SUMMER EXPERIENCES

ISRAEL XPR

Design your own Israel experience, and take your summer to the next level on this 24-day program that includes three eye-opening elective sessions and covers all of Israel’s most amazing touring highlights!

FUNDING FOR ISRAEL TRAVEL! New $3,000 RootOne voucher for teens traveling to Israel with BBYO, regardless of financial need. Available on a limited basis – Learn more and claim yours!

Follow your passions and pursue your interests on this groundbreaking summer program that puts teens in control of their own Israel experience!

XPR is a 24-day program that combines must-see touring with three eye-opening elective sessions with a myriad of choices. Our electives are offered across a range of themes and give you the opportunity to pick-up a new skill, learn about Israeli society on a deeper level, or simply try something outside of your regular comfort zone – view electives options below.

Elective sessions take place during the week from Monday morning to Thursday afternoon and provide the opportunity to meet teens from other BBYO Passport groups that share your interests. The rest of the week and weekend is devoted to travel adventures throughout Israel. Together with the XPR community, you’ll explore the amazing highlights of Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, the Galilee, the Golan Heights, Masada, the Dead Sea, and so much more (view the sample itinerary).

ELECTIVE OPTIONS

For a more detailed description of the electives and how they work, check out the Israel Electives page.

Sea-to-Sea Hike
Hike across Israel, from the Mediterranean Sea in the west to the Sea of Galilee in the east
The IDF’s Gadna
A “basic training” style experience organized by the legendary Israel Defense Forces for teens
Service Learning
Give of yourself in Israel, knowing that you not only toured the Land but also gave something back
Photography & Design
Channel the innovative spirit of Israel as you learn the basics of photography & graphic design
Scuba & Watersports
Learn from the masters and pick-up scuba diving, windsurfing, and stand up paddleboarding skills
The he[ART] of Tel Aviv
Tap into the spirit of Tel Aviv’s art scene as we explore its dance, photography, fashion & design
Geo-Political Encounters
Go far beyond the headlines to grapple with the challenges and opportunities that will define Israel’s future
Robotics
Channel the innovative spirit of modern Israel as you learn the basics of robotics
Agricultural Pioneering
Experience the Land of Israel with your hands, legs, and hearts on this farm-based elective
Hebrew Language + Mifgash
Learn conversational Hebrew and practice it with local Israeli teens over cross-cultural adventures!
Maccabi Sports
Get active, get in motion, and join a unique Israel experience focused on athletics

BBYO + Israel + You!

Each summer, hundreds of teens from our Israel experiences join together for a massive celebration called BBYO B’Yachad (Hebrew for “togetherness”). This epic event unites an international community of Jewish teens from North America with those around the world, including from France, Bulgaria, Mexico, Australia, Switzerland, Turkey, Latvia, and Singapore. Join us for the party of the summer!

Travel to Israel presents a unique opportunity for teens to form a personal connection to our history and experience Judaism from a new perspective.  We believe in the impact these experiences have, but studies also show it. Studies have shown that multi-week experiences to Israel during high school years prove the profound impact on the development of an enduring and fulfilling Jewish identity. Explore More

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

We believe all Jewish teens should experience Israel during their formative high school years. To that end, we provide need-based scholarships on local and national levels. Involvement with BBYO is not necessary to for consideration. Many Jewish Federations provide additional need-based and grant-based scholarships. 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 | WEDNESDAY | The Journey Begins

    Depart for Israel on a supervised overnight flight (optional)

DAY #2 | THURSDAY | Baruch HaBah – Getting Oriented to Israel

  • Arrive at Ben Gurion Airport – Meet our Israeli staff team and ascend to Jerusalem
  • Welcome to Israel! Shecheyanu ceremony and discover the unique topography of Jerusalem from the Haas Promenade overlook
  • Check-in, orientation, and icebreakers at our accommodations in

OVERNIGHT: Jerusalem – Israel


DAY #3 | FRIDAY | Foundations of Jewish History in Jerusalem

  • Scale the Rampart Walls of the Old City, walking from Jaffa Gate to Zion Gate
  • Enter the Old City’s Zion Gate – Explore the ancient squares and rooftops of the Jewish Quarter
  • Break for lunch and personal exploration time in the historic Cardo area of the Jewish Quarter
  • Reflections at the Kotel, The Western Wall, and visit the Southern Wall excavations
  • Continue even further back in time to discover how King David established a Jewish capital at the City of David archeological complex, and then cool down splashing through Hezekiah’s underground aqueduct deep beneath the city
  • Return to our accommodations and prepare for Shabbat in Jerusalem
  • Evening: Experience Kabbalat Shabbat at the Kotel and stop for Shabbat dinner at the Fuchsburg Center along the walk back to our accommodations

OVERNIGHT: Jerusalem – Israel


DAY #4 | SATURDAY | A Reflective Shabbat in Jerusalem

  • Morning: Shabbat programming and group lunch at our accommodations
  • Walk to the Israel Museum to discover the Dead Sea Scrolls, Temple Model, and Israel’s most prized cultural and historic treasures
  • Spend the rest of the afternoon soaking up the sun and reflecting on the journey at Jerusalem’s Saker Park
  • Havdalah ceremony – Celebrate the start of a new week together
  • Evening: Group night out at Jerusalem’s Ben Yehuda Street Pedestrian Mall

OVERNIGHT: Jerusalem – Israel


DAY #5 | SUNDAY | Jewish Sovereignty – Vision and Sacrifice

  • Tour of the Knesset – Learn about Israel’s parliamentary system and how it safeguards the Jewish State’s democratic laws and traditions
  • Enjoy the sights and smells of Mahane Yehuda open-air food market and navigate the market with a “Shuk Bites” lunch card
  • Make a solemn visit to Yad Vashem – The World Holocaust Remembrance Center – followed by a walk through the grounds of the Herzl National Cemetery
  • Evening Speaker: The Geopolitics of Israel Today with Eylon Levy, an Israeli journalist and strategic analyst

OVERNIGHT: Jerusalem – Israel


DAY #6-9 | MONDAY-THURSDAY | ELECTIVES – SESSION #1

Our second session of electives begins this morning and ends Thursday afternoon


DAY #9 | THURSDAY | To the Galilee

  • Afternoon: Re-group from Electives and travel to the Galilee in Israel’s north, stopping to view of the Kinneret– the Sea of Galilee – along the way
  • Check-in to our kibbutz accommodations and enjoy free time at the pool!
  • Evening: Top chef “poike pot” cooking challenge

