desert survival skills in the Negev
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 geopolitics and experience co-existence in action
Spend Shabbat in the heart of Jerusalem and learn about Judaism’s mystical tradition in Tzvat
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
Electives: Trek from sea-to-sea, challenge yourself on Gadna or take part in a service-learning experience

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 in 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

summer travel to israel

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 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

jewish teen israel trip scholarships

We believe all Jewish teens should experience Israel during their formative high school years. To that end, we provide need-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. The actual program may vary slightly. An updated itinerary including confirmed accommodations 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 flight (optional)
    Take-off and spend the night in the sky en route to Israel

DAY #2 | Wednesday | Introduction to Jerusalem

  • Arrive at Ben Gurion Airport – Meet your Israeli staff team and begin the ascent to Jerusalem
  • Check-in and orientation at accommodations
  • Dinner at accommodations
  • Overnight: TBA – Jerusalem, Israel

DAY #3 | Thursday | Jerusalem’s Old City

  • Welcome to Israel! Travel to Neot Kedumim Biblical Park for tree planting ceremony, leadership workshop, and group cooked lunch
  • Shehecheyanu ceremony overlooking the Hass Promenade
  • Discover how King David established a Jewish capital at the “City of David” complex
  • Get wet! Walk through Hezekiah’s underground aqueducts beneath Jerusalem!
  • Reflections at the Kotel (The Western Wall) and visit the Southern Wall excavations
  • Uncover layers of history in the Kotel tunnel tour
  • Overnight: TBA – Jerusalem, Israel

DAY #4 | Friday | Along the Mediterranean Coast

  • Walk the Rampart Walls of the Old City from Jaffa Gate to Zion Gate
  • Enter the Old City’s Zion Gate, explore the ancient squares & rooftops of the Jewish Quarter
  • Head north to explore the ancient catacombs of Beit Shearim
  • Stop for an overlook of the Kinneret – the Sea of Galilee
  • Arrive to accommodations and prepare for Shabbat
  • Kabbalat Shabbat experience and dinner at accommodations
  • Overnight: TBA – Galilee, Israel

DAY #5 | Saturday | Shabbat on Kibbutz

  • Shabbat programming and group lunch
  • Tour of the kibbutz and learning about the history of the kibbutz system
  • Pool, sports, and free time!
  • Dinner at accommodations followed by a Havdalah ceremony, celebrate the start of a new week
  • Boat cruise on the Kinneret and group night out in Tiberias
  • Overnight: TBA – Galilee, Israel

DAY #6 | Sunday | Mystics of the Galilee

  • Walking tour of mystical Tzvat, the historic center of Judaism’s Kabbalah movement
  • Browse the Tzvat artist colony and meet Kabbalistic artist, Avraham Lowenthal
  • Finish the day rafting down the Jordan River and scaling the adventure ropes park
  • Enjoy a fresh-cooked pizza dinner on the bank of the Jordan River
  • Overnight: TBA – Galilee, Israel

DAY #7 | Monday | Perspectives from the Golan Heights

  • Ascend the Golan Heights, and hike along the water-filled Nahal Yehudiya canyon
  • Tour of the region on a historical off-road jeep tour of the Golan
  • View of the region and explore former IDF bunkers on the summit of Mt. Ben-Tal
  • Overnight: TBA – Galilee, Israel

DAY #8 | Tuesday | Co-Existence in the Galilee

  • Help fight poverty in Israel volunteering at Pitchon Lev in the city of Karmiel
  • Take part in a co-existence dialogue with Arab-Israeli teens with the Galilee Foundation
  • Explore the city of Haifa and take in the spectacular view of the Baha’i Gardens
  • Overnight: TBA – Haifa, Israel

DAY #9 | Wednesday | The Carmel Mountains

  • Meet Shomer Hadash at Nir Etzion Place, participate in agriculture work
  • Atlit – Learn about the challenges faced by Jews fleeing the Holocaust prior to Israel’s founding during the British Mandate Era
  • Surfing class, beach time, and BBQ dinner on the Mediterranean Coast
  • Overnight: TBA – Haifa, Israel

DAY #10 | Thursday | Pioneering Values

  • Visit Caesarea and explore Herod’s Roman amphitheater and grand palace on the beach
  • Travel to Tel Aviv, Israel’s cultural and financial capital
  • Head to the ancient port city of Jaffa for lunch
  • Tour Jaffa and browse the colorful Jaffa flea market
  • Save a Child’s Heart – meet children from around the world seeking lifesaving treatment in Israel
  • Overnight: TBA – Central Israel

NOTE: This weekend is the optional Host Family Weekend. If applicable, plan for your host to pick you up at scheduled accommodations on Thursday evening and return you to accommodations on Saturday evening.

DAY #11 | Friday | Israeli Arts & Culture

  • Travel to Tel Aviv – Israel’s cultural and financial capital
  • Machon Ayalon – Explore the story of the Haganah and the struggle to gain independence at this secret historical munitions factory
  • Enjoy the colorful Nahalat Binyamin street festival and Carmel Market
  • Free time to enjoy Tel Aviv’s lively beach culture
  • Return to accommodations and prepare for Shabbat
  • Kabbalat Shabbat ceremony and festive Shabbat dinner at the hotel
  • Overnight: TBA – Jerusalem Hills, Israel

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 accommodations
  • Dinner at accommodations followed by a Havdalah ceremony to celebrate the start of a new week
  • Night out in Malha Mall
  • Overnight: TBA – Jerusalem Hills, Israel

DAY #13 | Sunday | To the Negev Desert

  • Dig-for-a-Day! Take part in an archaeological seminar with the professionals
  • Break for a traditional Ethiopian-style lunch with home hosts
  • Travel south into the heart of the Negev Desert
  • 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 desert kibbutz accommodations outside of Arava Valley
  • BBQ dinner at our accommodations
  • Overnight: TBA – Arava Valley, Israel

