Picture of stone formations in the Israel desert
SUMMER EXPERIENCES

Trek Israel

Experience the very best of Israel on this 3-week program with a special focus on active outdoors adventures. Scale mountains, learn new skills, and come home with a sense of accomplishment.

Cover the highlights of a classic summer in Israel with an added focus on outdoor adventure. Trek through desert canyons in the Negev, lush mountain valleys in the Galilee, and the rugged beaches of the Mediterranean as you experience Israel on a more intimate level and bond with a tight-knit group of new friends.

Special features of the program include a 4-day “Sea-to-Sea Hike” from the Mediterranean Sea to the Sea of Galilee and the “BaMidbar Wilderness Experience” where you’ll learn how to navigate and survive in the desert like our ancestors did. You’ll also practice Israeli martial arts, go snorkeling in an underwater archaeological park, rappel down the cliffs of the Ramon Crater and go biking in the Israeli countryside. Trek Israel is a unique opportunity to connect to Israel’s land and gain a sense of true accomplishment that you will cherish for years to come.

Want to explore Israel for an extra week? Don’t forget to check out Trek Israel PLUS.

IS IT RIGHT FOR ME?

While Trek Israel is designed for active teens, the program is appropriate for most. Do not worry about needing to be super outdoorsy to enjoy yourself. For example, although the Sea-to-Sea Hike is physically challenging, you will not need to carry a heavy backpack along the way. The outdoors activities on Trek Israel are only meant to complement the overall touring (most of which is still bus-based). The ultimate aim of Trek Israel is to provide teens with a more active way to experience Israel through the beauty of its terrain. See you on the trails!

Program Highlights

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

Discover 3,000 years of Jewish history and traditions in Jerusalem’s Old City
Experience floating in the Dead Sea and scale the heights of Masada for sunrise
Challenge yourself on a Sea-to-Sea Trek and learn desert orienteering skills in the Negev
Navigate the wilderness on a camel trek and enjoy a delicious desert tent feast
Get your hands dirty and learn a new skill on the Dig-for-a-Day Archaeological Seminar
Cool off rafting down the Jordan River and swimming under the Ein Gedi desert waterfalls
Browse Mahane Yehuda‘s open-air market, the Nahalat Binyamin street festival and nightlife on Ben Yehuda Street
Explore the seaport of Haifa, the ancient city of Acco and the ocean caves at Rosh Hanikrah
Swim in the Red Sea, in the Mediterranean Sea and in the Sea of Galilee
Learn first-hand about contemporary Israeli geo-politics and experience co-existence in action
Spend Shabbat in the heart of Jerusalem and learn about Judaism’s mystical tradition in Tzfat
Soak up the cultural richness and innovative spirit of modern Tel Aviv
Bond with new friends as you celebrate a meaningful and adventure-filled summer in Israel

BBYO + Israel + You!

Each summer, we convene nearly all our Israel experiences for a massive celebration called BBYO B’Yachad (Hebrew for “togetherness”). True to its name, the event unites an international community of Jewish teens from across North America and countries as diverse as France, Bulgaria, Mexico, Australia, Switzerland, Turkey, Latvia and Singapore. Join us for the party of the summer in Israel!

Travel to Israel presents a unique opportunity for teens to form a personal connection to our history and to experience their Judaism from a new perspective. But why go to Israel in high school? We believe and studies have shown that a multi-week experience in Israel during the high school years can have a profound impact on the development of an enduring and fulfilling Jewish identity. Explore More

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 our itineraries are designed with caution in mind. Each group is accompanied by a licensed medic/guard and trained staff who supervise the teens. Explore More

We believe all Jewish teens should experience Israel during their formative high school years. To that end, we provide needs-based scholarships on the local and national level regardless of prior BBYO involvement. Many Jewish Federations provide additional need-based and grant-based scholarship. Funding availability is limited, so you’ll want to apply early. Explore More

We have provided the following sample itinerary to give you a better feel for this experience, 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 | Tuesday| Take Off!

  • Depart from New York City on a supervised flight (optional)
  • Take-off and spend the night in the sky en route to Israel!

DAY #2 | Wednesday | Introduction to Jerusalem

  • Arrive to Ben Gurion Airport – Meet your Israeli staff team and begin the ascent to Jerusalem
  • Welcome to Israel! – Shecheyanu at the Haas Promenade overlooking the Old City
  • Check-in and orientation at our accommodations
  • Overnight: Jerusalem Gardens, Jerusalem

DAY #3 | Thursday | Jerusalem’s Old City

  • Discover how King David established a Jewish capital at the “City of David” complex
  • Get wet! Walk through Hezekiah’s underground aqueduct beneath Jerusalem
  • Scale the Rampart Walls surrounding the Old City – Walk from Jaffa Gate to Zion Gate
  • Enter the Old City and explore the rooftops and ancient squares of the Jewish Quarter
  • Reflections at the Kotel – The Western Wall – and explore the Southern Wall excavations
  • Overnight: Jerusalem Gardens, Jerusalem

DAY #4 | Friday | Exile & Continuity

  • Begin traveling north to the Galilee along the Mediterranean Coast
  • Learn Israeli martial arts
  • Explore the Roman amphitheatre and Royal Palace in Caesarea
  • Enjoy a picnic-style lunch on the Mediterranean shores
  • Travel to Haifa
  • Celebrate Kabbalat Shabbat on the beach followed by dinner at our accommodations
  • Overnight: Hotel ANA, Haifa

DAY #5 | Saturday | Shabbat on the Beach!

  • Shabbat programming and groups
  • Relaxed afternoon at the beach and hotel facilities
  • Evening: Group night out at local bowling alley
  • Overnight: Hotel ANA, Haifa

DAY #6 | Sunday | Sea-to-Sea Hike – Day #1

  • Rappel down the rock face of the Keshet natural stone arch
  • Explore the ocean caves at Rosh Hanikrah
  • Sea-to-Sea Hike – Opening ceremony on the Mediterranean shores
  • Hike from Nahal Kziv to the Hila Overlook – Explore Montfort Castle along the route
  • Set-up camp for our first night under the starts in the Galilee
  • Overnight: Camping in Park Goren, Western Galilee

NOTE: The Sea-to-Sea Hike is a trekking experience from the shores of the Mediterranean Sea to the shores of the Sea of Galilee. Although this is a challenging and rewarding trek, food will be provided along the way, and camping gear will be pre-delivered at each overnight side.

