Two girls smiling at the camera giving a peace sign while traveling in Israel
SUMMER EXPERIENCES

Stand UP Dominican Republic

Explore Dominican society and give of yourself on a series of educational service projects while also experiencing the island’s natural richness, cultural traditions and unique Jewish history.

Stand UP for Community Enrichment

Journey to the Dominican Republic where you’ll give of yourself while feeling part of a new community on this 16-day cross-cultural journey.

Connect with different aspects of Dominican society through a series of educational service projects in support of local children, migrants from Haiti, and others in need. Along the way, there’s plenty of time to discover the island’s natural richness with adventures in the lush highlands, along the beach and out at sea. You’ll also learn about the unique history of Jewish Dominican life and meet its contemporary leaders.

Elements of the Experience

A Mission of Service
Stand UP Dominican Republic is a service learning program at heart. From our base on the northern coast we take part in service projects designed to shed light on different aspects of local life – play soccer with Haitian migrants, volunteer for the local Jewish community, practice sustainable farming in the jungle and organize educational programs for disadvantaged youth.

Cross-Cultural Connections

Stand UP Dominican Republic is a wonderful opportunity to explore Dominican culture – its people, art, food, traditions and sports (baseball!). As a Jewish experience, we learn about the Jewish communities in Santo Domingo and Sosua, a remote village with a special Jewish story.

A Unique Teen Travel Experience

The Dominican Republic is a beautiful country in the heart of the Caribbean, and we make time for plenty of adventure and fun! Get ready to swim in water-filled caves, learn Dominican-style cooking, go horseback riding in the back-country, stand-up paddle in the ocean, enjoy a bonfire dinner and spend plenty of time enjoying local beach life!

Why the Dominican Republic?

Dominican Republic shares the island of Hispaniola with Haiti (there is only one other island in the world that is shared between two countries). Approximately 10 million people live in the Dominican Republic and nearly 3,000 Jews call the Dominican Republic home. While it may be small, the Jewish community had and continues to have a large impact on the island to this very day.

The Dominican Republic was one of the only countries willing to accept mass Jewish immigration during World War II. At the Evian conference it offered to accept up to 100,000 Jews, however only about 700 European Jews ended up settling in Sosúa. They worked the land and became for the most part cattle and dairy farmers. They were given communal plots of land that were run just like the kibbutzim of Israel.

Today the majority of Jews live in Santo Domingo, which houses two synagogues and a Sephardic Jewish Education Center. There is also a small Jewish population in Sousa which has a synagogue as well.

Program Highlights

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

Learn about Dominican culture and society.
Volunteer with local youth, Haitian migrants and for the Jewish community.
Get to know the local Jewish community is Sosusa and Santo Domingo.
Learn about effort to introduce sustainable farming and improved public health.
Explore caves, beaches, rivers, and jungles!
Zip-lining in the mountains and playing the monkeys in the Monkey Jungle.
Learn local dancing and cooking techniques.
Soak up the sun on a Dominican Beach!

Our Partner

Stand UP Dominican Republic is a BBYO program organized in partnership with the DREAM Project, a USA nonprofit focusing on early childhood education and community enrichment.

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

DAY #1 | Sunday | Departing for the Dominican Republic

  • Flight to the Dominican Republic
  • Check-in to hotel accommodations & welcome activities

DAY #2 | Monday | DREAM Introduction

  • DREAM Center tour/introductions
  • Ice-breakers and scavenger hunt with local youth
  • Mini camp orientation and prep at Local DREAM Community School
  • Travel to La Union School
  • Mini camp orientation and preparation at La Union School
  • Time to relax at our accommodation
  • Relax on a river dinner cruise with a bonfire and Bachata dance lessons

DAY #3 | Tuesday | DREAM Project

  • Spend the morning volunteering at La Union School
  • Group lunch at Comedor La Union
  • Travel to Batey Caraballo to tour the community and learn about Dominican and Haitian relations with local Haitian migrants
  • Group activity with DREAM project staff and local youth
  • Dinner and group dominos tournament at our accommodation

DAY #4 | Wednesday | First day of Mini Camp

  • Mini camp orientation and preparation with DREAM project staff
  • Mini camp at La Union School
  • Enjoy a group lunch at Fresh Fresh Sosua
  • Tour the Sosua Jewish Museum
  • “The Sosua Jews” Question and Answer session with Edith
  • Enjoy a river dinner cruise at Rugama

DAY #5 | Thursday | Mini Camp and Swimming

  • Mini camp orientation and preparation with DREAM project staff
  • Mini camp at La Union School
  • Clean up/organize for lunch and travel to Los Brazos
  • Relax with a classic Dominican Malta drink and swim time
  • Return to our accommodation for dinner, Bachata dance lessons, and free time

DAY #6 | Friday | Mini Camp and Softball

  • Mini camp orientation and preparation with DREAM project staff
  • Mini camp at La Union School
  • Clean up/organize for lunch at El Saman
  • Hear from a former baseball coach and player and group game of softball
  • Travel back to our accommodation to prepare for Shabbat
  • Shabbat services at Sosua Synagogue
  • Enjoy our first Shabbat dinner as a group at our accommodation

