SUMMER EXPERIENCES

TREK ISRAEL

Experience the very best of Israel on this 3-week program with a special focus on active outdoor adventures. Scale mountains, learn new skills, and come home with a sense of accomplishment. Open to all Jewish teens!

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

Cover all the highlights of a classic summer in Israel with an added focus on rewarding outdoor adventures.

Together with a tight-knit group of new friends, get ready and get excited to trek through the canyons of Negev Desert, the lush mountain valleys of the Galilee, and the rugged beaches of the Mediterranean as you experience Israel in a way that few do!

In addition to discovering all of the amazing highlights of a traditional summer in Israel, Trek teens have the unique opportunity to experience the 4-day Sea-to-Sea Hike from the Mediterranean Sea to the Sea of Galilee and the BaMidbar Wilderness Experience where we learn how to navigate and survive in the desert, just like our ancestors did. You’ll also pick-up Israeli martial arts skills, go snorkeling in the tropical Red Sea, rappel down a Galilee cliff, and try boarding down a mountainous sand dune!

Trek Israel is your chance to connect to Israel’s storied Land and gain a sense of true accomplishment that you will cherish!

ELECTIVES & CONNECTIONS

Trek Israel can be experienced as a core 22-day program, or it can be extended in one of two ways for an even fuller summer of eye-opening travel!

ISRAEL ELECTIVES | 26 Total Days | Land Cost: $5,570
Explore an aspect of Israel that inspires you on a deeper level and pick-up new skills and experiences along the way. Electives are also an opportunity to meet teens from other groups who share your interests. Trek Israel dates scheduled with electives are:

June 28 – July 23, 2021
July 5 – July 30, 2021

EUROPEAN CONNECTIONS | 32 Total Days
Explore the Jewish heritage and world history of multiple European regions prior to arriving in Israel.

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 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
Embrace new adventures like sandboarding, surfing, Israeli martial arts, and rappelling
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 innovative spirit of Tel Aviv and enjoy its lively beach culture!

Bond with new friends as you celebrate a meaningful and adventure-filled summer in Israel
Get your hands dirty and learn a new skill on the Dig-for-a-Day Archaeological Seminar

BBYO + Israel + You!

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

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

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

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

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

DAY #1 | MONDAY | Take Off!

  • Depart for Israel on a supervised overnight flight (optional)

DAY #2 | TUESDAY | Baruch HaBah – Welcome to Israel

  • Arrive to Ben Gurion Airport – Meet your Israeli staff team and the journey begins
  • Welcome ceremony overlooking the Ellah Valley, the site of David’s famous battle with Goliath
  • Head south to the Negev Desert and check-in to our accommodations
  • Dinner and orientation programming at our accommodations

OVERNIGHT: Negev Desert – Israel


DAY #3 | WEDNESDAY | Thriving in the Desert

  • Experience the thrill of sandboarding down natural dunes in the Negev Desert with Dror BaMidbar
  • Taste the wonders of Israel’s desert agriculture revolution at the Salad Trail Farm
  • Gain a new perspective looking out across Israel’s border with Gaza and Egypt and learn how the surrounding agricultural communities have adapted to the unique challenges of their location
  • Sde Boker– Learn about David Ben Gurion, Israel’s first Prime Minister, and his vision for the desert

OVERNIGHT: Negev Desert – Israel

DAY #4 | THURSDAY | BaMidbar – Desert Wandering


  • Hike to the hidden desert oasis in Ein Avdat Canyon
  • Cool off from the heat of the desert at the Sde Boker pool
  • Look out across the Ramon Crater from the crater’s edge and learn about the world’s largest erosion crater at the Mitzpe Ramon Visitors Center
  • Continue south and set-up camp to begin our desert wilderness experience
  • BaMidbar– Learn how to survive and thrive in the desert as our ancestors did in Israel’s Harei Edom (Red Mountains)

OVERNIGHT: Desert Camping – Israel


DAY #5 | FRIDAY | Eilat and the Red Sea

  • Wake up early to begin our pre-sunrise hike to the summit of Mt. Shlomo overlooking the Red Sea
  • Return to our camp for breakfast and wrap-up our BaMidbarexperience
  • Continue to the Red Sea city of Eilat – Discover underwater treasures snorkeling at Coral Beach
  • Relaxed beach time and banana boating on the tropical Red Sea
  • Break for ice cream at Yotvata, Israel’s famous desert dairy farm
  • Check-in to our desert kibbutz accommodations and celebrate Shabbat with the local kibbutz community

OVERNIGHT: Arava Valley – Israel


DAY #6 | SATURDAY | A Kibbutz-Style Shabbat

  • Shabbat programming and lunch
  • Learn about the history of the kibbutz idea and discover how kibbutz farms prosper in the desert through sustainable agriculture
  • Afternoon: Enjoy a relaxed Shabbat with pool, sports, and free time!
  • Havdalah ceremony – celebrate the start of a new week – followed by a cruise on the Red Sea and group night out in Eilat along the waterfront

OVERNIGHT: Arava Valley – Israel


DAY #7 | SUNDAY | Perspectives from Masada

  • Wake up early and travel up the Arava Valley to the base of Masada
  • Ascend Masada via the Snake Path, and explore Herod’s mountaintop desert fortress
  • Cool off relaxing under the desert waterfalls at Ein Gedi Nature Reserve
  • Experience effortless floating at the Dead Sea – the world’s lowest point
  • Ascend to Jerusalem – Stopping for a welcome ceremony at the Scopus overlook
  • Check-in to our hotel and rest!

OVERNIGHT: Jerusalem – Israel


DAY #8 | MONDAY | Foundations of Jewish History

  • Scale the Rampart Walls of the Old City, walking from Jaffa Gate to Zion Gate
  • Enter the Old City’s Zion Gate – Explore the ancient squares and rooftops of the Jewish Quarter
  • Reflections at the Kotel, The Western Wall, and visit the Southern Wall excavations
  • Continue further back in time, discovering how King David established a Jewish capital at the City of David archeological complex, and then cool down splashing through Hezekiah’s underground aqueduct deep beneath the city
  • Evening: Group night out and dinner at Ben Yehuda Pedestrian Mall

OVERNIGHT: Jerusalem – Israel


DAY #9 | TUESDAY | Forming a Community with Our Hands

  • Travel to Neot Kedumim Biblical Park for a tree-planting ceremony, group-bonding workshop, and self-cooked lunch experience
  • Dig-for-a-Day! Take part in an archaeological seminar with the professionals at Beit Guvrin National Park and explore the Bell Caves
  • Evening Speaker: The Geopolitics of Israel Today with Eylon Levy, an Israeli journalist and strategic analyst

OVERNIGHT: Jerusalem – Israel


DAY #10 | WEDNESDAY | Jewish Sovereignty – Vision and Sacrifice

  • Visit to the Theodore Herzl Museum and explore the grounds of the Mt. Herzl National Cemetery
  • Enjoy the sights and smells of Mahane Yehuda open-air food market and navigate the market with a “Shuk Bites” lunch card
  • Tour of the Knesset – Learn about Israel’s parliamentary system and how it safeguards the Jewish State’s democratic laws and traditions
  • Geopolitical tour of Jerusalem – The Seam, the Wall, and the future

OVERNIGHT: Jerusalem – Israel


DAY #11 | THURSDAY | Founding Modern Israel

  • Leket – Volunteer project harvesting fresh vegetables for the hungry of Israel
  • Machon Ayalon – Explore the story of the Haganah and the struggle to gain independence at this secret historical ammunition factory outside of Tel Aviv
  • Take in the views from the ancient Jaffa seaport, and browse Jaffa’s colorful flea market
  • Independence Hall – Visit the site where the State of Israel was first declared and learn about the Jewish State’s founding values and vision
  • Evening: Depart for an optional Host Family Weekend* or continue to Haifa

OVERNIGHT: Haifa – Israel

*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 Sunday morning.


DAY #12 | FRIDAY | Pioneering Values

  • Morning walking tour of Haifa – Israel’s most diverse city, including a visit to the Bahai Temple Gardens on Mt. Carmel
  • Af Al Pi Chen Boat – Learn about the challenges faced by Jews fleeing post-Holocaust Europe when they arrived on the shores of Israel during the British Mandate Era
  • Break for lunch in Zichron Yaakov – one of the first new communities established in the Land of Israel by Jewish immigrants from Europe in the 1880’s and funded by Baron Edmond James de Rothschild
  • Spend the rest of the afternoon learning how to surf at Atlit Beach
  • Evening: Celebrate the start of Shabbat in Haifa overlooking the Mediterranean Sea

OVERNIGHT: Haifa – Israel


DAY #13 | Saturday | Shabbat in Haifa

  • Morning: Shabbat programming and group lunch at our accommodations
  • Relaxed afternoon to enjoy the Haifa beach scene!
  • Spend the rest of the afternoon enjoying the pool and sports facility at the Sportan Country Club in Haifa
  • Havdalah ceremony – celebrate the start of a new week – followed by a group night out at “Grand Canyon Mall”, Israel’s largest shopping complex

OVERNIGHT: Haifa – Israel


DAY #14 | Sunday | Sea-to-Sea Hike – Day #1

  • This morning we reconvene as a full group in Caesarea– Herod’s Roman amphitheater and grand palace on the Mediterranean beach
  • Head to Israel’s far northern border and descend into the ocean caves at Rosh Hanikrah
  • Sea-to-Sea Hike Opening Ceremony at Achziv Beach – Begin our three-day trek from the Mediterranean Beach to the Sea of Galilee

OVERNIGHT: Camping in the Galilee – Israel

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 site.