DAY #7 | Monday | Sea-to-Sea Hike – Day #2

  • Continue hiking up Nahal Kziv and into Nahal Neria
  • Set-up camp for the night at the base of Mt. Meiron – The Galilee’s highest point
  • Overnight: Camping in Hirbet Humema, Central Galilee

DAY #8 | Tuesday | Sea-to-Sea Hike – Day #3

  • Hike to the summit of Mount Meiron and descend via Nahal Amoud
  • Set-up camp for the night in the Nahal Amoud Canyon
  • Overnight: Camping in Ein Tina, Eastern Galilee

DAY #9 | Wednesday | Sea-to-Sea Hike – Day #4

  • Celebrate the end of the Sea-to-Sea Hike swimming in the Sea of Galilee at Hokuk Beach
  • View Israel’s neighbors and explore former IDF bunkers on the summit of Mt. Ben-Tal
  • Overnight: Hermon Guest House, Golan Heights

DAY #10 | Thursday | The Golan Heights

  • Explore the ruins of Nimrod’s Castle overlooking the Galilee
  • Have fun rafting down the Jordan River
  • Walking tour of mystical Tzfat- The historic center of Judaism’s Kabbalah movement
  • Arrive at our accommodations in Tel Aviv – View of Tel Aviv from Jaffa Seaport
  • Overnight: Neve Ilan, Judean Hills

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 | Sports & Culture in Tel Aviv

  • Budakan – Learn Israeli martial arts from the experts
  • Enjoy the colorful Nahalat Binyamin street festival and Carmel Market
  • Surfing class at Palmachim Beach south of Tel Aviv
  • Return to our hotel and prepare for Shabbat
  • Kabbalat Shabbat ceremony and festive Shabbat dinner at hotel
  • Overnight: Neve Ilan, Judean Hills

DAY #12 | Saturday | Shabbat in Tel Aviv

  • Relaxed morning and Shabbat programming
  • Explore Jaffa’s co-existence example in action with an educator from Beit Daniel
  • Afternoon beach time along the Tel Aviv coast
  • Evening: Group night out at the high-tech Azrieli Tower Mall in Tel Aviv
  • Overnight: Neve Ilan, Judean Hills

DAY #13 | Sunday | Digging Around Israel

  • Dig-for-a-Day! – Take part in an archeological seminar with the professionals
  • Travel south into the heart of the Negev Desert
  • Sde Boker – Learn about David Ben Gurion and his vision for the desert
  • Continue southwards – stop at the Ramon Crater en route
  • Overnight: Camping under the desert stars in the Negev

DAY #14 | Monday | Eilat and the Red Sea

  • Pre-sunrise hike to the summit of Mt. Shlomo
  • Travel to Eilat and stop to view Israel’s Red Sea neighbors — Egypt, Jordan & Saudi Arabia
  • Beach time, snorkeling and banana boating on the tropical Red Sea!
  • Climb up (and jump down) the mountainous kassui sand dunes
  • Overnight: Kibbutz Lotan, Arava Valley

DAY #15 | Tuesday | The Desert Blooms

  • Take part in a desert ecology workshop at Kibbutz Yahel
  • Lunch and ice cream at Yotvata dairy farm
  • Visit to Chai Bar – The desert animal sanctuary
  • Travel up the Arava Valley to the Judean Desert
  • Camel trekking and enjoy a “hafla” style Bedouin tent dinner feast!
  • Evening: Bonfire party and night under the bright desert stars
  • Overnight: Kfar Hanokdim Bedouin Tent, Judean Desert

DAY #16 | Wednesday | Masada and the Dead Sea

  • Pre-sunrise climb to Masada via the Roman Ramp trail
  • Tour of Masada – Herod’s mountaintop fortress – and descend via the Snake Path
  • Experience effortless floating at the Dead Sea’s Ein Bokek Beach
  • 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 late afternoon
  • Evening: Speaker – Exploring the Geo-Politics of Israel
  • Overnight: Jerusalem Gardens, Jerusalem

DAY #17 | Thursday | Remembrance and Renewal

  • Experience the Yad Vashem Holocaust Center
  • Picnic-style lunch and group processing discussion
  • Tour of the Knesset (parliament) – Understanding Israel’s unique democracy
  • Evening: Group night out at Ben Yehuda Street pedestrian mall!
  • Overnight: Jerusalem Gardens, Jerusalem

DAY #18 | Friday | Jerusalem Prepares for Shabbat

  • Theodore Herzl Museum and the Mt. Herzl National Cemetery
  • Pre-Shabbat shopping at Mahane Yehuda open-air marketplace
  • Return to accommodations and prepare for Shabbat in Jerusalem
  • Reenter the Old City to experience Kabbalat Shabbat at the Western Wall
  • Overnight: Jerusalem Gardens, Jerusalem

DAY #19 | Saturday | Relax and Reflect

  • Option to attend Shabbat services at local synagogues
  • Go back in time at the Israel Museum – Discover the Dead Sea Scrolls, Temple Model & more
  • Afternoon – Soak up the sun relaxing in Jerusalem’s Saker Park
  • Evening: Experience layers of Jewish history inside the Kotel Tunnels
  • Overnight: Jerusalem Gardens, Jerusalem

DAY #20 | Sunday | Founding Modern Israel

  • Depart for the Tel Aviv region in the morning
  • Machon Ayalon – The story of the Haganah and the founding of the IDF
  • Independence Hall – Discover the founding values of Tel Aviv
  • Reflections at Yitzhak Rabin Memorial Square
  • Walking tour of the ancient Jaffa Seaport overlooking the coastline
  • Tree planting ceremony at Neot Kedumim Park
  • Evening: Depart Ben Gurion Airport on an overnight supervised flight (optional)

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

  • Arrive back to New York City in the morning

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

How will my teen travel to the program?
An optional supervised flight is offered – often from New York City. In some cases, a supervised flight may also depart from Newark or Boston. You are responsible for your transportation to the supervised flight departure city. Flight arrangements will be released in the spring. Families are also able to book their own tickets using miles or points that correspond to our supervised flight itinerary or book separate flight itineraries entirely and make arrangements to meet our staff at Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv. 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. During the Sea-to-Sea hike, the group will be camping under the stars. When booking our accommodations, we request for each teen to have their own sleeping accommodations. All accommodations utilized have a dedicated guard.

How is the program staffed?
Each group is accompanied by a team of madrichim (counselors), an Israeli guide, a security/medical escort and a dedicated bus driver. In Israel, senior field staff circulates between the groups as well. Staff names are sent out approximately 3-4 weeks prior to your departure as part of the pre-trip preparation email series. Staff are asked to make welcome calls to families before departure. Learn more about 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.

How do you approach security?
The safety of the teens under our care is our guiding consideration. As a program, we take a number of precautions to reduce security risks: We travel on a private coach bus, we stay at accommodations with security, we plan our itineraries to avoid areas of concern, we always travel with an armed guard, and we are registered for monitoring through Israel’s Situation Room. Learn more about our approach to safety & security in Israel and worldwide.

What’s the typical group size?
Group size varies depending on the date of the program. Our average group size is 30 teens. In some cases, multiple groups will travel on a similar path, although each group has its own dedicated staff, guide, and guard.

What’s the food like?
The food on all Israel trips is kosher throughout. Expect to eat Middle Eastern and Mediterranean foods such as falafel, hummus, schnitzel, shakshouka, bourekas, and much more. Some meals will be provided according to the “Pizur” system – an allowance for purchasing your own meal at a local eatery. Participants can buy food of their choosing with Pizur funds. Participants with special dietary situations (i.e. lactose intolerance, vegetarian, Kosher, etc.) should contact us in advance to be sure we can accommodate your needs during the program.

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.

What’s the Host Family Weekend?
The second Shabbat in Israel is an optional Host Family Weekend. This is the perfect opportunity to visit with relatives or family friends while in Israel. Participation in the Host Family Weekend is not mandatory, and the itinerary during this weekend is fully programmed for those teens staying with the group. Please note, teens taking part in the Host Family Weekend must go for the entire time, no exceptions. More details about the Host Family Weekend will be available in the pre-trip preparation manual.

For more information, check out our general FAQs.