DAY #7 | Saturday | Shabbat in the Dominican Republic

  • Relax and enjoy a restful Shabbat at our accommodation
  • Celebrate our first Havdalah as a group and celebrate the start of a new week

DAY #8 | Sunday | Fun in the Sun

  • Breakfast at our hotel and travel to Rio San Juan
  • Relax at Playa Caleton beach
  • Lunch at Playa Grande
  • Travel to Playa Diamante for afternoon beach activities
  • Return to our accommodation for free time
  • Pizza party dinner

DAY #9 | Monday | Mini Camp and Touring

  • Mini camp orientation and preparation with DREAM project staff
  • Mini camp at La Union School
  • Clean up/organize for lunch at Comedor La Union
  • Luis Hess school tour
  • Touring, service project, and Q&A information session at Sosua Jewish Cemetery
  • Free time at our accommodation
  • Enjoy a sunset dinner at Velero Beach Resort

DAY #10 | Tuesday | Mini Camp and Outdoor Activities

  • Mini camp orientation and preparation with DREAM project staff
  • Mini camp at La Union School
  • Clean up/organize for lunch at Gordito’s
  • El Choco hike and cave swimming
  • Return to our accommodation to relax and change for dinner
  • River dinner cruise at La Boca with dancing and bonfire under the stars

DAY #11 | Wednesday | Mini Camp and Touring

  • Mini camp orientation and preparation with DREAM project staff
  • Mini camp at La Union School
  • Clean up/organize for lunch at Bergatine (Puerto Plata)
  • Tour Teleferico and Mount Isabel
  • Return to our accommodation to relax and dinner

DAY #12 | Thursday | Travel to Santo Domingo

  • Breakfast and check-out of our accommodation
  • Travel to Cacoa Finica for a tour and chocolate making fun
  • Visit Las Canas beach for swimming and fresh mango tasting
  • Relax and enjoy lunch at Playa Grande
  • Travel to Santo Domingo and check-in to our accommodation
  • Walk to dinner at Maison Kreyol in Zona Colonia

DAY #13 | Friday | Outdoor Activities

  • Tour of Zona Colonial
  • Travel to Tres Ojos natural caves and enjoy a picnic lunch
  • Explore Mirador Park
  • Return to our hotel to change and prepare for Shabbat
  • Shabbat services and dinner in Santo Domingo with the local Chabad community

DAY #14 | Saturday | Shabbat in Santo Domingo

  • Relax and enjoy a restful Shabbat at our accommodation
  • Celebrate Havdalah as a group and celebrate the start of a new week

DAY #15 | Sunday | Zipline and Monkey Tour

  • Breakfast and check-out of our accommodation
  • Travel to Cabarete to enjoy lunch at Gordito’s
  • Zipline and Monkey Jungle Tour
  • Check-in to our accommodation and enjoy our last dinner as a group

DAY #16 | Monday | Last Minute Shopping and Welcome Home

  • Morning visit to Cabarete for souvenir shopping
  • Head to the airport for departure

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

How will my teen travel to the program?
Families are responsible for making their own flight arrangements to our arrival and departure cities based on guidance that we provide in the spring. A designated supervised flight may be offered, which means you will be able to purchase your own individual ticket on a flight that is supervised by our staff. Learn more about our supervised flights.

Where will my teen be sleeping?
The group stays in 3-star hotels. When booking our 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), a local tour leader, and a bus driver. Staff names are sent out approximately 3-4 weeks prior to your departure as part of the pre-trip preparation email series. Staff are asked to make welcome calls to families before departure. Learn more about our staff team.

What’s the summer weather like?
The Dominican Republic is a tropical country but the weather varies greatly from region to region. In the highland areas you can expect cooler weather in the 60s to 70s. Along the lowland coast, the weather is typically in the 80s or even 90s during the day. June and July fall within the Dominican Republic’s rainy season. This means that rain is common, often ocurring in the late afternoon or evening.

How do you approach security?
The safety of the teens under our care is our guiding consideration. Learn more about our organization’s approach to safety & security.

What’s the typical group size?
Although it varies from year to year, our average group size in the Dominican Republic is 15 teens.

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 are kosher. Some meals that we provide outside of Israel may be certified kosher, but most meals are not. 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, including non-kosher orders. When the group eats at non-kosher restaurants with a pre-ordered menu, the options will only consist of vegetarian or pescatarian dishes. Participants with special dietary situations (i.e. lactose intolerance, gluten-free, kosher, etc.) should contact us in advance to be sure we can accommodate your needs during the program. In the Dominican Republic, expect to eat seasoned rice, beans, tropical fruit and veggies, plantains, and much more. Vegetarians will have no problems eating well on the trip.

Will my teen need a tourist visa for this experience?
If you travel with an American, Canadian, or EU passport – good news! – you don’t need a visa to enter the Dominican Republic.

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. 

Supervised Connections

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

Independent Connections

Families make their own travel arrangements between programs, and staff supervision is not provided during the connection. Learn more about how connections work here.

  • *CLTC #4 (Montreal) + Stand UP Dominican Republic
    27 Days | Current 9th – 10th Graders

*Note: Families connecting a BBYO Passport experience with BBYO’s CLTC, ILTC, or Int’l Kallah can expect some differences between program policies and registration requirements. Registration for these connected experiences is done separately for each program. 