DAY #15 | MONDAY | Sea-to-Sea Hike – Day #2

  • Hike up Nahal Kziv and explore Montfort Castle dating back to the Crusader Era
  • Continue north to the Galilee highlights and set up camp at the base of Mount Meiron

OVERNIGHT: Camping in the Galilee – Israel


DAY #16 | TUESDAY | Sea-to-Sea Hike – Day #3

  • Hike to the summit of Mount Meiron – the highest point in the Galilee
  • Break to visit the ancient city of Tsfat– Explore the historic center of Jewish mysticism in the Galilee highlands
  • Learn how Israel welcomes its immigrants of today volunteering at an absorption center for Ethiopian children in Tzfat
  • Evening: Set-up camp for the night in the Nahal Amud Canyon

OVERNIGHT: Camping in the Galilee – Israel


DAY #17 | WEDNESDAY | Sea-to-Sea Hike – Day #4

  • Hike down Nahal Amoud Canyon and celebrate the end of the trek on the Sea of Galilee
  • Celebrate the end of the trek swimming in the Sea of Galilee
  • Check-in to our Galilee accommodations and rest!
  • Late afternoon – relaxed rafting down the Jordan River followed by a fresh-cooked pizza dinner on the bank of the Jordan River

OVERNIGHT: Galilee – Israel


DAY #18 | THURSDAY | Views from the Golan Heights

  • Rappelling adventure at Dalton Cliffs in the Galilee
  • Ascend the Golan Heights and travel to the village of Ein Kinya for an encounter with Druze culture over a traditional meal
  • Continue to Mount Ben Tal to view Israel’s neighbors and explore former IDF bunkers on the summit of this dormant volcano
  • Afternoon Return to Jerusalem and check-in to our accommodations
  • BBYO B’Yachad– Celebrate a summer in Israel with fellow teens from around the world across the entire BBYO Passport community

OVERNIGHT: Jerusalem – Israel


DAY #19 | FRIDAY | Jerusalem Prepares for Shabbat

  • Yad Vashem – The World Holocaust Remembrance Center
  • Reflections over a picnic-style lunch at Jerusalem’s Mifletzet Park
  • Return to our accommodations and prepare for Shabbat in Jerusalem
  • Evening: Experience Kabbalat Shabbat at the Kotel and stop for Shabbat dinner at the Fuchsburg Center along the walk back to our accommodations

OVERNIGHT: Jerusalem – Israel


DAY #20 | Saturday | A Reflective Shabbat in Jerusalem

  • Morning: Shabbat programming and group lunch at our accommodations
  • Walk to the Israel Museum to discover the Dead Sea Scrolls, Temple Model, and Israel’s most prized cultural and historic treasures
  • Spend the rest of the afternoon soaking up the sun and reflecting on the journey at Jerusalem’s Saker Park
  • Havdalah ceremony – celebrate the start of our final week together – followed by our final group night out at Jerusalem’s First Station Market

OVERNIGHT: Jerusalem – Israel


DAY #21 | Sunday | Looking to the Future

  • This morning we return to the Tel Aviv region for our final day in Israel
  • Save a Child’s Heart – Meet children seeking lifesaving treatment in Israel from around the world
  • Learn how Israel became the ‘Startup Nation’ at the Peres Center for Peace and Innovation in southern Jaffa
  • Spend the rest of the afternoon at the Museum of the Jewish People (Diaspora Museum) on the campus of Tel Aviv University
  • Wrap-up session and the grassy grounds of the Tel Aviv University campus
  • Evening: Closing dinner party and farewells at Tel Aviv’s iconic Maganda Restaurant

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


DAY #22 | Monday | Shalom and L’Hitraot!

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

ELECTIVES & CONNECTIONS

Trek Israel can be experienced as a core 22-day program, or it can be extended in one of two ways for an even fuller summer of eye-opening travel!

  • ISRAEL ELECTIVES | 26 total days
    Explore an aspect of Israel on a deeper level and pick-up new skills and experiences. The 4-day electives component may be scheduled within the core Trek Israel itinerary or at the end of the program. Electives are also an opportunity to meet teens from other groups who share your interests!
  • EUROPEAN CONNECTIONS | 32 total days
    Explore the Jewish heritage and world history of multiple European regions prior to arriving in Israel.

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

How will my teen travel to the program?
Your teen can travel to the program in multiple ways. The most common option is taking our supervised group flight, organized by our team. This flight often departs from the New York City area, and we may also provide group flights from other North American cities according to demand (e.g. LAX, SFO, ORD, BOS, NYC, YUL, and MIA). Flight arrangements will be released in the spring and you are responsible for your teen’s transportation to and from the departure location. If you choose to book on your own but correspond with the supervised flight itinerary, you have the option to use miles or points. Alternatively, you can book a separate flight for your teen that meets the group at the first location (additional fees may apply if a special pick-up/drop-off is needed). Learn more about our supervised flights.

Where will my teen be sleeping?
Many of the accommodations we stay at are kibbutz-based guest houses that are located in Israel’s countryside and provide space for exploration within a secure environment. We use conventional hotels when we stay in cities. During the Sea-to-Sea Hike and BaMidbar Wilderness Experience, our overnights will be in nature, and all camping gear (including sleeping bags) will be provided. Finally, all accommodations in Israel have security, and we book rooms so that each teen has their own bed in rooms that typically accommodate 3 or 4 teens per room.

How is the program staffed?
Each group is accompanied by a team of madrichim (counselors) from North America and a local Israeli guide. They are joined by an armed guard and bus driver. Senior field staff circulates between the groups for extra support as well. Staff names are sent out approximately 3-4 weeks prior to your departure as part of the pre-trip preparation email series. Staff are asked to make welcome calls to families before departure. Feel free to ask them any remaining questions you may have. Learn more about our staff team.

What’s the summer weather like?
Temperatures range from hot to hotter in the summer. Clothing should be lightweight and comfortable in the heat. Whenever outside for an extended period, teens will be required to have a hat, a shirt with sleeves, sunscreen, and water. Overexposure to the hot Middle Eastern sun can cause heatstroke, dehydration, and sunburns. The good news is the heat is mostly dry – there is very little humidity, and the chance of rain in Israel during the summer is practically zero- no umbrellas needed! Evenings in Israel tend to get chilly quickly – frequently into the 50s or 60s. Because we will not always return to our accommodations to change before an evening activity, always bring a day-pack with a windbreaker, long-sleeved shirt, or light sweater. Layers are key! A more detailed guide to packing is provided in the Pre-Trip Prep Guide.

How do you approach security?
Since 1956, BBYO has organized teen programs in Israel with a fundamental commitment to providing a safe and meaningful experience. Our programs adhere to Israel’s comprehensive security policies and are centrally monitored by Israel’s Situation Room. Our itineraries are designed with caution in mind and our policies are calibrated to local conditions. Finally, each group is accompanied by trained staff and a licensed guard accompanies all touring-based activities. Learn more about our organization’s approach to safety and security as well as more specific details about our Israel policies.

What’s the typical group size?
Group size varies depending on the date of the program. Our average group size is 30 teens. In some cases, multiple groups will travel on a similar path, although each group has its own dedicated staff, guide, and guard.
Note: There will be a way for teens to communicate with each other before the program in late spring.

What’s the food like?
As a travel-based program, our meals take a variety of forms and may include hotel buffets, restaurants, specially catered meals, and allowance funds for participants to purchase a meal on their own. All food provided by BBYO Passport experiences in Israel is kosher. When a meal is served in a public buffet format (e.g. hotel breakfast), we will always ensure that there are vegetarian or pescatarian options available, but we will also not restrict teens from eating the food of their choice. Some meals may be provided via an allowance system whereby teens will be given cash to purchase the food of their choice. Such meals are typically arranged in an area where there are multiple restaurant options, and teens can choose the food of their liking. In situations where time is of the essence, staff may choose to facilitate meal orders on behalf of teens using their allowance funds. Participants with special dietary needs (i.e. lactose intolerance, gluten-free, kosher, etc.) should review our dietary restrictions commitment document and contact us in advance to be sure we can accommodate your needs during the program. Expect to eat Middle Eastern and Mediterranean foods such as falafel, hummus, schnitzel, shakshouka, bourekas, and much more.

Will I need a visa?
If you travel with an American, Canadian, or EU passport – good news! – you don’t need a visa to enter Israel. If you travel with a passport from another country, you may need a visa. Contact your nearest Israeli embassy or consulate for additional details.

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

What’s the Host Family Weekend?
The second Shabbat on all Israel Journey and Trek Israel programs is an optional Host Family Weekend. This is an opportunity to visit with relatives or family friends during your time in Israel. Host Family Weekend begins Thursday evening and ends on Sunday morning Typically, a third of teens take advantage of the Host Family Weekend, and we provide organized programming for the teens who remain under our supervision. More details about how the Host Family Weekend works are available in the Pre-Trip Prep Guide.
NOTE: Teens without a host family can join onto the plans of another teen in the group (if invited) and with parent authorization. We are unable to find host families for teens without local connections.

For more information, check out our general FAQs.

BBYO makes it easy to combine two experiences for an extended summer of adventure, learning, and self-discovery. Learn more about how connections work, and keep those summer memories going and going!

SCOTLAND & IRELAND + TREK ISRAEL

A supervised connection
32 Days | Current 9-12th Graders

Connection Dates
July 5 – August 3, 2021

Connected Program Cost
Land Cost: $7,520 (pre-voucher)
Flight Cost: ~$1,700 (more)

SIGN UP

CLTC + TREK ISRAEL

An unsupervised connection
34 Days | Current 9-10th Graders

Connection Dates
June 8 – July 12, 2021 | CLTC #1
June 28 – Aug. 1, 2021 | CLTC #4

Connected Program Cost
Land Cost: $7,120 (pre-voucher)
Flight Cost: ~$1,600 (more)

SIGN UP*

*NOTE: Families connecting Israel Journey with BBYO’s CLTC can expect some differences between program policies, and registration for these connected experiences is done separately for each program.