DAY #14 | Monday | Eilat and the Red Sea

  • Wake up early to climb up and jump down at the Kassui sand dunes
  • Hike through the colorful Red Canyon trail
  • Depart to the Red Sea city of Eilat – Discover underwater treasures snorkeling at Coral Beach
  • Relaxed beach time and banana boating on the tropical Red Sea
  • Overnight: TBA – Arava Valley, Israel

DAY #15 | Tuesday | The Desert Blooms

  • Learn how Israel thrives in the desert and protects its ecological treasures at the Arava Institute
  • Lunch at Ktura
  • Travel north up the Arava Valley to the Judean Desert
  • Experience effortless floating at the Dead Sea’s Ein Bokek Beach
  • Camel trekking and enjoy a “hafla” style Bedouin tent dinner feast!
  • Bonfire party and night under the bright desert stars
  • Overnight: TBA – Judean Desert, Israel

DAY #16 | Wednesday | Masada and Ein Gedi

  • 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
  • Breakfast at ANA Masada
  • Swim under the cool desert waterfalls at Ein Gedi Nature Reserve
  • Take in the stark desert scenery as you travel back to Jerusalem in the late afternoon
  • Dinner at accommodations
  • Group night out on Cinema City
  • Overnight: TBA – Jerusalem, Israel

DAY #17 | Thursday | Remembrance & Renewal

  • Meet with an activist pursuing religious pluralism in Israel
  • Enjoy the sights and smells of the Mahane Yehuda open-air market
  • Tour the Knesset (Israel’s Parliament) and learn about Israel’s unique democracy
  • Return to our accommodation and prepare for B’Yachad
  • BBYO B’Yachad: Celebrate the summer in Israel with all of the BBYO Passport groups at Kif Tzuba
  • Overnight: TBA – Jerusalem, Israel

DAY #18 | Friday | Jerusalem Prepares for Shabbat

  • Experience Yad Vashem*: The World Holocaust Remembrance Center
  • Vision & Sacrifice: The Mt. Herzl National Cemetery
  • Powerful Kabbalat Shabbat experience at the Kotel
  • Walk back to the hotel and enjoy Shabbat dinner as a group
  • Overnight: TBA – Jerusalem, Israel

DAY #19 | Saturday | Relax and Reflect

  • Experience a Jerusalem Shabbat with the option to attend services at a local synagogue
  • Visit the Israel Museum – Discover the Dead Sea Scrolls, Temple model, and much more
  • Soak up the sun relaxing in Jerusalem’s Saker Park
  • Evening Speaker: The Geopolitics of Israel Today with Neil Lazarus
  • Dinner at accommodations
  • Night out on Ben Yehuda Street
  • Overnight: TBA – Jerusalem, Israel

DAY #20 | Sunday | Founding Modern Israel

  • Depart for the Tel Aviv region in the morning
  • Independence Hall – Discover the founding values of Tel Aviv and Israel
  • Learn about the start-up nation at the Tel Aviv Innovation Center
  • Break for lunch along the stylish Rothschild Boulevard in Tel Aviv
  • Overnight: TBA – Jerusalem, Israel

DAY #21-24 | Monday to Thursday | Elective Choices

  • Option #1: Sea-to-Sea Hike – Hike from the Mediterranean Coast to the Sea of Galilee
  • Option #2: Gadna – Basic training-style experience at the IDF’s Tzalmon educational army base
  • Option #3: Stand UP Israel – Service learning experience in the Galilee

DAY #25 | Friday | Haifa and the Carmel Mountains

  • Visit Rosh Hanikra
  • Take a tour and break for lunch at the old Akko Seaport
  • Enjoy Akko extreme sports park
  • Return to accommodations and prepare for Shabbat
  • Kabbalat Shabbat and dinner overlooking the Haifa Bay
  • Overnight: TBA – Haifa, Israel

DAY #26 | Saturday | Shabbat in Haifa

  • Enjoy a day of fun, swimming and relaxing at Sportan Country Club
  • Return to accommodations for dinner and Havdalah Ceremony, celebrate the start of a new week
  • Krav Maga activity with Achari Movement!
  • Overnight: TBA – Haifa, Israel

DAY #27 | Sunday | Culture & Innovation in Tel Aviv

  • Grafitti tour & workshop in Tel Aviv
  • Break in Tel Aviv for Pizur lunch and free time
  • Rabin Museum & facilitated group discussions to follow
  • Closing dinner ceremony at Tel Aviv’s Pinat Hashlosha
  • Late Night: Return to Ben Gurion Airport for an overnight return flight

DAY #28 | Monday | Shalom and L’Hitraot!

  • Arrive back to New York in the morning

*Note: For some teens, this activity can be perceived as emotionally, mentally, or physically challenging. If at any time your teen feels they need support, staff members will be available. Prior to the start of this activity, staff and/or activity providers will facilitate context to put the teens in the right frame of mind as well as go through all safety procedures. If a teen does not feel comfortable participating, they may opt-out and a staff member will be available to stay with them.

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 supervised flight is offered, often from the New York area. You are responsible for your transportation to and from this location. Flight arrangements will be released in the spring. Families are also able to book their own tickets using miles or points that correspond to our supervised flight itinerary, or book separate flight itineraries entirely. Learn more about our supervised 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. When booking our accommodations, we request for each teen to have their own sleeping accommodations in a shared living space. All accommodations utilized have a dedicated guard.