 

Stand UP for Community Enrichment

Journey to the Dominican Republic where you’ll give of yourself while feeling part of a new community on this 16-day cross-cultural journey.

Connect with different aspects of Dominican society through a series of educational service projects in support of local children, migrants from Haiti, and others in need. Along the way, there’s plenty of time to discover the island’s natural richness with adventures in the lush highlands, along the beach and out at sea. You’ll also learn about the unique history of Jewish Dominican life and meet its contemporary leaders.

Elements of the Experience

A Mission of Service
Stand UP Dominican Republic is a service learning program at heart. From our base on the northern coast we take part in service projects designed to shed light on different aspects of local life – play soccer with Haitian migrants, volunteer for the local Jewish community, practice sustainable farming in the jungle and organize educational programs for disadvantaged youth.

Cross-Cultural Connections

Stand UP Dominican Republic is a wonderful opportunity to explore Dominican culture – its people, art, food, traditions and sports (baseball!). As a Jewish experience, we learn about the Jewish communities in Santo Domingo and Sosua, a remote village with a special Jewish story.

A Unique Teen Travel Experience

The Dominican Republic is a beautiful country in the heart of the Caribbean, and we make time for plenty of adventure and fun! Get ready to swim in water-filled caves, learn Dominican-style cooking, go horseback riding in the back-country, stand-up paddle in the ocean, enjoy a bonfire dinner and spend plenty of time enjoying local beach life!

Why the Dominican Republic?

Dominican Republic shares the island of Hispaniola with Haiti (there is only one other island in the world that is shared between two countries). Approximately 10 million people live in the Dominican Republic and nearly 3,000 Jews call the Dominican Republic home. While it may be small, the Jewish community had and continues to have a large impact on the island to this very day.

The Dominican Republic was one of the only countries willing to accept mass Jewish immigration during World War II. At the Evian conference it offered to accept up to 100,000 Jews, however only about 700 European Jews ended up settling in Sosúa. They worked the land and became for the most part cattle and dairy farmers. They were given communal plots of land that were run just like the kibbutzim of Israel.

Today the majority of Jews live in Santo Domingo, which houses two synagogues and a Sephardic Jewish Education Center. There is also a small Jewish population in Sousa which has a synagogue as well.

Program Highlights

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

Learn about Dominican culture and society.
Volunteer with local youth, Haitian migrants and for the Jewish community.
Get to know the local Jewish community is Sosusa and Santo Domingo.
Learn about effort to introduce sustainable farming and improved public health.
Explore caves, beaches, rivers, and jungles!
Zip-lining in the mountains and playing the monkeys in the Monkey Jungle.
Learn local dancing and cooking techniques.
Soak up the sun on a Dominican Beach!

Our Partner

Stand UP Dominican Republic is a BBYO program organized in partnership with the DREAM Project, a USA nonprofit focusing on early childhood education and community enrichment.

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

DAY #1 | Sunday | Departing for the Dominican Republic

  • Flight to the Dominican Republic
  • Check-in to hotel accommodations & welcome activities

DAY #2 | Monday | DREAM Introduction

  • DREAM Center tour/introductions
  • Ice-breakers and scavenger hunt with local youth
  • Mini camp orientation and prep at Local DREAM Community School
  • Travel to La Union School
  • Mini camp orientation and preparation at La Union School
  • Time to relax at our accommodation
  • Relax on a river dinner cruise with a bonfire and Bachata dance lessons

DAY #3 | Tuesday | DREAM Project

  • Spend the morning volunteering at La Union School
  • Group lunch at Comedor La Union
  • Travel to Batey Caraballo to tour the community and learn about Dominican and Haitian relations with local Haitian migrants
  • Group activity with DREAM project staff and local youth
  • Dinner and group dominos tournament at our accommodation

DAY #4 | Wednesday | First day of Mini Camp

  • Mini camp orientation and preparation with DREAM project staff
  • Mini camp at La Union School
  • Enjoy a group lunch at Fresh Fresh Sosua
  • Tour the Sosua Jewish Museum
  • “The Sosua Jews” Question and Answer session with Edith
  • Enjoy a river dinner cruise at Rugama

DAY #5 | Thursday | Mini Camp and Swimming

  • Mini camp orientation and preparation with DREAM project staff
  • Mini camp at La Union School
  • Clean up/organize for lunch and travel to Los Brazos
  • Relax with a classic Dominican Malta drink and swim time
  • Return to our accommodation for dinner, Bachata dance lessons, and free time

DAY #6 | Friday | Mini Camp and Softball

  • Mini camp orientation and preparation with DREAM project staff
  • Mini camp at La Union School
  • Clean up/organize for lunch at El Saman
  • Hear from a former baseball coach and player and group game of softball
  • Travel back to our accommodation to prepare for Shabbat
  • Shabbat services at Sosua Synagogue
  • Enjoy our first Shabbat dinner as a group at our accommodation

DAY #7 | Saturday | Shabbat in the Dominican Republic

  • Relax and enjoy a restful Shabbat at our accommodation
  • Celebrate our first Havdalah as a group and celebrate the start of a new week