OVERNIGHT: Galilee – Israel


DAY #10 | FRIDAY | Mystics of the Galilee

  • Walking tour of mystical Tzfat – The historic center of Judaism’s Kabbalah movement and a center for Jewish life during the Exile period
  • Browse the Tzfat artist colony and meet with a local Kabbalistic artist
  • Travel to Israel’s Upper Galilee region and hike to the waterfalls of the Banias Nature Reserve
  • Finish the day with relaxed rafting down the upper Jordan River
  • Evening: Kabbalat Shabbat experience followed by a festive dinner at our accommodations

OVERNIGHT: Galilee – Israel


DAY #11 | SATURDAY | Shabbat on Kibbutz in the Galilee

  • Morning: Shabbat programming and group lunch at our accommodations
  • Tour of the kibbutz community and learn about the history of the kibbutz idea
  • Afternoon: Enjoy a relaxed Shabbat with pool, sports, and free time!
  • Havdalah ceremony – Celebrate the start of a new week
  • Evening: Boat cruise on the Kinneret and group night out in Tiberias

OVERNIGHT: Galilee – Israel


DAY #12 | SUNDAY | Perspectives on the Golan Heights

  • Ascend the Golan Heights and hike along the water-filled Nahal Jilaboun canyon
  • Learn about the history of the Golan region on an off-road jeep tour
  • Travel to Mount Ben Tal — View Israel’s neighbors and explore former IDF bunkers on the summit of this dormant volcano
  • Evening: Encounter with Druze culture and share a traditional meal in the Golan village of Ein Kinya

OVERNIGHT: Galilee – Israel


DAY #13-16 | MONDAY-THURSDAY | ELECTIVES – SESSION #2

Our second session of electives begins this morning and ends Thursday afternoon


DAY #16 | THURSDAY | To the Desert

  • Afternoon: Re-group from Electives and travel to the Judean Desert in Israel’s south
  • Arrive at Kfar Hanokdim encampment where we embark on a camel trek followed by a traditional Bedouin tent dinner feast!
  • Evening: Bonfire party and night under the bright desert stars

OVERNIGHT: Judean Desert – Israel


DAY #17 | FRIDAY | The View from Ancient Masada

  • Pre-sunrise climb up Masada via the Roman Ramp Trail
  • Tour of Masada – Herod’s mountaintop desert fortress – and then descend Masada via the Snake Path
  • Experience effortless floating at the Dead Sea – the lowest point on earth
  • Depart the desert and travel to Tel Aviv – Israel’s cultural and economic capital
  • Enjoy the colorful Nahalat Binyamin street festival and explore the Carmel Market as Tel Aviv prepares for Shabbat
  • Evening: Take part in a city-wide Kabbalat Shabbat at the Tel Aviv Port followed by dinner at our hotel

OVERNIGHT: Tel Aviv – Israel


DAY #18 | SATURDAY | A Tel Aviv-Style Shabbat

  • Morning: Shabbat programming and group lunch at our accommodations
  • Free time to enjoy Tel Aviv’s beach culture and explore nearby Yarkon Park
  • Walk to the Rabin Square Memorial – Honor the life and accomplishments of Yitzhak Rabin, one of Israel’s most famous soldiers and statesmen
  • Havdalah ceremony – celebrate the start of a new week – followed by a group night out at the iconic Azrieli Center Mall

OVERNIGHT: Tel Aviv – Israel


DAY #19 | SUNDAY | Founding Modern Israel

  • Leket – Volunteer project harvesting fresh vegetables for the hungry of Israel
  • Machon Ayalon– Explore the story of the Haganah and the struggle to gain independence at this secret historical ammunition factory outside of Tel Aviv
  • Take in the views from the ancient Jaffa seaport, and browse Jaffa’s colorful flea market
  • Independence Hall – Visit the site where the State of Israel was first declared and learn about the Jewish State’s founding values and vision
  • Spend the rest of the afternoon enjoying Tel Aviv’s beach culture 

OVERNIGHT: Tel Aviv – Israel


DAY #20-23 | MONDAY-THURSDAY | ELECTIVES – SESSION #3

Our third and final session of electives begins this morning and ends Thursday afternoon


DAY #23 | THURSDAY | Looking to the Future

  • Afternoon: Re-group from Electives and travel to the Mediterranean Coast
  • Celebrate our summer in Israel at Shefayim waterpark, followed by a closing BBQ dinner and wrap-up session

OVERNIGHT: Return to Ben Gurion Airport for our overnight return flight


DAY #24 | Friday | Shalom and L’Hitraot!

  • Travelers on the group flight arrive back to North America in the morning

Have questions? We’re here to help! Our most frequently asked questions for this program are answered below. Additional program-wide FAQs are also available, and we encourage you to also review the Pre-Trip Prep Guide for our Israel programs. Schedule a call to learn more.

NOTE: For a more detailed description of how the electives work, check out the Israel Electives page.

How will my teen travel to the program?
Your teen can travel to the program in multiple ways. The most common option is taking our supervised group flight, organized by our team. This flight often departs from the New York City area, and we may also provide group flights from other North American cities according to demand (e.g. LAX, SFO, ORD, BOS, NYC, YUL, and MIA). Flight arrangements will be released in the spring and you are responsible for your teen’s transportation to and from the departure location. If you choose to book on your own but correspond with the supervised flight itinerary, you have the option to use miles or points. Alternatively, you can book a separate flight for your teen that meets the group at the first location (additional fees may apply if a special pick-up/drop-off is needed). 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 when we stay in cities. If opting for the Sea-to-Sea Hike elective, overnights during this experience will be in nature, and all camping gear (including sleeping bags) will be provided. Finally, all accommodations in Israel have security, and we book rooms so that each teen has their own bed in rooms that typically accommodate 3 or 4 teens per room.

How is the program staffed?
Each group is accompanied by a team of madrichim (counselors) from North America and a local Israeli guide. They are joined by an armed guard and bus driver. Senior field staff circulates between the groups for extra support 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. Feel free to ask them any remaining questions you may have. Learn more about our staff team.

What’s the summer weather like?
Temperatures range from hot to hotter in the summer. Clothing should be lightweight and comfortable in the heat. Whenever outside for an extended period, 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. Layers are key! A more detailed guide to packing is provided in the Pre-Trip Prep Guide.

How do you approach security?
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 are centrally monitored by Israel’s Situation Room. Our itineraries are designed with caution in mind and our policies are calibrated to local conditions. Finally, each group is accompanied by trained staff and a licensed guard accompanies all touring-based activities. Learn more about our organization’s approach to safety and security as well as more specific details about our Israel policies.

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.
Note: There will be a way for teens to communicate with each other before the program in late spring.