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 field staff circulates between the groups as well. Staff names are sent out approximately 3-4 weeks prior to your departure as part of the pre-trip preparation email series. Staff are asked to make welcome calls to families before departure. Learn more about 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, teens will be required to have a hat, a shirt with sleeves, sunscreen, and water. Overexposure 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, and 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?
As a travel-based program, our meals take a variety of forms and may include hotel buffets, restaurants, specially catered meals and allowance funds for participants to purchase a meal on their own. All food provided by BBYO Passport experiences in Israel is kosher. When a meal is served in a public buffet format (e.g. hotel breakfast), we will always ensure that there are vegetarian or pescatarian options available, but we will also not restrict teens from eating the food of their choice. Some meals may be provided via an allowance system whereby teens will be given cash to purchase the food of their choice. Such meals are typically arranged in an area where there are multiple restaurant options, and teens can choose the food of their liking. In situations where time is of the essence, staff may choose to facilitate meal orders on behalf of teens using their allowance funds. Participants with special dietary needs (i.e. lactose intolerance, gluten-free, kosher, etc.) should review our dietary restrictions commitment document and contact us in advance to be sure we can accommodate your needs during the program. Expect to eat Middle Eastern and Mediterranean foods such as falafel, hummus, schnitzel, shakshouka, bourekas, and much more.

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.

If your teen is an Israeli citizen…
If your teen has dual citizenship, they must enter Israel with their Israeli passport. Your passport cannot expire within six months of the program start date in order to enter Israel. If your passport needs to be renewed, do so well in advance. Keep in mind, your teen should travel with both passports. Teens who are 17 years of age, have Israeli citizenship, and live in the USA may have to arrange for a release from a service for the Israeli Army. We recommend that you reach out to the Israeli consulate in your state to confirm what is required to avoid issues while in Israel.

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. Please note, teens taking part in the Host Family Weekend must go for the entire time, no exceptions. More details about the Host Family Weekend will be available in the pre-trip preparation manual.

For more information, check out our general FAQs.

No connections or extensions are available for this program. View all connected program options here.
 

PROGRAM REVIEWS

Israel Journey PLUS

Join us for BBYO Passport’s flagship 4-week summer experience in Israel! Form new friendships as you travel on a cross-country and cross-cultural journey in the Jewish Homeland.

Israel Journey PLUS

Join us for BBYO Passport’s flagship 4-week summer experience in Israel! Form new friendships as you travel 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.

More than a tour, Israel Journey is an opportunity to discover your own 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, understanding the complex politics of the Middle East with real-world insights, and living Jewish values through hands-on volunteering and local Shabbat experiences.

Israel Journey PLUS covers all of the classic sites you need to experience – ancient Jerusalem, modern Tel Aviv, the lush Golan Heights, the vast Negev Desert, the unsinkable Dead Sea and the mountaintop fortress on Masada. Along the way, you’ll enjoy a BBQ on the Mediterranean Coast, take part in an active archaeological dig, explore models for co-existence in Galilee, sample the world’s very best falafel, spend a night under the desert stars, and so many other memorable experiences to cherish.

Want to explore Israel in a different way? Explore Trek Israel PLUS.

What Makes it “PLUS”?

Israel Journey PLUS contains an extra enrichment week designed to shed light on unique aspects of Israeli society. It’s a perfect compliment to the traditional touring experiences on Israel Journey.

PART 1: Choose Your Path

The first half of the week is an elective. Choose from these options:

Sea-to-Sea Hike
israel hike for teensHike from the Mediterranean Sea to the Sea of Galilee on your own two feet. Cross through the lush canyons and mountaintops of the Galilee, camping out under the stars all along the way (all camping gear is provided). Learn how to navigate and survive in the wilderness as our ancestors did, explore Israel’s most scenic terrain, visit picturesque villages on the route, and connect to the beauty of the land in a way few ever do. Most important? Gain a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment that you will cherish for years to come.

Volunteering & Service Learning
israel summer trip for teensGive of yourself on a series of service projects and depart Israel with a sense that you not only visited but also gave something back. Based on a college campus in Israel’s Galilee region, teens will engage in a process of learning, direct service and reflection. Actual projects will vary throughout the elective period and may include work with immigrant youth, Israel’s minority communities, environmental restoration, and infrastructure improvement. Along the way, you’ll gain a new sense of perspective and connect with Israeli society on a personal level.

The IDF’s Gadna
summer trip to isreal high schoolersOrganized by the Israel Defense Forces and located on a specialized army educational base, Gadna is a “basic training”-style experience for high school teens from abroad. Since every Israeli teen is required to serve in the Israeli army, Gadna offers a glimpse of this uniquely Israeli experience. The Gadna program is not political or militaristic in nature. The experience is about learning new skills, hiking in the outdoors, and simulating what life is like on a real Israeli army base. Gadna is a challenging and character-building life experience you can look back on with a definite sense of accomplishment.

PART 2: Culture & Innovation

The second half of the week is based in the Haifa/Tel Aviv corridor and is dedicated to exploring Israel’s many cultural and technological innovations. Highlights include experiencing what it means to be a “Start-Up Nation” at a high tech campus, taking part in a creative workshop at Ein Hod artists colony, and meeting some of the emerging leaders shaping the course of Israeli society. You’ll also explore Israel’s beautiful Carmel Mountains and spend a Shabbat in Haifa, a city rich in diversity and beauty. Discover a new and thoroughly modern side of Israel!

NOTE: The enrichment week also brings together teens on our Trek Israel PLUS program.