 

PROGRAM REVIEWS

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

 

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

Cover all the highlights of a classic summer in Israel with an added focus on rewarding outdoor adventures.

Together with a tight-knit group of new friends, get ready and get excited to trek through the canyons of Negev Desert, the lush mountain valleys of the Galilee, and the rugged beaches of the Mediterranean as you experience Israel in a way that few do!

In addition to discovering all of the amazing highlights of a traditional summer in Israel, Trek teens have the unique opportunity to experience the 4-day Sea-to-Sea Hike from the Mediterranean Sea to the Sea of Galilee and the BaMidbar Wilderness Experience where we learn how to navigate and survive in the desert, just like our ancestors did. You’ll also pick-up Israeli martial arts skills, go snorkeling in the tropical Red Sea, rappel down a Galilee cliff, and try boarding down a mountainous sand dune!

Trek Israel is your chance to connect to Israel’s storied Land and gain a sense of true accomplishment that you will cherish!

ELECTIVES & CONNECTIONS

Trek Israel can be experienced as a core 22-day program, or it can be extended in one of two ways for an even fuller summer of eye-opening travel!

ISRAEL ELECTIVES | 26 Total Days | Land Cost: $5,570
Explore an aspect of Israel that inspires you on a deeper level and pick-up new skills and experiences along the way. Electives are also an opportunity to meet teens from other groups who share your interests. Trek Israel dates scheduled with electives are:

June 28 – July 23, 2021
July 5 – July 30, 2021

EUROPEAN CONNECTIONS | 32 Total Days
Explore the Jewish heritage and world history of multiple European regions prior to arriving in Israel.

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 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
Embrace new adventures like sandboarding, surfing, Israeli martial arts, and rappelling
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 innovative spirit of Tel Aviv and enjoy its lively beach culture!

Bond with new friends as you celebrate a meaningful and adventure-filled summer in Israel
Get your hands dirty and learn a new skill on the Dig-for-a-Day Archaeological Seminar

BBYO + Israel + You!

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

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

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

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

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

DAY #1 | MONDAY | Take Off!

  • Depart for Israel on a supervised overnight flight (optional)

DAY #2 | TUESDAY | Baruch HaBah – Welcome to Israel

  • Arrive to Ben Gurion Airport – Meet your Israeli staff team and the journey begins
  • Welcome ceremony overlooking the Ellah Valley, the site of David’s famous battle with Goliath
  • Head south to the Negev Desert and check-in to our accommodations
  • Dinner and orientation programming at our accommodations

OVERNIGHT: Negev Desert – Israel


DAY #3 | WEDNESDAY | Thriving in the Desert

  • Experience the thrill of sandboarding down natural dunes in the Negev Desert with Dror BaMidbar
  • Taste the wonders of Israel’s desert agriculture revolution at the Salad Trail Farm
  • Gain a new perspective looking out across Israel’s border with Gaza and Egypt and learn how the surrounding agricultural communities have adapted to the unique challenges of their location
  • Sde Boker– Learn about David Ben Gurion, Israel’s first Prime Minister, and his vision for the desert

OVERNIGHT: Negev Desert – Israel

DAY #4 | THURSDAY | BaMidbar – Desert Wandering


  • Hike to the hidden desert oasis in Ein Avdat Canyon
  • Cool off from the heat of the desert at the Sde Boker pool
  • Look out across the Ramon Crater from the crater’s edge and learn about the world’s largest erosion crater at the Mitzpe Ramon Visitors Center
  • Continue south and set-up camp to begin our desert wilderness experience
  • BaMidbar– Learn how to survive and thrive in the desert as our ancestors did in Israel’s Harei Edom (Red Mountains)

OVERNIGHT: Desert Camping – Israel


DAY #5 | FRIDAY | Eilat and the Red Sea

  • Wake up early to begin our pre-sunrise hike to the summit of Mt. Shlomo overlooking the Red Sea
  • Return to our camp for breakfast and wrap-up our BaMidbarexperience
  • Continue to the Red Sea city of Eilat – Discover underwater treasures snorkeling at Coral Beach
  • Relaxed beach time and banana boating on the tropical Red Sea
  • Break for ice cream at Yotvata, Israel’s famous desert dairy farm
  • Check-in to our desert kibbutz accommodations and celebrate Shabbat with the local kibbutz community

OVERNIGHT: Arava Valley – Israel


DAY #6 | SATURDAY | A Kibbutz-Style Shabbat

  • Shabbat programming and lunch
  • Learn about the history of the kibbutz idea and discover how kibbutz farms prosper in the desert through sustainable agriculture
  • Afternoon: Enjoy a relaxed Shabbat with pool, sports, and free time!
  • Havdalah ceremony – celebrate the start of a new week – followed by a cruise on the Red Sea and group night out in Eilat along the waterfront

OVERNIGHT: Arava Valley – Israel


DAY #7 | SUNDAY | Perspectives from Masada

  • Wake up early and travel up the Arava Valley to the base of Masada
  • Ascend Masada via the Snake Path, and explore Herod’s mountaintop desert fortress
  • Cool off relaxing under the desert waterfalls at Ein Gedi Nature Reserve
  • Experience effortless floating at the Dead Sea – the world’s lowest point
  • Ascend to Jerusalem – Stopping for a welcome ceremony at the Scopus overlook
  • Check-in to our hotel and rest!

OVERNIGHT: Jerusalem – Israel


DAY #8 | MONDAY | Foundations of Jewish History

  • Scale the Rampart Walls of the Old City, walking from Jaffa Gate to Zion Gate
  • Enter the Old City’s Zion Gate – Explore the ancient squares and rooftops of the Jewish Quarter
  • Reflections at the Kotel, The Western Wall, and visit the Southern Wall excavations
  • Continue further back in time, discovering how King David established a Jewish capital at the City of David archeological complex, and then cool down splashing through Hezekiah’s underground aqueduct deep beneath the city
  • Evening: Group night out and dinner at Ben Yehuda Pedestrian Mall

OVERNIGHT: Jerusalem – Israel


DAY #9 | TUESDAY | Forming a Community with Our Hands

  • Travel to Neot Kedumim Biblical Park for a tree-planting ceremony, group-bonding workshop, and self-cooked lunch experience
  • Dig-for-a-Day! Take part in an archaeological seminar with the professionals at Beit Guvrin National Park and explore the Bell Caves
  • Evening Speaker: The Geopolitics of Israel Today with Eylon Levy, an Israeli journalist and strategic analyst

OVERNIGHT: Jerusalem – Israel


DAY #10 | WEDNESDAY | Jewish Sovereignty – Vision and Sacrifice

  • Visit to the Theodore Herzl Museum and explore the grounds of the Mt. Herzl National Cemetery
  • Enjoy the sights and smells of Mahane Yehuda open-air food market and navigate the market with a “Shuk Bites” lunch card
  • Tour of the Knesset – Learn about Israel’s parliamentary system and how it safeguards the Jewish State’s democratic laws and traditions
  • Geopolitical tour of Jerusalem – The Seam, the Wall, and the future

OVERNIGHT: Jerusalem – Israel


DAY #11 | THURSDAY | Founding Modern Israel

  • Leket – Volunteer project harvesting fresh vegetables for the hungry of Israel
  • Machon Ayalon – Explore the story of the Haganah and the struggle to gain independence at this secret historical ammunition factory outside of Tel Aviv
  • Take in the views from the ancient Jaffa seaport, and browse Jaffa’s colorful flea market
  • Independence Hall – Visit the site where the State of Israel was first declared and learn about the Jewish State’s founding values and vision
  • Evening: Depart for an optional Host Family Weekend* or continue to Haifa

OVERNIGHT: Haifa – Israel

*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 Sunday morning.


DAY #12 | FRIDAY | Pioneering Values

  • Morning walking tour of Haifa – Israel’s most diverse city, including a visit to the Bahai Temple Gardens on Mt. Carmel
  • Af Al Pi Chen Boat – Learn about the challenges faced by Jews fleeing post-Holocaust Europe when they arrived on the shores of Israel during the British Mandate Era
  • Break for lunch in Zichron Yaakov – one of the first new communities established in the Land of Israel by Jewish immigrants from Europe in the 1880’s and funded by Baron Edmond James de Rothschild
  • Spend the rest of the afternoon learning how to surf at Atlit Beach
  • Evening: Celebrate the start of Shabbat in Haifa overlooking the Mediterranean Sea

OVERNIGHT: Haifa – Israel


DAY #13 | Saturday | Shabbat in Haifa

  • Morning: Shabbat programming and group lunch at our accommodations
  • Relaxed afternoon to enjoy the Haifa beach scene!
  • Spend the rest of the afternoon enjoying the pool and sports facility at the Sportan Country Club in Haifa
  • Havdalah ceremony – celebrate the start of a new week – followed by a group night out at “Grand Canyon Mall”, Israel’s largest shopping complex

OVERNIGHT: Haifa – Israel


DAY #14 | Sunday | Sea-to-Sea Hike – Day #1

  • This morning we reconvene as a full group in Caesarea– Herod’s Roman amphitheater and grand palace on the Mediterranean beach
  • Head to Israel’s far northern border and descend into the ocean caves at Rosh Hanikrah
  • Sea-to-Sea Hike Opening Ceremony at Achziv Beach – Begin our three-day trek from the Mediterranean Beach to the Sea of Galilee

OVERNIGHT: Camping in the Galilee – Israel

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 site.


