SUMMER EXPERIENCES

ISRAEL JOURNEY

Join us for BBYO Passport’s flagship 3-week summer experience in Israel! Form new friendships as you travel on a cross-country and cross-cultural journey in the Jewish homeland.

SPECIAL UPDATE: Limited need-based scholarships are available. Learn more and apply!

Discover Israel’s many treasures on a transformative journey that focuses on active touring, Jewish experiences, and cultural connections. Travel from the far North to the deep South and make connections and memories you will never forget.

On Israel Journey, you’ll experience all of the classic sites – 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 do an archaeological dig, explore models for co-existence in Galilee, sample the world’s very best falafel, spend a night under the desert stars, and make many other memorable experiences.

More than a tour, Israel Journey is an opportunity to experience the culture first-hand and find your own connection with Israel. Explore what it means to be Jewish from an Israeli point of view, understand the complex politics of the Middle East with real world insights, and practice Jewish values through hands-on volunteering and local Shabbat experiences.

Want to explore Israel in a different way? Check out Trek Israel and Israel Journey PLUS

Program Highlights

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

Discover 3,000 years of Jewish history and traditions in Jerusalem’s Old City
Float in the Dead Sea and scale the heights of Masada to watch sunrise
Navigate the wilderness on a camel trek and enjoy a delicious desert feast in beduin tents
Get your hands dirty and learn a new skill on the Dig-for-a-Day Archaeological Seminar
Raft down the Jordan River and swim under the Ein Gedi desert waterfalls
Experience Mahane Yehuda‘s open-air market, the Nahalat Binyamin street festival, and nightlife on Ben Yehuda Street
Explore the seaport of Haifa, ancient city of Acco, and the ocean caves at Rosh Hanikrah
Swim in the Red Sea, the Mediterranean Sea and in the Sea of Galilee
Learn first-hand about contemporary Israeli geopolitics and be exposed to co-existence in action
Spend Shabbat in the heart of Jerusalem and learn about Judaism’s mystical tradition in Tzvat
Soak up the energy and innovative spirit of Tel Aviv
Connect with new friends as you celebrate a meaningful and adventure-filled summer in Israel

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 | Tuesday | The Journey Begins

  • 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 | 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 Jerusalem

OVERNIGHT: Jerusalem, Israel

DAY #3 | Thursday | The Foundations of David’s Jerusalem

  • Travel to Neot Kedumim Biblical Park for a tree planting ceremony, group-bonding workshop and self-cooked lunch experience
  • Return to Jerusalem to discover how King David established a Jewish capital at the City of David archeological complex
  • Get wet walking through Hezekiah’s underground aqueduct deep beneath the city
  • Reflections at the Kotel, The Western Wall, and visit the Southern Wall excavations

OVERNIGHT: Jerusalem, Israel

DAY #4 | Friday | Treasures of the Old City

  • 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 and break for lunch and personal exploration time in the Cardo
  • Explore millennia of history deep under the Old City within the Kotel Tunnels
  • Depart Jerusalem and travel north to Israel’s Galilee region
  • Stop to view the Kinneret – the Sea of Galilee – along the way
  • Arrive at our kibbutz accommodations and prepare for Shabbat
  • Evening: Kabbalat Shabbat experience followed by a festive dinner at our accommodations

OVERNIGHT: Galilee, Israel

DAY #5 | 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 #6 | Sunday | 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 rafting down the Jordan River followed by a fresh-cooked pizza dinner on the bank of the Jordan River

OVERNIGHT: Galilee, Israel

DAY #7 | Monday | 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 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 #8 | Tuesday | Diversity and Co-Existence in the Galilee

  • Help fight poverty in Israel volunteering at Pitchon Lev in the city of Karmiel
  • Take part in a dialogue with Arab-Israeli teens facilitated by the Galilee Foundation
  • Descend to the ocean caves at Rosh Hanikrah on Israel’s far northern border
  • Spend the rest of the afternoon exploring Acco Seaport, one of Israel’s most diverse cities, including a tour of the Templar Tunnels dating back to the Crusader Era
  • Arrive to Haifa and check-in to our accommodations

OVERNIGHT: Haifa, Israel

DAY #9 | Wednesday | Pioneering Values

  • Start the morning exploring Haifa and the Bahai Gardens on Mt. Carmel
  • Break for lunch in Zichron Yaakov – one of the first new communities established by Jewish immigrants in the 1880’s and funded by Baron Edmond James de Rothschild
  • Atlit Detention Camp – Relive the challenges faced by Jews fleeing WWII Europe prior to Israel’s founding during the British Mandate Era
  • Surfing class, beach time and BBQ dinner on the Mediterranean Coast

OVERNIGHT: Haifa, Israel

DAY #10 | Thursday | Founding Modern Israel

  • Depart Haifa and travel to Caesarea — Herod’s Roman amphitheater and grand palace on the Mediterranean beach
  • Machon Ayalon – Explore the story of the Haganah and the struggle to gain independence at this secret historical munitions factory
  • Save a Child’s Heart – Meet children seeking lifesaving treatment in Israel from around the world
  • Arrive to Tel Aviv – Israel’s cultural and economic capital
  • Evening Speaker: The Geopolitics of Israel Today with Eylon Levy, an Israeli journalist and strategic analyst

OVERNIGHT: Tel Aviv, Israel

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

DAY #11 | Friday | Arts & Culture in Tel Aviv

  • Morning: Israeli martial arts workshop on the beach with Budokan
  • Independence Hall – Visit the site where the State of Israel was first declared and learn about the Jewish State’s founding values and vision
  • Enjoy the colorful Nahalat Binyamin street festival and explore the Carmel Market as Tel Aviv prepares for Shabbat
  • Discover the complexity of Hebrew graffiti art in Tel Aviv’s Florentine neighborhood
  • Evening: Kabbalat Shabbat at the Tel Aviv Port followed by dinner at our hotel