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
Learn desert survival skills in the Negev
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 geopolitics and experience co-existence in action
Spend Shabbat in the heart of Jerusalem and learn about Judaism’s mystical tradition in Tzvat
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
Electives: Trek from sea-to-sea, challenge yourself on Gadna or take part in a service-learning experience

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 in 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

summer travel to israel

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 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

jewish teen israel trip scholarships

We believe all Jewish teens should experience Israel during their formative high school years. To that end, we provide need-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. The actual program may vary slightly. An updated itinerary including confirmed accommodations 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 flight (optional)
    Take-off and spend the night in the sky en route to Israel

DAY #2 | Wednesday | Introduction to Jerusalem

  • Arrive at Ben Gurion Airport – Meet your Israeli staff team and begin the ascent to Jerusalem
  • Check-in and orientation at accommodations
  • Dinner at accommodations
  • Overnight: TBA – Jerusalem, Israel

DAY #3 | Thursday | Jerusalem’s Old City

  • Welcome to Israel! Travel to Neot Kedumim Biblical Park for tree planting ceremony, leadership workshop, and group cooked lunch
  • Shehecheyanu ceremony overlooking the Hass Promenade
  • Discover how King David established a Jewish capital at the “City of David” complex
  • Get wet! Walk through Hezekiah’s underground aqueducts beneath Jerusalem!
  • Reflections at the Kotel (The Western Wall) and visit the Southern Wall excavations
  • Uncover layers of history in the Kotel tunnel tour
  • Overnight: TBA – Jerusalem, Israel

DAY #4 | Friday | Along the Mediterranean Coast

  • Walk the Rampart Walls of the Old City from Jaffa Gate to Zion Gate
  • Enter the Old City’s Zion Gate, explore the ancient squares & rooftops of the Jewish Quarter
  • Head north to explore the ancient catacombs of Beit Shearim
  • Stop for an overlook of the Kinneret – the Sea of Galilee
  • Arrive to accommodations and prepare for Shabbat
  • Kabbalat Shabbat experience and dinner at accommodations
  • Overnight: TBA – Galilee, Israel

DAY #5 | Saturday | Shabbat on Kibbutz

  • Shabbat programming and group lunch
  • Tour of the kibbutz and learning about the history of the kibbutz system
  • Pool, sports, and free time!
  • Dinner at accommodations followed by a Havdalah ceremony, celebrate the start of a new week
  • Boat cruise on the Kinneret and group night out in Tiberias
  • Overnight: TBA – Galilee, Israel

DAY #6 | Sunday | Mystics of the Galilee

  • Walking tour of mystical Tzvat, the historic center of Judaism’s Kabbalah movement
  • Browse the Tzvat artist colony and meet Kabbalistic artist, Avraham Lowenthal
  • Finish the day rafting down the Jordan River and scaling the adventure ropes park
  • Enjoy a fresh-cooked pizza dinner on the bank of the Jordan River
  • Overnight: TBA – Galilee, Israel

DAY #7 | Monday | Perspectives from the Golan Heights

  • Ascend the Golan Heights, and hike along the water-filled Nahal Yehudiya canyon
  • Tour of the region on a historical off-road jeep tour of the Golan
  • View of the region and explore former IDF bunkers on the summit of Mt. Ben-Tal
  • Overnight: TBA – Galilee, Israel

DAY #8 | Tuesday | Co-Existence in the Galilee

  • Help fight poverty in Israel volunteering at Pitchon Lev in the city of Karmiel
  • Take part in a co-existence dialogue with Arab-Israeli teens with the Galilee Foundation
  • Explore the city of Haifa and take in the spectacular view of the Baha’i Gardens
  • Overnight: TBA – Haifa, Israel

DAY #9 | Wednesday | The Carmel Mountains

  • Meet Shomer Hadash at Nir Etzion Place, participate in agriculture work
  • Atlit – Learn about the challenges faced by Jews fleeing the Holocaust prior to Israel’s founding during the British Mandate Era
  • Surfing class, beach time, and BBQ dinner on the Mediterranean Coast
  • Overnight: TBA – Haifa, Israel

DAY #10 | Thursday | Pioneering Values

  • Visit Caesarea and explore Herod’s Roman amphitheater and grand palace on the beach
  • Travel to Tel Aviv, Israel’s cultural and financial capital
  • Head to the ancient port city of Jaffa for lunch
  • Tour Jaffa and browse the colorful Jaffa flea market
  • Save a Child’s Heart – meet children from around the world seeking lifesaving treatment in Israel
  • Overnight: TBA – Central Israel

NOTE: This weekend is the optional Host Family Weekend. If applicable, plan for your host to pick you up at scheduled accommodations on Thursday evening and return you to accommodations on Saturday evening.

DAY #11 | Friday | Israeli Arts & Culture

  • Travel to Tel Aviv – Israel’s cultural and financial capital
  • Machon Ayalon – Explore the story of the Haganah and the struggle to gain independence at this secret historical munitions factory
  • Enjoy the colorful Nahalat Binyamin street festival and Carmel Market
  • Free time to enjoy Tel Aviv’s lively beach culture
  • Return to accommodations and prepare for Shabbat
  • Kabbalat Shabbat ceremony and festive Shabbat dinner at the hotel
  • Overnight: TBA – Jerusalem Hills, Israel

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 accommodations
  • Dinner at accommodations followed by a Havdalah ceremony to celebrate the start of a new week
  • Night out in Malha Mall
  • Overnight: TBA – Jerusalem Hills, Israel

DAY #13 | Sunday | To the Negev Desert

  • Dig-for-a-Day! Take part in an archaeological seminar with the professionals
  • Break for a traditional Ethiopian-style lunch with home hosts
  • Travel south into the heart of the Negev Desert
  • 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 desert kibbutz accommodations outside of Arava Valley
  • BBQ dinner at our accommodations
  • Overnight: TBA – Arava Valley, Israel

DAY #14 | Monday | Eilat and the Red Sea

  • Wake up early to climb up and jump down at the Kassui sand dunes
  • Hike through the colorful Red Canyon trail
  • Depart to the Red Sea city of Eilat – Discover underwater treasures snorkeling at Coral Beach
  • Relaxed beach time and banana boating on the tropical Red Sea
  • Overnight: TBA – Arava Valley, Israel

