A Sunset - Trips to Israel
SUMMER EXPERIENCES

United Kingdom & Ireland Discovery + Israel Journey

Travel throughout England, Scotland, Ireland, Northern Ireland, and Wales to explore the old world grandeur, rugged natural beauty, and cultural treasures of these storied lands. Then continue on to Israel Journey for BBYO’s flagship 3-week experience in the Jewish Homeland.

This journey kicks off with United Kingdom & Ireland Discovery. We will travel to the grand European capitals of Edinburgh, London, Dublin and the awesome backcountry of Scotland to cover all of the must-see sites!

Then continue from Europe to the Jewish Homeland on Israel Journey. Discover Israel’s many treasures traveling between the Golan Heights in the far north to the tropical Red Sea in the deep south. Experience a Shabbat in the heart of Jerusalem, watch the sunrise from atop Masada and tap into the innovative spirit of modern Tel Aviv on this cross-country and cross-cultural journey.

Program Highlights

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

Visit Stirling Castle, one of the most important castles in Scotland
Participate in the Highland Games, celebrating the Scottish and Celtic culture
Spend an authentic Shabbat with the Jewish communities of London and Glasgow
Kayak toward the city center of Dublin while listening to local musical artists

Tour the breathtaking Cliffs of Moher overlooking the Atlantic Ocean
Visit Blarney Castle and kiss the famous Blarney Stone
Visit Big Ben up close and watch the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace in London
Browse Piccadilly Circus and visit Shakespeare’s Globe Theater
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
Navigate the wilderness on a camel trek and enjoy a delicious desert tent feast
Get your hands dirty and learn a new skill on the Dig-for-a-Day Archaeological Seminar
Cool off rafting down the Jordan River and swimming under the Ein Gedi desert waterfalls
Browse Mahane Yehuda‘s open-air market, the Nahalat Binyamin street festival and nightlife on Ben Yehuda Street
Explore the seaport of Haifa, the ancient city of Acco and the ocean caves at Rosh Hanikrah
Swim in the Red Sea, in the Mediterranean Sea and in the Sea of Galilee
Learn first-hand about contemporary Israeli geo-politics and experience co-existence in action
Spend Shabbat in the heart of Jerusalem and learn about Judaism’s mystical tradition in Tzfat
Soak up the cultural richness and innovative spirit of modern Tel Aviv
Bond with new friends as you celebrate a meaningful and adventure-filled summer in Israel

How the Connection Works

As a connected experience, this program combines the following two travel experiences: United Kingdom & Ireland Discovery + Israel Journey. At the end of United Kingdom & Ireland Discovery, those making the connection will have an extra day of touring in England prior to boarding an overnight flight to Israel that evening. Our first day in Israel features plenty of rest and relaxation before starting anew. Trip connections are always supervised and all-inclusive.

BBYO + Israel + You!

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

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

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

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

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

DAY #1 | Tuesday | Take Off!

  • Depart from New York City on a supervised flight (optional)
  • Spend the night in the sky en route to Europe

DAY #2 | Wednesday | Welcome to Europe!

  • Arrive at Edinburgh Airport in the morning and meet our local staff
  • Visit Edinburgh Castle
  • Meet with a Scottish-Jewish maker of contemporary kilts
  • Overnight: Edinburgh, Scotland

DAY #3 | Thursday | Stirling, Scotland

  • Travel to Stirling for the day
  • Visit Stirling Castle, atop Castle Hill – one of the most important castles in Scotland
  • Lunch at Cliff Hydro Hotel
  • Spend the afternoon participating in outdoor activities including Segway, zip lining, archery
  • Dinner at Campus restaurant
  • Overnight: Edinburgh, Scotland

DAY #4 | Friday | Glasgow, Scotland

  • Depart our hotel for a cruise of the beautiful Loch Lomond
  • Travel to Glasgow
  • Visit the Piping Centre for a Bagpipe experience
  • Kabbalat Shabbat services and dinner
  • Overnight: Glasgow, Scotland

DAY #5 | Saturday | Shabbat in Glasgow

  • Shabbat morning programming
  • Picnic lunch in the Kelvingrove Park
  • Visit the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum
  • Celebrate the beginning of a new week with Havdalah and dinner
  • Overnight: Glasgow, Scotland 

DAY #6 | Sunday | Travel to Ireland

  • Travel by ferry to Larne, in Northern Ireland
  • Visit Titanic Belfast – a monument to where the Titanic was built
  • Pizur lunch and free time in Belfast
  • Travel to Dublin
  • Overnight: Dublin, Ireland

DAY #7 | Monday | Dublin, Ireland

  • Listen to local musicians while floating towards the city center on kayaks with Music under the Bridges
  • Pizur lunch and free time in Dublin
  • Visit the National Leprechaun Museum
  • Grab a bite to eat before the show
  • Enjoy Riverdance at the Gaiety Theater
  • Overnight: Dublin, Ireland

DAY #8 | Tuesday | Cliffs of Moher, Ireland

  • Travel to Galway in Western Ireland
  • Free time and Pizur lunch in Galway
  • Tour the breathtaking Cliffs of Moher overlooking the Atlantic Ocean
  • Travel to Limerick
  • Check-in to our hotel for dinner
  • Overnight: Limerick, Ireland