OVERNIGHT: Tel Aviv, Israel

DAY #12 | 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
  • Evening: Group night out at the Azrieli Center Mall

OVERNIGHT: Tel Aviv, Israel

DAY #13 | Sunday | Leadership in the Negev Desert

  • Dig-for-a-Day! Take part in an archaeological seminar with the professionals at Beit Guvrin National Park and explore the Bell Caves
  • Break for a traditional Ethiopian-style lunch with home hosts
  • Travel south into the heart of the Negev Desert
  • Sde Boker – Learn about David & Paula Ben Gurion and their vision for Israel’s thriving in the desert
  • Stop to view the geological phenomenon of the Ramon Crater from the crater’s edge
  • Check-in to desert kibbutz accommodations in the Arava Valley
  • BBQ dinner and pool party at our desert kibbutz accommodations

OVERNIGHT: Arava Valley, Israel

DAY #14 | Monday | Adventures in Eilat and the Red Sea

  • Wake up early to experience the thrill of scaling the massive Kassui sand dunes
  • Hike through the colorful Red Canyon trail deep in the Negev Desert
  • Continue south 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
  • Return to our accommodations, stopping for ice cream at Yotvata, Israel’s famous desert dairy farm

OVERNIGHT: Arava Valley, Israel

DAY #15 | Tuesday | The Desert Blooms

  • Learn how Israel thrives in the desert and protects its ecology at Kibbutz Ketura, home of the Arava Institute
  • Travel up to the Judean Desert via the Arava Valley shared by Israel and Jordan
  • Experience effortless floating at the Dead Sea’s Ein Bokek Beach
  • Camel trekking and “hafla” style Bedouin tent dinner feast!
  • Evening: Bonfire party and night under the bright desert stars

OVERNIGHT: Judean Desert, Israel

DAY #16 | Wednesday | The View from Ancient Masada

  • Pre-sunrise climb up Masada via the Roman Ramp Trail
  • Tour of Masada – Herod’s mountaintop desert fortress, descend via the Snake Path
  • Swim under the cool desert waterfalls at Ein Gedi Nature Reserve
  • Take in the stark desert scenery as we travel back to Jerusalem in the afternoon
  • Check-in to our accommodations and rest!

OVERNIGHT: Jerusalem, Israel

DAY #17 | Thursday | Jewish Sovereignty – Vision and Sacrifice

  • Yad L’Kashish – Visit this landmark initiative to empower the elderly of Jerusalem
  • 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 the Mahane Yehuda open-air food market
  • Spend the rest of the afternoon visiting the Theodore Herzl Museum and exploring the grounds of the Herzl National Cemetery
  • BBYO B’Yachad: Celebrate a summer in Israel with fellow teens from around the world across the entire BBYO Passport community

OVERNIGHT: Jerusalem, Israel

DAY #18 | Friday | Remembrance and Renewal

  • Yad Vashem – The World Holocaust Remembrance Center
  • Reflections over a picnic-style lunch at Jerusalem’s Mifletzet Park
  • Return to our accommodations and prepare for Shabbat in Jerusalem
  • Return to the Old City to experience Kabbalat Shabbat at the Kotel
  • Walk back to our accommodations, stopping for Shabbat dinner en route at the Fuchsburg Center

OVERNIGHT: Jerusalem, Israel

DAY #19 | 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
  • Evening: Group night out on Jerusalem’s Ben Yehuda Street Pedestrian Mall

OVERNIGHT: Jerusalem, Israel

DAY #20 | Sunday | Looking to the Future in Modern Israel

  • Depart for the Tel Aviv region in the morning
  • Learn how Israel became the ‘Startup Nation’ at the Peres Center for Peace and Innovation in southern Jaffa
  • Explore the ancient port city of Jaffa, and browse the colorful Jaffa flea market
  • Spend the rest of the afternoon at the Museum of the Jewish People (Diaspora Museum) on the campus of Tel Aviv University
  • Wrap-up session and the grassy grounds of the Tel Aviv University campus
  • Evening: Closing dinner party and farewells at Tel Aviv’s iconic Maganda Restaurant

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

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

  • Travelers on the group flight arrive back to New York City 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. Schedule a call to learn more.

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 area. 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. 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. All accommodations in Israel have a dedicated armed guard. When booking accommodations, we request for each teen to have their own sleeping accommodations in a shared living space.

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!

How do you approach security?
Safety is our number one priority. We work with the local Jewish communities for guidance on how to travel in the safest way. While there have not been any safety issues with our groups or the local communities previously, we travel with an armed guard out of an abundance of caution. As a program, we take a number of precautions to reduce security risks: We travel on a private bus, stay at accommodations with security, plan our itineraries to avoid areas of concern, and are registered for monitoring through Israel’s Situation Room while in Israel. Learn more about our organization’s approach to safety and security.

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 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.

What’s the Host Family Weekend?

The second Shabbat on all Israel Journey and Trek Israel programs is an optional Host Family Weekend. This is an opportunity to visit with relatives or family friends during your time in Israel. Host Family Weekend begins Thursday evening and ends on Saturday. Typically, a third of teens take advantage of the Host Family Weekend, and we provide organized programming for the teens who remain under your supervision.

 

NOTE: Teens without a host family can join onto the plans of another teen in the group (if invited), and the below form will still need to be completed in advance of the Host Family Weekend. We are unable to find host families for teens without local connections.

 

For more information, check out our general FAQs.