DAY #15 | Tuesday | The Desert Blooms

  • Learn how Israel thrives in the desert and protects its ecological treasures at the Arava Institute
  • Lunch at Ktura
  • Travel north up the Arava Valley to the Judean Desert
  • Experience effortless floating at the Dead Sea’s Ein Bokek Beach
  • Camel trekking and enjoy a “hafla” style Bedouin tent dinner feast!
  • Bonfire party and night under the bright desert stars
  • Overnight: TBA – Judean Desert, Israel

DAY #16 | Wednesday | Masada and Ein Gedi

  • 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
  • Breakfast at ANA Masada
  • Swim under the cool desert waterfalls at Ein Gedi Nature Reserve
  • Take in the stark desert scenery as you travel back to Jerusalem in the late afternoon
  • Dinner at accommodations
  • Group night out on Cinema City
  • Overnight: TBA – Jerusalem, Israel

DAY #17 | Thursday | Remembrance & Renewal

  • Meet with an activist pursuing religious pluralism in Israel
  • Enjoy the sights and smells of the Mahane Yehuda open-air market
  • Tour the Knesset (Israel’s Parliament) and learn about Israel’s unique democracy
  • Return to our accommodation and prepare for B’Yachad
  • BBYO B’Yachad: Celebrate the summer in Israel with all of the BBYO Passport groups at Kif Tzuba
  • Overnight: TBA – Jerusalem, Israel

DAY #18 | Friday | Jerusalem Prepares for Shabbat

  • Experience Yad Vashem*: The World Holocaust Remembrance Center
  • Vision & Sacrifice: The Mt. Herzl National Cemetery
  • Powerful Kabbalat Shabbat experience at the Kotel
  • Walk back to the hotel and enjoy Shabbat dinner as a group
  • Overnight: TBA – Jerusalem, Israel

DAY #19 | Saturday | Relax and Reflect

  • Experience a Jerusalem Shabbat with the option to attend services at a local synagogue
  • Visit the Israel Museum – Discover the Dead Sea Scrolls, Temple model, and much more
  • Soak up the sun relaxing in Jerusalem’s Saker Park
  • Evening Speaker: The Geopolitics of Israel Today with Neil Lazarus
  • Dinner at accommodations
  • Night out on Ben Yehuda Street
  • Overnight: TBA – Jerusalem, Israel

DAY #20 | Sunday | Founding Modern Israel

  • Depart for the Tel Aviv region in the morning
  • Independence Hall – Discover the founding values of Tel Aviv and Israel
  • Learn about the start-up nation at the Tel Aviv Innovation Center
  • Break for lunch along the stylish Rothschild Boulevard in Tel Aviv
  • Overnight: TBA – Jerusalem, Israel

DAY #21-24 | Monday to Thursday | Elective Choices

  • Option #1: Sea-to-Sea Hike – Hike from the Mediterranean Coast to the Sea of Galilee
  • Option #2: Gadna – Basic training-style experience at the IDF’s Tzalmon educational army base
  • Option #3: Stand UP Israel – Service learning experience in the Galilee

DAY #25 | Friday | Haifa and the Carmel Mountains

  • Visit Rosh Hanikra
  • Take a tour and break for lunch at the old Akko Seaport
  • Enjoy Akko extreme sports park
  • Return to accommodations and prepare for Shabbat
  • Kabbalat Shabbat and dinner overlooking the Haifa Bay
  • Overnight: TBA – Haifa, Israel

DAY #26 | Saturday | Shabbat in Haifa

  • Enjoy a day of fun, swimming and relaxing at Sportan Country Club
  • Return to accommodations for dinner and Havdalah Ceremony, celebrate the start of a new week
  • Krav Maga activity with Achari Movement!
  • Overnight: TBA – Haifa, Israel

DAY #27 | Sunday | Culture & Innovation in Tel Aviv

  • Grafitti tour & workshop in Tel Aviv
  • Break in Tel Aviv for Pizur lunch and free time
  • Rabin Museum & facilitated group discussions to follow
  • Closing dinner ceremony at Tel Aviv’s Pinat Hashlosha
  • Late Night: Return to Ben Gurion Airport for an overnight return flight

DAY #28 | Monday | Shalom and L’Hitraot!

  • Arrive back to New York in the morning

*Note: For some teens, this activity can be perceived as emotionally, mentally, or physically challenging. If at any time your teen feels they need support, staff members will be available. Prior to the start of this activity, staff and/or activity providers will facilitate context to put the teens in the right frame of mind as well as go through all safety procedures. If a teen does not feel comfortable participating, they may opt-out and a staff member will be available to stay with them.

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 supervised flight is offered, often from the New York area. You are responsible for your transportation to and from this location. Flight arrangements will be released in the spring. Families are also able to book their own tickets using miles or points that correspond to our supervised flight itinerary, or book separate flight itineraries entirely. Learn more about our supervised 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. When booking our accommodations, we request for each teen to have their own sleeping accommodations in a shared living space. All accommodations utilized have a dedicated guard.

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 field staff circulates between the groups as well. Staff names are sent out approximately 3-4 weeks prior to your departure as part of the pre-trip preparation email series. Staff are asked to make welcome calls to families before departure. Learn more about 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, teens will be required to have a hat, a shirt with sleeves, sunscreen, and water. Overexposure 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, and 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?
As a travel-based program, our meals take a variety of forms and may include hotel buffets, restaurants, specially catered meals and allowance funds for participants to purchase a meal on their own. All food provided by BBYO Passport experiences in Israel is kosher. When a meal is served in a public buffet format (e.g. hotel breakfast), we will always ensure that there are vegetarian or pescatarian options available, but we will also not restrict teens from eating the food of their choice. Some meals may be provided via an allowance system whereby teens will be given cash to purchase the food of their choice. Such meals are typically arranged in an area where there are multiple restaurant options, and teens can choose the food of their liking. In situations where time is of the essence, staff may choose to facilitate meal orders on behalf of teens using their allowance funds. Participants with special dietary needs (i.e. lactose intolerance, gluten-free, kosher, etc.) should review our dietary restrictions commitment document and contact us in advance to be sure we can accommodate your needs during the program. Expect to eat Middle Eastern and Mediterranean foods such as falafel, hummus, schnitzel, shakshouka, bourekas, and much more.