DAY #8 | Sunday | Fun in the Sun

  • Breakfast at our hotel and travel to Rio San Juan
  • Relax at Playa Caleton beach
  • Lunch at Playa Grande
  • Travel to Playa Diamante for afternoon beach activities
  • Return to our accommodation for free time
  • Pizza party dinner

DAY #9 | Monday | Mini Camp and Touring

  • Mini camp orientation and preparation with DREAM project staff
  • Mini camp at La Union School
  • Clean up/organize for lunch at Comedor La Union
  • Luis Hess school tour
  • Touring, service project, and Q&A information session at Sosua Jewish Cemetery
  • Free time at our accommodation
  • Enjoy a sunset dinner at Velero Beach Resort

DAY #10 | Tuesday | Mini Camp and Outdoor Activities

  • Mini camp orientation and preparation with DREAM project staff
  • Mini camp at La Union School
  • Clean up/organize for lunch at Gordito’s
  • El Choco hike and cave swimming
  • Return to our accommodation to relax and change for dinner
  • River dinner cruise at La Boca with dancing and bonfire under the stars

DAY #11 | Wednesday | Mini Camp and Touring

  • Mini camp orientation and preparation with DREAM project staff
  • Mini camp at La Union School
  • Clean up/organize for lunch at Bergatine (Puerto Plata)
  • Tour Teleferico and Mount Isabel
  • Return to our accommodation to relax and dinner

DAY #12 | Thursday | Travel to Santo Domingo

  • Breakfast and check-out of our accommodation
  • Travel to Cacoa Finica for a tour and chocolate making fun
  • Visit Las Canas beach for swimming and fresh mango tasting
  • Relax and enjoy lunch at Playa Grande
  • Travel to Santo Domingo and check-in to our accommodation
  • Walk to dinner at Maison Kreyol in Zona Colonia

DAY #13 | Friday | Outdoor Activities

  • Tour of Zona Colonial
  • Travel to Tres Ojos natural caves and enjoy a picnic lunch
  • Explore Mirador Park
  • Return to our hotel to change and prepare for Shabbat
  • Shabbat services and dinner in Santo Domingo with the local Chabad community

DAY #14 | Saturday | Shabbat in Santo Domingo

  • Relax and enjoy a restful Shabbat at our accommodation
  • Celebrate Havdalah as a group and celebrate the start of a new week

DAY #15 | Sunday | Zipline and Monkey Tour

  • Breakfast and check-out of our accommodation
  • Travel to Cabarete to enjoy lunch at Gordito’s
  • Zipline and Monkey Jungle Tour
  • Check-in to our accommodation and enjoy our last dinner as a group

DAY #16 | Monday | Last Minute Shopping and Welcome Home

  • Morning visit to Cabarete for souvenir shopping
  • Head to the airport for departure

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

How will my teen travel to the program?
Families are responsible for making their own flight arrangements to our arrival and departure cities based on guidance that we provide in the spring. A designated supervised flight may be offered, which means you will be able to purchase your own individual ticket on a flight that is supervised by our staff. Learn more about our supervised flights.

Where will my teen be sleeping?
The group stays in 3-star hotels. When booking our 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), a local tour leader, and a bus driver. Staff names are sent out approximately 3-4 weeks prior to your departure as part of the pre-trip preparation email series. Staff are asked to make welcome calls to families before departure. Learn more about our staff team.

What’s the summer weather like?
The Dominican Republic is a tropical country but the weather varies greatly from region to region. In the highland areas you can expect cooler weather in the 60s to 70s. Along the lowland coast, the weather is typically in the 80s or even 90s during the day. June and July fall within the Dominican Republic’s rainy season. This means that rain is common, often ocurring in the late afternoon or evening.

How do you approach security?
The safety of the teens under our care is our guiding consideration. Learn more about our organization’s approach to safety & security.

What’s the typical group size?
Although it varies from year to year, our average group size in the Dominican Republic is 15 teens.

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 are kosher. Some meals that we provide outside of Israel may be certified kosher, but most meals are not. 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, including non-kosher orders. When the group eats at non-kosher restaurants with a pre-ordered menu, the options will only consist of vegetarian or pescatarian dishes. Participants with special dietary situations (i.e. lactose intolerance, gluten-free, kosher, etc.) should contact us in advance to be sure we can accommodate your needs during the program. In the Dominican Republic, expect to eat seasoned rice, beans, tropical fruit and veggies, plantains, and much more. Vegetarians will have no problems eating well on the trip.

Will my teen need a tourist visa for this experience?
If you travel with an American, Canadian, or EU passport – good news! – you don’t need a visa to enter the Dominican Republic.

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. 

Supervised Connections

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

Independent Connections

Families make their own travel arrangements between programs, and staff supervision is not provided during the connection. Learn more about how connections work here.

  • *CLTC #4 (Montreal) + Stand UP Dominican Republic
    27 Days | Current 9th – 10th Graders

*Note: Families connecting a BBYO Passport experience with BBYO’s CLTC, ILTC, or Int’l Kallah can expect some differences between program policies and registration requirements. Registration for these connected experiences is done separately for each program. 