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

7-Day Israel Extension

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

Supervised Connections

Connecting travel arrangements are available between programs, and staff supervision is provided during the connection. Learn more about how connections work.

 

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.

 

SPECIAL UPDATE: Limited need-based scholarships are available. Learn more and apply!

Discover Israel’s many treasures on a transformative journey that focuses on active touring, Jewish experiences, and cultural connections. Travel from the far North to the deep South and make connections and memories you will never forget.

On Israel Journey, you’ll experience all of the classic sites – 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 do an archaeological dig, explore models for co-existence in Galilee, sample the world’s very best falafel, spend a night under the desert stars, and make many other memorable experiences.

More than a tour, Israel Journey is an opportunity to experience the culture first-hand and find your own connection with Israel. Explore what it means to be Jewish from an Israeli point of view, understand the complex politics of the Middle East with real world insights, and practice Jewish values through hands-on volunteering and local Shabbat experiences.

Want to explore Israel in a different way? Check out Trek Israel and Israel Journey PLUS

Program Highlights

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

Discover 3,000 years of Jewish history and traditions in Jerusalem’s Old City
Float in the Dead Sea and scale the heights of Masada to watch sunrise
Navigate the wilderness on a camel trek and enjoy a delicious desert feast in beduin tents
Get your hands dirty and learn a new skill on the Dig-for-a-Day Archaeological Seminar
Raft down the Jordan River and swim under the Ein Gedi desert waterfalls
Experience Mahane Yehuda‘s open-air market, the Nahalat Binyamin street festival, and nightlife on Ben Yehuda Street
Explore the seaport of Haifa, ancient city of Acco, and the ocean caves at Rosh Hanikrah
Swim in the Red Sea, the Mediterranean Sea and in the Sea of Galilee
Learn first-hand about contemporary Israeli geopolitics and be exposed to co-existence in action
Spend Shabbat in the heart of Jerusalem and learn about Judaism’s mystical tradition in Tzvat
Soak up the energy and innovative spirit of Tel Aviv
Connect with new friends as you celebrate a meaningful and adventure-filled summer in Israel

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 | Tuesday | The Journey Begins

  • 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 | 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 Jerusalem

OVERNIGHT: Jerusalem, Israel

DAY #3 | Thursday | The Foundations of David’s Jerusalem

  • Travel to Neot Kedumim Biblical Park for a tree planting ceremony, group-bonding workshop and self-cooked lunch experience
  • Return to Jerusalem to discover how King David established a Jewish capital at the City of David archeological complex
  • Get wet walking through Hezekiah’s underground aqueduct deep beneath the city
  • Reflections at the Kotel, The Western Wall, and visit the Southern Wall excavations

OVERNIGHT: Jerusalem, Israel

DAY #4 | Friday | Treasures of the Old City

  • 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 and break for lunch and personal exploration time in the Cardo
  • Explore millennia of history deep under the Old City within the Kotel Tunnels
  • Depart Jerusalem and travel north to Israel’s Galilee region
  • Stop to view the Kinneret – the Sea of Galilee – along the way
  • Arrive at our kibbutz accommodations and prepare for Shabbat
  • Evening: Kabbalat Shabbat experience followed by a festive dinner at our accommodations

OVERNIGHT: Galilee, Israel

DAY #5 | 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 #6 | Sunday | 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 rafting down the Jordan River followed by a fresh-cooked pizza dinner on the bank of the Jordan River

OVERNIGHT: Galilee, Israel

DAY #7 | Monday | 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 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 #8 | Tuesday | Diversity and Co-Existence in the Galilee

  • Help fight poverty in Israel volunteering at Pitchon Lev in the city of Karmiel
  • Take part in a dialogue with Arab-Israeli teens facilitated by the Galilee Foundation
  • Descend to the ocean caves at Rosh Hanikrah on Israel’s far northern border
  • Spend the rest of the afternoon exploring Acco Seaport, one of Israel’s most diverse cities, including a tour of the Templar Tunnels dating back to the Crusader Era
  • Arrive to Haifa and check-in to our accommodations

OVERNIGHT: Haifa, Israel

DAY #9 | Wednesday | Pioneering Values

  • Start the morning exploring Haifa and the Bahai Gardens on Mt. Carmel
  • Break for lunch in Zichron Yaakov – one of the first new communities established by Jewish immigrants in the 1880’s and funded by Baron Edmond James de Rothschild
  • Atlit Detention Camp – Relive the challenges faced by Jews fleeing WWII Europe prior to Israel’s founding during the British Mandate Era
  • Surfing class, beach time and BBQ dinner on the Mediterranean Coast

OVERNIGHT: Haifa, Israel

DAY #10 | Thursday | Founding Modern Israel

  • Depart Haifa and travel to Caesarea — Herod’s Roman amphitheater and grand palace on the Mediterranean beach
  • Machon Ayalon – Explore the story of the Haganah and the struggle to gain independence at this secret historical munitions factory
  • Save a Child’s Heart – Meet children seeking lifesaving treatment in Israel from around the world
  • Arrive to Tel Aviv – Israel’s cultural and economic capital
  • Evening Speaker: The Geopolitics of Israel Today with Eylon Levy, an Israeli journalist and strategic analyst

OVERNIGHT: Tel Aviv, Israel

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

DAY #11 | Friday | Arts & Culture in Tel Aviv

  • Morning: Israeli martial arts workshop on the beach with Budokan
  • Independence Hall – Visit the site where the State of Israel was first declared and learn about the Jewish State’s founding values and vision
  • Enjoy the colorful Nahalat Binyamin street festival and explore the Carmel Market as Tel Aviv prepares for Shabbat
  • Discover the complexity of Hebrew graffiti art in Tel Aviv’s Florentine neighborhood
  • Evening: Kabbalat Shabbat at the Tel Aviv Port followed by dinner at our hotel