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 Trek Israel program for a fourth week. We call it Trek Israel PLUS. During the first part of the week participants choose from either a service learning experience in the Galilee 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: Trek Israel PLUS

 

PROGRAM REVIEWS

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

Cover the highlights of a classic summer in Israel with an added focus on outdoor adventure. Trek through desert canyons in the Negev, lush mountain valleys in the Galilee, and the rugged beaches of the Mediterranean as you experience Israel on a more intimate level and bond with a tight-knit group of new friends.

Special features of the program include a 4-day “Sea-to-Sea Hike” from the Mediterranean Sea to the Sea of Galilee and the “BaMidbar Wilderness Experience” where you’ll learn how to navigate and survive in the desert like our ancestors did. You’ll also practice Israeli martial arts, go snorkeling in an underwater archaeological park, rappel down the cliffs of the Ramon Crater and go biking in the Israeli countryside. Trek Israel is a unique opportunity to connect to Israel’s land and gain a sense of true accomplishment that you will cherish for years to come.

Want to explore Israel for an extra week? Don’t forget to check out Trek Israel PLUS.

IS IT RIGHT FOR ME?

While Trek Israel is designed for active teens, the program is appropriate for most. Do not worry about needing to be super outdoorsy to enjoy yourself. For example, although the Sea-to-Sea Hike is physically challenging, you will not need to carry a heavy backpack along the way. The outdoors activities on Trek Israel are only meant to complement the overall touring (most of which is still bus-based). The ultimate aim of Trek Israel is to provide teens with a more active way to experience Israel through the beauty of its terrain. See you on the trails!

Program Highlights

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

Discover 3,000 years of Jewish history and traditions in Jerusalem’s Old City
Experience floating in the Dead Sea and scale the heights of Masada for sunrise
Challenge yourself on a Sea-to-Sea Trek and learn desert orienteering skills in the Negev
Navigate the wilderness on a camel trek and enjoy a delicious desert tent feast
Get your hands dirty and learn a new skill on the Dig-for-a-Day Archaeological Seminar
Cool off rafting down the Jordan River and swimming under the Ein Gedi desert waterfalls
Browse Mahane Yehuda‘s open-air market, the Nahalat Binyamin street festival and nightlife on Ben Yehuda Street
Explore the seaport of Haifa, the ancient city of Acco and the ocean caves at Rosh Hanikrah
Swim in the Red Sea, in the Mediterranean Sea and in the Sea of Galilee
Learn first-hand about contemporary Israeli geo-politics and experience co-existence in action
Spend Shabbat in the heart of Jerusalem and learn about Judaism’s mystical tradition in Tzfat
Soak up the cultural richness and innovative spirit of modern Tel Aviv
Bond with new friends as you celebrate a meaningful and adventure-filled summer in Israel

BBYO + Israel + You!

Each summer, we convene nearly all our Israel experiences for a massive celebration called BBYO B’Yachad (Hebrew for “togetherness”). True to its name, the event unites an international community of Jewish teens from across North America and countries as diverse as France, Bulgaria, Mexico, Australia, Switzerland, Turkey, Latvia and Singapore. Join us for the party of the summer in Israel!

Travel to Israel presents a unique opportunity for teens to form a personal connection to our history and to experience their Judaism from a new perspective. But why go to Israel in high school? We believe and studies have shown that a multi-week experience in Israel during the high school years can have a profound impact on the development of an enduring and fulfilling Jewish identity. Explore More

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 our itineraries are designed with caution in mind. Each group is accompanied by a licensed medic/guard and trained staff who supervise the teens. Explore More

We believe all Jewish teens should experience Israel during their formative high school years. To that end, we provide needs-based scholarships on the local and national level regardless of prior BBYO involvement. Many Jewish Federations provide additional need-based and grant-based scholarship. Funding availability is limited, so you’ll want to apply early. Explore More

We have provided the following sample itinerary to give you a better feel for this experience, 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 | Tuesday| Take Off!

  • Depart from New York City on a supervised flight (optional)
  • Take-off and spend the night in the sky en route to Israel!

DAY #2 | Wednesday | Introduction to Jerusalem

  • Arrive to Ben Gurion Airport – Meet your Israeli staff team and begin the ascent to Jerusalem
  • Welcome to Israel! – Shecheyanu at the Haas Promenade overlooking the Old City
  • Check-in and orientation at our accommodations
  • Overnight: Jerusalem Gardens, Jerusalem

DAY #3 | Thursday | Jerusalem’s Old City

  • Discover how King David established a Jewish capital at the “City of David” complex
  • Get wet! Walk through Hezekiah’s underground aqueduct beneath Jerusalem
  • Scale the Rampart Walls surrounding the Old City – Walk from Jaffa Gate to Zion Gate
  • Enter the Old City and explore the rooftops and ancient squares of the Jewish Quarter
  • Reflections at the Kotel – The Western Wall – and explore the Southern Wall excavations
  • Overnight: Jerusalem Gardens, Jerusalem

DAY #4 | Friday | Exile & Continuity

  • Begin traveling north to the Galilee along the Mediterranean Coast
  • Learn Israeli martial arts
  • Explore the Roman amphitheatre and Royal Palace in Caesarea
  • Enjoy a picnic-style lunch on the Mediterranean shores
  • Travel to Haifa
  • Celebrate Kabbalat Shabbat on the beach followed by dinner at our accommodations
  • Overnight: Hotel ANA, Haifa

DAY #5 | Saturday | Shabbat on the Beach!

  • Shabbat programming and groups
  • Relaxed afternoon at the beach and hotel facilities
  • Evening: Group night out at local bowling alley
  • Overnight: Hotel ANA, Haifa

DAY #6 | Sunday | Sea-to-Sea Hike – Day #1

  • Rappel down the rock face of the Keshet natural stone arch
  • Explore the ocean caves at Rosh Hanikrah
  • Sea-to-Sea Hike – Opening ceremony on the Mediterranean shores
  • Hike from Nahal Kziv to the Hila Overlook – Explore Montfort Castle along the route
  • Set-up camp for our first night under the starts in the Galilee
  • Overnight: Camping in Park Goren, Western Galilee

NOTE: The Sea-to-Sea Hike is a trekking experience from the shores of the Mediterranean Sea to the shores of the Sea of Galilee. Although this is a challenging and rewarding trek, food will be provided along the way, and camping gear will be pre-delivered at each overnight side.