 

PROGRAM REVIEWS

Stand UP Dominican Republic

Explore Dominican society and give of yourself on a series of educational service projects while also experiencing the island’s natural richness, cultural traditions and unique Jewish history.

Stand UP Dominican Republic

Explore Dominican society and give of yourself on a series of educational service projects while also experiencing the island’s natural richness, cultural traditions and unique Jewish history.

Stand UP for Community Enrichment

Journey to the Dominican Republic where you’ll give of yourself while feeling part of a new community on this 16-day cross-cultural journey.

Connect with different aspects of Dominican society through a series of educational service projects in support of local children, migrants from Haiti, and others in need. Along the way, there’s plenty of time to discover the island’s natural richness with adventures in the lush highlands, along the beach and out at sea. You’ll also learn about the unique history of Jewish Dominican life and meet its contemporary leaders.

Elements of the Experience

A Mission of Service
Stand UP Dominican Republic is a service learning program at heart. From our base on the northern coast we take part in service projects designed to shed light on different aspects of local life – play soccer with Haitian migrants, volunteer for the local Jewish community, practice sustainable farming in the jungle and organize educational programs for disadvantaged youth.

Cross-Cultural Connections

Stand UP Dominican Republic is a wonderful opportunity to explore Dominican culture – its people, art, food, traditions and sports (baseball!). As a Jewish experience, we learn about the Jewish communities in Santo Domingo and Sosua, a remote village with a special Jewish story.

A Unique Teen Travel Experience

The Dominican Republic is a beautiful country in the heart of the Caribbean, and we make time for plenty of adventure and fun! Get ready to swim in water-filled caves, learn Dominican-style cooking, go horseback riding in the back-country, stand-up paddle in the ocean, enjoy a bonfire dinner and spend plenty of time enjoying local beach life!

Why the Dominican Republic?

Dominican Republic shares the island of Hispaniola with Haiti (there is only one other island in the world that is shared between two countries). Approximately 10 million people live in the Dominican Republic and nearly 3,000 Jews call the Dominican Republic home. While it may be small, the Jewish community had and continues to have a large impact on the island to this very day.

The Dominican Republic was one of the only countries willing to accept mass Jewish immigration during World War II. At the Evian conference it offered to accept up to 100,000 Jews, however only about 700 European Jews ended up settling in Sosúa. They worked the land and became for the most part cattle and dairy farmers. They were given communal plots of land that were run just like the kibbutzim of Israel.

Today the majority of Jews live in Santo Domingo, which houses two synagogues and a Sephardic Jewish Education Center. There is also a small Jewish population in Sousa which has a synagogue as well.

Program Highlights

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

Learn about Dominican culture and society.
Volunteer with local youth, Haitian migrants and for the Jewish community.
Get to know the local Jewish community is Sosusa and Santo Domingo.
Learn about effort to introduce sustainable farming and improved public health.
Explore caves, beaches, rivers, and jungles!
Zip-lining in the mountains and playing the monkeys in the Monkey Jungle.
Learn local dancing and cooking techniques.
Soak up the sun on a Dominican Beach!

Our Partner

Stand UP Dominican Republic is a BBYO program organized in partnership with the DREAM Project, a USA nonprofit focusing on early childhood education and community enrichment.

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

DAY #1 | Sunday | Departing for the Dominican Republic

  • Flight to the Dominican Republic
  • Check-in to hotel accommodations & welcome activities

DAY #2 | Monday | DREAM Introduction

  • DREAM Center tour/introductions
  • Ice-breakers and scavenger hunt with local youth
  • Mini camp orientation and prep at Local DREAM Community School
  • Travel to La Union School
  • Mini camp orientation and preparation at La Union School
  • Time to relax at our accommodation
  • Relax on a river dinner cruise with a bonfire and Bachata dance lessons

DAY #3 | Tuesday | DREAM Project

  • Spend the morning volunteering at La Union School
  • Group lunch at Comedor La Union
  • Travel to Batey Caraballo to tour the community and learn about Dominican and Haitian relations with local Haitian migrants
  • Group activity with DREAM project staff and local youth
  • Dinner and group dominos tournament at our accommodation

DAY #4 | Wednesday | First day of Mini Camp

  • Mini camp orientation and preparation with DREAM project staff
  • Mini camp at La Union School
  • Enjoy a group lunch at Fresh Fresh Sosua
  • Tour the Sosua Jewish Museum
  • “The Sosua Jews” Question and Answer session with Edith
  • Enjoy a river dinner cruise at Rugama

DAY #5 | Thursday | Mini Camp and Swimming

  • Mini camp orientation and preparation with DREAM project staff
  • Mini camp at La Union School
  • Clean up/organize for lunch and travel to Los Brazos
  • Relax with a classic Dominican Malta drink and swim time
  • Return to our accommodation for dinner, Bachata dance lessons, and free time

DAY #6 | Friday | Mini Camp and Softball

  • Mini camp orientation and preparation with DREAM project staff
  • Mini camp at La Union School
  • Clean up/organize for lunch at El Saman
  • Hear from a former baseball coach and player and group game of softball
  • Travel back to our accommodation to prepare for Shabbat
  • Shabbat services at Sosua Synagogue
  • Enjoy our first Shabbat dinner as a group at our accommodation