OVERNIGHT: Tel Aviv, Israel

DAY #12 | 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
  • Evening: Group night out at the Azrieli Center Mall

OVERNIGHT: Tel Aviv, Israel

DAY #13 | Sunday | Leadership in the Negev Desert

  • Dig-for-a-Day! Take part in an archaeological seminar with the professionals at Beit Guvrin National Park and explore the Bell Caves
  • Break for a traditional Ethiopian-style lunch with home hosts
  • Travel south into the heart of the Negev Desert
  • Sde Boker – Learn about David & Paula Ben Gurion and their vision for Israel’s thriving in the desert
  • Stop to view the geological phenomenon of the Ramon Crater from the crater’s edge
  • Check-in to desert kibbutz accommodations in the Arava Valley
  • BBQ dinner and pool party at our desert kibbutz accommodations

OVERNIGHT: Arava Valley, Israel

DAY #14 | Monday | Adventures in Eilat and the Red Sea

  • Wake up early to experience the thrill of scaling the massive Kassui sand dunes
  • Hike through the colorful Red Canyon trail deep in the Negev Desert
  • Continue south 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
  • Return to our accommodations, stopping for ice cream at Yotvata, Israel’s famous desert dairy farm

OVERNIGHT: Arava Valley, Israel

DAY #15 | Tuesday | The Desert Blooms

  • Learn how Israel thrives in the desert and protects its ecology at Kibbutz Ketura, home of the Arava Institute
  • Travel up to the Judean Desert via the Arava Valley shared by Israel and Jordan
  • Experience effortless floating at the Dead Sea’s Ein Bokek Beach
  • Camel trekking and “hafla” style Bedouin tent dinner feast!
  • Evening: Bonfire party and night under the bright desert stars

OVERNIGHT: Judean Desert, Israel

DAY #16 | Wednesday | The View from Ancient Masada

  • Pre-sunrise climb up Masada via the Roman Ramp Trail
  • Tour of Masada – Herod’s mountaintop desert fortress, descend via the Snake Path
  • Swim under the cool desert waterfalls at Ein Gedi Nature Reserve
  • Take in the stark desert scenery as we travel back to Jerusalem in the afternoon
  • Check-in to our accommodations and rest!

OVERNIGHT: Jerusalem, Israel

DAY #17 | Thursday | Jewish Sovereignty – Vision and Sacrifice

  • Yad L’Kashish – Visit this landmark initiative to empower the elderly of Jerusalem
  • 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 the Mahane Yehuda open-air food market
  • Spend the rest of the afternoon visiting the Theodore Herzl Museum and exploring the grounds of the Herzl National Cemetery
  • BBYO B’Yachad: Celebrate a summer in Israel with fellow teens from around the world across the entire BBYO Passport community

OVERNIGHT: Jerusalem, Israel

DAY #18 | Friday | Remembrance and Renewal

  • Yad Vashem – The World Holocaust Remembrance Center
  • Reflections over a picnic-style lunch at Jerusalem’s Mifletzet Park
  • Return to our accommodations and prepare for Shabbat in Jerusalem
  • Return to the Old City to experience Kabbalat Shabbat at the Kotel
  • Walk back to our accommodations, stopping for Shabbat dinner en route at the Fuchsburg Center

OVERNIGHT: Jerusalem, Israel

DAY #19 | 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
  • Evening: Group night out on Jerusalem’s Ben Yehuda Street Pedestrian Mall

OVERNIGHT: Jerusalem, Israel

DAY #20 | Sunday | Looking to the Future in Modern Israel

  • Depart for the Tel Aviv region in the morning
  • Learn how Israel became the ‘Startup Nation’ at the Peres Center for Peace and Innovation in southern Jaffa
  • Explore the ancient port city of Jaffa, and browse the colorful Jaffa flea market
  • Spend the rest of the afternoon at the Museum of the Jewish People (Diaspora Museum) on the campus of Tel Aviv University
  • Wrap-up session and the grassy grounds of the Tel Aviv University campus
  • Evening: Closing dinner party and farewells at Tel Aviv’s iconic Maganda Restaurant

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

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

  • Travelers on the group flight arrive back to New York City 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. Schedule a call to learn more.

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 area. 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. 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. All accommodations in Israel have a dedicated armed guard. When booking accommodations, we request for each teen to have their own sleeping accommodations in a shared living space.

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!

How do you approach security?
Safety is our number one priority. We work with the local Jewish communities for guidance on how to travel in the safest way. While there have not been any safety issues with our groups or the local communities previously, we travel with an armed guard out of an abundance of caution. As a program, we take a number of precautions to reduce security risks: We travel on a private bus, stay at accommodations with security, plan our itineraries to avoid areas of concern, and are registered for monitoring through Israel’s Situation Room while in Israel. Learn more about our organization’s approach to safety and security.

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 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.

What’s the Host Family Weekend?

The second Shabbat on all Israel Journey and Trek Israel programs is an optional Host Family Weekend. This is an opportunity to visit with relatives or family friends during your time in Israel. Host Family Weekend begins Thursday evening and ends on Saturday. Typically, a third of teens take advantage of the Host Family Weekend, and we provide organized programming for the teens who remain under your supervision.

 

NOTE: Teens without a host family can join onto the plans of another teen in the group (if invited), and the below form will still need to be completed in advance of the Host Family Weekend. We are unable to find host families for teens without local connections.

 

For more information, check out our general FAQs.

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

7-Day Israel Extension

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

Supervised Connections

Connecting travel arrangements are available between programs, and staff supervision is provided during the connection. Learn more about how connections work.