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 release from service of 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.

For more information, check out our general FAQs.

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

 

FUNDING FOR ISRAEL TRAVEL! New $3,000 RootOne voucher for teens traveling to Israel with BBYO, regardless of financial need. Available on a limited basis – Learn more and claim yours!

Follow your passions and pursue your interests on this groundbreaking summer program that puts teens in control of their own Israel experience!

XPR is a 24-day program that combines must-see touring with three eye-opening elective sessions with a myriad of choices. Our electives are offered across a range of themes and give you the opportunity to pick-up a new skill, learn about Israeli society on a deeper level, or simply try something outside of your regular comfort zone – view electives options below.

Elective sessions take place during the week from Monday morning to Thursday afternoon and provide the opportunity to meet teens from other BBYO Passport groups that share your interests. The rest of the week and weekend is devoted to travel adventures throughout Israel. Together with the XPR community, you’ll explore the amazing highlights of Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, the Galilee, the Golan Heights, Masada, the Dead Sea, and so much more (view the sample itinerary).

ELECTIVE OPTIONS

For a more detailed description of the electives and how they work, check out the Israel Electives page.

Sea-to-Sea Hike
Hike across Israel, from the Mediterranean Sea in the west to the Sea of Galilee in the east
The IDF’s Gadna
A “basic training” style experience organized by the legendary Israel Defense Forces for teens
Service Learning
Give of yourself in Israel, knowing that you not only toured the Land but also gave something back
Photography & Design
Channel the innovative spirit of Israel as you learn the basics of photography & graphic design
Scuba & Watersports
Learn from the masters and pick-up scuba diving, windsurfing, and stand up paddleboarding skills
The he[ART] of Tel Aviv
Tap into the spirit of Tel Aviv’s art scene as we explore its dance, photography, fashion & design
Geo-Political Encounters
Go far beyond the headlines to grapple with the challenges and opportunities that will define Israel’s future
Robotics
Channel the innovative spirit of modern Israel as you learn the basics of robotics
Agricultural Pioneering
Experience the Land of Israel with your hands, legs, and hearts on this farm-based elective
Hebrew Language + Mifgash
Learn conversational Hebrew and practice it with local Israeli teens over cross-cultural adventures!
Maccabi Sports
Get active, get in motion, and join a unique Israel experience focused on athletics

BBYO + Israel + You!

Each summer, hundreds of teens from our Israel experiences join together for a massive celebration called BBYO B’Yachad (Hebrew for “togetherness”). This epic event unites an international community of Jewish teens from North America with those around the world, including from France, Bulgaria, Mexico, Australia, Switzerland, Turkey, Latvia, and Singapore. Join us for the party of the summer!

Travel to Israel presents a unique opportunity for teens to form a personal connection to our history and experience Judaism from a new perspective.  We believe in the impact these experiences have, but studies also show it. Studies have shown that multi-week experiences to Israel during high school years prove the profound impact on the development of an enduring and fulfilling Jewish identity. Explore More

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

We believe all Jewish teens should experience Israel during their formative high school years. To that end, we provide need-based scholarships on local and national levels. Involvement with BBYO is not necessary to for consideration. Many Jewish Federations provide additional need-based and grant-based scholarships. 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 | WEDNESDAY | The Journey Begins

    Depart for Israel on a supervised overnight flight (optional)

DAY #2 | THURSDAY | Baruch HaBah – Getting Oriented to Israel

  • Arrive at Ben Gurion Airport – Meet our Israeli staff team and ascend to Jerusalem
  • Welcome to Israel! Shecheyanu ceremony and discover the unique topography of Jerusalem from the Haas Promenade overlook
  • Check-in, orientation, and icebreakers at our accommodations in

OVERNIGHT: Jerusalem – Israel


DAY #3 | FRIDAY | Foundations of Jewish History in Jerusalem

  • Scale the Rampart Walls of the Old City, walking from Jaffa Gate to Zion Gate
  • Enter the Old City’s Zion Gate – Explore the ancient squares and rooftops of the Jewish Quarter
  • Break for lunch and personal exploration time in the historic Cardo area of the Jewish Quarter
  • Reflections at the Kotel, The Western Wall, and visit the Southern Wall excavations
  • Continue even further back in time to discover how King David established a Jewish capital at the City of David archeological complex, and then cool down splashing through Hezekiah’s underground aqueduct deep beneath the city
  • Return to our accommodations and prepare for Shabbat in Jerusalem
  • Evening: Experience Kabbalat Shabbat at the Kotel and stop for Shabbat dinner at the Fuchsburg Center along the walk back to our accommodations

OVERNIGHT: Jerusalem – Israel


DAY #4 | SATURDAY | A Reflective Shabbat in Jerusalem

  • Morning: Shabbat programming and group lunch at our accommodations
  • Walk to the Israel Museum to discover the Dead Sea Scrolls, Temple Model, and Israel’s most prized cultural and historic treasures
  • Spend the rest of the afternoon soaking up the sun and reflecting on the journey at Jerusalem’s Saker Park
  • Havdalah ceremony – Celebrate the start of a new week together
  • Evening: Group night out at Jerusalem’s Ben Yehuda Street Pedestrian Mall

OVERNIGHT: Jerusalem – Israel


DAY #5 | SUNDAY | Jewish Sovereignty – Vision and Sacrifice

  • Tour of the Knesset – Learn about Israel’s parliamentary system and how it safeguards the Jewish State’s democratic laws and traditions
  • Enjoy the sights and smells of Mahane Yehuda open-air food market and navigate the market with a “Shuk Bites” lunch card
  • Make a solemn visit to Yad Vashem – The World Holocaust Remembrance Center – followed by a walk through the grounds of the Herzl National Cemetery
  • Evening Speaker: The Geopolitics of Israel Today with Eylon Levy, an Israeli journalist and strategic analyst

OVERNIGHT: Jerusalem – Israel


DAY #6-9 | MONDAY-THURSDAY | ELECTIVES – SESSION #1

Our second session of electives begins this morning and ends Thursday afternoon


DAY #9 | THURSDAY | To the Galilee

  • Afternoon: Re-group from Electives and travel to the Galilee in Israel’s north, stopping to view of the Kinneret– the Sea of Galilee – along the way
  • Check-in to our kibbutz accommodations and enjoy free time at the pool!
  • Evening: Top chef “poike pot” cooking challenge