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.

If your teen is an Israeli citizen…
If your teen has dual citizenship, they must enter Israel with their Israeli passport. Your passport cannot expire within six months of the program start date in order to enter Israel. If your passport needs to be renewed, do so well in advance. Keep in mind, your teen should travel with both passports. Teens who are 17 years of age, have Israeli citizenship, and live in the USA may have to arrange for a release from a service for the Israeli Army. We recommend that you reach out to the Israeli consulate in your state to confirm what is required to avoid issues while in Israel.

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. Please note, teens taking part in the Host Family Weekend must go for the entire time, no exceptions. More details about the Host Family Weekend will be available in the pre-trip preparation manual.

For more information, check out our general FAQs.

No connections or extensions are available for this program. View all connected program options here.
 

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 travelers and families.

 

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.

More than a tour, Israel Journey is an opportunity to discover your own 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, understanding the complex politics of the Middle East with real-world insights, and living Jewish values through hands-on volunteering and local Shabbat experiences.

Israel Journey PLUS covers all of the classic sites you need to experience – ancient Jerusalem, modern Tel Aviv, the lush Golan Heights, the vast Negev Desert, the unsinkable Dead Sea and the mountaintop fortress on Masada. Along the way, you’ll enjoy a BBQ on the Mediterranean Coast, take part in an active archaeological dig, explore models for co-existence in Galilee, sample the world’s very best falafel, spend a night under the desert stars, and so many other memorable experiences to cherish.

Want to explore Israel in a different way? Explore Trek Israel PLUS.

What Makes it “PLUS”?

Israel Journey PLUS contains an extra enrichment week designed to shed light on unique aspects of Israeli society. It’s a perfect compliment to the traditional touring experiences on Israel Journey.

PART 1: Choose Your Path

The first half of the week is an elective. Choose from these options:

Sea-to-Sea Hike
israel hike for teensHike from the Mediterranean Sea to the Sea of Galilee on your own two feet. Cross through the lush canyons and mountaintops of the Galilee, camping out under the stars all along the way (all camping gear is provided). Learn how to navigate and survive in the wilderness as our ancestors did, explore Israel’s most scenic terrain, visit picturesque villages on the route, and connect to the beauty of the land in a way few ever do. Most important? Gain a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment that you will cherish for years to come.

Volunteering & Service Learning
israel summer trip for teensGive of yourself on a series of service projects and depart Israel with a sense that you not only visited but also gave something back. Based on a college campus in Israel’s Galilee region, teens will engage in a process of learning, direct service and reflection. Actual projects will vary throughout the elective period and may include work with immigrant youth, Israel’s minority communities, environmental restoration, and infrastructure improvement. Along the way, you’ll gain a new sense of perspective and connect with Israeli society on a personal level.

The IDF’s Gadna
summer trip to isreal high schoolersOrganized by the Israel Defense Forces and located on a specialized army educational base, Gadna is a “basic training”-style experience for high school teens from abroad. Since every Israeli teen is required to serve in the Israeli army, Gadna offers a glimpse of this uniquely Israeli experience. The Gadna program is not political or militaristic in nature. The experience is about learning new skills, hiking in the outdoors, and simulating what life is like on a real Israeli army base. Gadna is a challenging and character-building life experience you can look back on with a definite sense of accomplishment.

PART 2: Culture & Innovation

The second half of the week is based in the Haifa/Tel Aviv corridor and is dedicated to exploring Israel’s many cultural and technological innovations. Highlights include experiencing what it means to be a “Start-Up Nation” at a high tech campus, taking part in a creative workshop at Ein Hod artists colony, and meeting some of the emerging leaders shaping the course of Israeli society. You’ll also explore Israel’s beautiful Carmel Mountains and spend a Shabbat in Haifa, a city rich in diversity and beauty. Discover a new and thoroughly modern side of Israel!

NOTE: The enrichment week also brings together teens on our Trek Israel PLUS program.

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
Learn desert survival skills in the Negev
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 geopolitics and experience co-existence in action
Spend Shabbat in the heart of Jerusalem and learn about Judaism’s mystical tradition in Tzvat
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
Electives: Trek from sea-to-sea, challenge yourself on Gadna or take part in a service-learning experience

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 in 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

summer travel to israel

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 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

jewish teen israel trip scholarships

We believe all Jewish teens should experience Israel during their formative high school years. To that end, we provide need-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. The actual program may vary slightly. An updated itinerary including confirmed accommodations 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 flight (optional)
    Take-off and spend the night in the sky en route to Israel

DAY #2 | Wednesday | Introduction to Jerusalem

  • Arrive at Ben Gurion Airport – Meet your Israeli staff team and begin the ascent to Jerusalem
  • Check-in and orientation at accommodations
  • Dinner at accommodations
  • Overnight: TBA – Jerusalem, Israel

DAY #3 | Thursday | Jerusalem’s Old City

  • Welcome to Israel! Travel to Neot Kedumim Biblical Park for tree planting ceremony, leadership workshop, and group cooked lunch
  • Shehecheyanu ceremony overlooking the Hass Promenade
  • Discover how King David established a Jewish capital at the “City of David” complex
  • Get wet! Walk through Hezekiah’s underground aqueducts beneath Jerusalem!
  • Reflections at the Kotel (The Western Wall) and visit the Southern Wall excavations
  • Uncover layers of history in the Kotel tunnel tour
  • Overnight: TBA – Jerusalem, Israel