DAY #9 | Wednesday | Blarney Castle, Ireland

  • Travel to Blarney Castle for a tour and kiss the famous Blarney Stone
  • Travel to Cork for free time and Pizur lunch
  • Travel to Dublin to check-in to our hotel
  • Overnight: Dublin, Ireland

DAY #10 | Thursday | Travel to England

  • Travel by ferry to England
  • Arrive in Liverpool
  • Tour the Beatles Story – the world’s largest permanent exhibit devoted to the Beatles
  • Visit the British Music Experience which tells the story of British music through costume, instruments, and performances
  • Overnight: Liverpool, England

DAY #11 | Friday | Stratford, England

  • Check out of our hotel and head to Stratford
  • Visit Stratford-upon-Avon – the birthplace of William Shakespear for free time and Pizur lunch
  • Travel to London to prepare for Shabbat
  • Kabbalat Shabbat and dinner at the Marble Arch Synagogue
  • Overnight: London, England

DAY #12 | Saturday | Shabbat in London

  • Shabbat morning programming
  • Picnic lunch in the park
  • Afternoon tour of the British Museum
  • Celebrate the start of the new week with Kabbalat Shabbat and dinner
  • Overnight: London, England

DAY #13 | Sunday | London, England

  • Visit Buckingham Palace for the famous changing of the guards
  • Pizur lunch in Trafalgar Square and explore Westminster
  • Ride the London Eye – London’s Iconic Ferris Wheel
  • Overnight: London, England

DAY #14 | Monday | London, England

  • Discover the world of the “Bard” touring Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre
  • Lunch and exploration time in Borough Market
  • Giving back – community service project
  • Overnight: London, England

DAY #15 | Tuesday | Farewell Europe – Shalom Israel

  • Visit Windsor Castle and head to the airport
  • Depart London on a supervised flight
  • Arrive at Ben Gurion Airport  Meet your Israeli staff  team
  • Check-in to our accommodations in the Jerusalem foothills and rest!
  • Afternoon – Hike the Masrek Trail and explore the Soreq stalagmite caves
  • Evening: Movie night at Jerusalem’s Cinema City
  • Overnight: Neve Ilan Guest House, Jerusalem Hills

DAY #16 | Wednesday | Orientation to Jerusalem

  • Climb on tanks at Latrun – Israel’s Armored Corp Museum and British Mandate-era fortress
  • View the Chagall Windows at Hadassah Hospital in Ein Karem Village
  • Enjoy lunch in Jerusalem’s German Colony neighborhood
  • Crawl through the Hasmonean Tunnels – An ancient aqueduct supplying water to Jerusalem
  • Orientation to Jerusalem – Shecheyanu at the Haas Promenade overlooking the Old City
  • Evening: Tower of David Sound & Light Show and group night out at the Mamilla complex
  • Overnight: Neve Ilan Guest House, Jerusalem Hills

DAY #17 | Thursday | Jerusalem’s Old City

  • Enter the Old City’s Zion Gate – Explore the ancient squares & rooftops of the Jewish Quarter
  • Lunch and exploration time in the Cardo area of the Jewish Quarter
  • Reflections at the Kotel (The Western Wall) and visit the Southern Wall excavations
  • Discover how King David established a Jewish capital at the “City of David” complex
  • Get wet! Walk through Hezekiah’s underground aqueduct beneath Jerusalem
  • Evening Speaker – The Geo-Politics of Israel Today
  • Overnight: Crowne Plaza Hotel, Jerusalem

DAY #18 | Friday | Along the Mediterranean Coast

  • Begin traveling north to the Galilee along the Mediterranean Coast
  • Caesarea – Explore the Roman amphitheater and royal palace on the beach
  • Enjoy a picnic-style lunch on the Mediterranean shores
  • Explore the Beit Shearim catacombs – Exile and continuity in the land of Israel
  • View the Bahai Gardens on Mt. Carmel overlooking Haifa
  • Arrive to our accommodations and prepare for Shabbat
  • Evening: Kabbalat Shabbat on the beach followed by a festive dinner at our accommodations
  • Overnight: Acco Guest House, Acco

DAY #19 | Saturday | Shabbat on the Beach

  • Shabbat programming and group lunch
  • Old Akko Seaport – Crusader castle, Templar Tunnels, and the Irgun Prison
  • Play sports, hang out by the beach and enjoy relaxation time at our accommodations
  • Evening: Boat cruise on the Mediterranean Sea from Akko Seaport
  • Overnight: Acco Guest House, Acco

DAY #20 | Sunday | Adventures in the Western Galilee

  • Take part in a coexistence workshop at the Galilee Foundation
  • Descend into the ocean caves at Rosh Hanikrah
  • Hike to Ma’arat Keshet – The natural stone arch of Keshet
  • Travel east through the Galilee hills towards the Kinneret – The Sea of Galilee
  • Check-in to our guest house accommodations in the Galilee
  • Overnight: Kibbutz Amiad Guest House, Galilee

DAY #21 | Monday | Mystics of the Galilee

  • Walking tour of mystical Tzfat – The historic center of Judaism’s Kabbalah movement
  • Browse the Tzfat artist colony and meet a Kabbalistic artist, Avraham Lowenthal
  • Travel to Israel’s Upper Galilee region and hike to the waterfalls of the Banias
  • Finish the day cooling off rafting down the Jordan River
  • Overnight: Kibbutz Amiad Guest House, Galilee