DAY #7 | Monday | Sea-to-Sea Hike – Day #2

  • Continue hiking up Nahal Kziv and into Nahal Neria
  • Set-up camp for the night at the base of Mt. Meiron – The Galilee’s highest point
  • Overnight: Camping in Hirbet Humema, Central Galilee

DAY #8 | Tuesday | Sea-to-Sea Hike – Day #3

  • Hike to the summit of Mount Meiron and descend via Nahal Amoud
  • Set-up camp for the night in the Nahal Amoud Canyon
  • Overnight: Camping in Ein Tina, Eastern Galilee

DAY #9 | Wednesday | Sea-to-Sea Hike – Day #4

  • Celebrate the end of the Sea-to-Sea Hike swimming in the Sea of Galilee at Hokuk Beach
  • View Israel’s neighbors and explore former IDF bunkers on the summit of Mt. Ben-Tal
  • Overnight: Hermon Guest House, Golan Heights

DAY #10 | Thursday | The Golan Heights

  • Explore the ruins of Nimrod’s Castle overlooking the Galilee
  • Have fun rafting down the Jordan River
  • Walking tour of mystical Tzfat- The historic center of Judaism’s Kabbalah movement
  • Arrive at our accommodations in Tel Aviv – View of Tel Aviv from Jaffa Seaport
  • Overnight: Neve Ilan, Judean Hills

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 | Sports & Culture in Tel Aviv

  • Budakan – Learn Israeli martial arts from the experts
  • Enjoy the colorful Nahalat Binyamin street festival and Carmel Market
  • Surfing class at Palmachim Beach south of Tel Aviv
  • Return to our hotel and prepare for Shabbat
  • Kabbalat Shabbat ceremony and festive Shabbat dinner at hotel
  • Overnight: Neve Ilan, Judean Hills

DAY #12 | Saturday | Shabbat in Tel Aviv

  • Relaxed morning and Shabbat programming
  • Explore Jaffa’s co-existence example in action with an educator from Beit Daniel
  • Afternoon beach time along the Tel Aviv coast
  • Evening: Group night out at the high-tech Azrieli Tower Mall in Tel Aviv
  • Overnight: Neve Ilan, Judean Hills

DAY #13 | Sunday | Digging Around Israel

  • Dig-for-a-Day! – Take part in an archeological seminar with the professionals
  • Travel south into the heart of the Negev Desert
  • Sde Boker – Learn about David Ben Gurion and his vision for the desert
  • Continue southwards – stop at the Ramon Crater en route
  • Overnight: Camping under the desert stars in the Negev

DAY #14 | Monday | Eilat and the Red Sea

  • Pre-sunrise hike to the summit of Mt. Shlomo
  • Travel to Eilat and stop to view Israel’s Red Sea neighbors — Egypt, Jordan & Saudi Arabia
  • Beach time, snorkeling and banana boating on the tropical Red Sea!
  • Climb up (and jump down) the mountainous kassui sand dunes
  • Overnight: Kibbutz Lotan, Arava Valley

DAY #15 | Tuesday | The Desert Blooms

  • Take part in a desert ecology workshop at Kibbutz Yahel
  • Lunch and ice cream at Yotvata dairy farm
  • Visit to Chai Bar – The desert animal sanctuary
  • Travel up the Arava Valley to the Judean Desert
  • Camel trekking and enjoy a “hafla” style Bedouin tent dinner feast!
  • Evening: Bonfire party and night under the bright desert stars
  • Overnight: Kfar Hanokdim Bedouin Tent, Judean Desert

DAY #16 | Wednesday | Masada and the Dead Sea

  • Pre-sunrise climb to Masada via the Roman Ramp trail
  • Tour of Masada – Herod’s mountaintop fortress – and descend via the Snake Path
  • Experience effortless floating at the Dead Sea’s Ein Bokek Beach
  • 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 late afternoon
  • Evening: Speaker – Exploring the Geo-Politics of Israel
  • Overnight: Jerusalem Gardens, Jerusalem

DAY #17 | Thursday | Remembrance and Renewal

  • Experience the Yad Vashem Holocaust Center
  • Picnic-style lunch and group processing discussion
  • Tour of the Knesset (parliament) – Understanding Israel’s unique democracy
  • Evening: Group night out at Ben Yehuda Street pedestrian mall!
  • Overnight: Jerusalem Gardens, Jerusalem

DAY #18 | Friday | Jerusalem Prepares for Shabbat

  • Theodore Herzl Museum and the Mt. Herzl National Cemetery
  • Pre-Shabbat shopping at Mahane Yehuda open-air marketplace
  • Return to accommodations and prepare for Shabbat in Jerusalem
  • Reenter the Old City to experience Kabbalat Shabbat at the Western Wall
  • Overnight: Jerusalem Gardens, Jerusalem

DAY #19 | Saturday | Relax and Reflect

  • Option to attend Shabbat services at local synagogues
  • Go back in time at the Israel Museum – Discover the Dead Sea Scrolls, Temple Model & more
  • Afternoon – Soak up the sun relaxing in Jerusalem’s Saker Park
  • Evening: Experience layers of Jewish history inside the Kotel Tunnels
  • Overnight: Jerusalem Gardens, Jerusalem

DAY #20 | Sunday | Founding Modern Israel

  • Depart for the Tel Aviv region in the morning
  • Machon Ayalon – The story of the Haganah and the founding of the IDF
  • Independence Hall – Discover the founding values of Tel Aviv
  • Reflections at Yitzhak Rabin Memorial Square
  • Walking tour of the ancient Jaffa Seaport overlooking the coastline
  • Tree planting ceremony at Neot Kedumim Park
  • Evening: Depart Ben Gurion Airport on an overnight supervised flight (optional)

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

  • Arrive back to New York City in the morning

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

How will my teen travel to the program?
An optional supervised flight is offered – often from New York City. In some cases, a supervised flight may also depart from Newark or Boston. You are responsible for your transportation to the supervised flight departure city. Flight arrangements will be released in the spring. Families are also able to book their own tickets using miles or points that correspond to our supervised flight itinerary or book separate flight itineraries entirely and make arrangements to meet our staff at Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv. 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. During the Sea-to-Sea hike, the group will be camping under the stars. When booking our accommodations, we request for each teen to have their own sleeping accommodations. All accommodations utilized have a dedicated guard.

How is the program staffed?
Each group is accompanied by a team of madrichim (counselors), an Israeli guide, a security/medical escort and a dedicated bus driver. In Israel, senior field staff circulates between the groups as well. Staff names are sent out approximately 3-4 weeks prior to your departure as part of the pre-trip preparation email series. Staff are asked to make welcome calls to families before departure. Learn more about 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.

How do you approach security?
The safety of the teens under our care is our guiding consideration. As a program, we take a number of precautions to reduce security risks: We travel on a private coach bus, we stay at accommodations with security, we plan our itineraries to avoid areas of concern, we always travel with an armed guard, and we are registered for monitoring through Israel’s Situation Room. Learn more about our approach to safety & security in Israel and worldwide.

What’s the typical group size?
Group size varies depending on the date of the program. Our average group size is 30 teens. In some cases, multiple groups will travel on a similar path, although each group has its own dedicated staff, guide, and guard.

What’s the food like?
The food on all Israel trips is kosher throughout. Expect to eat Middle Eastern and Mediterranean foods such as falafel, hummus, schnitzel, shakshouka, bourekas, and much more. Some meals will be provided according to the “Pizur” system – an allowance for purchasing your own meal at a local eatery. Participants can buy food of their choosing with Pizur funds. Participants with special dietary situations (i.e. lactose intolerance, vegetarian, Kosher, etc.) should contact us in advance to be sure we can accommodate your needs during the program.

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.

What’s the Host Family Weekend?
The second Shabbat in Israel is an optional Host Family Weekend. This is the perfect opportunity to visit with relatives or family friends while in Israel. Participation in the Host Family Weekend is not mandatory, and the itinerary during this weekend is fully programmed for those teens staying with the group. Please note, teens taking part in the Host Family Weekend must go for the entire time, no exceptions. More details about the Host Family Weekend will be available in the pre-trip preparation manual.

For more information, check out our general FAQs.

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 Trek Israel program for a fourth week. We call it Trek Israel PLUS. During the first part of the week participants choose from either a service learning experience in the Galilee 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: Trek Israel PLUS

 

PROGRAM REVIEWS

Trek Israel

Experience the very best of Israel on this 3-week program with a special focus on active outdoors adventures. Scale mountains, learn new skills, and come home with a sense of accomplishment.