 

PROGRAM REVIEWS

ISRAEL JOURNEY

Join us for BBYO Passport’s flagship 3-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

Join us for BBYO Passport’s flagship 3-week summer experience in Israel! Form new friendships as you travel on a cross-country and cross-cultural journey in the Jewish homeland.

SPECIAL UPDATE: Limited need-based scholarships are available. Learn more and apply!

Discover Israel’s many treasures on a transformative journey that focuses on active touring, Jewish experiences, and cultural connections. Travel from the far North to the deep South and make connections and memories you will never forget.

On Israel Journey, you’ll experience all of the classic sites – 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 do an archaeological dig, explore models for co-existence in Galilee, sample the world’s very best falafel, spend a night under the desert stars, and make many other memorable experiences.

More than a tour, Israel Journey is an opportunity to experience the culture first-hand and find your own connection with Israel. Explore what it means to be Jewish from an Israeli point of view, understand the complex politics of the Middle East with real world insights, and practice Jewish values through hands-on volunteering and local Shabbat experiences.

Want to explore Israel in a different way? Check out Trek Israel and Israel Journey PLUS

Program Highlights

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

Discover 3,000 years of Jewish history and traditions in Jerusalem’s Old City
Float in the Dead Sea and scale the heights of Masada to watch sunrise
Navigate the wilderness on a camel trek and enjoy a delicious desert feast in beduin tents
Get your hands dirty and learn a new skill on the Dig-for-a-Day Archaeological Seminar
Raft down the Jordan River and swim under the Ein Gedi desert waterfalls
Experience Mahane Yehuda‘s open-air market, the Nahalat Binyamin street festival, and nightlife on Ben Yehuda Street
Explore the seaport of Haifa, ancient city of Acco, and the ocean caves at Rosh Hanikrah
Swim in the Red Sea, the Mediterranean Sea and in the Sea of Galilee
Learn first-hand about contemporary Israeli geopolitics and be exposed to co-existence in action
Spend Shabbat in the heart of Jerusalem and learn about Judaism’s mystical tradition in Tzvat
Soak up the energy and innovative spirit of Tel Aviv
Connect with new friends as you celebrate a meaningful and adventure-filled summer in Israel

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 | Tuesday | The Journey Begins

  • 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 | 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 Jerusalem

OVERNIGHT: Jerusalem, Israel

DAY #3 | Thursday | The Foundations of David’s Jerusalem

  • Travel to Neot Kedumim Biblical Park for a tree planting ceremony, group-bonding workshop and self-cooked lunch experience
  • Return to Jerusalem to discover how King David established a Jewish capital at the City of David archeological complex
  • Get wet walking through Hezekiah’s underground aqueduct deep beneath the city
  • Reflections at the Kotel, The Western Wall, and visit the Southern Wall excavations

OVERNIGHT: Jerusalem, Israel

DAY #4 | Friday | Treasures of the Old City

  • 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 and break for lunch and personal exploration time in the Cardo
  • Explore millennia of history deep under the Old City within the Kotel Tunnels
  • Depart Jerusalem and travel north to Israel’s Galilee region
  • Stop to view the Kinneret – the Sea of Galilee – along the way
  • Arrive at our kibbutz accommodations and prepare for Shabbat
  • Evening: Kabbalat Shabbat experience followed by a festive dinner at our accommodations

OVERNIGHT: Galilee, Israel

DAY #5 | 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 #6 | Sunday | 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 rafting down the Jordan River followed by a fresh-cooked pizza dinner on the bank of the Jordan River

OVERNIGHT: Galilee, Israel

DAY #7 | Monday | 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 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 #8 | Tuesday | Diversity and Co-Existence in the Galilee

  • Help fight poverty in Israel volunteering at Pitchon Lev in the city of Karmiel
  • Take part in a dialogue with Arab-Israeli teens facilitated by the Galilee Foundation
  • Descend to the ocean caves at Rosh Hanikrah on Israel’s far northern border
  • Spend the rest of the afternoon exploring Acco Seaport, one of Israel’s most diverse cities, including a tour of the Templar Tunnels dating back to the Crusader Era
  • Arrive to Haifa and check-in to our accommodations

OVERNIGHT: Haifa, Israel

DAY #9 | Wednesday | Pioneering Values

  • Start the morning exploring Haifa and the Bahai Gardens on Mt. Carmel
  • Break for lunch in Zichron Yaakov – one of the first new communities established by Jewish immigrants in the 1880’s and funded by Baron Edmond James de Rothschild
  • Atlit Detention Camp – Relive the challenges faced by Jews fleeing WWII Europe prior to Israel’s founding during the British Mandate Era
  • Surfing class, beach time and BBQ dinner on the Mediterranean Coast

OVERNIGHT: Haifa, Israel

DAY #10 | Thursday | Founding Modern Israel

  • Depart Haifa and travel to Caesarea — Herod’s Roman amphitheater and grand palace on the Mediterranean beach
  • Machon Ayalon – Explore the story of the Haganah and the struggle to gain independence at this secret historical munitions factory
  • Save a Child’s Heart – Meet children seeking lifesaving treatment in Israel from around the world
  • Arrive to Tel Aviv – Israel’s cultural and economic capital
  • Evening Speaker: The Geopolitics of Israel Today with Eylon Levy, an Israeli journalist and strategic analyst

OVERNIGHT: Tel Aviv, Israel

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

DAY #11 | Friday | Arts & Culture in Tel Aviv

  • Morning: Israeli martial arts workshop on the beach with Budokan
  • Independence Hall – Visit the site where the State of Israel was first declared and learn about the Jewish State’s founding values and vision
  • Enjoy the colorful Nahalat Binyamin street festival and explore the Carmel Market as Tel Aviv prepares for Shabbat
  • Discover the complexity of Hebrew graffiti art in Tel Aviv’s Florentine neighborhood
  • Evening: Kabbalat Shabbat at the Tel Aviv Port followed by dinner at our hotel