DAY #22 | Tuesday | Israel’s Pioneering Values

  • Leket – Service project harvesting for the hungry at Moshav Nahalal
  • Tel Amal – Discover the can-do spirit of modern Israel’s founding pioneers
  • Swim in the natural springs of the Sachne – Israel’s “Garden of Eden”
  • Kinneret Cemetery – Discover the story of the poets and pioneers of the Galilee
  • Overnight: Kibbutz Amiad Guest House, Galilee

DAY #23 | Wednesday | Perspectives from the Golan Heights

  • Ascend the Golan Heights – Get wet climbing down the water-filled Nahal Jilaboun Canyon!
  • Tour of the region on a historical off-road jeep tour of the Golan
  • View across Israel and her neighbors from atop Mt. Ben-Tal
  • Swim, relax and enjoy a memorable BBQ dinner on the beaches of the Kinneret
  • Overnight: Kibbutz Amiad Guest House, Galilee

DAY #24 | Thursday | Zionism & Co-Existence

  • Volunteer project at Pitchon Lev – fighting poverty in Israel
  • Enjoy a uniquely delicious lunch in the Druze Village of Ussafiya
  • Atlit – Explore the challenges faced by Jews fleeing the Holocaust prior to Israel’s founding
  • Depart from the Galilee and arrive at our accommodations in Central Israel
  • Overnight: Neve Ilan Hotel, Judean Hills

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

DAY #25 | Friday | Israeli Arts & Culture

  • Travel to Tel Aviv – Israel’s cultural and financial capital
  • Visit to the Rabin Center – Explore the history of modern Israel through the life story of its most famous soldier and statesman
  • Enjoy the colorful Nahalat Binyamin street festival and Carmel Market
  • Discover a different side of Tel Aviv on a Hebrew graffiti art walking tour
  • Afternoon: Free time to enjoy Tel Aviv’s lively beach culture
  • Return to our hotel and prepare for Shabbat
  • Kabbalat Shabbat ceremony and festive Shabbat dinner at the hotel
  • Overnight: Neve Ilan Hotel, Judean Hills

DAY #26 | Saturday | The Day of Rest

  • Wake up to Shabbat in the rolling foothills of Jerusalem – Take part in an optional group hike
  • Shabbat programming and group lunch at accommodations
  • Play sports, hang out by the pool and enjoy relaxation time at our accommodations
  • Evening: Group night out at the high-tech Azrieli Tower Mall in Tel Aviv
  • Overnight: Neve Ilan Hotel, Judean Hills

DAY #27 | Sunday | To the Negev Desert

  • Dig-for-a-Day! – Take part in an archaeological seminar with the professionals
  • Travel south into the heart of the Negev Desert – Stop for lunch in Be’er Sheva
  • Sde Boker – Learn about David Ben Gurion and his vision for the desert
  • Stop to view the Ramon Crater from the crater’s edge
  • Check-in to our desert kibbutz accommodations outside of Eilat
  • Evening: Group dinner and pool party!
  • Overnight: Kibbutz Yahel Guest House, Arava Valley

DAY #28 | Monday | Eilat and the Red Sea

  • Wake up early to climb up (and jump down) the mountainous Kassui sand dunes
  • Hike through the magically colorful Red Canyon
  • Depart to the Red Sea city of Eilat – Discover underwater treasures snorkeling at Coral Beach
  • Afternoon – Relaxed beach time and banana boating on the tropical Red Sea
  • Overnight: Kibbutz Yahel Guest House, Arava Valley

DAY #29 | Tuesday | The Desert Blooms

  • The Arava Institute – Learn how Israel thrives in the desert and protects its ecological treasures
  • Enjoy lunch, swimming and relaxation time at our kibbutz accommodations
  • Travel to the Judean Desert, stopping along the way for fresh ice cream at the Yotvata dairy farm
  • Camel trekking and enjoy a “hafla” style Bedouin tent dinner feast!
  • Evening: Bonfire party and night under the bright desert stars
  • Overnight: Kfar Hanokdim Tent, Judean Desert

DAY #30 | Wednesday | Masada and the Dead Sea

  • Pre-sunrise climb up Masada, a fortress overlooking the Dead Sea, via the Roman Ramp trail
  • Tour of Masada – Herod’s mountaintop desert fortress – and descend via the Snake Path
  • Swim under the cool desert waterfalls at Ein Gedi Nature Reserve
  • Experience effortless floating at the Dead Sea’s Ein Bokek Beach
  • Take in the stark desert scenery as we travel back to Jerusalem in the late afternoon
  • Overnight: Jerusalem Gardens Hotel, Jerusalem

DAY #31 | Thursday | Remembrance & Renewal

  • Experience Yad Vashem – The World Holocaust Remembrance Center
  • Tour of the Knesset (Israel’s parliament) – Learn about Israel’s unique democracy
  • Ammunition Hill – Recount the unification and explore the future of Jerusalem
  • Speaker – Meet with an activist pursuing religious pluralism in Israel
  • Evening: BBYO B’Yachad – Celebrate a summer in Israel with all groups in Israel!
  • Overnight: Jerusalem Gardens Hotel, Jerusalem