OVERNIGHT: Galilee – Israel


DAY #10 | FRIDAY | Mystics of the Galilee

  • Walking tour of mystical Tzfat – The historic center of Judaism’s Kabbalah movement and a center for Jewish life during the Exile period
  • Browse the Tzfat artist colony and meet with a local Kabbalistic artist
  • Travel to Israel’s Upper Galilee region and hike to the waterfalls of the Banias Nature Reserve
  • Finish the day with relaxed rafting down the upper Jordan River
  • Evening: Kabbalat Shabbat experience followed by a festive dinner at our accommodations

OVERNIGHT: Galilee – Israel


DAY #11 | SATURDAY | Shabbat on Kibbutz in the Galilee

  • Morning: Shabbat programming and group lunch at our accommodations
  • Tour of the kibbutz community and learn about the history of the kibbutz idea
  • Afternoon: Enjoy a relaxed Shabbat with pool, sports, and free time!
  • Havdalah ceremony – Celebrate the start of a new week
  • Evening: Boat cruise on the Kinneret and group night out in Tiberias

OVERNIGHT: Galilee – Israel


DAY #12 | SUNDAY | Perspectives on the Golan Heights

  • Ascend the Golan Heights and hike along the water-filled Nahal Jilaboun canyon
  • Learn about the history of the Golan region on an off-road jeep tour
  • Travel to Mount Ben Tal — View Israel’s neighbors and explore former IDF bunkers on the summit of this dormant volcano
  • Evening: Encounter with Druze culture and share a traditional meal in the Golan village of Ein Kinya

OVERNIGHT: Galilee – Israel


DAY #13-16 | MONDAY-THURSDAY | ELECTIVES – SESSION #2

Our second session of electives begins this morning and ends Thursday afternoon


DAY #16 | THURSDAY | To the Desert

  • Afternoon: Re-group from Electives and travel to the Judean Desert in Israel’s south
  • Arrive at Kfar Hanokdim encampment where we embark on a camel trek followed by a traditional Bedouin tent dinner feast!
  • Evening: Bonfire party and night under the bright desert stars

OVERNIGHT: Judean Desert – Israel


DAY #17 | FRIDAY | The View from Ancient Masada

  • Pre-sunrise climb up Masada via the Roman Ramp Trail
  • Tour of Masada – Herod’s mountaintop desert fortress – and then descend Masada via the Snake Path
  • Experience effortless floating at the Dead Sea – the lowest point on earth
  • Depart the desert and travel to Tel Aviv – Israel’s cultural and economic capital
  • Enjoy the colorful Nahalat Binyamin street festival and explore the Carmel Market as Tel Aviv prepares for Shabbat
  • Evening: Take part in a city-wide Kabbalat Shabbat at the Tel Aviv Port followed by dinner at our hotel

OVERNIGHT: Tel Aviv – Israel


DAY #18 | SATURDAY | A Tel Aviv-Style Shabbat

  • Morning: Shabbat programming and group lunch at our accommodations
  • Free time to enjoy Tel Aviv’s beach culture and explore nearby Yarkon Park
  • Walk to the Rabin Square Memorial – Honor the life and accomplishments of Yitzhak Rabin, one of Israel’s most famous soldiers and statesmen
  • Havdalah ceremony – celebrate the start of a new week – followed by a group night out at the iconic Azrieli Center Mall

OVERNIGHT: Tel Aviv – Israel


DAY #19 | SUNDAY | Founding Modern Israel

  • Leket – Volunteer project harvesting fresh vegetables for the hungry of Israel
  • Machon Ayalon– Explore the story of the Haganah and the struggle to gain independence at this secret historical ammunition factory outside of Tel Aviv
  • Take in the views from the ancient Jaffa seaport, and browse Jaffa’s colorful flea market
  • Independence Hall – Visit the site where the State of Israel was first declared and learn about the Jewish State’s founding values and vision
  • Spend the rest of the afternoon enjoying Tel Aviv’s beach culture 

OVERNIGHT: Tel Aviv – Israel


DAY #20-23 | MONDAY-THURSDAY | ELECTIVES – SESSION #3

Our third and final session of electives begins this morning and ends Thursday afternoon


DAY #23 | THURSDAY | Looking to the Future

  • Afternoon: Re-group from Electives and travel to the Mediterranean Coast
  • Celebrate our summer in Israel at Shefayim waterpark, followed by a closing BBQ dinner and wrap-up session

OVERNIGHT: Return to Ben Gurion Airport for our overnight return flight


DAY #24 | Friday | Shalom and L’Hitraot!

  • Travelers on the group flight arrive back to North America in the morning

Have questions? We’re here to help! Our most frequently asked questions for this program are answered below. Additional program-wide FAQs are also available, and we encourage you to also review the Pre-Trip Prep Guide for our Israel programs. Schedule a call to learn more.

NOTE: For a more detailed description of how the electives work, check out the Israel Electives page.

How will my teen travel to the program?
Your teen can travel to the program in multiple ways. The most common option is taking our supervised group flight, organized by our team. This flight often departs from the New York City area, and we may also provide group flights from other North American cities according to demand (e.g. LAX, SFO, ORD, BOS, NYC, YUL, and MIA). Flight arrangements will be released in the spring and you are responsible for your teen’s transportation to and from the departure location. If you choose to book on your own but correspond with the supervised flight itinerary, you have the option to use miles or points. Alternatively, you can book a separate flight for your teen that meets the group at the first location (additional fees may apply if a special pick-up/drop-off is needed). 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 when we stay in cities. If opting for the Sea-to-Sea Hike elective, overnights during this experience will be in nature, and all camping gear (including sleeping bags) will be provided. Finally, all accommodations in Israel have security, and we book rooms so that each teen has their own bed in rooms that typically accommodate 3 or 4 teens per room.

How is the program staffed?
Each group is accompanied by a team of madrichim (counselors) from North America and a local Israeli guide. They are joined by an armed guard and bus driver. Senior field staff circulates between the groups for extra support 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. Feel free to ask them any remaining questions you may have. Learn more about our staff team.

What’s the summer weather like?
Temperatures range from hot to hotter in the summer. Clothing should be lightweight and comfortable in the heat. Whenever outside for an extended period, 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. Layers are key! A more detailed guide to packing is provided in the Pre-Trip Prep Guide.

How do you approach security?
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 are centrally monitored by Israel’s Situation Room. Our itineraries are designed with caution in mind and our policies are calibrated to local conditions. Finally, each group is accompanied by trained staff and a licensed guard accompanies all touring-based activities. Learn more about our organization’s approach to safety and security as well as more specific details about our Israel policies.

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.
Note: There will be a way for teens to communicate with each other before the program in late spring.

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 release from service of 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.

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 XPR

Design your own Israel experience, and take your summer to the next level on this 24-day program that includes three eye-opening elective sessions and covers all of Israel’s most amazing touring highlights!