Trek Israel

Experience the very best of Israel on this 3-week program with a special focus on active outdoors adventures. Scale mountains, learn new skills, and come home with a sense of accomplishment.

Cover the highlights of a classic summer in Israel with an added focus on outdoor adventure. Trek through desert canyons in the Negev, lush mountain valleys in the Galilee, and the rugged beaches of the Mediterranean as you experience Israel on a more intimate level and bond with a tight-knit group of new friends.

Special features of the program include a 4-day “Sea-to-Sea Hike” from the Mediterranean Sea to the Sea of Galilee and the “BaMidbar Wilderness Experience” where you’ll learn how to navigate and survive in the desert like our ancestors did. You’ll also practice Israeli martial arts, go snorkeling in an underwater archaeological park, rappel down the cliffs of the Ramon Crater and go biking in the Israeli countryside. Trek Israel is a unique opportunity to connect to Israel’s land and gain a sense of true accomplishment that you will cherish for years to come.

Want to explore Israel for an extra week? Don’t forget to check out Trek Israel PLUS.

IS IT RIGHT FOR ME?

While Trek Israel is designed for active teens, the program is appropriate for most. Do not worry about needing to be super outdoorsy to enjoy yourself. For example, although the Sea-to-Sea Hike is physically challenging, you will not need to carry a heavy backpack along the way. The outdoors activities on Trek Israel are only meant to complement the overall touring (most of which is still bus-based). The ultimate aim of Trek Israel is to provide teens with a more active way to experience Israel through the beauty of its terrain. See you on the trails!

Program Highlights

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

Discover 3,000 years of Jewish history and traditions in Jerusalem’s Old City
Experience floating in the Dead Sea and scale the heights of Masada for sunrise
Challenge yourself on a Sea-to-Sea Trek and learn desert orienteering skills in the Negev
Navigate the wilderness on a camel trek and enjoy a delicious desert tent feast
Get your hands dirty and learn a new skill on the Dig-for-a-Day Archaeological Seminar
Cool off rafting down the Jordan River and swimming under the Ein Gedi desert waterfalls
Browse Mahane Yehuda‘s open-air market, the Nahalat Binyamin street festival and nightlife on Ben Yehuda Street
Explore the seaport of Haifa, the ancient city of Acco and the ocean caves at Rosh Hanikrah
Swim in the Red Sea, in the Mediterranean Sea and in the Sea of Galilee
Learn first-hand about contemporary Israeli geo-politics and experience co-existence in action
Spend Shabbat in the heart of Jerusalem and learn about Judaism’s mystical tradition in Tzfat
Soak up the cultural richness and innovative spirit of modern Tel Aviv
Bond with new friends as you celebrate a meaningful and adventure-filled summer in Israel

BBYO + Israel + You!

Each summer, we convene nearly all our Israel experiences for a massive celebration called BBYO B’Yachad (Hebrew for “togetherness”). True to its name, the event unites an international community of Jewish teens from across North America and countries as diverse as France, Bulgaria, Mexico, Australia, Switzerland, Turkey, Latvia and Singapore. Join us for the party of the summer in Israel!

Travel to Israel presents a unique opportunity for teens to form a personal connection to our history and to experience their Judaism from a new perspective. But why go to Israel in high school? We believe and studies have shown that a multi-week experience in Israel during the high school years can have a profound impact on the development of an enduring and fulfilling Jewish identity. Explore More

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 our itineraries are designed with caution in mind. Each group is accompanied by a licensed medic/guard and trained staff who supervise the teens. Explore More

We believe all Jewish teens should experience Israel during their formative high school years. To that end, we provide needs-based scholarships on the local and national level regardless of prior BBYO involvement. Many Jewish Federations provide additional need-based and grant-based scholarship. Funding availability is limited, so you’ll want to apply early. Explore More

We have provided the following sample itinerary to give you a better feel for this experience, 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 | Tuesday| Take Off!

  • Depart from New York City on a supervised flight (optional)
  • Take-off and spend the night in the sky en route to Israel!

DAY #2 | Wednesday | Introduction to Jerusalem

  • Arrive to Ben Gurion Airport – Meet your Israeli staff team and begin the ascent to Jerusalem
  • Welcome to Israel! – Shecheyanu at the Haas Promenade overlooking the Old City
  • Check-in and orientation at our accommodations
  • Overnight: Jerusalem Gardens, Jerusalem

DAY #3 | Thursday | Jerusalem’s Old City

  • Discover how King David established a Jewish capital at the “City of David” complex
  • Get wet! Walk through Hezekiah’s underground aqueduct beneath Jerusalem
  • Scale the Rampart Walls surrounding the Old City – Walk from Jaffa Gate to Zion Gate
  • Enter the Old City and explore the rooftops and ancient squares of the Jewish Quarter
  • Reflections at the Kotel – The Western Wall – and explore the Southern Wall excavations
  • Overnight: Jerusalem Gardens, Jerusalem

DAY #4 | Friday | Exile & Continuity

  • Begin traveling north to the Galilee along the Mediterranean Coast
  • Learn Israeli martial arts
  • Explore the Roman amphitheatre and Royal Palace in Caesarea
  • Enjoy a picnic-style lunch on the Mediterranean shores
  • Travel to Haifa
  • Celebrate Kabbalat Shabbat on the beach followed by dinner at our accommodations
  • Overnight: Hotel ANA, Haifa

DAY #5 | Saturday | Shabbat on the Beach!

  • Shabbat programming and groups
  • Relaxed afternoon at the beach and hotel facilities
  • Evening: Group night out at local bowling alley
  • Overnight: Hotel ANA, Haifa

DAY #6 | Sunday | Sea-to-Sea Hike – Day #1

  • Rappel down the rock face of the Keshet natural stone arch
  • Explore the ocean caves at Rosh Hanikrah
  • Sea-to-Sea Hike – Opening ceremony on the Mediterranean shores
  • Hike from Nahal Kziv to the Hila Overlook – Explore Montfort Castle along the route
  • Set-up camp for our first night under the starts in the Galilee
  • Overnight: Camping in Park Goren, Western Galilee

NOTE: The Sea-to-Sea Hike is a trekking experience from the shores of the Mediterranean Sea to the shores of the Sea of Galilee. Although this is a challenging and rewarding trek, food will be provided along the way, and camping gear will be pre-delivered at each overnight side.