DAY #4 | Friday | Along the Mediterranean Coast

  • Walk the Rampart Walls of the Old City from Jaffa Gate to Zion Gate
  • Enter the Old City’s Zion Gate, explore the ancient squares & rooftops of the Jewish Quarter
  • Head north to explore the ancient catacombs of Beit Shearim
  • Stop for an overlook of the Kinneret – the Sea of Galilee
  • Arrive to accommodations and prepare for Shabbat
  • Kabbalat Shabbat experience and dinner at accommodations
  • Overnight: TBA – Galilee, Israel

DAY #5 | Saturday | Shabbat on Kibbutz

  • Shabbat programming and group lunch
  • Tour of the kibbutz and learning about the history of the kibbutz system
  • Pool, sports, and free time!
  • Dinner at accommodations followed by a Havdalah ceremony, celebrate the start of a new week
  • Boat cruise on the Kinneret and group night out in Tiberias
  • Overnight: TBA – Galilee, Israel

DAY #6 | Sunday | Mystics of the Galilee

  • Walking tour of mystical Tzvat, the historic center of Judaism’s Kabbalah movement
  • Browse the Tzvat artist colony and meet Kabbalistic artist, Avraham Lowenthal
  • Finish the day rafting down the Jordan River and scaling the adventure ropes park
  • Enjoy a fresh-cooked pizza dinner on the bank of the Jordan River
  • Overnight: TBA – Galilee, Israel

DAY #7 | Monday | Perspectives from the Golan Heights

  • Ascend the Golan Heights, and hike along the water-filled Nahal Yehudiya canyon
  • Tour of the region on a historical off-road jeep tour of the Golan
  • View of the region and explore former IDF bunkers on the summit of Mt. Ben-Tal
  • Overnight: TBA – Galilee, Israel

DAY #8 | Tuesday | Co-Existence in the Galilee

  • Help fight poverty in Israel volunteering at Pitchon Lev in the city of Karmiel
  • Take part in a co-existence dialogue with Arab-Israeli teens with the Galilee Foundation
  • Explore the city of Haifa and take in the spectacular view of the Baha’i Gardens
  • Overnight: TBA – Haifa, Israel

DAY #9 | Wednesday | The Carmel Mountains

  • Meet Shomer Hadash at Nir Etzion Place, participate in agriculture work
  • Atlit – Learn about the challenges faced by Jews fleeing the Holocaust prior to Israel’s founding during the British Mandate Era
  • Surfing class, beach time, and BBQ dinner on the Mediterranean Coast
  • Overnight: TBA – Haifa, Israel

DAY #10 | Thursday | Pioneering Values

  • Visit Caesarea and explore Herod’s Roman amphitheater and grand palace on the beach
  • Travel to Tel Aviv, Israel’s cultural and financial capital
  • Head to the ancient port city of Jaffa for lunch
  • Tour Jaffa and browse the colorful Jaffa flea market
  • Save a Child’s Heart – meet children from around the world seeking lifesaving treatment in Israel
  • Overnight: TBA – Central Israel

NOTE: This weekend is the optional Host Family Weekend. If applicable, plan for your host to pick you up at scheduled accommodations on Thursday evening and return you to accommodations on Saturday evening.

DAY #11 | Friday | Israeli Arts & Culture

  • Travel to Tel Aviv – Israel’s cultural and financial capital
  • Machon Ayalon – Explore the story of the Haganah and the struggle to gain independence at this secret historical munitions factory
  • Enjoy the colorful Nahalat Binyamin street festival and Carmel Market
  • Free time to enjoy Tel Aviv’s lively beach culture
  • Return to accommodations and prepare for Shabbat
  • Kabbalat Shabbat ceremony and festive Shabbat dinner at the hotel
  • Overnight: TBA – Jerusalem Hills, Israel

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 accommodations
  • Dinner at accommodations followed by a Havdalah ceremony to celebrate the start of a new week
  • Night out in Malha Mall
  • Overnight: TBA – Jerusalem Hills, Israel

DAY #13 | Sunday | To the Negev Desert

  • Dig-for-a-Day! Take part in an archaeological seminar with the professionals
  • Break for a traditional Ethiopian-style lunch with home hosts
  • Travel south into the heart of the Negev Desert
  • 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 desert kibbutz accommodations outside of Arava Valley
  • BBQ dinner at our accommodations
  • Overnight: TBA – Arava Valley, Israel

DAY #14 | Monday | Eilat and the Red Sea

  • Wake up early to climb up and jump down at the Kassui sand dunes
  • Hike through the colorful Red Canyon trail
  • Depart to the Red Sea city of Eilat – Discover underwater treasures snorkeling at Coral Beach
  • Relaxed beach time and banana boating on the tropical Red Sea
  • Overnight: TBA – Arava Valley, Israel

DAY #15 | Tuesday | The Desert Blooms

  • Learn how Israel thrives in the desert and protects its ecological treasures at the Arava Institute
  • Lunch at Ktura
  • Travel north up the Arava Valley to the Judean Desert
  • Experience effortless floating at the Dead Sea’s Ein Bokek Beach
  • Camel trekking and enjoy a “hafla” style Bedouin tent dinner feast!
  • Bonfire party and night under the bright desert stars
  • Overnight: TBA – Judean Desert, Israel

DAY #16 | Wednesday | Masada and Ein Gedi

  • 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
  • Breakfast at ANA Masada
  • Swim under the cool desert waterfalls at Ein Gedi Nature Reserve
  • Take in the stark desert scenery as you travel back to Jerusalem in the late afternoon
  • Dinner at accommodations
  • Group night out on Cinema City
  • Overnight: TBA – Jerusalem, Israel

DAY #17 | Thursday | Remembrance & Renewal

  • Meet with an activist pursuing religious pluralism in Israel
  • Enjoy the sights and smells of the Mahane Yehuda open-air market
  • Tour the Knesset (Israel’s Parliament) and learn about Israel’s unique democracy
  • Return to our accommodation and prepare for B’Yachad
  • BBYO B’Yachad: Celebrate the summer in Israel with all of the BBYO Passport groups at Kif Tzuba
  • Overnight: TBA – Jerusalem, Israel