DAY #15 | MONDAY | Sea-to-Sea Hike – Day #2

  • Hike up Nahal Kziv and explore Montfort Castle dating back to the Crusader Era
  • Continue north to the Galilee highlights and set up camp at the base of Mount Meiron

OVERNIGHT: Camping in the Galilee – Israel


DAY #16 | TUESDAY | Sea-to-Sea Hike – Day #3

  • Hike to the summit of Mount Meiron – the highest point in the Galilee
  • Break to visit the ancient city of Tsfat– Explore the historic center of Jewish mysticism in the Galilee highlands
  • Learn how Israel welcomes its immigrants of today volunteering at an absorption center for Ethiopian children in Tzfat
  • Evening: Set-up camp for the night in the Nahal Amud Canyon

OVERNIGHT: Camping in the Galilee – Israel


DAY #17 | WEDNESDAY | Sea-to-Sea Hike – Day #4

  • Hike down Nahal Amoud Canyon and celebrate the end of the trek on the Sea of Galilee
  • Celebrate the end of the trek swimming in the Sea of Galilee
  • Check-in to our Galilee accommodations and rest!
  • Late afternoon – relaxed rafting down the Jordan River followed by a fresh-cooked pizza dinner on the bank of the Jordan River

OVERNIGHT: Galilee – Israel


DAY #18 | THURSDAY | Views from the Golan Heights

  • Rappelling adventure at Dalton Cliffs in the Galilee
  • Ascend the Golan Heights and travel to the village of Ein Kinya for an encounter with Druze culture over a traditional meal
  • Continue to Mount Ben Tal to view Israel’s neighbors and explore former IDF bunkers on the summit of this dormant volcano
  • Afternoon Return to Jerusalem and check-in to our accommodations
  • BBYO B’Yachad– Celebrate a summer in Israel with fellow teens from around the world across the entire BBYO Passport community

OVERNIGHT: Jerusalem – Israel


DAY #19 | FRIDAY | Jerusalem Prepares for Shabbat

  • Yad Vashem – The World Holocaust Remembrance Center
  • Reflections over a picnic-style lunch at Jerusalem’s Mifletzet Park
  • Return to our accommodations and prepare for Shabbat in Jerusalem
  • Evening: Experience Kabbalat Shabbat at the Kotel and stop for Shabbat dinner at the Fuchsburg Center along the walk back to our accommodations

OVERNIGHT: Jerusalem – Israel


DAY #20 | Saturday | A Reflective Shabbat in Jerusalem

  • Morning: Shabbat programming and group lunch at our accommodations
  • Walk to the Israel Museum to discover the Dead Sea Scrolls, Temple Model, and Israel’s most prized cultural and historic treasures
  • Spend the rest of the afternoon soaking up the sun and reflecting on the journey at Jerusalem’s Saker Park
  • Havdalah ceremony – celebrate the start of our final week together – followed by our final group night out at Jerusalem’s First Station Market

OVERNIGHT: Jerusalem – Israel


DAY #21 | Sunday | Looking to the Future

  • This morning we return to the Tel Aviv region for our final day in Israel
  • Save a Child’s Heart – Meet children seeking lifesaving treatment in Israel from around the world
  • Learn how Israel became the ‘Startup Nation’ at the Peres Center for Peace and Innovation in southern Jaffa
  • Spend the rest of the afternoon at the Museum of the Jewish People (Diaspora Museum) on the campus of Tel Aviv University
  • Wrap-up session and the grassy grounds of the Tel Aviv University campus
  • Evening: Closing dinner party and farewells at Tel Aviv’s iconic Maganda Restaurant

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


DAY #22 | Monday | Shalom and L’Hitraot!

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

ELECTIVES & CONNECTIONS

Trek Israel can be experienced as a core 22-day program, or it can be extended in one of two ways for an even fuller summer of eye-opening travel!

  • ISRAEL ELECTIVES | 26 total days
    Explore an aspect of Israel on a deeper level and pick-up new skills and experiences. The 4-day electives component may be scheduled within the core Trek Israel itinerary or at the end of the program. Electives are also an opportunity to meet teens from other groups who share your interests!
  • EUROPEAN CONNECTIONS | 32 total days
    Explore the Jewish heritage and world history of multiple European regions prior to arriving in Israel.

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

How will my teen travel to the program?
Your teen can travel to the program in multiple ways. The most common option is taking our supervised group flight, organized by our team. This flight often departs from the New York City area, and we may also provide group flights from other North American cities according to demand (e.g. LAX, SFO, ORD, BOS, NYC, YUL, and MIA). Flight arrangements will be released in the spring and you are responsible for your teen’s transportation to and from the departure location. If you choose to book on your own but correspond with the supervised flight itinerary, you have the option to use miles or points. Alternatively, you can book a separate flight for your teen that meets the group at the first location (additional fees may apply if a special pick-up/drop-off is needed). Learn more about our supervised flights.

Where will my teen be sleeping?
Many of the accommodations we stay at are kibbutz-based guest houses that are located in Israel’s countryside and provide space for exploration within a secure environment. We use conventional hotels when we stay in cities. During the Sea-to-Sea Hike and BaMidbar Wilderness Experience, our overnights will be in nature, and all camping gear (including sleeping bags) will be provided. Finally, all accommodations in Israel have security, and we book rooms so that each teen has their own bed in rooms that typically accommodate 3 or 4 teens per room.

How is the program staffed?
Each group is accompanied by a team of madrichim (counselors) from North America and a local Israeli guide. They are joined by an armed guard and bus driver. Senior field staff circulates between the groups for extra support as well. Staff names are sent out approximately 3-4 weeks prior to your departure as part of the pre-trip preparation email series. Staff are asked to make welcome calls to families before departure. Feel free to ask them any remaining questions you may have. Learn more about our staff team.

What’s the summer weather like?
Temperatures range from hot to hotter in the summer. Clothing should be lightweight and comfortable in the heat. Whenever outside for an extended period, teens will be required to have a hat, a shirt with sleeves, sunscreen, and water. Overexposure to the hot Middle Eastern sun can cause heatstroke, dehydration, and sunburns. The good news is the heat is mostly dry – there is very little humidity, and the chance of rain in Israel during the summer is practically zero- no umbrellas needed! Evenings in Israel tend to get chilly quickly – frequently into the 50s or 60s. Because we will not always return to our accommodations to change before an evening activity, always bring a day-pack with a windbreaker, long-sleeved shirt, or light sweater. Layers are key! A more detailed guide to packing is provided in the Pre-Trip Prep Guide.

How do you approach security?
Since 1956, BBYO has organized teen programs in Israel with a fundamental commitment to providing a safe and meaningful experience. Our programs adhere to Israel’s comprehensive security policies and are centrally monitored by Israel’s Situation Room. Our itineraries are designed with caution in mind and our policies are calibrated to local conditions. Finally, each group is accompanied by trained staff and a licensed guard accompanies all touring-based activities. Learn more about our organization’s approach to safety and security as well as more specific details about our Israel policies.

What’s the typical group size?
Group size varies depending on the date of the program. Our average group size is 30 teens. In some cases, multiple groups will travel on a similar path, although each group has its own dedicated staff, guide, and guard.
Note: There will be a way for teens to communicate with each other before the program in late spring.

What’s the food like?
As a travel-based program, our meals take a variety of forms and may include hotel buffets, restaurants, specially catered meals, and allowance funds for participants to purchase a meal on their own. All food provided by BBYO Passport experiences in Israel is kosher. When a meal is served in a public buffet format (e.g. hotel breakfast), we will always ensure that there are vegetarian or pescatarian options available, but we will also not restrict teens from eating the food of their choice. Some meals may be provided via an allowance system whereby teens will be given cash to purchase the food of their choice. Such meals are typically arranged in an area where there are multiple restaurant options, and teens can choose the food of their liking. In situations where time is of the essence, staff may choose to facilitate meal orders on behalf of teens using their allowance funds. Participants with special dietary needs (i.e. lactose intolerance, gluten-free, kosher, etc.) should review our dietary restrictions commitment document and contact us in advance to be sure we can accommodate your needs during the program. Expect to eat Middle Eastern and Mediterranean foods such as falafel, hummus, schnitzel, shakshouka, bourekas, and much more.

Will I need a visa?
If you travel with an American, Canadian, or EU passport – good news! – you don’t need a visa to enter Israel. If you travel with a passport from another country, you may need a visa. Contact your nearest Israeli embassy or consulate for additional details.

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

What’s the Host Family Weekend?
The second Shabbat on all Israel Journey and Trek Israel programs is an optional Host Family Weekend. This is an opportunity to visit with relatives or family friends during your time in Israel. Host Family Weekend begins Thursday evening and ends on Sunday morning Typically, a third of teens take advantage of the Host Family Weekend, and we provide organized programming for the teens who remain under our supervision. More details about how the Host Family Weekend works are available in the Pre-Trip Prep Guide.
NOTE: Teens without a host family can join onto the plans of another teen in the group (if invited) and with parent authorization. We are unable to find host families for teens without local connections.

For more information, check out our general FAQs.

BBYO makes it easy to combine two experiences for an extended summer of adventure, learning, and self-discovery. Learn more about how connections work, and keep those summer memories going and going!

SCOTLAND & IRELAND + TREK ISRAEL

A supervised connection
32 Days | Current 9-12th Graders

Connection Dates
July 5 – August 3, 2021

Connected Program Cost
Land Cost: $7,520 (pre-voucher)
Flight Cost: ~$1,700 (more)

SIGN UP

CLTC + TREK ISRAEL

An unsupervised connection
34 Days | Current 9-10th Graders

Connection Dates
June 8 – July 12, 2021 | CLTC #1
June 28 – Aug. 1, 2021 | CLTC #4

Connected Program Cost
Land Cost: $7,120 (pre-voucher)
Flight Cost: ~$1,600 (more)

SIGN UP*

*NOTE: Families connecting Israel Journey with BBYO’s CLTC can expect some differences between program policies, and registration for these connected experiences is done separately for each program.

 

PROGRAM REVIEWS

TREK ISRAEL

Experience the very best of Israel on this 3-week program with a special focus on active outdoor adventures. Scale mountains, learn new skills, and come home with a sense of accomplishment. Open to all Jewish teens!