DAY #7 | Saturday | Shabbat in the Dominican Republic

  • Relax and enjoy a restful Shabbat at our accommodation
  • Celebrate our first Havdalah as a group and celebrate the start of a new week

DAY #8 | Sunday | Fun in the Sun

  • Breakfast at our hotel and travel to Rio San Juan
  • Relax at Playa Caleton beach
  • Lunch at Playa Grande
  • Travel to Playa Diamante for afternoon beach activities
  • Return to our accommodation for free time
  • Pizza party dinner

DAY #9 | Monday | Mini Camp and Touring

  • Mini camp orientation and preparation with DREAM project staff
  • Mini camp at La Union School
  • Clean up/organize for lunch at Comedor La Union
  • Luis Hess school tour
  • Touring, service project, and Q&A information session at Sosua Jewish Cemetery
  • Free time at our accommodation
  • Enjoy a sunset dinner at Velero Beach Resort

DAY #10 | Tuesday | Mini Camp and Outdoor Activities

  • Mini camp orientation and preparation with DREAM project staff
  • Mini camp at La Union School
  • Clean up/organize for lunch at Gordito’s
  • El Choco hike and cave swimming
  • Return to our accommodation to relax and change for dinner
  • River dinner cruise at La Boca with dancing and bonfire under the stars

DAY #11 | Wednesday | Mini Camp and Touring

  • Mini camp orientation and preparation with DREAM project staff
  • Mini camp at La Union School
  • Clean up/organize for lunch at Bergatine (Puerto Plata)
  • Tour Teleferico and Mount Isabel
  • Return to our accommodation to relax and dinner

DAY #12 | Thursday | Travel to Santo Domingo

  • Breakfast and check-out of our accommodation
  • Travel to Cacoa Finica for a tour and chocolate making fun
  • Visit Las Canas beach for swimming and fresh mango tasting
  • Relax and enjoy lunch at Playa Grande
  • Travel to Santo Domingo and check-in to our accommodation
  • Walk to dinner at Maison Kreyol in Zona Colonia

DAY #13 | Friday | Outdoor Activities

  • Tour of Zona Colonial
  • Travel to Tres Ojos natural caves and enjoy a picnic lunch
  • Explore Mirador Park
  • Return to our hotel to change and prepare for Shabbat
  • Shabbat services and dinner in Santo Domingo with the local Chabad community

DAY #14 | Saturday | Shabbat in Santo Domingo

  • Relax and enjoy a restful Shabbat at our accommodation
  • Celebrate Havdalah as a group and celebrate the start of a new week

DAY #15 | Sunday | Zipline and Monkey Tour

  • Breakfast and check-out of our accommodation
  • Travel to Cabarete to enjoy lunch at Gordito’s
  • Zipline and Monkey Jungle Tour
  • Check-in to our accommodation and enjoy our last dinner as a group

DAY #16 | Monday | Last Minute Shopping and Welcome Home

  • Morning visit to Cabarete for souvenir shopping
  • Head to the airport for departure

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

How will my teen travel to the program?
Families are responsible for making their own flight arrangements to our arrival and departure cities based on guidance that we provide in the spring. A designated supervised flight may be offered, which means you will be able to purchase your own individual ticket on a flight that is supervised by our staff. Learn more about our supervised flights.

Where will my teen be sleeping?
The group stays in 3-star hotels. When booking our 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), a local tour leader, and a bus driver. Staff names are sent out approximately 3-4 weeks prior to your departure as part of the pre-trip preparation email series. Staff are asked to make welcome calls to families before departure. Learn more about our staff team.

What’s the summer weather like?
The Dominican Republic is a tropical country but the weather varies greatly from region to region. In the highland areas you can expect cooler weather in the 60s to 70s. Along the lowland coast, the weather is typically in the 80s or even 90s during the day. June and July fall within the Dominican Republic’s rainy season. This means that rain is common, often ocurring in the late afternoon or evening.

How do you approach security?
The safety of the teens under our care is our guiding consideration. Learn more about our organization’s approach to safety & security.

What’s the typical group size?
Although it varies from year to year, our average group size in the Dominican Republic is 15 teens.

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 are kosher. Some meals that we provide outside of Israel may be certified kosher, but most meals are not. 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, including non-kosher orders. When the group eats at non-kosher restaurants with a pre-ordered menu, the options will only consist of vegetarian or pescatarian dishes. Participants with special dietary situations (i.e. lactose intolerance, gluten-free, kosher, etc.) should contact us in advance to be sure we can accommodate your needs during the program. In the Dominican Republic, expect to eat seasoned rice, beans, tropical fruit and veggies, plantains, and much more. Vegetarians will have no problems eating well on the trip.

Will my teen need a tourist visa for this experience?
If you travel with an American, Canadian, or EU passport – good news! – you don’t need a visa to enter the Dominican Republic.

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. 

Supervised Connections

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

Independent Connections

Families make their own travel arrangements between programs, and staff supervision is not provided during the connection. Learn more about how connections work here.

  • *CLTC #4 (Montreal) + Stand UP Dominican Republic
    27 Days | Current 9th – 10th Graders

*Note: Families connecting a BBYO Passport experience with BBYO’s CLTC, ILTC, or Int’l Kallah can expect some differences between program policies and registration requirements. Registration for these connected experiences is done separately for each program. 