DAY #18 | Friday | Jerusalem Prepares for Shabbat

  • Experience Yad Vashem*: The World Holocaust Remembrance Center
  • Vision & Sacrifice: The Mt. Herzl National Cemetery
  • Powerful Kabbalat Shabbat experience at the Kotel
  • Walk back to the hotel and enjoy Shabbat dinner as a group
  • Overnight: TBA – Jerusalem, Israel

DAY #19 | Saturday | Relax and Reflect

  • Experience a Jerusalem Shabbat with the option to attend services at a local synagogue
  • Visit the Israel Museum – Discover the Dead Sea Scrolls, Temple model, and much more
  • Soak up the sun relaxing in Jerusalem’s Saker Park
  • Evening Speaker: The Geopolitics of Israel Today with Neil Lazarus
  • Dinner at accommodations
  • Night out on Ben Yehuda Street
  • Overnight: TBA – Jerusalem, Israel

DAY #20 | Sunday | Founding Modern Israel

  • Depart for the Tel Aviv region in the morning
  • Independence Hall – Discover the founding values of Tel Aviv and Israel
  • Learn about the start-up nation at the Tel Aviv Innovation Center
  • Break for lunch along the stylish Rothschild Boulevard in Tel Aviv
  • Overnight: TBA – Jerusalem, Israel

DAY #21-24 | Monday to Thursday | Elective Choices

  • Option #1: Sea-to-Sea Hike – Hike from the Mediterranean Coast to the Sea of Galilee
  • Option #2: Gadna – Basic training-style experience at the IDF’s Tzalmon educational army base
  • Option #3: Stand UP Israel – Service learning experience in the Galilee

DAY #25 | Friday | Haifa and the Carmel Mountains

  • Visit Rosh Hanikra
  • Take a tour and break for lunch at the old Akko Seaport
  • Enjoy Akko extreme sports park
  • Return to accommodations and prepare for Shabbat
  • Kabbalat Shabbat and dinner overlooking the Haifa Bay
  • Overnight: TBA – Haifa, Israel

DAY #26 | Saturday | Shabbat in Haifa

  • Enjoy a day of fun, swimming and relaxing at Sportan Country Club
  • Return to accommodations for dinner and Havdalah Ceremony, celebrate the start of a new week
  • Krav Maga activity with Achari Movement!
  • Overnight: TBA – Haifa, Israel

DAY #27 | Sunday | Culture & Innovation in Tel Aviv

  • Grafitti tour & workshop in Tel Aviv
  • Break in Tel Aviv for Pizur lunch and free time
  • Rabin Museum & facilitated group discussions to follow
  • Closing dinner ceremony at Tel Aviv’s Pinat Hashlosha
  • Late Night: Return to Ben Gurion Airport for an overnight return flight

DAY #28 | Monday | Shalom and L’Hitraot!

  • Arrive back to New York in the morning

*Note: For some teens, this activity can be perceived as emotionally, mentally, or physically challenging. If at any time your teen feels they need support, staff members will be available. Prior to the start of this activity, staff and/or activity providers will facilitate context to put the teens in the right frame of mind as well as go through all safety procedures. If a teen does not feel comfortable participating, they may opt-out and a staff member will be available to stay with them.

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 supervised flight is offered, often from the New York area. You are responsible for your transportation to and from this location. Flight arrangements will be released in the spring. Families are also able to book their own tickets using miles or points that correspond to our supervised flight itinerary, or book separate flight itineraries entirely. Learn more about our supervised 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. When booking our accommodations, we request for each teen to have their own sleeping accommodations in a shared living space. All accommodations utilized have a dedicated guard.

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 field staff circulates between the groups as well. Staff names are sent out approximately 3-4 weeks prior to your departure as part of the pre-trip preparation email series. Staff are asked to make welcome calls to families before departure. Learn more about 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, teens will be required to have a hat, a shirt with sleeves, sunscreen, and water. Overexposure 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, and 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?
As a travel-based program, our meals take a variety of forms and may include hotel buffets, restaurants, specially catered meals and allowance funds for participants to purchase a meal on their own. All food provided by BBYO Passport experiences in Israel is kosher. When a meal is served in a public buffet format (e.g. hotel breakfast), we will always ensure that there are vegetarian or pescatarian options available, but we will also not restrict teens from eating the food of their choice. Some meals may be provided via an allowance system whereby teens will be given cash to purchase the food of their choice. Such meals are typically arranged in an area where there are multiple restaurant options, and teens can choose the food of their liking. In situations where time is of the essence, staff may choose to facilitate meal orders on behalf of teens using their allowance funds. Participants with special dietary needs (i.e. lactose intolerance, gluten-free, kosher, etc.) should review our dietary restrictions commitment document and contact us in advance to be sure we can accommodate your needs during the program. Expect to eat Middle Eastern and Mediterranean foods such as falafel, hummus, schnitzel, shakshouka, bourekas, and much more.

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.

If your teen is an Israeli citizen…
If your teen has dual citizenship, they must enter Israel with their Israeli passport. Your passport cannot expire within six months of the program start date in order to enter Israel. If your passport needs to be renewed, do so well in advance. Keep in mind, your teen should travel with both passports. Teens who are 17 years of age, have Israeli citizenship, and live in the USA may have to arrange for a release from a service for the Israeli Army. We recommend that you reach out to the Israeli consulate in your state to confirm what is required to avoid issues while in Israel.

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. Please note, teens taking part in the Host Family Weekend must go for the entire time, no exceptions. More details about the Host Family Weekend will be available in the pre-trip preparation manual.

For more information, check out our general FAQs.

No connections or extensions are available for this program. View all connected program options here.
 

PROGRAM REVIEWS

bbyo passport logo