OVERNIGHT: Tel Aviv, Israel

DAY #12 | 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
  • Evening: Group night out at the Azrieli Center Mall

OVERNIGHT: Tel Aviv, Israel

DAY #13 | Sunday | Leadership in the Negev Desert

  • Dig-for-a-Day! Take part in an archaeological seminar with the professionals at Beit Guvrin National Park and explore the Bell Caves
  • Break for a traditional Ethiopian-style lunch with home hosts
  • Travel south into the heart of the Negev Desert
  • Sde Boker – Learn about David & Paula Ben Gurion and their vision for Israel’s thriving in the desert
  • Stop to view the geological phenomenon of the Ramon Crater from the crater’s edge
  • Check-in to desert kibbutz accommodations in the Arava Valley
  • BBQ dinner and pool party at our desert kibbutz accommodations

OVERNIGHT: Arava Valley, Israel

DAY #14 | Monday | Adventures in Eilat and the Red Sea

  • Wake up early to experience the thrill of scaling the massive Kassui sand dunes
  • Hike through the colorful Red Canyon trail deep in the Negev Desert
  • Continue south 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
  • Return to our accommodations, stopping for ice cream at Yotvata, Israel’s famous desert dairy farm

OVERNIGHT: Arava Valley, Israel

DAY #15 | Tuesday | The Desert Blooms

  • Learn how Israel thrives in the desert and protects its ecology at Kibbutz Ketura, home of the Arava Institute
  • Travel up to the Judean Desert via the Arava Valley shared by Israel and Jordan
  • Experience effortless floating at the Dead Sea’s Ein Bokek Beach
  • Camel trekking and “hafla” style Bedouin tent dinner feast!
  • Evening: Bonfire party and night under the bright desert stars

OVERNIGHT: Judean Desert, Israel

DAY #16 | Wednesday | The View from Ancient Masada

  • Pre-sunrise climb up Masada via the Roman Ramp Trail
  • Tour of Masada – Herod’s mountaintop desert fortress, descend via the Snake Path
  • Swim under the cool desert waterfalls at Ein Gedi Nature Reserve
  • Take in the stark desert scenery as we travel back to Jerusalem in the afternoon
  • Check-in to our accommodations and rest!

OVERNIGHT: Jerusalem, Israel

DAY #17 | Thursday | Jewish Sovereignty – Vision and Sacrifice

  • Yad L’Kashish – Visit this landmark initiative to empower the elderly of Jerusalem
  • 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 the Mahane Yehuda open-air food market
  • Spend the rest of the afternoon visiting the Theodore Herzl Museum and exploring the grounds of the Herzl National Cemetery
  • BBYO B’Yachad: Celebrate a summer in Israel with fellow teens from around the world across the entire BBYO Passport community

OVERNIGHT: Jerusalem, Israel

DAY #18 | Friday | Remembrance and Renewal

  • Yad Vashem – The World Holocaust Remembrance Center
  • Reflections over a picnic-style lunch at Jerusalem’s Mifletzet Park
  • Return to our accommodations and prepare for Shabbat in Jerusalem
  • Return to the Old City to experience Kabbalat Shabbat at the Kotel
  • Walk back to our accommodations, stopping for Shabbat dinner en route at the Fuchsburg Center

OVERNIGHT: Jerusalem, Israel

DAY #19 | 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
  • Evening: Group night out on Jerusalem’s Ben Yehuda Street Pedestrian Mall

OVERNIGHT: Jerusalem, Israel

DAY #20 | Sunday | Looking to the Future in Modern Israel

  • Depart for the Tel Aviv region in the morning
  • Learn how Israel became the ‘Startup Nation’ at the Peres Center for Peace and Innovation in southern Jaffa
  • Explore the ancient port city of Jaffa, and browse the colorful Jaffa flea market
  • Spend the rest of the afternoon at the Museum of the Jewish People (Diaspora Museum) on the campus of Tel Aviv University
  • Wrap-up session and the grassy grounds of the Tel Aviv University campus
  • Evening: Closing dinner party and farewells at Tel Aviv’s iconic Maganda Restaurant

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

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

  • Travelers on the group flight arrive back to New York City 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. Schedule a call to learn more.

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 area. 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. 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. All accommodations in Israel have a dedicated armed guard. When booking accommodations, we request for each teen to have their own sleeping accommodations in a shared living space.

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!

How do you approach security?
Safety is our number one priority. We work with the local Jewish communities for guidance on how to travel in the safest way. While there have not been any safety issues with our groups or the local communities previously, we travel with an armed guard out of an abundance of caution. As a program, we take a number of precautions to reduce security risks: We travel on a private bus, stay at accommodations with security, plan our itineraries to avoid areas of concern, and are registered for monitoring through Israel’s Situation Room while in Israel. Learn more about our organization’s approach to safety and security.

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 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.

What’s the Host Family Weekend?

The second Shabbat on all Israel Journey and Trek Israel programs is an optional Host Family Weekend. This is an opportunity to visit with relatives or family friends during your time in Israel. Host Family Weekend begins Thursday evening and ends on Saturday. Typically, a third of teens take advantage of the Host Family Weekend, and we provide organized programming for the teens who remain under your supervision.

 

NOTE: Teens without a host family can join onto the plans of another teen in the group (if invited), and the below form will still need to be completed in advance of the Host Family Weekend. We are unable to find host families for teens without local connections.

 

For more information, check out our general FAQs.