TREK ISRAEL

Experience the very best of Israel on this 3-week program with a special focus on active outdoor adventures. Scale mountains, learn new skills, and come home with a sense of accomplishment. Open to all Jewish teens!

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

Cover all the highlights of a classic summer in Israel with an added focus on rewarding outdoor adventures.

Together with a tight-knit group of new friends, get ready and get excited to trek through the canyons of Negev Desert, the lush mountain valleys of the Galilee, and the rugged beaches of the Mediterranean as you experience Israel in a way that few do!

In addition to discovering all of the amazing highlights of a traditional summer in Israel, Trek teens have the unique opportunity to experience the 4-day Sea-to-Sea Hike from the Mediterranean Sea to the Sea of Galilee and the BaMidbar Wilderness Experience where we learn how to navigate and survive in the desert, just like our ancestors did. You’ll also pick-up Israeli martial arts skills, go snorkeling in the tropical Red Sea, rappel down a Galilee cliff, and try boarding down a mountainous sand dune!

Trek Israel is your chance to connect to Israel’s storied Land and gain a sense of true accomplishment that you will cherish!

ELECTIVES & CONNECTIONS

Trek Israel can be experienced as a core 22-day program, or it can be extended in one of two ways for an even fuller summer of eye-opening travel!

ISRAEL ELECTIVES | 26 Total Days | Land Cost: $5,570
Explore an aspect of Israel that inspires you on a deeper level and pick-up new skills and experiences along the way. Electives are also an opportunity to meet teens from other groups who share your interests. Trek Israel dates scheduled with electives are:

June 28 – July 23, 2021
July 5 – July 30, 2021

EUROPEAN CONNECTIONS | 32 Total Days
Explore the Jewish heritage and world history of multiple European regions prior to arriving in Israel.

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 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
Embrace new adventures like sandboarding, surfing, Israeli martial arts, and rappelling
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 innovative spirit of Tel Aviv and enjoy its lively beach culture!

Bond with new friends as you celebrate a meaningful and adventure-filled summer in Israel
Get your hands dirty and learn a new skill on the Dig-for-a-Day Archaeological Seminar

BBYO + Israel + You!

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

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

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

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

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

DAY #1 | MONDAY | Take Off!

  • Depart for Israel on a supervised overnight flight (optional)

DAY #2 | TUESDAY | Baruch HaBah – Welcome to Israel

  • Arrive to Ben Gurion Airport – Meet your Israeli staff team and the journey begins
  • Welcome ceremony overlooking the Ellah Valley, the site of David’s famous battle with Goliath
  • Head south to the Negev Desert and check-in to our accommodations
  • Dinner and orientation programming at our accommodations

OVERNIGHT: Negev Desert – Israel


DAY #3 | WEDNESDAY | Thriving in the Desert

  • Experience the thrill of sandboarding down natural dunes in the Negev Desert with Dror BaMidbar
  • Taste the wonders of Israel’s desert agriculture revolution at the Salad Trail Farm
  • Gain a new perspective looking out across Israel’s border with Gaza and Egypt and learn how the surrounding agricultural communities have adapted to the unique challenges of their location
  • Sde Boker– Learn about David Ben Gurion, Israel’s first Prime Minister, and his vision for the desert

OVERNIGHT: Negev Desert – Israel

DAY #4 | THURSDAY | BaMidbar – Desert Wandering


  • Hike to the hidden desert oasis in Ein Avdat Canyon
  • Cool off from the heat of the desert at the Sde Boker pool
  • Look out across the Ramon Crater from the crater’s edge and learn about the world’s largest erosion crater at the Mitzpe Ramon Visitors Center
  • Continue south and set-up camp to begin our desert wilderness experience
  • BaMidbar– Learn how to survive and thrive in the desert as our ancestors did in Israel’s Harei Edom (Red Mountains)

OVERNIGHT: Desert Camping – Israel


DAY #5 | FRIDAY | Eilat and the Red Sea

  • Wake up early to begin our pre-sunrise hike to the summit of Mt. Shlomo overlooking the Red Sea
  • Return to our camp for breakfast and wrap-up our BaMidbarexperience
  • Continue to the Red Sea city of Eilat – Discover underwater treasures snorkeling at Coral Beach
  • Relaxed beach time and banana boating on the tropical Red Sea
  • Break for ice cream at Yotvata, Israel’s famous desert dairy farm
  • Check-in to our desert kibbutz accommodations and celebrate Shabbat with the local kibbutz community

OVERNIGHT: Arava Valley – Israel


DAY #6 | SATURDAY | A Kibbutz-Style Shabbat

  • Shabbat programming and lunch
  • Learn about the history of the kibbutz idea and discover how kibbutz farms prosper in the desert through sustainable agriculture
  • Afternoon: Enjoy a relaxed Shabbat with pool, sports, and free time!
  • Havdalah ceremony – celebrate the start of a new week – followed by a cruise on the Red Sea and group night out in Eilat along the waterfront

OVERNIGHT: Arava Valley – Israel


DAY #7 | SUNDAY | Perspectives from Masada

  • Wake up early and travel up the Arava Valley to the base of Masada
  • Ascend Masada via the Snake Path, and explore Herod’s mountaintop desert fortress
  • Cool off relaxing under the desert waterfalls at Ein Gedi Nature Reserve
  • Experience effortless floating at the Dead Sea – the world’s lowest point
  • Ascend to Jerusalem – Stopping for a welcome ceremony at the Scopus overlook
  • Check-in to our hotel and rest!

OVERNIGHT: Jerusalem – Israel


DAY #8 | MONDAY | Foundations of Jewish History

  • Scale the Rampart Walls of the Old City, walking from Jaffa Gate to Zion Gate
  • Enter the Old City’s Zion Gate – Explore the ancient squares and rooftops of the Jewish Quarter
  • Reflections at the Kotel, The Western Wall, and visit the Southern Wall excavations
  • Continue further back in time, discovering how King David established a Jewish capital at the City of David archeological complex, and then cool down splashing through Hezekiah’s underground aqueduct deep beneath the city
  • Evening: Group night out and dinner at Ben Yehuda Pedestrian Mall

OVERNIGHT: Jerusalem – Israel


DAY #9 | TUESDAY | Forming a Community with Our Hands

  • Travel to Neot Kedumim Biblical Park for a tree-planting ceremony, group-bonding workshop, and self-cooked lunch experience
  • Dig-for-a-Day! Take part in an archaeological seminar with the professionals at Beit Guvrin National Park and explore the Bell Caves
  • Evening Speaker: The Geopolitics of Israel Today with Eylon Levy, an Israeli journalist and strategic analyst

OVERNIGHT: Jerusalem – Israel


DAY #10 | WEDNESDAY | Jewish Sovereignty – Vision and Sacrifice

  • Visit to the Theodore Herzl Museum and explore the grounds of the Mt. Herzl National Cemetery
  • Enjoy the sights and smells of Mahane Yehuda open-air food market and navigate the market with a “Shuk Bites” lunch card
  • Tour of the Knesset – Learn about Israel’s parliamentary system and how it safeguards the Jewish State’s democratic laws and traditions
  • Geopolitical tour of Jerusalem – The Seam, the Wall, and the future

OVERNIGHT: Jerusalem – Israel


DAY #11 | THURSDAY | Founding Modern Israel

  • Leket – Volunteer project harvesting fresh vegetables for the hungry of Israel
  • Machon Ayalon – Explore the story of the Haganah and the struggle to gain independence at this secret historical ammunition factory outside of Tel Aviv
  • Take in the views from the ancient Jaffa seaport, and browse Jaffa’s colorful flea market
  • Independence Hall – Visit the site where the State of Israel was first declared and learn about the Jewish State’s founding values and vision
  • Evening: Depart for an optional Host Family Weekend* or continue to Haifa

OVERNIGHT: Haifa – Israel

*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 Sunday morning.


DAY #12 | FRIDAY | Pioneering Values

  • Morning walking tour of Haifa – Israel’s most diverse city, including a visit to the Bahai Temple Gardens on Mt. Carmel
  • Af Al Pi Chen Boat – Learn about the challenges faced by Jews fleeing post-Holocaust Europe when they arrived on the shores of Israel during the British Mandate Era
  • Break for lunch in Zichron Yaakov – one of the first new communities established in the Land of Israel by Jewish immigrants from Europe in the 1880’s and funded by Baron Edmond James de Rothschild
  • Spend the rest of the afternoon learning how to surf at Atlit Beach
  • Evening: Celebrate the start of Shabbat in Haifa overlooking the Mediterranean Sea

OVERNIGHT: Haifa – Israel


DAY #13 | Saturday | Shabbat in Haifa

  • Morning: Shabbat programming and group lunch at our accommodations
  • Relaxed afternoon to enjoy the Haifa beach scene!
  • Spend the rest of the afternoon enjoying the pool and sports facility at the Sportan Country Club in Haifa
  • Havdalah ceremony – celebrate the start of a new week – followed by a group night out at “Grand Canyon Mall”, Israel’s largest shopping complex

OVERNIGHT: Haifa – Israel


DAY #14 | Sunday | Sea-to-Sea Hike – Day #1

  • This morning we reconvene as a full group in Caesarea– Herod’s Roman amphitheater and grand palace on the Mediterranean beach
  • Head to Israel’s far northern border and descend into the ocean caves at Rosh Hanikrah
  • Sea-to-Sea Hike Opening Ceremony at Achziv Beach – Begin our three-day trek from the Mediterranean Beach to the Sea of Galilee

OVERNIGHT: Camping in the Galilee – Israel

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 site.