ISRAEL XPR

Design your own Israel experience, and take your summer to the next level on this 24-day program that includes three eye-opening elective sessions and covers all of Israel’s most amazing touring highlights!

FUNDING FOR ISRAEL TRAVEL! New $3,000 RootOne voucher for teens traveling to Israel with BBYO, regardless of financial need. Available on a limited basis – Learn more and claim yours!

Follow your passions and pursue your interests on this groundbreaking summer program that puts teens in control of their own Israel experience!

XPR is a 24-day program that combines must-see touring with three eye-opening elective sessions with a myriad of choices. Our electives are offered across a range of themes and give you the opportunity to pick-up a new skill, learn about Israeli society on a deeper level, or simply try something outside of your regular comfort zone – view electives options below.

Elective sessions take place during the week from Monday morning to Thursday afternoon and provide the opportunity to meet teens from other BBYO Passport groups that share your interests. The rest of the week and weekend is devoted to travel adventures throughout Israel. Together with the XPR community, you’ll explore the amazing highlights of Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, the Galilee, the Golan Heights, Masada, the Dead Sea, and so much more (view the sample itinerary).

ELECTIVE OPTIONS

For a more detailed description of the electives and how they work, check out the Israel Electives page.

Sea-to-Sea Hike
Hike across Israel, from the Mediterranean Sea in the west to the Sea of Galilee in the east
The IDF’s Gadna
A “basic training” style experience organized by the legendary Israel Defense Forces for teens
Service Learning
Give of yourself in Israel, knowing that you not only toured the Land but also gave something back
Photography & Design
Channel the innovative spirit of Israel as you learn the basics of photography & graphic design
Scuba & Watersports
Learn from the masters and pick-up scuba diving, windsurfing, and stand up paddleboarding skills
The he[ART] of Tel Aviv
Tap into the spirit of Tel Aviv’s art scene as we explore its dance, photography, fashion & design
Geo-Political Encounters
Go far beyond the headlines to grapple with the challenges and opportunities that will define Israel’s future
Robotics
Channel the innovative spirit of modern Israel as you learn the basics of robotics
Agricultural Pioneering
Experience the Land of Israel with your hands, legs, and hearts on this farm-based elective
Hebrew Language + Mifgash
Learn conversational Hebrew and practice it with local Israeli teens over cross-cultural adventures!
Maccabi Sports
Get active, get in motion, and join a unique Israel experience focused on athletics

BBYO + Israel + You!

Each summer, hundreds of teens from our Israel experiences join together for a massive celebration called BBYO B’Yachad (Hebrew for “togetherness”). This epic event unites an international community of Jewish teens from North America with those around the world, including from France, Bulgaria, Mexico, Australia, Switzerland, Turkey, Latvia, and Singapore. Join us for the party of the summer!

Travel to Israel presents a unique opportunity for teens to form a personal connection to our history and experience Judaism from a new perspective.  We believe in the impact these experiences have, but studies also show it. Studies have shown that multi-week experiences to Israel during high school years prove the profound impact on the development of an enduring and fulfilling Jewish identity. Explore More

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

We believe all Jewish teens should experience Israel during their formative high school years. To that end, we provide need-based scholarships on local and national levels. Involvement with BBYO is not necessary to for consideration. Many Jewish Federations provide additional need-based and grant-based scholarships. 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 | WEDNESDAY | The Journey Begins

    Depart for Israel on a supervised overnight flight (optional)

DAY #2 | THURSDAY | Baruch HaBah – Getting Oriented to Israel

  • Arrive at Ben Gurion Airport – Meet our Israeli staff team and ascend to Jerusalem
  • Welcome to Israel! Shecheyanu ceremony and discover the unique topography of Jerusalem from the Haas Promenade overlook
  • Check-in, orientation, and icebreakers at our accommodations in

OVERNIGHT: Jerusalem – Israel


DAY #3 | FRIDAY | Foundations of Jewish History in Jerusalem

  • Scale the Rampart Walls of the Old City, walking from Jaffa Gate to Zion Gate
  • Enter the Old City’s Zion Gate – Explore the ancient squares and rooftops of the Jewish Quarter
  • Break for lunch and personal exploration time in the historic Cardo area of the Jewish Quarter
  • Reflections at the Kotel, The Western Wall, and visit the Southern Wall excavations
  • Continue even further back in time to discover how King David established a Jewish capital at the City of David archeological complex, and then cool down splashing through Hezekiah’s underground aqueduct deep beneath the city
  • Return to our accommodations and prepare for Shabbat in Jerusalem
  • Evening: Experience Kabbalat Shabbat at the Kotel and stop for Shabbat dinner at the Fuchsburg Center along the walk back to our accommodations

OVERNIGHT: Jerusalem – Israel


DAY #4 | SATURDAY | A Reflective Shabbat in Jerusalem

  • Morning: Shabbat programming and group lunch at our accommodations
  • Walk to the Israel Museum to discover the Dead Sea Scrolls, Temple Model, and Israel’s most prized cultural and historic treasures
  • Spend the rest of the afternoon soaking up the sun and reflecting on the journey at Jerusalem’s Saker Park
  • Havdalah ceremony – Celebrate the start of a new week together
  • Evening: Group night out at Jerusalem’s Ben Yehuda Street Pedestrian Mall

OVERNIGHT: Jerusalem – Israel


DAY #5 | SUNDAY | Jewish Sovereignty – Vision and Sacrifice

  • Tour of the Knesset – Learn about Israel’s parliamentary system and how it safeguards the Jewish State’s democratic laws and traditions
  • Enjoy the sights and smells of Mahane Yehuda open-air food market and navigate the market with a “Shuk Bites” lunch card
  • Make a solemn visit to Yad Vashem – The World Holocaust Remembrance Center – followed by a walk through the grounds of the Herzl National Cemetery
  • Evening Speaker: The Geopolitics of Israel Today with Eylon Levy, an Israeli journalist and strategic analyst

OVERNIGHT: Jerusalem – Israel


DAY #6-9 | MONDAY-THURSDAY | ELECTIVES – SESSION #1

Our second session of electives begins this morning and ends Thursday afternoon


DAY #9 | THURSDAY | To the Galilee

  • Afternoon: Re-group from Electives and travel to the Galilee in Israel’s north, stopping to view of the Kinneret– the Sea of Galilee – along the way
  • Check-in to our kibbutz accommodations and enjoy free time at the pool!
  • Evening: Top chef “poike pot” cooking challenge