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

7-Day Israel Extension

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

Supervised Connections

Connecting travel arrangements are available between programs, and staff supervision is provided during the connection. Learn more about how connections work.

 

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.

 

SPECIAL UPDATE: Limited need-based scholarships are available. Learn more and apply!

Discover Israel’s many treasures on a transformative journey that focuses on active touring, Jewish experiences, and cultural connections. Travel from the far North to the deep South and make connections and memories you will never forget.

On Israel Journey, you’ll experience all of the classic sites – 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 do an archaeological dig, explore models for co-existence in Galilee, sample the world’s very best falafel, spend a night under the desert stars, and make many other memorable experiences.

More than a tour, Israel Journey is an opportunity to experience the culture first-hand and find your own connection with Israel. Explore what it means to be Jewish from an Israeli point of view, understand the complex politics of the Middle East with real world insights, and practice Jewish values through hands-on volunteering and local Shabbat experiences.

Want to explore Israel in a different way? Check out Trek Israel and Israel Journey PLUS

Program Highlights

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

Discover 3,000 years of Jewish history and traditions in Jerusalem’s Old City
Float in the Dead Sea and scale the heights of Masada to watch sunrise
Navigate the wilderness on a camel trek and enjoy a delicious desert feast in beduin tents
Get your hands dirty and learn a new skill on the Dig-for-a-Day Archaeological Seminar
Raft down the Jordan River and swim under the Ein Gedi desert waterfalls
Experience Mahane Yehuda‘s open-air market, the Nahalat Binyamin street festival, and nightlife on Ben Yehuda Street
Explore the seaport of Haifa, ancient city of Acco, and the ocean caves at Rosh Hanikrah
Swim in the Red Sea, the Mediterranean Sea and in the Sea of Galilee
Learn first-hand about contemporary Israeli geopolitics and be exposed to co-existence in action
Spend Shabbat in the heart of Jerusalem and learn about Judaism’s mystical tradition in Tzvat
Soak up the energy and innovative spirit of Tel Aviv
Connect with new friends as you celebrate a meaningful and adventure-filled summer in Israel

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 | Tuesday | The Journey Begins

  • 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 | 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 Jerusalem

OVERNIGHT: Jerusalem, Israel

DAY #3 | Thursday | The Foundations of David’s Jerusalem

  • Travel to Neot Kedumim Biblical Park for a tree planting ceremony, group-bonding workshop and self-cooked lunch experience
  • Return to Jerusalem to discover how King David established a Jewish capital at the City of David archeological complex
  • Get wet walking through Hezekiah’s underground aqueduct deep beneath the city
  • Reflections at the Kotel, The Western Wall, and visit the Southern Wall excavations

OVERNIGHT: Jerusalem, Israel

DAY #4 | Friday | Treasures of the Old City

  • 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 and break for lunch and personal exploration time in the Cardo
  • Explore millennia of history deep under the Old City within the Kotel Tunnels
  • Depart Jerusalem and travel north to Israel’s Galilee region
  • Stop to view the Kinneret – the Sea of Galilee – along the way
  • Arrive at our kibbutz accommodations and prepare for Shabbat
  • Evening: Kabbalat Shabbat experience followed by a festive dinner at our accommodations

OVERNIGHT: Galilee, Israel

DAY #5 | 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 #6 | Sunday | 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 rafting down the Jordan River followed by a fresh-cooked pizza dinner on the bank of the Jordan River

OVERNIGHT: Galilee, Israel

DAY #7 | Monday | 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 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 #8 | Tuesday | Diversity and Co-Existence in the Galilee

  • Help fight poverty in Israel volunteering at Pitchon Lev in the city of Karmiel
  • Take part in a dialogue with Arab-Israeli teens facilitated by the Galilee Foundation
  • Descend to the ocean caves at Rosh Hanikrah on Israel’s far northern border
  • Spend the rest of the afternoon exploring Acco Seaport, one of Israel’s most diverse cities, including a tour of the Templar Tunnels dating back to the Crusader Era
  • Arrive to Haifa and check-in to our accommodations

OVERNIGHT: Haifa, Israel

DAY #9 | Wednesday | Pioneering Values

  • Start the morning exploring Haifa and the Bahai Gardens on Mt. Carmel
  • Break for lunch in Zichron Yaakov – one of the first new communities established by Jewish immigrants in the 1880’s and funded by Baron Edmond James de Rothschild
  • Atlit Detention Camp – Relive the challenges faced by Jews fleeing WWII Europe prior to Israel’s founding during the British Mandate Era
  • Surfing class, beach time and BBQ dinner on the Mediterranean Coast

OVERNIGHT: Haifa, Israel

DAY #10 | Thursday | Founding Modern Israel

  • Depart Haifa and travel to Caesarea — Herod’s Roman amphitheater and grand palace on the Mediterranean beach
  • Machon Ayalon – Explore the story of the Haganah and the struggle to gain independence at this secret historical munitions factory
  • Save a Child’s Heart – Meet children seeking lifesaving treatment in Israel from around the world
  • Arrive to Tel Aviv – Israel’s cultural and economic capital
  • Evening Speaker: The Geopolitics of Israel Today with Eylon Levy, an Israeli journalist and strategic analyst

OVERNIGHT: Tel Aviv, Israel

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

DAY #11 | Friday | Arts & Culture in Tel Aviv

  • Morning: Israeli martial arts workshop on the beach with Budokan
  • Independence Hall – Visit the site where the State of Israel was first declared and learn about the Jewish State’s founding values and vision
  • Enjoy the colorful Nahalat Binyamin street festival and explore the Carmel Market as Tel Aviv prepares for Shabbat
  • Discover the complexity of Hebrew graffiti art in Tel Aviv’s Florentine neighborhood
  • Evening: Kabbalat Shabbat at the Tel Aviv Port followed by dinner at our hotel