DAY #32 | Friday | Jerusalem Prepares for Shabbat

  • Vision & Sacrifice – The Theodore Herzl Museum and the Mt. Herzl National Cemetery
  • Enjoy the sights and smells of the Mahane Yehuda open-air marketplace
  • Return to our accommodations and prepare for Shabbat in Jerusalem
  • Evening: Experience an open-air Kabbalat Shabbat service at the Jerusalem First Train Station
  • Walk back to the hotel and enjoy Shabbat dinner as a group
  • Overnight: Jerusalem Gardens Hotel, Jerusalem

DAY #33 | Saturday | Relax and Reflect

  • Experience a Jerusalem Shabbat with the option to attend services at a local synagogue
  • Visit the Israel Museum – Discover the Dead Sea Scrolls, Temple Model and much more
  • Afternoon: Soak up the sun relaxing in Jerusalem’s Saker Park
  • Evening: Return to the Old City to experience layers of Jewish history in the Kotel Tunnels
  • Overnight: Jerusalem Gardens Hotel, Jerusalem

DAY #34 | Sunday | Founding Modern Israel

  • Depart for the Tel Aviv region in the morning
  • Machon Ayalon – The story of the Haganah and the creation of the IDF
  • Walking tour, exploration time and lunch in the ancient Jaffa Seaport
  • Independence Hall – Discover the founding values of modern Israel
  • Reflections at the Yitzhak Rabin Memorial Square
  • Tree planting ceremony and closing banquet dinner party at Neot Kedumim Park
  • Late Night: Return to Ben Gurion Airport for an overnight return flight

DAY #35 | Monday | Shalom and L’Hitraot!

  • Arrive back to New York City in the morning

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

How will my teen travel to the program?
An optional supervised flight is offered – often from New York City. In some cases, a supervised flight may also depart from Newark. You are responsible for your transportation to the supervised flight departure city. Flight arrangements will be released in the spring. Families are also able to book their own tickets using miles or points that correspond to our supervised flight itinerary or book separate flight itineraries entirely and make arrangements to meet our staff in Europe. Learn more about our supervised flights.

Where will my teen be sleeping?
In Europe, the group stays in a variety of 3-star hotels. In Israel, many of the accommodations we stay at are kibbutz-based guest houses that are located in Israel’s countryside and provide space for exploration within a secure environment. We use conventional hotels in Jerusalem and occasionally in other cities. All accommodations utilized in Israel have a dedicated guard. When booking our accommodations, we request for each teen to have their own sleeping accommodations in a shared living space.

How is the program staffed?
Each group is accompanied by a team of madrichim (counselors), a local tour leader, and a bus driver. Out of an abundance of caution we travel with a guard in Israel. In Israel, senior field staff circulates between the groups as well. Staff names are sent out approximately 3-4 weeks prior to your departure as part of the pre-trip preparation email series. Staff are asked to make welcome calls to families before departure. Learn more about our staff team.

What’s the summer weather like?
The weather in the United Kingdom and Ireland is usually mild-to-warm and mostly sunny. Daytime temperatures range from the 60s to the high 70s. Evening temperatures in the summer can be as low as the 50s. Rain is common in the summer, plan accordingly.

Temperatures in Israel range from hot to hotter in the summer. Clothing should be lightweight and comfortable in the heat. Whenever outside for an extended period, teens will be required to have a hat, a shirt with sleeves, sunscreen, and water. Overexposure to the hot Middle Eastern sun can cause heatstroke, dehydration, and sunburns. The good news is the heat is mostly dry – there is very little humidity, and the chance of rain in Israel during the summer is practically zero- no umbrellas needed!

Evenings in Israel tend to get chilly quickly – frequently into the 50s or 60s. Because we will not always return to our accommodations to change before an evening activity, always bring a day-pack with a windbreaker, long-sleeved shirt, or light sweater.

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

What’s the typical group size?
Although it varies from year to year, our average group size in Europe and Israel is 30 teens.

What’s the food like?

As a travel-based program, our meals take a variety of forms and may include hotel buffets, restaurants, specially catered meals and allowance funds for participants to purchase a meal on their own. All food provided by BBYO Passport experiences in Israel are kosher. Some meals that we provide outside of Israel may be certified kosher, but most meals are not. When a meal is served in a public buffet format (e.g. hotel breakfast), we will always ensure that there are vegetarian or pescatarian options available, but we will also not restrict teens from eating the food of their choice. Some meals may be provided via an allowance system whereby teens will be given cash to purchase the food of their choice. Such meals are typically arranged in an area where there are multiple restaurant options, and teens can choose the food of their liking. In situations where time is of the essence, staff may choose to facilitate meal orders on behalf of teens using their allowance funds, including non-kosher orders. When the group eats at non-kosher restaurants with a pre-ordered menu, the options will only consist of vegetarian or pescatarian dishes. Participants with special dietary situations (i.e. lactose intolerance, gluten-free, kosher, etc.) should contact us in advance to be sure we can accommodate your needs during the program. Europe draws travelers from all over the world, so there is a wide range of cuisine available. In Israel 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 any of the countries we visit on this program.

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

For more information, check out our general FAQs.

How the Connection Works

As a connected experience, this program combines the following two travel experiences: United Kingdom & Ireland Discovery + Israel Journey. At the end of United Kingdom & Ireland Discovery, those making the connection will have an extra day of touring in England prior to boarding an overnight flight to Israel that evening. Our first day in Israel features plenty of rest and relaxation before starting anew. Trip connections are always supervised and all-inclusive.