OVERNIGHT: Galilee – Israel


DAY #10 | FRIDAY | Mystics of the Galilee

  • Walking tour of mystical Tzfat – The historic center of Judaism’s Kabbalah movement and a center for Jewish life during the Exile period
  • Browse the Tzfat artist colony and meet with a local Kabbalistic artist
  • Travel to Israel’s Upper Galilee region and hike to the waterfalls of the Banias Nature Reserve
  • Finish the day with relaxed rafting down the upper Jordan River
  • Evening: Kabbalat Shabbat experience followed by a festive dinner at our accommodations

OVERNIGHT: Galilee – Israel


DAY #11 | SATURDAY | Shabbat on Kibbutz in the Galilee

  • Morning: Shabbat programming and group lunch at our accommodations
  • Tour of the kibbutz community and learn about the history of the kibbutz idea
  • Afternoon: Enjoy a relaxed Shabbat with pool, sports, and free time!
  • Havdalah ceremony – Celebrate the start of a new week
  • Evening: Boat cruise on the Kinneret and group night out in Tiberias

OVERNIGHT: Galilee – Israel


DAY #12 | SUNDAY | Perspectives on the Golan Heights

  • Ascend the Golan Heights and hike along the water-filled Nahal Jilaboun canyon
  • Learn about the history of the Golan region on an off-road jeep tour
  • Travel to Mount Ben Tal — View Israel’s neighbors and explore former IDF bunkers on the summit of this dormant volcano
  • Evening: Encounter with Druze culture and share a traditional meal in the Golan village of Ein Kinya

OVERNIGHT: Galilee – Israel


DAY #13-16 | MONDAY-THURSDAY | ELECTIVES – SESSION #2

Our second session of electives begins this morning and ends Thursday afternoon


DAY #16 | THURSDAY | To the Desert

  • Afternoon: Re-group from Electives and travel to the Judean Desert in Israel’s south
  • Arrive at Kfar Hanokdim encampment where we embark on a camel trek followed by a traditional Bedouin tent dinner feast!
  • Evening: Bonfire party and night under the bright desert stars

OVERNIGHT: Judean Desert – Israel


DAY #17 | FRIDAY | The View from Ancient Masada

  • Pre-sunrise climb up Masada via the Roman Ramp Trail
  • Tour of Masada – Herod’s mountaintop desert fortress – and then descend Masada via the Snake Path
  • Experience effortless floating at the Dead Sea – the lowest point on earth
  • Depart the desert and travel to Tel Aviv – Israel’s cultural and economic capital
  • Enjoy the colorful Nahalat Binyamin street festival and explore the Carmel Market as Tel Aviv prepares for Shabbat
  • Evening: Take part in a city-wide Kabbalat Shabbat at the Tel Aviv Port followed by dinner at our hotel

OVERNIGHT: Tel Aviv – Israel


DAY #18 | SATURDAY | A Tel Aviv-Style Shabbat

  • Morning: Shabbat programming and group lunch at our accommodations
  • Free time to enjoy Tel Aviv’s beach culture and explore nearby Yarkon Park
  • Walk to the Rabin Square Memorial – Honor the life and accomplishments of Yitzhak Rabin, one of Israel’s most famous soldiers and statesmen
  • Havdalah ceremony – celebrate the start of a new week – followed by a group night out at the iconic Azrieli Center Mall

OVERNIGHT: Tel Aviv – Israel


DAY #19 | SUNDAY | Founding Modern Israel

  • Leket – Volunteer project harvesting fresh vegetables for the hungry of Israel
  • Machon Ayalon– Explore the story of the Haganah and the struggle to gain independence at this secret historical ammunition factory outside of Tel Aviv
  • Take in the views from the ancient Jaffa seaport, and browse Jaffa’s colorful flea market
  • Independence Hall – Visit the site where the State of Israel was first declared and learn about the Jewish State’s founding values and vision
  • Spend the rest of the afternoon enjoying Tel Aviv’s beach culture 

OVERNIGHT: Tel Aviv – Israel


DAY #20-23 | MONDAY-THURSDAY | ELECTIVES – SESSION #3

Our third and final session of electives begins this morning and ends Thursday afternoon


DAY #23 | THURSDAY | Looking to the Future

  • Afternoon: Re-group from Electives and travel to the Mediterranean Coast
  • Celebrate our summer in Israel at Shefayim waterpark, followed by a closing BBQ dinner and wrap-up session

OVERNIGHT: Return to Ben Gurion Airport for our overnight return flight


DAY #24 | Friday | Shalom and L’Hitraot!

  • Travelers on the group flight arrive back to North America in the morning

Have questions? We’re here to help! Our most frequently asked questions for this program are answered below. Additional program-wide FAQs are also available, and we encourage you to also review the Pre-Trip Prep Guide for our Israel programs. Schedule a call to learn more.

NOTE: For a more detailed description of how the electives work, check out the Israel Electives page.

How will my teen travel to the program?
Your teen can travel to the program in multiple ways. The most common option is taking our supervised group flight, organized by our team. This flight often departs from the New York City area, and we may also provide group flights from other North American cities according to demand (e.g. LAX, SFO, ORD, BOS, NYC, YUL, and MIA). Flight arrangements will be released in the spring and you are responsible for your teen’s transportation to and from the departure location. If you choose to book on your own but correspond with the supervised flight itinerary, you have the option to use miles or points. Alternatively, you can book a separate flight for your teen that meets the group at the first location (additional fees may apply if a special pick-up/drop-off is needed). 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 when we stay in cities. If opting for the Sea-to-Sea Hike elective, overnights during this experience will be in nature, and all camping gear (including sleeping bags) will be provided. Finally, all accommodations in Israel have security, and we book rooms so that each teen has their own bed in rooms that typically accommodate 3 or 4 teens per room.

How is the program staffed?
Each group is accompanied by a team of madrichim (counselors) from North America and a local Israeli guide. They are joined by an armed guard and bus driver. Senior field staff circulates between the groups for extra support 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. Feel free to ask them any remaining questions you may have. Learn more about our staff team.

What’s the summer weather like?
Temperatures range from hot to hotter in the summer. Clothing should be lightweight and comfortable in the heat. Whenever outside for an extended period, 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. Layers are key! A more detailed guide to packing is provided in the Pre-Trip Prep Guide.

How do you approach security?
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 are centrally monitored by Israel’s Situation Room. Our itineraries are designed with caution in mind and our policies are calibrated to local conditions. Finally, each group is accompanied by trained staff and a licensed guard accompanies all touring-based activities. Learn more about our organization’s approach to safety and security as well as more specific details about our Israel policies.