DAY #7 | Monday | Sea-to-Sea Hike – Day #2

  • Continue hiking up Nahal Kziv and into Nahal Neria
  • Set-up camp for the night at the base of Mt. Meiron – The Galilee’s highest point
  • Overnight: Camping in Hirbet Humema, Central Galilee

DAY #8 | Tuesday | Sea-to-Sea Hike – Day #3

  • Hike to the summit of Mount Meiron and descend via Nahal Amoud
  • Set-up camp for the night in the Nahal Amoud Canyon
  • Overnight: Camping in Ein Tina, Eastern Galilee

DAY #9 | Wednesday | Sea-to-Sea Hike – Day #4

  • Celebrate the end of the Sea-to-Sea Hike swimming in the Sea of Galilee at Hokuk Beach
  • View Israel’s neighbors and explore former IDF bunkers on the summit of Mt. Ben-Tal
  • Overnight: Hermon Guest House, Golan Heights

DAY #10 | Thursday | The Golan Heights

  • Explore the ruins of Nimrod’s Castle overlooking the Galilee
  • Have fun rafting down the Jordan River
  • Walking tour of mystical Tzfat- The historic center of Judaism’s Kabbalah movement
  • Arrive at our accommodations in Tel Aviv – View of Tel Aviv from Jaffa Seaport
  • Overnight: Neve Ilan, Judean Hills

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 | Sports & Culture in Tel Aviv

  • Budakan – Learn Israeli martial arts from the experts
  • Enjoy the colorful Nahalat Binyamin street festival and Carmel Market
  • Surfing class at Palmachim Beach south of Tel Aviv
  • Return to our hotel and prepare for Shabbat
  • Kabbalat Shabbat ceremony and festive Shabbat dinner at hotel
  • Overnight: Neve Ilan, Judean Hills

DAY #12 | Saturday | Shabbat in Tel Aviv

  • Relaxed morning and Shabbat programming
  • Explore Jaffa’s co-existence example in action with an educator from Beit Daniel
  • Afternoon beach time along the Tel Aviv coast
  • Evening: Group night out at the high-tech Azrieli Tower Mall in Tel Aviv
  • Overnight: Neve Ilan, Judean Hills

DAY #13 | Sunday | Digging Around Israel

  • Dig-for-a-Day! – Take part in an archeological seminar with the professionals
  • Travel south into the heart of the Negev Desert
  • Sde Boker – Learn about David Ben Gurion and his vision for the desert
  • Continue southwards – stop at the Ramon Crater en route
  • Overnight: Camping under the desert stars in the Negev

DAY #14 | Monday | Eilat and the Red Sea

  • Pre-sunrise hike to the summit of Mt. Shlomo
  • Travel to Eilat and stop to view Israel’s Red Sea neighbors — Egypt, Jordan & Saudi Arabia
  • Beach time, snorkeling and banana boating on the tropical Red Sea!
  • Climb up (and jump down) the mountainous kassui sand dunes
  • Overnight: Kibbutz Lotan, Arava Valley

DAY #15 | Tuesday | The Desert Blooms

  • Take part in a desert ecology workshop at Kibbutz Yahel
  • Lunch and ice cream at Yotvata dairy farm
  • Visit to Chai Bar – The desert animal sanctuary
  • Travel up the Arava Valley to the Judean Desert
  • Camel trekking and enjoy a “hafla” style Bedouin tent dinner feast!
  • Evening: Bonfire party and night under the bright desert stars
  • Overnight: Kfar Hanokdim Bedouin Tent, Judean Desert

DAY #16 | Wednesday | Masada and the Dead Sea

  • Pre-sunrise climb to Masada via the Roman Ramp trail
  • Tour of Masada – Herod’s mountaintop fortress – and descend via the Snake Path
  • Experience effortless floating at the Dead Sea’s Ein Bokek Beach
  • 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 late afternoon
  • Evening: Speaker – Exploring the Geo-Politics of Israel
  • Overnight: Jerusalem Gardens, Jerusalem

DAY #17 | Thursday | Remembrance and Renewal

  • Experience the Yad Vashem Holocaust Center
  • Picnic-style lunch and group processing discussion
  • Tour of the Knesset (parliament) – Understanding Israel’s unique democracy
  • Evening: Group night out at Ben Yehuda Street pedestrian mall!
  • Overnight: Jerusalem Gardens, Jerusalem

DAY #18 | Friday | Jerusalem Prepares for Shabbat

  • Theodore Herzl Museum and the Mt. Herzl National Cemetery
  • Pre-Shabbat shopping at Mahane Yehuda open-air marketplace
  • Return to accommodations and prepare for Shabbat in Jerusalem
  • Reenter the Old City to experience Kabbalat Shabbat at the Western Wall
  • Overnight: Jerusalem Gardens, Jerusalem

DAY #19 | Saturday | Relax and Reflect

  • Option to attend Shabbat services at local synagogues
  • Go back in time at the Israel Museum – Discover the Dead Sea Scrolls, Temple Model & more
  • Afternoon – Soak up the sun relaxing in Jerusalem’s Saker Park
  • Evening: Experience layers of Jewish history inside the Kotel Tunnels
  • Overnight: Jerusalem Gardens, Jerusalem

DAY #20 | Sunday | Founding Modern Israel

  • Depart for the Tel Aviv region in the morning
  • Machon Ayalon – The story of the Haganah and the founding of the IDF
  • Independence Hall – Discover the founding values of Tel Aviv
  • Reflections at Yitzhak Rabin Memorial Square
  • Walking tour of the ancient Jaffa Seaport overlooking the coastline
  • Tree planting ceremony at Neot Kedumim Park
  • Evening: Depart Ben Gurion Airport on an overnight supervised flight (optional)

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

  • Arrive back to New York City in the morning

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

How will my teen travel to the program?
An optional supervised flight is offered – often from New York City. In some cases, a supervised flight may also depart from Newark or Boston. You are responsible for your transportation to the supervised flight departure city. Flight arrangements will be released in the spring. Families are also able to book their own tickets using miles or points that correspond to our supervised flight itinerary or book separate flight itineraries entirely and make arrangements to meet our staff at Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv. 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. During the Sea-to-Sea hike, the group will be camping under the stars. When booking our accommodations, we request for each teen to have their own sleeping accommodations. All accommodations utilized have a dedicated guard.

How is the program staffed?
Each group is accompanied by a team of madrichim (counselors), an Israeli guide, a security/medical escort and a dedicated bus driver. In Israel, senior field staff circulates between the groups as well. Staff names are sent out approximately 3-4 weeks prior to your departure as part of the pre-trip preparation email series. Staff are asked to make welcome calls to families before departure. Learn more about 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.

How do you approach security?
The safety of the teens under our care is our guiding consideration. As a program, we take a number of precautions to reduce security risks: We travel on a private coach bus, we stay at accommodations with security, we plan our itineraries to avoid areas of concern, we always travel with an armed guard, and we are registered for monitoring through Israel’s Situation Room. Learn more about our approach to safety & security in Israel and worldwide.

What’s the typical group size?
Group size varies depending on the date of the program. Our average group size is 30 teens. In some cases, multiple groups will travel on a similar path, although each group has its own dedicated staff, guide, and guard.

What’s the food like?
The food on all Israel trips is kosher throughout. Expect to eat Middle Eastern and Mediterranean foods such as falafel, hummus, schnitzel, shakshouka, bourekas, and much more. Some meals will be provided according to the “Pizur” system – an allowance for purchasing your own meal at a local eatery. Participants can buy food of their choosing with Pizur funds. Participants with special dietary situations (i.e. lactose intolerance, vegetarian, Kosher, etc.) should contact us in advance to be sure we can accommodate your needs during the program.

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.

What’s the Host Family Weekend?
The second Shabbat in Israel is an optional Host Family Weekend. This is the perfect opportunity to visit with relatives or family friends while in Israel. Participation in the Host Family Weekend is not mandatory, and the itinerary during this weekend is fully programmed for those teens staying with the group. Please note, teens taking part in the Host Family Weekend must go for the entire time, no exceptions. More details about the Host Family Weekend will be available in the pre-trip preparation manual.

For more information, check out our general FAQs.