This journey kicks off with United Kingdom & Ireland Discovery. We will travel to the grand European capitals of Edinburgh, London, Dublin and the awesome backcountry of Scotland to cover all of the must-see sites!

Then continue from Europe to the Jewish Homeland on Israel Journey. Discover Israel’s many treasures traveling between the Golan Heights in the far north to the tropical Red Sea in the deep south. Experience a Shabbat in the heart of Jerusalem, watch the sunrise from atop Masada and tap into the innovative spirit of modern Tel Aviv on this cross-country and cross-cultural journey.

Program Highlights

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

Visit Stirling Castle, one of the most important castles in Scotland
Participate in the Highland Games, celebrating the Scottish and Celtic culture
Spend an authentic Shabbat with the Jewish communities of London and Glasgow
Kayak toward the city center of Dublin while listening to local musical artists

Tour the breathtaking Cliffs of Moher overlooking the Atlantic Ocean
Visit Blarney Castle and kiss the famous Blarney Stone
Visit Big Ben up close and watch the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace in London
Browse Piccadilly Circus and visit Shakespeare’s Globe Theater
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
Navigate the wilderness on a camel trek and enjoy a delicious desert tent feast
Get your hands dirty and learn a new skill on the Dig-for-a-Day Archaeological Seminar
Cool off rafting down the Jordan River and swimming under the Ein Gedi desert waterfalls
Browse Mahane Yehuda‘s open-air market, the Nahalat Binyamin street festival and nightlife on Ben Yehuda Street
Explore the seaport of Haifa, the ancient city of Acco and the ocean caves at Rosh Hanikrah
Swim in the Red Sea, in the Mediterranean Sea and in the Sea of Galilee
Learn first-hand about contemporary Israeli geo-politics and experience co-existence in action
Spend Shabbat in the heart of Jerusalem and learn about Judaism’s mystical tradition in Tzfat
Soak up the cultural richness and innovative spirit of modern Tel Aviv
Bond with new friends as you celebrate a meaningful and adventure-filled summer in Israel

How the Connection Works

As a connected experience, this program combines the following two travel experiences: United Kingdom & Ireland Discovery + Israel Journey. At the end of United Kingdom & Ireland Discovery, those making the connection will have an extra day of touring in England prior to boarding an overnight flight to Israel that evening. Our first day in Israel features plenty of rest and relaxation before starting anew. Trip connections are always supervised and all-inclusive.

BBYO + Israel + You!

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

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

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

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

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

DAY #1 | Tuesday | Take Off!

  • Depart from New York City on a supervised flight (optional)
  • Spend the night in the sky en route to Europe

DAY #2 | Wednesday | Welcome to Europe!

  • Arrive at Edinburgh Airport in the morning and meet our local staff
  • Visit Edinburgh Castle
  • Meet with a Scottish-Jewish maker of contemporary kilts
  • Overnight: Edinburgh, Scotland

DAY #3 | Thursday | Stirling, Scotland

  • Travel to Stirling for the day
  • Visit Stirling Castle, atop Castle Hill – one of the most important castles in Scotland
  • Lunch at Cliff Hydro Hotel
  • Spend the afternoon participating in outdoor activities including Segway, zip lining, archery
  • Dinner at Campus restaurant
  • Overnight: Edinburgh, Scotland

DAY #4 | Friday | Glasgow, Scotland

  • Depart our hotel for a cruise of the beautiful Loch Lomond
  • Travel to Glasgow
  • Visit the Piping Centre for a Bagpipe experience
  • Kabbalat Shabbat services and dinner
  • Overnight: Glasgow, Scotland

DAY #5 | Saturday | Shabbat in Glasgow

  • Shabbat morning programming
  • Picnic lunch in the Kelvingrove Park
  • Visit the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum
  • Celebrate the beginning of a new week with Havdalah and dinner
  • Overnight: Glasgow, Scotland 

DAY #6 | Sunday | Travel to Ireland

  • Travel by ferry to Larne, in Northern Ireland
  • Visit Titanic Belfast – a monument to where the Titanic was built
  • Pizur lunch and free time in Belfast
  • Travel to Dublin
  • Overnight: Dublin, Ireland

DAY #7 | Monday | Dublin, Ireland

  • Listen to local musicians while floating towards the city center on kayaks with Music under the Bridges
  • Pizur lunch and free time in Dublin
  • Visit the National Leprechaun Museum
  • Grab a bite to eat before the show
  • Enjoy Riverdance at the Gaiety Theater
  • Overnight: Dublin, Ireland

DAY #8 | Tuesday | Cliffs of Moher, Ireland

  • Travel to Galway in Western Ireland
  • Free time and Pizur lunch in Galway
  • Tour the breathtaking Cliffs of Moher overlooking the Atlantic Ocean
  • Travel to Limerick
  • Check-in to our hotel for dinner
  • Overnight: Limerick, Ireland

DAY #9 | Wednesday | Blarney Castle, Ireland

  • Travel to Blarney Castle for a tour and kiss the famous Blarney Stone
  • Travel to Cork for free time and Pizur lunch
  • Travel to Dublin to check-in to our hotel
  • Overnight: Dublin, Ireland