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.
Note: There will be a way for teens to communicate with each other before the program in late spring.

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 release from service of 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.

For more information, check out our general FAQs.

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

 

FUNDING FOR ISRAEL TRAVEL! New $3,000 RootOne voucher for teens traveling to Israel with BBYO, regardless of financial need. Available on a limited basis – Learn more and claim yours!

Follow your passions and pursue your interests on this groundbreaking summer program that puts teens in control of their own Israel experience!

XPR is a 24-day program that combines must-see touring with three eye-opening elective sessions with a myriad of choices. Our electives are offered across a range of themes and give you the opportunity to pick-up a new skill, learn about Israeli society on a deeper level, or simply try something outside of your regular comfort zone – view electives options below.

Elective sessions take place during the week from Monday morning to Thursday afternoon and provide the opportunity to meet teens from other BBYO Passport groups that share your interests. The rest of the week and weekend is devoted to travel adventures throughout Israel. Together with the XPR community, you’ll explore the amazing highlights of Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, the Galilee, the Golan Heights, Masada, the Dead Sea, and so much more (view the sample itinerary).

ELECTIVE OPTIONS

For a more detailed description of the electives and how they work, check out the Israel Electives page.

Sea-to-Sea Hike
Hike across Israel, from the Mediterranean Sea in the west to the Sea of Galilee in the east
The IDF’s Gadna
A “basic training” style experience organized by the legendary Israel Defense Forces for teens
Service Learning
Give of yourself in Israel, knowing that you not only toured the Land but also gave something back
Photography & Design
Channel the innovative spirit of Israel as you learn the basics of photography & graphic design
Scuba & Watersports
Learn from the masters and pick-up scuba diving, windsurfing, and stand up paddleboarding skills
The he[ART] of Tel Aviv
Tap into the spirit of Tel Aviv’s art scene as we explore its dance, photography, fashion & design
Geo-Political Encounters
Go far beyond the headlines to grapple with the challenges and opportunities that will define Israel’s future
Robotics
Channel the innovative spirit of modern Israel as you learn the basics of robotics
Agricultural Pioneering
Experience the Land of Israel with your hands, legs, and hearts on this farm-based elective
Hebrew Language + Mifgash
Learn conversational Hebrew and practice it with local Israeli teens over cross-cultural adventures!
Maccabi Sports
Get active, get in motion, and join a unique Israel experience focused on athletics

BBYO + Israel + You!

Each summer, hundreds of teens from our Israel experiences join together for a massive celebration called BBYO B’Yachad (Hebrew for “togetherness”). This epic event unites an international community of Jewish teens from North America with those around the world, including from France, Bulgaria, Mexico, Australia, Switzerland, Turkey, Latvia, and Singapore. Join us for the party of the summer!

Travel to Israel presents a unique opportunity for teens to form a personal connection to our history and experience Judaism from a new perspective.  We believe in the impact these experiences have, but studies also show it. Studies have shown that multi-week experiences to Israel during high school years prove the profound impact on the development of an enduring and fulfilling Jewish identity. Explore More

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

We believe all Jewish teens should experience Israel during their formative high school years. To that end, we provide need-based scholarships on local and national levels. Involvement with BBYO is not necessary to for consideration. Many Jewish Federations provide additional need-based and grant-based scholarships. 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 | WEDNESDAY | The Journey Begins

    Depart for Israel on a supervised overnight flight (optional)

DAY #2 | THURSDAY | Baruch HaBah – Getting Oriented to Israel

  • Arrive at Ben Gurion Airport – Meet our Israeli staff team and ascend to Jerusalem
  • Welcome to Israel! Shecheyanu ceremony and discover the unique topography of Jerusalem from the Haas Promenade overlook
  • Check-in, orientation, and icebreakers at our accommodations in

OVERNIGHT: Jerusalem – Israel


DAY #3 | FRIDAY | Foundations of Jewish History in Jerusalem

  • Scale the Rampart Walls of the Old City, walking from Jaffa Gate to Zion Gate
  • Enter the Old City’s Zion Gate – Explore the ancient squares and rooftops of the Jewish Quarter
  • Break for lunch and personal exploration time in the historic Cardo area of the Jewish Quarter
  • Reflections at the Kotel, The Western Wall, and visit the Southern Wall excavations
  • Continue even further back in time to discover how King David established a Jewish capital at the City of David archeological complex, and then cool down splashing through Hezekiah’s underground aqueduct deep beneath the city
  • Return to our accommodations and prepare for Shabbat in Jerusalem
  • Evening: Experience Kabbalat Shabbat at the Kotel and stop for Shabbat dinner at the Fuchsburg Center along the walk back to our accommodations

OVERNIGHT: Jerusalem – Israel


DAY #4 | SATURDAY | A Reflective Shabbat in Jerusalem

  • Morning: Shabbat programming and group lunch at our accommodations
  • Walk to the Israel Museum to discover the Dead Sea Scrolls, Temple Model, and Israel’s most prized cultural and historic treasures
  • Spend the rest of the afternoon soaking up the sun and reflecting on the journey at Jerusalem’s Saker Park
  • Havdalah ceremony – Celebrate the start of a new week together
  • Evening: Group night out at Jerusalem’s Ben Yehuda Street Pedestrian Mall

OVERNIGHT: Jerusalem – Israel


DAY #5 | SUNDAY | Jewish Sovereignty – Vision and Sacrifice

  • Tour of the Knesset – Learn about Israel’s parliamentary system and how it safeguards the Jewish State’s democratic laws and traditions
  • Enjoy the sights and smells of Mahane Yehuda open-air food market and navigate the market with a “Shuk Bites” lunch card
  • Make a solemn visit to Yad Vashem – The World Holocaust Remembrance Center – followed by a walk through the grounds of the Herzl National Cemetery
  • Evening Speaker: The Geopolitics of Israel Today with Eylon Levy, an Israeli journalist and strategic analyst

OVERNIGHT: Jerusalem – Israel


DAY #6-9 | MONDAY-THURSDAY | ELECTIVES – SESSION #1

Our second session of electives begins this morning and ends Thursday afternoon


DAY #9 | THURSDAY | To the Galilee

  • Afternoon: Re-group from Electives and travel to the Galilee in Israel’s north, stopping to view of the Kinneret– the Sea of Galilee – along the way
  • Check-in to our kibbutz accommodations and enjoy free time at the pool!
  • Evening: Top chef “poike pot” cooking challenge