 

Stand UP for Community Enrichment

Journey to the Dominican Republic where you’ll give of yourself while feeling part of a new community on this 16-day cross-cultural journey.

Connect with different aspects of Dominican society through a series of educational service projects in support of local children, migrants from Haiti, and others in need. Along the way, there’s plenty of time to discover the island’s natural richness with adventures in the lush highlands, along the beach and out at sea. You’ll also learn about the unique history of Jewish Dominican life and meet its contemporary leaders.

Elements of the Experience

A Mission of Service
Stand UP Dominican Republic is a service learning program at heart. From our base on the northern coast we take part in service projects designed to shed light on different aspects of local life – play soccer with Haitian migrants, volunteer for the local Jewish community, practice sustainable farming in the jungle and organize educational programs for disadvantaged youth.

Cross-Cultural Connections

Stand UP Dominican Republic is a wonderful opportunity to explore Dominican culture – its people, art, food, traditions and sports (baseball!). As a Jewish experience, we learn about the Jewish communities in Santo Domingo and Sosua, a remote village with a special Jewish story.

A Unique Teen Travel Experience

The Dominican Republic is a beautiful country in the heart of the Caribbean, and we make time for plenty of adventure and fun! Get ready to swim in water-filled caves, learn Dominican-style cooking, go horseback riding in the back-country, stand-up paddle in the ocean, enjoy a bonfire dinner and spend plenty of time enjoying local beach life!

Why the Dominican Republic?

Dominican Republic shares the island of Hispaniola with Haiti (there is only one other island in the world that is shared between two countries). Approximately 10 million people live in the Dominican Republic and nearly 3,000 Jews call the Dominican Republic home. While it may be small, the Jewish community had and continues to have a large impact on the island to this very day.

The Dominican Republic was one of the only countries willing to accept mass Jewish immigration during World War II. At the Evian conference it offered to accept up to 100,000 Jews, however only about 700 European Jews ended up settling in Sosúa. They worked the land and became for the most part cattle and dairy farmers. They were given communal plots of land that were run just like the kibbutzim of Israel.

Today the majority of Jews live in Santo Domingo, which houses two synagogues and a Sephardic Jewish Education Center. There is also a small Jewish population in Sousa which has a synagogue as well.

Program Highlights

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

Learn about Dominican culture and society.
Volunteer with local youth, Haitian migrants and for the Jewish community.
Get to know the local Jewish community is Sosusa and Santo Domingo.
Learn about effort to introduce sustainable farming and improved public health.
Explore caves, beaches, rivers, and jungles!
Zip-lining in the mountains and playing the monkeys in the Monkey Jungle.
Learn local dancing and cooking techniques.
Soak up the sun on a Dominican Beach!

Our Partner

Stand UP Dominican Republic is a BBYO program organized in partnership with the DREAM Project, a USA nonprofit focusing on early childhood education and community enrichment.

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

DAY #1 | Sunday | Departing for the Dominican Republic

  • Flight to the Dominican Republic
  • Check-in to hotel accommodations & welcome activities

DAY #2 | Monday | DREAM Introduction

  • DREAM Center tour/introductions
  • Ice-breakers and scavenger hunt with local youth
  • Mini camp orientation and prep at Local DREAM Community School
  • Travel to La Union School
  • Mini camp orientation and preparation at La Union School
  • Time to relax at our accommodation
  • Relax on a river dinner cruise with a bonfire and Bachata dance lessons

DAY #3 | Tuesday | DREAM Project

  • Spend the morning volunteering at La Union School
  • Group lunch at Comedor La Union
  • Travel to Batey Caraballo to tour the community and learn about Dominican and Haitian relations with local Haitian migrants
  • Group activity with DREAM project staff and local youth
  • Dinner and group dominos tournament at our accommodation

DAY #4 | Wednesday | First day of Mini Camp

  • Mini camp orientation and preparation with DREAM project staff
  • Mini camp at La Union School
  • Enjoy a group lunch at Fresh Fresh Sosua
  • Tour the Sosua Jewish Museum
  • “The Sosua Jews” Question and Answer session with Edith
  • Enjoy a river dinner cruise at Rugama

DAY #5 | Thursday | Mini Camp and Swimming

  • Mini camp orientation and preparation with DREAM project staff
  • Mini camp at La Union School
  • Clean up/organize for lunch and travel to Los Brazos
  • Relax with a classic Dominican Malta drink and swim time
  • Return to our accommodation for dinner, Bachata dance lessons, and free time

DAY #6 | Friday | Mini Camp and Softball

  • Mini camp orientation and preparation with DREAM project staff
  • Mini camp at La Union School
  • Clean up/organize for lunch at El Saman
  • Hear from a former baseball coach and player and group game of softball
  • Travel back to our accommodation to prepare for Shabbat
  • Shabbat services at Sosua Synagogue
  • Enjoy our first Shabbat dinner as a group at our accommodation

DAY #7 | Saturday | Shabbat in the Dominican Republic

  • Relax and enjoy a restful Shabbat at our accommodation
  • Celebrate our first Havdalah as a group and celebrate the start of a new week