DAY #10 | Thursday | Travel to England

  • Travel by ferry to England
  • Arrive in Liverpool
  • Tour the Beatles Story – the world’s largest permanent exhibit devoted to the Beatles
  • Visit the British Music Experience which tells the story of British music through costume, instruments, and performances
  • Overnight: Liverpool, England

DAY #11 | Friday | Stratford, England

  • Check out of our hotel and head to Stratford
  • Visit Stratford-upon-Avon – the birthplace of William Shakespear for free time and Pizur lunch
  • Travel to London to prepare for Shabbat
  • Kabbalat Shabbat and dinner at the Marble Arch Synagogue
  • Overnight: London, England

DAY #12 | Saturday | Shabbat in London

  • Shabbat morning programming
  • Picnic lunch in the park
  • Afternoon tour of the British Museum
  • Celebrate the start of the new week with Kabbalat Shabbat and dinner
  • Overnight: London, England

DAY #13 | Sunday | London, England

  • Visit Buckingham Palace for the famous changing of the guards
  • Pizur lunch in Trafalgar Square and explore Westminster
  • Ride the London Eye – London’s Iconic Ferris Wheel
  • Overnight: London, England

DAY #14 | Monday | London, England

  • Discover the world of the “Bard” touring Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre
  • Lunch and exploration time in Borough Market
  • Giving back – community service project
  • Overnight: London, England

DAY #15 | Tuesday | Farewell Europe – Shalom Israel

  • Visit Windsor Castle and head to the airport
  • Depart London on a supervised flight
  • Arrive at Ben Gurion Airport  Meet your Israeli staff  team
  • Check-in to our accommodations in the Jerusalem foothills and rest!
  • Afternoon – Hike the Masrek Trail and explore the Soreq stalagmite caves
  • Evening: Movie night at Jerusalem’s Cinema City
  • Overnight: Neve Ilan Guest House, Jerusalem Hills

DAY #16 | Wednesday | Orientation to Jerusalem

  • Climb on tanks at Latrun – Israel’s Armored Corp Museum and British Mandate-era fortress
  • View the Chagall Windows at Hadassah Hospital in Ein Karem Village
  • Enjoy lunch in Jerusalem’s German Colony neighborhood
  • Crawl through the Hasmonean Tunnels – An ancient aqueduct supplying water to Jerusalem
  • Orientation to Jerusalem – Shecheyanu at the Haas Promenade overlooking the Old City
  • Evening: Tower of David Sound & Light Show and group night out at the Mamilla complex
  • Overnight: Neve Ilan Guest House, Jerusalem Hills

DAY #17 | Thursday | Jerusalem’s Old City

  • Enter the Old City’s Zion Gate – Explore the ancient squares & rooftops of the Jewish Quarter
  • Lunch and exploration time in the Cardo area of the Jewish Quarter
  • Reflections at the Kotel (The Western Wall) and visit the Southern Wall excavations
  • Discover how King David established a Jewish capital at the “City of David” complex
  • Get wet! Walk through Hezekiah’s underground aqueduct beneath Jerusalem
  • Evening Speaker – The Geo-Politics of Israel Today
  • Overnight: Crowne Plaza Hotel, Jerusalem

DAY #18 | Friday | Along the Mediterranean Coast

  • Begin traveling north to the Galilee along the Mediterranean Coast
  • Caesarea – Explore the Roman amphitheater and royal palace on the beach
  • Enjoy a picnic-style lunch on the Mediterranean shores
  • Explore the Beit Shearim catacombs – Exile and continuity in the land of Israel
  • View the Bahai Gardens on Mt. Carmel overlooking Haifa
  • Arrive to our accommodations and prepare for Shabbat
  • Evening: Kabbalat Shabbat on the beach followed by a festive dinner at our accommodations
  • Overnight: Acco Guest House, Acco

DAY #19 | Saturday | Shabbat on the Beach

  • Shabbat programming and group lunch
  • Old Akko Seaport – Crusader castle, Templar Tunnels, and the Irgun Prison
  • Play sports, hang out by the beach and enjoy relaxation time at our accommodations
  • Evening: Boat cruise on the Mediterranean Sea from Akko Seaport
  • Overnight: Acco Guest House, Acco

DAY #20 | Sunday | Adventures in the Western Galilee

  • Take part in a coexistence workshop at the Galilee Foundation
  • Descend into the ocean caves at Rosh Hanikrah
  • Hike to Ma’arat Keshet – The natural stone arch of Keshet
  • Travel east through the Galilee hills towards the Kinneret – The Sea of Galilee
  • Check-in to our guest house accommodations in the Galilee
  • Overnight: Kibbutz Amiad Guest House, Galilee

DAY #21 | Monday | Mystics of the Galilee

  • Walking tour of mystical Tzfat – The historic center of Judaism’s Kabbalah movement
  • Browse the Tzfat artist colony and meet a Kabbalistic artist, Avraham Lowenthal
  • Travel to Israel’s Upper Galilee region and hike to the waterfalls of the Banias
  • Finish the day cooling off rafting down the Jordan River
  • Overnight: Kibbutz Amiad Guest House, Galilee

DAY #22 | Tuesday | Israel’s Pioneering Values

  • Leket – Service project harvesting for the hungry at Moshav Nahalal
  • Tel Amal – Discover the can-do spirit of modern Israel’s founding pioneers
  • Swim in the natural springs of the Sachne – Israel’s “Garden of Eden”
  • Kinneret Cemetery – Discover the story of the poets and pioneers of the Galilee
  • Overnight: Kibbutz Amiad Guest House, Galilee