OVERNIGHT: Galilee – Israel


DAY #10 | FRIDAY | Mystics of the Galilee

  • Walking tour of mystical Tzfat – The historic center of Judaism’s Kabbalah movement and a center for Jewish life during the Exile period
  • Browse the Tzfat artist colony and meet with a local Kabbalistic artist
  • Travel to Israel’s Upper Galilee region and hike to the waterfalls of the Banias Nature Reserve
  • Finish the day with relaxed rafting down the upper Jordan River
  • Evening: Kabbalat Shabbat experience followed by a festive dinner at our accommodations

OVERNIGHT: Galilee – Israel


DAY #11 | SATURDAY | Shabbat on Kibbutz in the Galilee

  • Morning: Shabbat programming and group lunch at our accommodations
  • Tour of the kibbutz community and learn about the history of the kibbutz idea
  • Afternoon: Enjoy a relaxed Shabbat with pool, sports, and free time!
  • Havdalah ceremony – Celebrate the start of a new week
  • Evening: Boat cruise on the Kinneret and group night out in Tiberias

OVERNIGHT: Galilee – Israel


DAY #12 | SUNDAY | Perspectives on the Golan Heights

  • Ascend the Golan Heights and hike along the water-filled Nahal Jilaboun canyon
  • Learn about the history of the Golan region on an off-road jeep tour
  • Travel to Mount Ben Tal — View Israel’s neighbors and explore former IDF bunkers on the summit of this dormant volcano
  • Evening: Encounter with Druze culture and share a traditional meal in the Golan village of Ein Kinya

OVERNIGHT: Galilee – Israel


DAY #13-16 | MONDAY-THURSDAY | ELECTIVES – SESSION #2

Our second session of electives begins this morning and ends Thursday afternoon


DAY #16 | THURSDAY | To the Desert

  • Afternoon: Re-group from Electives and travel to the Judean Desert in Israel’s south
  • Arrive at Kfar Hanokdim encampment where we embark on a camel trek followed by a traditional Bedouin tent dinner feast!
  • Evening: Bonfire party and night under the bright desert stars

OVERNIGHT: Judean Desert – Israel


DAY #17 | FRIDAY | The View from Ancient Masada

  • Pre-sunrise climb up Masada via the Roman Ramp Trail
  • Tour of Masada – Herod’s mountaintop desert fortress – and then descend Masada via the Snake Path
  • Experience effortless floating at the Dead Sea – the lowest point on earth
  • Depart the desert and travel to Tel Aviv – Israel’s cultural and economic capital
  • Enjoy the colorful Nahalat Binyamin street festival and explore the Carmel Market as Tel Aviv prepares for Shabbat
  • Evening: Take part in a city-wide Kabbalat Shabbat at the Tel Aviv Port followed by dinner at our hotel

OVERNIGHT: Tel Aviv – Israel


DAY #18 | SATURDAY | A Tel Aviv-Style Shabbat

  • Morning: Shabbat programming and group lunch at our accommodations
  • Free time to enjoy Tel Aviv’s beach culture and explore nearby Yarkon Park
  • Walk to the Rabin Square Memorial – Honor the life and accomplishments of Yitzhak Rabin, one of Israel’s most famous soldiers and statesmen
  • Havdalah ceremony – celebrate the start of a new week – followed by a group night out at the iconic Azrieli Center Mall

OVERNIGHT: Tel Aviv – Israel


DAY #19 | SUNDAY | Founding Modern Israel

  • Leket – Volunteer project harvesting fresh vegetables for the hungry of Israel
  • Machon Ayalon– Explore the story of the Haganah and the struggle to gain independence at this secret historical ammunition factory outside of Tel Aviv
  • Take in the views from the ancient Jaffa seaport, and browse Jaffa’s colorful flea market
  • Independence Hall – Visit the site where the State of Israel was first declared and learn about the Jewish State’s founding values and vision
  • Spend the rest of the afternoon enjoying Tel Aviv’s beach culture 

OVERNIGHT: Tel Aviv – Israel


DAY #20-23 | MONDAY-THURSDAY | ELECTIVES – SESSION #3

Our third and final session of electives begins this morning and ends Thursday afternoon


DAY #23 | THURSDAY | Looking to the Future

  • Afternoon: Re-group from Electives and travel to the Mediterranean Coast
  • Celebrate our summer in Israel at Shefayim waterpark, followed by a closing BBQ dinner and wrap-up session

OVERNIGHT: Return to Ben Gurion Airport for our overnight return flight


DAY #24 | Friday | Shalom and L’Hitraot!

  • Travelers on the group flight arrive back to North America in the morning

Have questions? We’re here to help! Our most frequently asked questions for this program are answered below. Additional program-wide FAQs are also available, and we encourage you to also review the Pre-Trip Prep Guide for our Israel programs. Schedule a call to learn more.

NOTE: For a more detailed description of how the electives work, check out the Israel Electives page.

How will my teen travel to the program?
Your teen can travel to the program in multiple ways. The most common option is taking our supervised group flight, organized by our team. This flight often departs from the New York City area, and we may also provide group flights from other North American cities according to demand (e.g. LAX, SFO, ORD, BOS, NYC, YUL, and MIA). Flight arrangements will be released in the spring and you are responsible for your teen’s transportation to and from the departure location. If you choose to book on your own but correspond with the supervised flight itinerary, you have the option to use miles or points. Alternatively, you can book a separate flight for your teen that meets the group at the first location (additional fees may apply if a special pick-up/drop-off is needed). 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 when we stay in cities. If opting for the Sea-to-Sea Hike elective, overnights during this experience will be in nature, and all camping gear (including sleeping bags) will be provided. Finally, all accommodations in Israel have security, and we book rooms so that each teen has their own bed in rooms that typically accommodate 3 or 4 teens per room.

How is the program staffed?
Each group is accompanied by a team of madrichim (counselors) from North America and a local Israeli guide. They are joined by an armed guard and bus driver. Senior field staff circulates between the groups for extra support 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. Feel free to ask them any remaining questions you may have. Learn more about our staff team.

What’s the summer weather like?
Temperatures range from hot to hotter in the summer. Clothing should be lightweight and comfortable in the heat. Whenever outside for an extended period, 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. Layers are key! A more detailed guide to packing is provided in the Pre-Trip Prep Guide.

How do you approach security?
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 are centrally monitored by Israel’s Situation Room. Our itineraries are designed with caution in mind and our policies are calibrated to local conditions. Finally, each group is accompanied by trained staff and a licensed guard accompanies all touring-based activities. Learn more about our organization’s approach to safety and security as well as more specific details about our Israel policies.

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.
Note: There will be a way for teens to communicate with each other before the program in late spring.

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 release from service of 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.

For more information, check out our general FAQs.

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

 

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