OVERNIGHT: Tel Aviv, Israel

DAY #12 | 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
  • Evening: Group night out at the Azrieli Center Mall

OVERNIGHT: Tel Aviv, Israel

DAY #13 | Sunday | Leadership in the Negev Desert

  • Dig-for-a-Day! Take part in an archaeological seminar with the professionals at Beit Guvrin National Park and explore the Bell Caves
  • Break for a traditional Ethiopian-style lunch with home hosts
  • Travel south into the heart of the Negev Desert
  • Sde Boker – Learn about David & Paula Ben Gurion and their vision for Israel’s thriving in the desert
  • Stop to view the geological phenomenon of the Ramon Crater from the crater’s edge
  • Check-in to desert kibbutz accommodations in the Arava Valley
  • BBQ dinner and pool party at our desert kibbutz accommodations

OVERNIGHT: Arava Valley, Israel

DAY #14 | Monday | Adventures in Eilat and the Red Sea

  • Wake up early to experience the thrill of scaling the massive Kassui sand dunes
  • Hike through the colorful Red Canyon trail deep in the Negev Desert
  • Continue south 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
  • Return to our accommodations, stopping for ice cream at Yotvata, Israel’s famous desert dairy farm

OVERNIGHT: Arava Valley, Israel

DAY #15 | Tuesday | The Desert Blooms

  • Learn how Israel thrives in the desert and protects its ecology at Kibbutz Ketura, home of the Arava Institute
  • Travel up to the Judean Desert via the Arava Valley shared by Israel and Jordan
  • Experience effortless floating at the Dead Sea’s Ein Bokek Beach
  • Camel trekking and “hafla” style Bedouin tent dinner feast!
  • Evening: Bonfire party and night under the bright desert stars

OVERNIGHT: Judean Desert, Israel

DAY #16 | Wednesday | The View from Ancient Masada

  • Pre-sunrise climb up Masada via the Roman Ramp Trail
  • Tour of Masada – Herod’s mountaintop desert fortress, descend via the Snake Path
  • Swim under the cool desert waterfalls at Ein Gedi Nature Reserve
  • Take in the stark desert scenery as we travel back to Jerusalem in the afternoon
  • Check-in to our accommodations and rest!

OVERNIGHT: Jerusalem, Israel

DAY #17 | Thursday | Jewish Sovereignty – Vision and Sacrifice

  • Yad L’Kashish – Visit this landmark initiative to empower the elderly of Jerusalem
  • 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 the Mahane Yehuda open-air food market
  • Spend the rest of the afternoon visiting the Theodore Herzl Museum and exploring the grounds of the Herzl National Cemetery
  • BBYO B’Yachad: Celebrate a summer in Israel with fellow teens from around the world across the entire BBYO Passport community

OVERNIGHT: Jerusalem, Israel

DAY #18 | Friday | Remembrance and Renewal

  • Yad Vashem – The World Holocaust Remembrance Center
  • Reflections over a picnic-style lunch at Jerusalem’s Mifletzet Park
  • Return to our accommodations and prepare for Shabbat in Jerusalem
  • Return to the Old City to experience Kabbalat Shabbat at the Kotel
  • Walk back to our accommodations, stopping for Shabbat dinner en route at the Fuchsburg Center

OVERNIGHT: Jerusalem, Israel

DAY #19 | 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
  • Evening: Group night out on Jerusalem’s Ben Yehuda Street Pedestrian Mall

OVERNIGHT: Jerusalem, Israel

DAY #20 | Sunday | Looking to the Future in Modern Israel

  • Depart for the Tel Aviv region in the morning
  • Learn how Israel became the ‘Startup Nation’ at the Peres Center for Peace and Innovation in southern Jaffa
  • Explore the ancient port city of Jaffa, and browse the colorful Jaffa flea market
  • Spend the rest of the afternoon at the Museum of the Jewish People (Diaspora Museum) on the campus of Tel Aviv University
  • Wrap-up session and the grassy grounds of the Tel Aviv University campus
  • Evening: Closing dinner party and farewells at Tel Aviv’s iconic Maganda Restaurant

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

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

  • Travelers on the group flight arrive back to New York City 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. Schedule a call to learn more.

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 area. 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. 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. All accommodations in Israel have a dedicated armed guard. When booking accommodations, we request for each teen to have their own sleeping accommodations in a shared living space.

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!

How do you approach security?
Safety is our number one priority. We work with the local Jewish communities for guidance on how to travel in the safest way. While there have not been any safety issues with our groups or the local communities previously, we travel with an armed guard out of an abundance of caution. As a program, we take a number of precautions to reduce security risks: We travel on a private bus, stay at accommodations with security, plan our itineraries to avoid areas of concern, and are registered for monitoring through Israel’s Situation Room while in Israel. Learn more about our organization’s approach to safety and security.

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 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.

What’s the Host Family Weekend?

The second Shabbat on all Israel Journey and Trek Israel programs is an optional Host Family Weekend. This is an opportunity to visit with relatives or family friends during your time in Israel. Host Family Weekend begins Thursday evening and ends on Saturday. Typically, a third of teens take advantage of the Host Family Weekend, and we provide organized programming for the teens who remain under your supervision.

 

NOTE: Teens without a host family can join onto the plans of another teen in the group (if invited), and the below form will still need to be completed in advance of the Host Family Weekend. We are unable to find host families for teens without local connections.

 

For more information, check out our general FAQs.

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

7-Day Israel Extension

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

Supervised Connections

Connecting travel arrangements are available between programs, and staff supervision is provided during the connection. Learn more about how connections work.

 

PROGRAM REVIEWS

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