DAY #23 | Wednesday | Perspectives from the Golan Heights

  • Ascend the Golan Heights – Get wet climbing down the water-filled Nahal Jilaboun Canyon!
  • Tour of the region on a historical off-road jeep tour of the Golan
  • View across Israel and her neighbors from atop Mt. Ben-Tal
  • Swim, relax and enjoy a memorable BBQ dinner on the beaches of the Kinneret
  • Overnight: Kibbutz Amiad Guest House, Galilee

DAY #24 | Thursday | Zionism & Co-Existence

  • Volunteer project at Pitchon Lev – fighting poverty in Israel
  • Enjoy a uniquely delicious lunch in the Druze Village of Ussafiya
  • Atlit – Explore the challenges faced by Jews fleeing the Holocaust prior to Israel’s founding
  • Depart from the Galilee and arrive at our accommodations in Central Israel
  • Overnight: Neve Ilan Hotel, Judean Hills

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

DAY #25 | Friday | Israeli Arts & Culture

  • Travel to Tel Aviv – Israel’s cultural and financial capital
  • Visit to the Rabin Center – Explore the history of modern Israel through the life story of its most famous soldier and statesman
  • Enjoy the colorful Nahalat Binyamin street festival and Carmel Market
  • Discover a different side of Tel Aviv on a Hebrew graffiti art walking tour
  • Afternoon: Free time to enjoy Tel Aviv’s lively beach culture
  • Return to our hotel and prepare for Shabbat
  • Kabbalat Shabbat ceremony and festive Shabbat dinner at the hotel
  • Overnight: Neve Ilan Hotel, Judean Hills

DAY #26 | Saturday | The Day of Rest

  • Wake up to Shabbat in the rolling foothills of Jerusalem – Take part in an optional group hike
  • Shabbat programming and group lunch at accommodations
  • Play sports, hang out by the pool and enjoy relaxation time at our accommodations
  • Evening: Group night out at the high-tech Azrieli Tower Mall in Tel Aviv
  • Overnight: Neve Ilan Hotel, Judean Hills

DAY #27 | Sunday | To the Negev Desert

  • Dig-for-a-Day! – Take part in an archaeological seminar with the professionals
  • Travel south into the heart of the Negev Desert – Stop for lunch in Be’er Sheva
  • Sde Boker – Learn about David Ben Gurion and his vision for the desert
  • Stop to view the Ramon Crater from the crater’s edge
  • Check-in to our desert kibbutz accommodations outside of Eilat
  • Evening: Group dinner and pool party!
  • Overnight: Kibbutz Yahel Guest House, Arava Valley

DAY #28 | Monday | Eilat and the Red Sea

  • Wake up early to climb up (and jump down) the mountainous Kassui sand dunes
  • Hike through the magically colorful Red Canyon
  • Depart to the Red Sea city of Eilat – Discover underwater treasures snorkeling at Coral Beach
  • Afternoon – Relaxed beach time and banana boating on the tropical Red Sea
  • Overnight: Kibbutz Yahel Guest House, Arava Valley

DAY #29 | Tuesday | The Desert Blooms

  • The Arava Institute – Learn how Israel thrives in the desert and protects its ecological treasures
  • Enjoy lunch, swimming and relaxation time at our kibbutz accommodations
  • Travel to the Judean Desert, stopping along the way for fresh ice cream at the Yotvata dairy farm
  • Camel trekking and enjoy a “hafla” style Bedouin tent dinner feast!
  • Evening: Bonfire party and night under the bright desert stars
  • Overnight: Kfar Hanokdim Tent, Judean Desert

DAY #30 | Wednesday | Masada and the Dead Sea

  • Pre-sunrise climb up Masada, a fortress overlooking the Dead Sea, via the Roman Ramp trail
  • Tour of Masada – Herod’s mountaintop desert fortress – and descend via the Snake Path
  • Swim under the cool desert waterfalls at Ein Gedi Nature Reserve
  • Experience effortless floating at the Dead Sea’s Ein Bokek Beach
  • Take in the stark desert scenery as we travel back to Jerusalem in the late afternoon
  • Overnight: Jerusalem Gardens Hotel, Jerusalem

DAY #31 | Thursday | Remembrance & Renewal

  • Experience Yad Vashem – The World Holocaust Remembrance Center
  • Tour of the Knesset (Israel’s parliament) – Learn about Israel’s unique democracy
  • Ammunition Hill – Recount the unification and explore the future of Jerusalem
  • Speaker – Meet with an activist pursuing religious pluralism in Israel
  • Evening: BBYO B’Yachad – Celebrate a summer in Israel with all groups in Israel!
  • Overnight: Jerusalem Gardens Hotel, Jerusalem

DAY #32 | Friday | Jerusalem Prepares for Shabbat

  • Vision & Sacrifice – The Theodore Herzl Museum and the Mt. Herzl National Cemetery
  • Enjoy the sights and smells of the Mahane Yehuda open-air marketplace
  • Return to our accommodations and prepare for Shabbat in Jerusalem
  • Evening: Experience an open-air Kabbalat Shabbat service at the Jerusalem First Train Station
  • Walk back to the hotel and enjoy Shabbat dinner as a group
  • Overnight: Jerusalem Gardens Hotel, Jerusalem