DAY #15 | MONDAY | Sea-to-Sea Hike – Day #2

  • Hike up Nahal Kziv and explore Montfort Castle dating back to the Crusader Era
  • Continue north to the Galilee highlights and set up camp at the base of Mount Meiron

OVERNIGHT: Camping in the Galilee – Israel


DAY #16 | TUESDAY | Sea-to-Sea Hike – Day #3

  • Hike to the summit of Mount Meiron – the highest point in the Galilee
  • Break to visit the ancient city of Tsfat– Explore the historic center of Jewish mysticism in the Galilee highlands
  • Learn how Israel welcomes its immigrants of today volunteering at an absorption center for Ethiopian children in Tzfat
  • Evening: Set-up camp for the night in the Nahal Amud Canyon

OVERNIGHT: Camping in the Galilee – Israel


DAY #17 | WEDNESDAY | Sea-to-Sea Hike – Day #4

  • Hike down Nahal Amoud Canyon and celebrate the end of the trek on the Sea of Galilee
  • Celebrate the end of the trek swimming in the Sea of Galilee
  • Check-in to our Galilee accommodations and rest!
  • Late afternoon – relaxed rafting down the Jordan River followed by a fresh-cooked pizza dinner on the bank of the Jordan River

OVERNIGHT: Galilee – Israel


DAY #18 | THURSDAY | Views from the Golan Heights

  • Rappelling adventure at Dalton Cliffs in the Galilee
  • Ascend the Golan Heights and travel to the village of Ein Kinya for an encounter with Druze culture over a traditional meal
  • Continue to Mount Ben Tal to view Israel’s neighbors and explore former IDF bunkers on the summit of this dormant volcano
  • Afternoon Return to Jerusalem and check-in to our accommodations
  • BBYO B’Yachad– Celebrate a summer in Israel with fellow teens from around the world across the entire BBYO Passport community

OVERNIGHT: Jerusalem – Israel


DAY #19 | FRIDAY | Jerusalem Prepares for Shabbat

  • Yad Vashem – The World Holocaust Remembrance Center
  • Reflections over a picnic-style lunch at Jerusalem’s Mifletzet Park
  • Return to our accommodations and prepare for Shabbat in Jerusalem
  • Evening: Experience Kabbalat Shabbat at the Kotel and stop for Shabbat dinner at the Fuchsburg Center along the walk back to our accommodations

OVERNIGHT: Jerusalem – Israel


DAY #20 | Saturday | A Reflective Shabbat in Jerusalem

  • Morning: Shabbat programming and group lunch at our accommodations
  • Walk to the Israel Museum to discover the Dead Sea Scrolls, Temple Model, and Israel’s most prized cultural and historic treasures
  • Spend the rest of the afternoon soaking up the sun and reflecting on the journey at Jerusalem’s Saker Park
  • Havdalah ceremony – celebrate the start of our final week together – followed by our final group night out at Jerusalem’s First Station Market

OVERNIGHT: Jerusalem – Israel


DAY #21 | Sunday | Looking to the Future

  • This morning we return to the Tel Aviv region for our final day in Israel
  • Save a Child’s Heart – Meet children seeking lifesaving treatment in Israel from around the world
  • Learn how Israel became the ‘Startup Nation’ at the Peres Center for Peace and Innovation in southern Jaffa
  • Spend the rest of the afternoon at the Museum of the Jewish People (Diaspora Museum) on the campus of Tel Aviv University
  • Wrap-up session and the grassy grounds of the Tel Aviv University campus
  • Evening: Closing dinner party and farewells at Tel Aviv’s iconic Maganda Restaurant

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


DAY #22 | Monday | Shalom and L’Hitraot!

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

ELECTIVES & CONNECTIONS

Trek Israel can be experienced as a core 22-day program, or it can be extended in one of two ways for an even fuller summer of eye-opening travel!

  • ISRAEL ELECTIVES | 26 total days
    Explore an aspect of Israel on a deeper level and pick-up new skills and experiences. The 4-day electives component may be scheduled within the core Trek Israel itinerary or at the end of the program. Electives are also an opportunity to meet teens from other groups who share your interests!
  • EUROPEAN CONNECTIONS | 32 total days
    Explore the Jewish heritage and world history of multiple European regions prior to arriving in Israel.

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

How will my teen travel to the program?
Your teen can travel to the program in multiple ways. The most common option is taking our supervised group flight, organized by our team. This flight often departs from the New York City area, and we may also provide group flights from other North American cities according to demand (e.g. LAX, SFO, ORD, BOS, NYC, YUL, and MIA). Flight arrangements will be released in the spring and you are responsible for your teen’s transportation to and from the departure location. If you choose to book on your own but correspond with the supervised flight itinerary, you have the option to use miles or points. Alternatively, you can book a separate flight for your teen that meets the group at the first location (additional fees may apply if a special pick-up/drop-off is needed). Learn more about our supervised flights.

Where will my teen be sleeping?
Many of the accommodations we stay at are kibbutz-based guest houses that are located in Israel’s countryside and provide space for exploration within a secure environment. We use conventional hotels when we stay in cities. During the Sea-to-Sea Hike and BaMidbar Wilderness Experience, our overnights will be in nature, and all camping gear (including sleeping bags) will be provided. Finally, all accommodations in Israel have security, and we book rooms so that each teen has their own bed in rooms that typically accommodate 3 or 4 teens per room.

How is the program staffed?
Each group is accompanied by a team of madrichim (counselors) from North America and a local Israeli guide. They are joined by an armed guard and bus driver. Senior field staff circulates between the groups for extra support as well. Staff names are sent out approximately 3-4 weeks prior to your departure as part of the pre-trip preparation email series. Staff are asked to make welcome calls to families before departure. Feel free to ask them any remaining questions you may have. Learn more about our staff team.

What’s the summer weather like?
Temperatures range from hot to hotter in the summer. Clothing should be lightweight and comfortable in the heat. Whenever outside for an extended period, teens will be required to have a hat, a shirt with sleeves, sunscreen, and water. Overexposure to the hot Middle Eastern sun can cause heatstroke, dehydration, and sunburns. The good news is the heat is mostly dry – there is very little humidity, and the chance of rain in Israel during the summer is practically zero- no umbrellas needed! Evenings in Israel tend to get chilly quickly – frequently into the 50s or 60s. Because we will not always return to our accommodations to change before an evening activity, always bring a day-pack with a windbreaker, long-sleeved shirt, or light sweater. Layers are key! A more detailed guide to packing is provided in the Pre-Trip Prep Guide.

How do you approach security?
Since 1956, BBYO has organized teen programs in Israel with a fundamental commitment to providing a safe and meaningful experience. Our programs adhere to Israel’s comprehensive security policies and are centrally monitored by Israel’s Situation Room. Our itineraries are designed with caution in mind and our policies are calibrated to local conditions. Finally, each group is accompanied by trained staff and a licensed guard accompanies all touring-based activities. Learn more about our organization’s approach to safety and security as well as more specific details about our Israel policies.

What’s the typical group size?
Group size varies depending on the date of the program. Our average group size is 30 teens. In some cases, multiple groups will travel on a similar path, although each group has its own dedicated staff, guide, and guard.
Note: There will be a way for teens to communicate with each other before the program in late spring.

What’s the food like?
As a travel-based program, our meals take a variety of forms and may include hotel buffets, restaurants, specially catered meals, and allowance funds for participants to purchase a meal on their own. All food provided by BBYO Passport experiences in Israel is kosher. When a meal is served in a public buffet format (e.g. hotel breakfast), we will always ensure that there are vegetarian or pescatarian options available, but we will also not restrict teens from eating the food of their choice. Some meals may be provided via an allowance system whereby teens will be given cash to purchase the food of their choice. Such meals are typically arranged in an area where there are multiple restaurant options, and teens can choose the food of their liking. In situations where time is of the essence, staff may choose to facilitate meal orders on behalf of teens using their allowance funds. Participants with special dietary needs (i.e. lactose intolerance, gluten-free, kosher, etc.) should review our dietary restrictions commitment document and contact us in advance to be sure we can accommodate your needs during the program. Expect to eat Middle Eastern and Mediterranean foods such as falafel, hummus, schnitzel, shakshouka, bourekas, and much more.

Will I need a visa?
If you travel with an American, Canadian, or EU passport – good news! – you don’t need a visa to enter Israel. If you travel with a passport from another country, you may need a visa. Contact your nearest Israeli embassy or consulate for additional details.

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

What’s the Host Family Weekend?
The second Shabbat on all Israel Journey and Trek Israel programs is an optional Host Family Weekend. This is an opportunity to visit with relatives or family friends during your time in Israel. Host Family Weekend begins Thursday evening and ends on Sunday morning Typically, a third of teens take advantage of the Host Family Weekend, and we provide organized programming for the teens who remain under our supervision. More details about how the Host Family Weekend works are available in the Pre-Trip Prep Guide.
NOTE: Teens without a host family can join onto the plans of another teen in the group (if invited) and with parent authorization. We are unable to find host families for teens without local connections.

For more information, check out our general FAQs.

BBYO makes it easy to combine two experiences for an extended summer of adventure, learning, and self-discovery. Learn more about how connections work, and keep those summer memories going and going!

SCOTLAND & IRELAND + TREK ISRAEL

A supervised connection
32 Days | Current 9-12th Graders

Connection Dates
July 5 – August 3, 2021

Connected Program Cost
Land Cost: $7,520 (pre-voucher)
Flight Cost: ~$1,700 (more)

SIGN UP

CLTC + TREK ISRAEL

An unsupervised connection
34 Days | Current 9-10th Graders

Connection Dates
June 8 – July 12, 2021 | CLTC #1
June 28 – Aug. 1, 2021 | CLTC #4

Connected Program Cost
Land Cost: $7,120 (pre-voucher)
Flight Cost: ~$1,600 (more)

SIGN UP*

*NOTE: Families connecting Israel Journey with BBYO’s CLTC can expect some differences between program policies, and registration for these connected experiences is done separately for each program.