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 Trek Israel program for a fourth week. We call it Trek Israel PLUS. During the first part of the week participants choose from either a service learning experience in the Galilee 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: Trek Israel PLUS

 

PROGRAM REVIEWS

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

Cover the highlights of a classic summer in Israel with an added focus on outdoor adventure. Trek through desert canyons in the Negev, lush mountain valleys in the Galilee, and the rugged beaches of the Mediterranean as you experience Israel on a more intimate level and bond with a tight-knit group of new friends.

Special features of the program include a 4-day “Sea-to-Sea Hike” from the Mediterranean Sea to the Sea of Galilee and the “BaMidbar Wilderness Experience” where you’ll learn how to navigate and survive in the desert like our ancestors did. You’ll also practice Israeli martial arts, go snorkeling in an underwater archaeological park, rappel down the cliffs of the Ramon Crater and go biking in the Israeli countryside. Trek Israel is a unique opportunity to connect to Israel’s land and gain a sense of true accomplishment that you will cherish for years to come.

Want to explore Israel for an extra week? Don’t forget to check out Trek Israel PLUS.

IS IT RIGHT FOR ME?

While Trek Israel is designed for active teens, the program is appropriate for most. Do not worry about needing to be super outdoorsy to enjoy yourself. For example, although the Sea-to-Sea Hike is physically challenging, you will not need to carry a heavy backpack along the way. The outdoors activities on Trek Israel are only meant to complement the overall touring (most of which is still bus-based). The ultimate aim of Trek Israel is to provide teens with a more active way to experience Israel through the beauty of its terrain. See you on the trails!

Program Highlights

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

Discover 3,000 years of Jewish history and traditions in Jerusalem’s Old City
Experience floating in the Dead Sea and scale the heights of Masada for sunrise
Challenge yourself on a Sea-to-Sea Trek and learn desert orienteering skills in the Negev
Navigate the wilderness on a camel trek and enjoy a delicious desert tent feast
Get your hands dirty and learn a new skill on the Dig-for-a-Day Archaeological Seminar
Cool off rafting down the Jordan River and swimming under the Ein Gedi desert waterfalls
Browse Mahane Yehuda‘s open-air market, the Nahalat Binyamin street festival and nightlife on Ben Yehuda Street
Explore the seaport of Haifa, the ancient city of Acco and the ocean caves at Rosh Hanikrah
Swim in the Red Sea, in the Mediterranean Sea and in the Sea of Galilee
Learn first-hand about contemporary Israeli geo-politics and experience co-existence in action
Spend Shabbat in the heart of Jerusalem and learn about Judaism’s mystical tradition in Tzfat
Soak up the cultural richness and innovative spirit of modern Tel Aviv
Bond with new friends as you celebrate a meaningful and adventure-filled summer in Israel

BBYO + Israel + You!

Each summer, we convene nearly all our Israel experiences for a massive celebration called BBYO B’Yachad (Hebrew for “togetherness”). True to its name, the event unites an international community of Jewish teens from across North America and countries as diverse as France, Bulgaria, Mexico, Australia, Switzerland, Turkey, Latvia and Singapore. Join us for the party of the summer in Israel!

Travel to Israel presents a unique opportunity for teens to form a personal connection to our history and to experience their Judaism from a new perspective. But why go to Israel in high school? We believe and studies have shown that a multi-week experience in Israel during the high school years can have a profound impact on the development of an enduring and fulfilling Jewish identity. Explore More

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 our itineraries are designed with caution in mind. Each group is accompanied by a licensed medic/guard and trained staff who supervise the teens. Explore More

We believe all Jewish teens should experience Israel during their formative high school years. To that end, we provide needs-based scholarships on the local and national level regardless of prior BBYO involvement. Many Jewish Federations provide additional need-based and grant-based scholarship. Funding availability is limited, so you’ll want to apply early. Explore More

We have provided the following sample itinerary to give you a better feel for this experience, 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 | Tuesday| Take Off!

  • Depart from New York City on a supervised flight (optional)
  • Take-off and spend the night in the sky en route to Israel!

DAY #2 | Wednesday | Introduction to Jerusalem

  • Arrive to Ben Gurion Airport – Meet your Israeli staff team and begin the ascent to Jerusalem
  • Welcome to Israel! – Shecheyanu at the Haas Promenade overlooking the Old City
  • Check-in and orientation at our accommodations
  • Overnight: Jerusalem Gardens, Jerusalem

DAY #3 | Thursday | Jerusalem’s Old City

  • Discover how King David established a Jewish capital at the “City of David” complex
  • Get wet! Walk through Hezekiah’s underground aqueduct beneath Jerusalem
  • Scale the Rampart Walls surrounding the Old City – Walk from Jaffa Gate to Zion Gate
  • Enter the Old City and explore the rooftops and ancient squares of the Jewish Quarter
  • Reflections at the Kotel – The Western Wall – and explore the Southern Wall excavations
  • Overnight: Jerusalem Gardens, Jerusalem

DAY #4 | Friday | Exile & Continuity

  • Begin traveling north to the Galilee along the Mediterranean Coast
  • Learn Israeli martial arts
  • Explore the Roman amphitheatre and Royal Palace in Caesarea
  • Enjoy a picnic-style lunch on the Mediterranean shores
  • Travel to Haifa
  • Celebrate Kabbalat Shabbat on the beach followed by dinner at our accommodations
  • Overnight: Hotel ANA, Haifa

DAY #5 | Saturday | Shabbat on the Beach!

  • Shabbat programming and groups
  • Relaxed afternoon at the beach and hotel facilities
  • Evening: Group night out at local bowling alley
  • Overnight: Hotel ANA, Haifa

DAY #6 | Sunday | Sea-to-Sea Hike – Day #1

  • Rappel down the rock face of the Keshet natural stone arch
  • Explore the ocean caves at Rosh Hanikrah
  • Sea-to-Sea Hike – Opening ceremony on the Mediterranean shores
  • Hike from Nahal Kziv to the Hila Overlook – Explore Montfort Castle along the route
  • Set-up camp for our first night under the starts in the Galilee
  • Overnight: Camping in Park Goren, Western Galilee

NOTE: The Sea-to-Sea Hike is a trekking experience from the shores of the Mediterranean Sea to the shores of the Sea of Galilee. Although this is a challenging and rewarding trek, food will be provided along the way, and camping gear will be pre-delivered at each overnight side.