DAY #33 | Saturday | Relax and Reflect

  • Experience a Jerusalem Shabbat with the option to attend services at a local synagogue
  • Visit the Israel Museum – Discover the Dead Sea Scrolls, Temple Model and much more
  • Afternoon: Soak up the sun relaxing in Jerusalem’s Saker Park
  • Evening: Return to the Old City to experience layers of Jewish history in the Kotel Tunnels
  • Overnight: Jerusalem Gardens Hotel, Jerusalem

DAY #34 | Sunday | Founding Modern Israel

  • Depart for the Tel Aviv region in the morning
  • Machon Ayalon – The story of the Haganah and the creation of the IDF
  • Walking tour, exploration time and lunch in the ancient Jaffa Seaport
  • Independence Hall – Discover the founding values of modern Israel
  • Reflections at the Yitzhak Rabin Memorial Square
  • Tree planting ceremony and closing banquet dinner party at Neot Kedumim Park
  • Late Night: Return to Ben Gurion Airport for an overnight return flight

DAY #35 | Monday | Shalom and L’Hitraot!

  • Arrive back to New York City in the morning

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

How will my teen travel to the program?
An optional supervised flight is offered – often from New York City. In some cases, a supervised flight may also depart from Newark. You are responsible for your transportation to the supervised flight departure city. Flight arrangements will be released in the spring. Families are also able to book their own tickets using miles or points that correspond to our supervised flight itinerary or book separate flight itineraries entirely and make arrangements to meet our staff in Europe. Learn more about our supervised flights.

Where will my teen be sleeping?
In Europe, the group stays in a variety of 3-star hotels. In Israel, many of the accommodations we stay at are kibbutz-based guest houses that are located in Israel’s countryside and provide space for exploration within a secure environment. We use conventional hotels in Jerusalem and occasionally in other cities. All accommodations utilized in Israel have a dedicated guard. When booking our accommodations, we request for each teen to have their own sleeping accommodations in a shared living space.

How is the program staffed?
Each group is accompanied by a team of madrichim (counselors), a local tour leader, and a bus driver. Out of an abundance of caution we travel with a guard in Israel. In Israel, senior field staff circulates between the groups as well. Staff names are sent out approximately 3-4 weeks prior to your departure as part of the pre-trip preparation email series. Staff are asked to make welcome calls to families before departure. Learn more about our staff team.

What’s the summer weather like?
The weather in the United Kingdom and Ireland is usually mild-to-warm and mostly sunny. Daytime temperatures range from the 60s to the high 70s. Evening temperatures in the summer can be as low as the 50s. Rain is common in the summer, plan accordingly.

Temperatures in Israel range from hot to hotter in the summer. Clothing should be lightweight and comfortable in the heat. Whenever outside for an extended period, teens will be required to have a hat, a shirt with sleeves, sunscreen, and water. Overexposure to the hot Middle Eastern sun can cause heatstroke, dehydration, and sunburns. The good news is the heat is mostly dry – there is very little humidity, and the chance of rain in Israel during the summer is practically zero- no umbrellas needed!

Evenings in Israel tend to get chilly quickly – frequently into the 50s or 60s. Because we will not always return to our accommodations to change before an evening activity, always bring a day-pack with a windbreaker, long-sleeved shirt, or light sweater.

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

What’s the typical group size?
Although it varies from year to year, our average group size in Europe and Israel is 30 teens.

What’s the food like?

As a travel-based program, our meals take a variety of forms and may include hotel buffets, restaurants, specially catered meals and allowance funds for participants to purchase a meal on their own. All food provided by BBYO Passport experiences in Israel are kosher. Some meals that we provide outside of Israel may be certified kosher, but most meals are not. When a meal is served in a public buffet format (e.g. hotel breakfast), we will always ensure that there are vegetarian or pescatarian options available, but we will also not restrict teens from eating the food of their choice. Some meals may be provided via an allowance system whereby teens will be given cash to purchase the food of their choice. Such meals are typically arranged in an area where there are multiple restaurant options, and teens can choose the food of their liking. In situations where time is of the essence, staff may choose to facilitate meal orders on behalf of teens using their allowance funds, including non-kosher orders. When the group eats at non-kosher restaurants with a pre-ordered menu, the options will only consist of vegetarian or pescatarian dishes. Participants with special dietary situations (i.e. lactose intolerance, gluten-free, kosher, etc.) should contact us in advance to be sure we can accommodate your needs during the program. Europe draws travelers from all over the world, so there is a wide range of cuisine available. In Israel 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 any of the countries we visit on this program.

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

For more information, check out our general FAQs.

How the Connection Works

As a connected experience, this program combines the following two travel experiences: United Kingdom & Ireland Discovery + Israel Journey. At the end of United Kingdom & Ireland Discovery, those making the connection will have an extra day of touring in England prior to boarding an overnight flight to Israel that evening. Our first day in Israel features plenty of rest and relaxation before starting anew. Trip connections are always supervised and all-inclusive.

 

PROGRAM REVIEWS

United Kingdom & Ireland Discovery + Israel Journey

Travel throughout England, Scotland, Ireland, Northern Ireland, and Wales to explore the old world grandeur, rugged natural beauty, and cultural treasures of these storied lands. Then continue on to Israel Journey for BBYO’s flagship 3-week experience in the Jewish Homeland.

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