 

PROGRAM REVIEWS

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

 

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

Cover all the highlights of a classic summer in Israel with an added focus on rewarding outdoor adventures.

Together with a tight-knit group of new friends, get ready and get excited to trek through the canyons of Negev Desert, the lush mountain valleys of the Galilee, and the rugged beaches of the Mediterranean as you experience Israel in a way that few do!

In addition to discovering all of the amazing highlights of a traditional summer in Israel, Trek teens have the unique opportunity to experience the 4-day Sea-to-Sea Hike from the Mediterranean Sea to the Sea of Galilee and the BaMidbar Wilderness Experience where we learn how to navigate and survive in the desert, just like our ancestors did. You’ll also pick-up Israeli martial arts skills, go snorkeling in the tropical Red Sea, rappel down a Galilee cliff, and try boarding down a mountainous sand dune!

Trek Israel is your chance to connect to Israel’s storied Land and gain a sense of true accomplishment that you will cherish!

ELECTIVES & CONNECTIONS

Trek Israel can be experienced as a core 22-day program, or it can be extended in one of two ways for an even fuller summer of eye-opening travel!

ISRAEL ELECTIVES | 26 Total Days | Land Cost: $5,570
Explore an aspect of Israel that inspires you on a deeper level and pick-up new skills and experiences along the way. Electives are also an opportunity to meet teens from other groups who share your interests. Trek Israel dates scheduled with electives are:

June 28 – July 23, 2021
July 5 – July 30, 2021

EUROPEAN CONNECTIONS | 32 Total Days
Explore the Jewish heritage and world history of multiple European regions prior to arriving in Israel.

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 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
Embrace new adventures like sandboarding, surfing, Israeli martial arts, and rappelling
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 innovative spirit of Tel Aviv and enjoy its lively beach culture!

Bond with new friends as you celebrate a meaningful and adventure-filled summer in Israel
Get your hands dirty and learn a new skill on the Dig-for-a-Day Archaeological Seminar

BBYO + Israel + You!

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

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

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

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

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

DAY #1 | MONDAY | Take Off!

  • Depart for Israel on a supervised overnight flight (optional)

DAY #2 | TUESDAY | Baruch HaBah – Welcome to Israel

  • Arrive to Ben Gurion Airport – Meet your Israeli staff team and the journey begins
  • Welcome ceremony overlooking the Ellah Valley, the site of David’s famous battle with Goliath
  • Head south to the Negev Desert and check-in to our accommodations
  • Dinner and orientation programming at our accommodations

OVERNIGHT: Negev Desert – Israel


DAY #3 | WEDNESDAY | Thriving in the Desert

  • Experience the thrill of sandboarding down natural dunes in the Negev Desert with Dror BaMidbar
  • Taste the wonders of Israel’s desert agriculture revolution at the Salad Trail Farm
  • Gain a new perspective looking out across Israel’s border with Gaza and Egypt and learn how the surrounding agricultural communities have adapted to the unique challenges of their location
  • Sde Boker– Learn about David Ben Gurion, Israel’s first Prime Minister, and his vision for the desert

OVERNIGHT: Negev Desert – Israel

DAY #4 | THURSDAY | BaMidbar – Desert Wandering


  • Hike to the hidden desert oasis in Ein Avdat Canyon
  • Cool off from the heat of the desert at the Sde Boker pool
  • Look out across the Ramon Crater from the crater’s edge and learn about the world’s largest erosion crater at the Mitzpe Ramon Visitors Center
  • Continue south and set-up camp to begin our desert wilderness experience
  • BaMidbar– Learn how to survive and thrive in the desert as our ancestors did in Israel’s Harei Edom (Red Mountains)

OVERNIGHT: Desert Camping – Israel


DAY #5 | FRIDAY | Eilat and the Red Sea

  • Wake up early to begin our pre-sunrise hike to the summit of Mt. Shlomo overlooking the Red Sea
  • Return to our camp for breakfast and wrap-up our BaMidbarexperience
  • Continue to the Red Sea city of Eilat – Discover underwater treasures snorkeling at Coral Beach
  • Relaxed beach time and banana boating on the tropical Red Sea
  • Break for ice cream at Yotvata, Israel’s famous desert dairy farm
  • Check-in to our desert kibbutz accommodations and celebrate Shabbat with the local kibbutz community

OVERNIGHT: Arava Valley – Israel


DAY #6 | SATURDAY | A Kibbutz-Style Shabbat

  • Shabbat programming and lunch
  • Learn about the history of the kibbutz idea and discover how kibbutz farms prosper in the desert through sustainable agriculture
  • Afternoon: Enjoy a relaxed Shabbat with pool, sports, and free time!
  • Havdalah ceremony – celebrate the start of a new week – followed by a cruise on the Red Sea and group night out in Eilat along the waterfront

OVERNIGHT: Arava Valley – Israel


DAY #7 | SUNDAY | Perspectives from Masada

  • Wake up early and travel up the Arava Valley to the base of Masada
  • Ascend Masada via the Snake Path, and explore Herod’s mountaintop desert fortress
  • Cool off relaxing under the desert waterfalls at Ein Gedi Nature Reserve
  • Experience effortless floating at the Dead Sea – the world’s lowest point
  • Ascend to Jerusalem – Stopping for a welcome ceremony at the Scopus overlook
  • Check-in to our hotel and rest!

OVERNIGHT: Jerusalem – Israel


DAY #8 | MONDAY | Foundations of Jewish History

  • Scale the Rampart Walls of the Old City, walking from Jaffa Gate to Zion Gate
  • Enter the Old City’s Zion Gate – Explore the ancient squares and rooftops of the Jewish Quarter
  • Reflections at the Kotel, The Western Wall, and visit the Southern Wall excavations
  • Continue further back in time, discovering how King David established a Jewish capital at the City of David archeological complex, and then cool down splashing through Hezekiah’s underground aqueduct deep beneath the city
  • Evening: Group night out and dinner at Ben Yehuda Pedestrian Mall

OVERNIGHT: Jerusalem – Israel


DAY #9 | TUESDAY | Forming a Community with Our Hands

  • Travel to Neot Kedumim Biblical Park for a tree-planting ceremony, group-bonding workshop, and self-cooked lunch experience
  • Dig-for-a-Day! Take part in an archaeological seminar with the professionals at Beit Guvrin National Park and explore the Bell Caves
  • Evening Speaker: The Geopolitics of Israel Today with Eylon Levy, an Israeli journalist and strategic analyst

OVERNIGHT: Jerusalem – Israel


DAY #10 | WEDNESDAY | Jewish Sovereignty – Vision and Sacrifice

  • Visit to the Theodore Herzl Museum and explore the grounds of the Mt. Herzl National Cemetery
  • Enjoy the sights and smells of Mahane Yehuda open-air food market and navigate the market with a “Shuk Bites” lunch card
  • Tour of the Knesset – Learn about Israel’s parliamentary system and how it safeguards the Jewish State’s democratic laws and traditions
  • Geopolitical tour of Jerusalem – The Seam, the Wall, and the future

OVERNIGHT: Jerusalem – Israel


DAY #11 | THURSDAY | Founding Modern Israel

  • Leket – Volunteer project harvesting fresh vegetables for the hungry of Israel
  • Machon Ayalon – Explore the story of the Haganah and the struggle to gain independence at this secret historical ammunition factory outside of Tel Aviv
  • Take in the views from the ancient Jaffa seaport, and browse Jaffa’s colorful flea market
  • Independence Hall – Visit the site where the State of Israel was first declared and learn about the Jewish State’s founding values and vision
  • Evening: Depart for an optional Host Family Weekend* or continue to Haifa

OVERNIGHT: Haifa – Israel

*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 Sunday morning.


DAY #12 | FRIDAY | Pioneering Values

  • Morning walking tour of Haifa – Israel’s most diverse city, including a visit to the Bahai Temple Gardens on Mt. Carmel
  • Af Al Pi Chen Boat – Learn about the challenges faced by Jews fleeing post-Holocaust Europe when they arrived on the shores of Israel during the British Mandate Era
  • Break for lunch in Zichron Yaakov – one of the first new communities established in the Land of Israel by Jewish immigrants from Europe in the 1880’s and funded by Baron Edmond James de Rothschild
  • Spend the rest of the afternoon learning how to surf at Atlit Beach
  • Evening: Celebrate the start of Shabbat in Haifa overlooking the Mediterranean Sea

OVERNIGHT: Haifa – Israel


DAY #13 | Saturday | Shabbat in Haifa

  • Morning: Shabbat programming and group lunch at our accommodations
  • Relaxed afternoon to enjoy the Haifa beach scene!
  • Spend the rest of the afternoon enjoying the pool and sports facility at the Sportan Country Club in Haifa
  • Havdalah ceremony – celebrate the start of a new week – followed by a group night out at “Grand Canyon Mall”, Israel’s largest shopping complex

OVERNIGHT: Haifa – Israel


DAY #14 | Sunday | Sea-to-Sea Hike – Day #1

  • This morning we reconvene as a full group in Caesarea– Herod’s Roman amphitheater and grand palace on the Mediterranean beach
  • Head to Israel’s far northern border and descend into the ocean caves at Rosh Hanikrah
  • Sea-to-Sea Hike Opening Ceremony at Achziv Beach – Begin our three-day trek from the Mediterranean Beach to the Sea of Galilee

OVERNIGHT: Camping in the Galilee – Israel

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 site.


