The Winter 2016-17 trip is being run through Mayanot, a Taglit-Birthright Israel Trip Organizer. Consequently, participants must meet Taglit-Birthright Israel's eligibility criteria. Please visit Taglit-Birthright Israel's website for a comprehensive description of these criteria.
"Am I eligible if I went to Israel with my synagogue/family/youth group/school?"
If the trip was an organized peer trip, you’re ineligible. That is, the trip had a structured program and you traveled with others your age. Otherwise, you’re eligible.
"Am I eligible if my father/adoptive parent/grandparent is Jewish but my mother is not?"
Taglit-Birthright Israel defines "Jewish" as:
1) having one Jewish parent,
2) self-identifying as Jewish, and
3) not actively practicing another religion.
"Is Birthright really free? Do we pay for our own meals/flights/hotels?"
You must pay: a $10 fee for processing your deposit, two or three lunches, cab fare to rejoin the group if you become separated, and cab fare to the airport if you violate Birthright policy and are removed from the trip.
You may pay: a $50 tip for your Israeli staff, a $50-150 flight extension if you want to remain in Israel after the trip ends, various prices for souvenirs.
You may forfeit: the $250 completely refundable deposit, if you violate Birthright policy and are removed from the trip. So long as you follow the rules, your entire deposit will be returned to you shortly after the trip ends.
"Is the trip safe?"
In over ten years of trips, Taglit-Birthright Israel has had zero security problems. No single participant has ever been endangered. The worst thing that has happened to a participant is alcohol poisoning from too much partying (at which point the participant is given emergency medical care and then sent home after recovering).
"What are the security procedures?"
Every bus is tracked remotely in real-time by GPS by Israel’s central security command. Bus itineraries and routes are modified if the threat level at a particular site changes. Every trip is staffed with a security professional, and in some places a second security professional joins the trip. In addition, six to eight off-duty Israeli soldiers join the trip for several days.
If you apply anticipating a second, alternative trip date, and the date does not suit you, you may withdraw your application with no financial penalty. Your deposit will be completely refunded, so long as you withdraw when you are notified of your opportunity to do so.
If you are selected for the trip, you may extend your stay in Israel for anywhere from a day to six months. We can also help you arrange a semester internship in Israel following the trip.