DAY #8 | Sunday | Fun in the Sun

  • Breakfast at our hotel and travel to Rio San Juan
  • Relax at Playa Caleton beach
  • Lunch at Playa Grande
  • Travel to Playa Diamante for afternoon beach activities
  • Return to our accommodation for free time
  • Pizza party dinner

DAY #9 | Monday | Mini Camp and Touring

  • Mini camp orientation and preparation with DREAM project staff
  • Mini camp at La Union School
  • Clean up/organize for lunch at Comedor La Union
  • Luis Hess school tour
  • Touring, service project, and Q&A information session at Sosua Jewish Cemetery
  • Free time at our accommodation
  • Enjoy a sunset dinner at Velero Beach Resort

DAY #10 | Tuesday | Mini Camp and Outdoor Activities

  • Mini camp orientation and preparation with DREAM project staff
  • Mini camp at La Union School
  • Clean up/organize for lunch at Gordito’s
  • El Choco hike and cave swimming
  • Return to our accommodation to relax and change for dinner
  • River dinner cruise at La Boca with dancing and bonfire under the stars

DAY #11 | Wednesday | Mini Camp and Touring

  • Mini camp orientation and preparation with DREAM project staff
  • Mini camp at La Union School
  • Clean up/organize for lunch at Bergatine (Puerto Plata)
  • Tour Teleferico and Mount Isabel
  • Return to our accommodation to relax and dinner

DAY #12 | Thursday | Travel to Santo Domingo

  • Breakfast and check-out of our accommodation
  • Travel to Cacoa Finica for a tour and chocolate making fun
  • Visit Las Canas beach for swimming and fresh mango tasting
  • Relax and enjoy lunch at Playa Grande
  • Travel to Santo Domingo and check-in to our accommodation
  • Walk to dinner at Maison Kreyol in Zona Colonia

DAY #13 | Friday | Outdoor Activities

  • Tour of Zona Colonial
  • Travel to Tres Ojos natural caves and enjoy a picnic lunch
  • Explore Mirador Park
  • Return to our hotel to change and prepare for Shabbat
  • Shabbat services and dinner in Santo Domingo with the local Chabad community

DAY #14 | Saturday | Shabbat in Santo Domingo

  • Relax and enjoy a restful Shabbat at our accommodation
  • Celebrate Havdalah as a group and celebrate the start of a new week

DAY #15 | Sunday | Zipline and Monkey Tour

  • Breakfast and check-out of our accommodation
  • Travel to Cabarete to enjoy lunch at Gordito’s
  • Zipline and Monkey Jungle Tour
  • Check-in to our accommodation and enjoy our last dinner as a group

DAY #16 | Monday | Last Minute Shopping and Welcome Home

  • Morning visit to Cabarete for souvenir shopping
  • Head to the airport for departure

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

How will my teen travel to the program?
Families are responsible for making their own flight arrangements to our arrival and departure cities based on guidance that we provide in the spring. A designated supervised flight may be offered, which means you will be able to purchase your own individual ticket on a flight that is supervised by our staff. Learn more about our supervised flights.

Where will my teen be sleeping?
The group stays in 3-star hotels. When booking our 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), a local tour leader, and a bus driver. Staff names are sent out approximately 3-4 weeks prior to your departure as part of the pre-trip preparation email series. Staff are asked to make welcome calls to families before departure. Learn more about our staff team.

What’s the summer weather like?
The Dominican Republic is a tropical country but the weather varies greatly from region to region. In the highland areas you can expect cooler weather in the 60s to 70s. Along the lowland coast, the weather is typically in the 80s or even 90s during the day. June and July fall within the Dominican Republic’s rainy season. This means that rain is common, often ocurring in the late afternoon or evening.

How do you approach security?
The safety of the teens under our care is our guiding consideration. Learn more about our organization’s approach to safety & security.

What’s the typical group size?
Although it varies from year to year, our average group size in the Dominican Republic is 15 teens.

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 are kosher. Some meals that we provide outside of Israel may be certified kosher, but most meals are not. 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, including non-kosher orders. When the group eats at non-kosher restaurants with a pre-ordered menu, the options will only consist of vegetarian or pescatarian dishes. Participants with special dietary situations (i.e. lactose intolerance, gluten-free, kosher, etc.) should contact us in advance to be sure we can accommodate your needs during the program. In the Dominican Republic, expect to eat seasoned rice, beans, tropical fruit and veggies, plantains, and much more. Vegetarians will have no problems eating well on the trip.

Will my teen need a tourist visa for this experience?
If you travel with an American, Canadian, or EU passport – good news! – you don’t need a visa to enter the Dominican Republic.

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. 

Supervised Connections

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

Independent Connections

Families make their own travel arrangements between programs, and staff supervision is not provided during the connection. Learn more about how connections work here.

  • *CLTC #4 (Montreal) + Stand UP Dominican Republic
    27 Days | Current 9th – 10th Graders

*Note: Families connecting a BBYO Passport experience with BBYO’s CLTC, ILTC, or Int’l Kallah can expect some differences between program policies and registration requirements. Registration for these connected experiences is done separately for each program. 

 

PROGRAM REVIEWS

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