DAY #15 | MONDAY | Sea-to-Sea Hike – Day #2

  • Hike up Nahal Kziv and explore Montfort Castle dating back to the Crusader Era
  • Continue north to the Galilee highlights and set up camp at the base of Mount Meiron

OVERNIGHT: Camping in the Galilee – Israel


DAY #16 | TUESDAY | Sea-to-Sea Hike – Day #3

  • Hike to the summit of Mount Meiron – the highest point in the Galilee
  • Break to visit the ancient city of Tsfat– Explore the historic center of Jewish mysticism in the Galilee highlands
  • Learn how Israel welcomes its immigrants of today volunteering at an absorption center for Ethiopian children in Tzfat
  • Evening: Set-up camp for the night in the Nahal Amud Canyon

OVERNIGHT: Camping in the Galilee – Israel


DAY #17 | WEDNESDAY | Sea-to-Sea Hike – Day #4

  • Hike down Nahal Amoud Canyon and celebrate the end of the trek on the Sea of Galilee
  • Celebrate the end of the trek swimming in the Sea of Galilee
  • Check-in to our Galilee accommodations and rest!
  • Late afternoon – relaxed rafting down the Jordan River followed by a fresh-cooked pizza dinner on the bank of the Jordan River

OVERNIGHT: Galilee – Israel


DAY #18 | THURSDAY | Views from the Golan Heights

  • Rappelling adventure at Dalton Cliffs in the Galilee
  • Ascend the Golan Heights and travel to the village of Ein Kinya for an encounter with Druze culture over a traditional meal
  • Continue to Mount Ben Tal to view Israel’s neighbors and explore former IDF bunkers on the summit of this dormant volcano
  • Afternoon Return to Jerusalem and check-in to our accommodations
  • BBYO B’Yachad– Celebrate a summer in Israel with fellow teens from around the world across the entire BBYO Passport community

OVERNIGHT: Jerusalem – Israel


DAY #19 | FRIDAY | Jerusalem Prepares for Shabbat

  • Yad Vashem – The World Holocaust Remembrance Center
  • Reflections over a picnic-style lunch at Jerusalem’s Mifletzet Park
  • Return to our accommodations and prepare for Shabbat in Jerusalem
  • Evening: Experience Kabbalat Shabbat at the Kotel and stop for Shabbat dinner at the Fuchsburg Center along the walk back to our accommodations

OVERNIGHT: Jerusalem – Israel


DAY #20 | Saturday | A Reflective Shabbat in Jerusalem

  • Morning: Shabbat programming and group lunch at our accommodations
  • Walk to the Israel Museum to discover the Dead Sea Scrolls, Temple Model, and Israel’s most prized cultural and historic treasures
  • Spend the rest of the afternoon soaking up the sun and reflecting on the journey at Jerusalem’s Saker Park
  • Havdalah ceremony – celebrate the start of our final week together – followed by our final group night out at Jerusalem’s First Station Market

OVERNIGHT: Jerusalem – Israel


DAY #21 | Sunday | Looking to the Future

  • This morning we return to the Tel Aviv region for our final day in Israel
  • Save a Child’s Heart – Meet children seeking lifesaving treatment in Israel from around the world
  • Learn how Israel became the ‘Startup Nation’ at the Peres Center for Peace and Innovation in southern Jaffa
  • Spend the rest of the afternoon at the Museum of the Jewish People (Diaspora Museum) on the campus of Tel Aviv University
  • Wrap-up session and the grassy grounds of the Tel Aviv University campus
  • Evening: Closing dinner party and farewells at Tel Aviv’s iconic Maganda Restaurant

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


DAY #22 | Monday | Shalom and L’Hitraot!

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

ELECTIVES & CONNECTIONS

Trek Israel can be experienced as a core 22-day program, or it can be extended in one of two ways for an even fuller summer of eye-opening travel!

  • ISRAEL ELECTIVES | 26 total days
    Explore an aspect of Israel on a deeper level and pick-up new skills and experiences. The 4-day electives component may be scheduled within the core Trek Israel itinerary or at the end of the program. Electives are also an opportunity to meet teens from other groups who share your interests!
  • EUROPEAN CONNECTIONS | 32 total days
    Explore the Jewish heritage and world history of multiple European regions prior to arriving in Israel.

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

How will my teen travel to the program?
Your teen can travel to the program in multiple ways. The most common option is taking our supervised group flight, organized by our team. This flight often departs from the New York City area, and we may also provide group flights from other North American cities according to demand (e.g. LAX, SFO, ORD, BOS, NYC, YUL, and MIA). Flight arrangements will be released in the spring and you are responsible for your teen’s transportation to and from the departure location. If you choose to book on your own but correspond with the supervised flight itinerary, you have the option to use miles or points. Alternatively, you can book a separate flight for your teen that meets the group at the first location (additional fees may apply if a special pick-up/drop-off is needed). Learn more about our supervised flights.

Where will my teen be sleeping?
Many of the accommodations we stay at are kibbutz-based guest houses that are located in Israel’s countryside and provide space for exploration within a secure environment. We use conventional hotels when we stay in cities. During the Sea-to-Sea Hike and BaMidbar Wilderness Experience, our overnights will be in nature, and all camping gear (including sleeping bags) will be provided. Finally, all accommodations in Israel have security, and we book rooms so that each teen has their own bed in rooms that typically accommodate 3 or 4 teens per room.

How is the program staffed?
Each group is accompanied by a team of madrichim (counselors) from North America and a local Israeli guide. They are joined by an armed guard and bus driver. Senior field staff circulates between the groups for extra support as well. Staff names are sent out approximately 3-4 weeks prior to your departure as part of the pre-trip preparation email series. Staff are asked to make welcome calls to families before departure. Feel free to ask them any remaining questions you may have. Learn more about our staff team.

What’s the summer weather like?
Temperatures range from hot to hotter in the summer. Clothing should be lightweight and comfortable in the heat. Whenever outside for an extended period, teens will be required to have a hat, a shirt with sleeves, sunscreen, and water. Overexposure to the hot Middle Eastern sun can cause heatstroke, dehydration, and sunburns. The good news is the heat is mostly dry – there is very little humidity, and the chance of rain in Israel during the summer is practically zero- no umbrellas needed! Evenings in Israel tend to get chilly quickly – frequently into the 50s or 60s. Because we will not always return to our accommodations to change before an evening activity, always bring a day-pack with a windbreaker, long-sleeved shirt, or light sweater. Layers are key! A more detailed guide to packing is provided in the Pre-Trip Prep Guide.

How do you approach security?
Since 1956, BBYO has organized teen programs in Israel with a fundamental commitment to providing a safe and meaningful experience. Our programs adhere to Israel’s comprehensive security policies and are centrally monitored by Israel’s Situation Room. Our itineraries are designed with caution in mind and our policies are calibrated to local conditions. Finally, each group is accompanied by trained staff and a licensed guard accompanies all touring-based activities. Learn more about our organization’s approach to safety and security as well as more specific details about our Israel policies.

What’s the typical group size?
Group size varies depending on the date of the program. Our average group size is 30 teens. In some cases, multiple groups will travel on a similar path, although each group has its own dedicated staff, guide, and guard.
Note: There will be a way for teens to communicate with each other before the program in late spring.

What’s the food like?
As a travel-based program, our meals take a variety of forms and may include hotel buffets, restaurants, specially catered meals, and allowance funds for participants to purchase a meal on their own. All food provided by BBYO Passport experiences in Israel is kosher. When a meal is served in a public buffet format (e.g. hotel breakfast), we will always ensure that there are vegetarian or pescatarian options available, but we will also not restrict teens from eating the food of their choice. Some meals may be provided via an allowance system whereby teens will be given cash to purchase the food of their choice. Such meals are typically arranged in an area where there are multiple restaurant options, and teens can choose the food of their liking. In situations where time is of the essence, staff may choose to facilitate meal orders on behalf of teens using their allowance funds. Participants with special dietary needs (i.e. lactose intolerance, gluten-free, kosher, etc.) should review our dietary restrictions commitment document and contact us in advance to be sure we can accommodate your needs during the program. Expect to eat Middle Eastern and Mediterranean foods such as falafel, hummus, schnitzel, shakshouka, bourekas, and much more.

Will I need a visa?
If you travel with an American, Canadian, or EU passport – good news! – you don’t need a visa to enter Israel. If you travel with a passport from another country, you may need a visa. Contact your nearest Israeli embassy or consulate for additional details.

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

What’s the Host Family Weekend?
The second Shabbat on all Israel Journey and Trek Israel programs is an optional Host Family Weekend. This is an opportunity to visit with relatives or family friends during your time in Israel. Host Family Weekend begins Thursday evening and ends on Sunday morning Typically, a third of teens take advantage of the Host Family Weekend, and we provide organized programming for the teens who remain under our supervision. More details about how the Host Family Weekend works are available in the Pre-Trip Prep Guide.
NOTE: Teens without a host family can join onto the plans of another teen in the group (if invited) and with parent authorization. We are unable to find host families for teens without local connections.

For more information, check out our general FAQs.

BBYO makes it easy to combine two experiences for an extended summer of adventure, learning, and self-discovery. Learn more about how connections work, and keep those summer memories going and going!

SCOTLAND & IRELAND + TREK ISRAEL

A supervised connection
32 Days | Current 9-12th Graders

Connection Dates
July 5 – August 3, 2021

Connected Program Cost
Land Cost: $7,520 (pre-voucher)
Flight Cost: ~$1,700 (more)

SIGN UP

CLTC + TREK ISRAEL

An unsupervised connection
34 Days | Current 9-10th Graders

Connection Dates
June 8 – July 12, 2021 | CLTC #1
June 28 – Aug. 1, 2021 | CLTC #4

Connected Program Cost
Land Cost: $7,120 (pre-voucher)
Flight Cost: ~$1,600 (more)

SIGN UP*

*NOTE: Families connecting Israel Journey with BBYO’s CLTC can expect some differences between program policies, and registration for these connected experiences is done separately for each program.

 

PROGRAM REVIEWS

SUMMER 2021 JUST GOT MORE AFFORDABLE!NEW $3,000 ROOTONE ISRAEL TRAVEL VOUCHER

The joy of a summer in Israel has never been more accessible. Voucher availability is limited – claim yours!

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