DAY #7 | Monday | Sea-to-Sea Hike – Day #2

  • Continue hiking up Nahal Kziv and into Nahal Neria
  • Set-up camp for the night at the base of Mt. Meiron – The Galilee’s highest point
  • Overnight: Camping in Hirbet Humema, Central Galilee

DAY #8 | Tuesday | Sea-to-Sea Hike – Day #3

  • Hike to the summit of Mount Meiron and descend via Nahal Amoud
  • Set-up camp for the night in the Nahal Amoud Canyon
  • Overnight: Camping in Ein Tina, Eastern Galilee

DAY #9 | Wednesday | Sea-to-Sea Hike – Day #4

  • Celebrate the end of the Sea-to-Sea Hike swimming in the Sea of Galilee at Hokuk Beach
  • View Israel’s neighbors and explore former IDF bunkers on the summit of Mt. Ben-Tal
  • Overnight: Hermon Guest House, Golan Heights

DAY #10 | Thursday | The Golan Heights

  • Explore the ruins of Nimrod’s Castle overlooking the Galilee
  • Have fun rafting down the Jordan River
  • Walking tour of mystical Tzfat- The historic center of Judaism’s Kabbalah movement
  • Arrive at our accommodations in Tel Aviv – View of Tel Aviv from Jaffa Seaport
  • Overnight: Neve Ilan, Judean Hills

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 | Sports & Culture in Tel Aviv

  • Budakan – Learn Israeli martial arts from the experts
  • Enjoy the colorful Nahalat Binyamin street festival and Carmel Market
  • Surfing class at Palmachim Beach south of Tel Aviv
  • Return to our hotel and prepare for Shabbat
  • Kabbalat Shabbat ceremony and festive Shabbat dinner at hotel
  • Overnight: Neve Ilan, Judean Hills

DAY #12 | Saturday | Shabbat in Tel Aviv

  • Relaxed morning and Shabbat programming
  • Explore Jaffa’s co-existence example in action with an educator from Beit Daniel
  • Afternoon beach time along the Tel Aviv coast
  • Evening: Group night out at the high-tech Azrieli Tower Mall in Tel Aviv
  • Overnight: Neve Ilan, Judean Hills

DAY #13 | Sunday | Digging Around Israel

  • Dig-for-a-Day! – Take part in an archeological seminar with the professionals
  • Travel south into the heart of the Negev Desert
  • Sde Boker – Learn about David Ben Gurion and his vision for the desert
  • Continue southwards – stop at the Ramon Crater en route
  • Overnight: Camping under the desert stars in the Negev

DAY #14 | Monday | Eilat and the Red Sea

  • Pre-sunrise hike to the summit of Mt. Shlomo
  • Travel to Eilat and stop to view Israel’s Red Sea neighbors — Egypt, Jordan & Saudi Arabia
  • Beach time, snorkeling and banana boating on the tropical Red Sea!
  • Climb up (and jump down) the mountainous kassui sand dunes
  • Overnight: Kibbutz Lotan, Arava Valley

DAY #15 | Tuesday | The Desert Blooms

  • Take part in a desert ecology workshop at Kibbutz Yahel
  • Lunch and ice cream at Yotvata dairy farm
  • Visit to Chai Bar – The desert animal sanctuary
  • Travel up the Arava Valley to the Judean Desert
  • Camel trekking and enjoy a “hafla” style Bedouin tent dinner feast!
  • Evening: Bonfire party and night under the bright desert stars
  • Overnight: Kfar Hanokdim Bedouin Tent, Judean Desert

DAY #16 | Wednesday | Masada and the Dead Sea

  • Pre-sunrise climb to Masada via the Roman Ramp trail
  • Tour of Masada – Herod’s mountaintop fortress – and descend via the Snake Path
  • Experience effortless floating at the Dead Sea’s Ein Bokek Beach
  • 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 late afternoon
  • Evening: Speaker – Exploring the Geo-Politics of Israel
  • Overnight: Jerusalem Gardens, Jerusalem

DAY #17 | Thursday | Remembrance and Renewal

  • Experience the Yad Vashem Holocaust Center
  • Picnic-style lunch and group processing discussion
  • Tour of the Knesset (parliament) – Understanding Israel’s unique democracy
  • Evening: Group night out at Ben Yehuda Street pedestrian mall!
  • Overnight: Jerusalem Gardens, Jerusalem

DAY #18 | Friday | Jerusalem Prepares for Shabbat

  • Theodore Herzl Museum and the Mt. Herzl National Cemetery
  • Pre-Shabbat shopping at Mahane Yehuda open-air marketplace
  • Return to accommodations and prepare for Shabbat in Jerusalem
  • Reenter the Old City to experience Kabbalat Shabbat at the Western Wall
  • Overnight: Jerusalem Gardens, Jerusalem

DAY #19 | Saturday | Relax and Reflect

  • Option to attend Shabbat services at local synagogues
  • Go back in time at the Israel Museum – Discover the Dead Sea Scrolls, Temple Model & more
  • Afternoon – Soak up the sun relaxing in Jerusalem’s Saker Park
  • Evening: Experience layers of Jewish history inside the Kotel Tunnels
  • Overnight: Jerusalem Gardens, Jerusalem

DAY #20 | Sunday | Founding Modern Israel

  • Depart for the Tel Aviv region in the morning
  • Machon Ayalon – The story of the Haganah and the founding of the IDF
  • Independence Hall – Discover the founding values of Tel Aviv
  • Reflections at Yitzhak Rabin Memorial Square
  • Walking tour of the ancient Jaffa Seaport overlooking the coastline
  • Tree planting ceremony at Neot Kedumim Park
  • Evening: Depart Ben Gurion Airport on an overnight supervised flight (optional)

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

  • Arrive back to New York City in the morning

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

How will my teen travel to the program?
An optional supervised flight is offered – often from New York City. In some cases, a supervised flight may also depart from Newark or Boston. You are responsible for your transportation to the supervised flight departure city. Flight arrangements will be released in the spring. Families are also able to book their own tickets using miles or points that correspond to our supervised flight itinerary or book separate flight itineraries entirely and make arrangements to meet our staff at Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv. 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. During the Sea-to-Sea hike, the group will be camping under the stars. When booking our accommodations, we request for each teen to have their own sleeping accommodations. All accommodations utilized have a dedicated guard.

How is the program staffed?
Each group is accompanied by a team of madrichim (counselors), an Israeli guide, a security/medical escort and a dedicated bus driver. In Israel, senior field staff circulates between the groups as well. Staff names are sent out approximately 3-4 weeks prior to your departure as part of the pre-trip preparation email series. Staff are asked to make welcome calls to families before departure. Learn more about 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.

How do you approach security?
The safety of the teens under our care is our guiding consideration. As a program, we take a number of precautions to reduce security risks: We travel on a private coach bus, we stay at accommodations with security, we plan our itineraries to avoid areas of concern, we always travel with an armed guard, and we are registered for monitoring through Israel’s Situation Room. Learn more about our approach to safety & security in Israel and worldwide.

What’s the typical group size?
Group size varies depending on the date of the program. Our average group size is 30 teens. In some cases, multiple groups will travel on a similar path, although each group has its own dedicated staff, guide, and guard.

What’s the food like?
The food on all Israel trips is kosher throughout. Expect to eat Middle Eastern and Mediterranean foods such as falafel, hummus, schnitzel, shakshouka, bourekas, and much more. Some meals will be provided according to the “Pizur” system – an allowance for purchasing your own meal at a local eatery. Participants can buy food of their choosing with Pizur funds. Participants with special dietary situations (i.e. lactose intolerance, vegetarian, Kosher, etc.) should contact us in advance to be sure we can accommodate your needs during the program.

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.

What’s the Host Family Weekend?
The second Shabbat in Israel is an optional Host Family Weekend. This is the perfect opportunity to visit with relatives or family friends while in Israel. Participation in the Host Family Weekend is not mandatory, and the itinerary during this weekend is fully programmed for those teens staying with the group. Please note, teens taking part in the Host Family Weekend must go for the entire time, no exceptions. More details about the Host Family Weekend will be available in the pre-trip preparation manual.

For more information, check out our general FAQs.

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 Trek Israel program for a fourth week. We call it Trek Israel PLUS. During the first part of the week participants choose from either a service learning experience in the Galilee 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: Trek Israel PLUS

 

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