Is Birthright Israel Amazing Israel affiliated with any religious or political movement?
No. Amazing Israel is a pluralistic and is non-denominational trip organizer. We are not affiliated with any religious or political movement. We aim to create a welcoming and open environment for all our participants, regardless of their background or previous Jewish experience. All the food that we provide is kosher and we do not use the bus on Shabbat. When it comes to discussing topics pertaining to Judaism and politics, we strive to maintain a balanced approach. We want you to discuss, debate, learn, experience, ask questions and feel completely comfortable in doing so!
What is the Birthright Israel Amazing Israel Program?
Birthright Israel began with a bold idea—offering a free, life-changing trip to Israel to young Jewish adults between the ages of 18 and 26 and, in doing so, transforming the Jewish future.
Our mission is to give every Jewish young adult around the world, especially the less connected, the opportunity to visit Israel on an educational trip.
Today, Birthright Israel is the largest educational tourism organization in the world.
Founded in 1999 by a remarkable group of committed Jewish philanthropists led by Charles Bronfman and Michael Steinhardt, Birthright Israel aims to strengthen Jewish identity, Jewish communities, and connection with Israel and its people.
The gift of a Birthright Israel trip is made possible thanks to the generous support of many sources, including the State of Israel, the program’s founders and other philanthropists, the Jewish Federation system and Keren Hayesod, the Jewish Agency for Israel, parents of trip participants, alumni of the program, and thousands of individuals donors from around the world who believe in our mission.
In North America, Birthright Israel Foundation raises the necessary funds thanks to 30,000+ donors each year, to ensure that Birthright Israel remains a gift to young Jewish adults for years to come. To learn more visit the Birthright Israel Foundation website.
Amazing Israel is the provider of choice for people who want to experience the essence of Israel in an open-minded, pluralistic environment. Join us on a 7 or 10-day journey into sight and sound and see Israel come to life! Foster meaningful connections in a diverse yet inclusive setting. Connect with incredible people from near and far, all of whom are committed to learning about each other’s experiences and perspectives.
This trip is a gift from Birthright Israel? Who are they?
Birthright Israel is an innovative partnership between the people of Israel through the Government of Israel, private philanthropists through the Birthright Israel Foundation and Jewish communities around the world (North American Jewish Federations, Keren Hayesod, and The Jewish Agency for Israel).
If the trip is free, What is the $250 US deposit for, How is it paid, and How do I get it back?
During the application process, the deposit acts as one of a few measures designed to reflect that an applicant is serious about the prospect of participating in the program. Once an applicant is accepted to the program, it acts as a guarantee that he/she will not withdraw from the program, thereby forfeiting their spot and preventing another person from benefiting from the opportunity to go to Israel for free. Moreover, should a participant withdraw less than 65 days prior to their departure (as registration opens you will be notified as to the exact dates), it provides us with revenue to pay the penalties that are incurred from the airlines for last minute cancellations. In Israel, it also serves as a guarantee that each individual will participate in all aspects of the program. Deposits are paid during the registration process as a way to complete your application and an application is not considered complete until the deposit is paid for. Contained within the Birthright Israel application are further instructions explaining how to pay your deposit. Two (2) weeks after you successfully complete a program, you will receive an email with a link to use to retrieve your deposit. This email will also contain information about how you can voluntarily donate all or part of your deposit in support of future Birthright Israel trips. (Note: If you are not assigned a flight group, you may request that your deposit be refunded or used for a future trip). If you are placed on a wait list, please know that you can ask for your deposit back at any time. Please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject “Deposit”.
Who is Eligible for this free trip?
The Birthright Israel gift is open to all *Jewish young adults, ages 18 to 32 who have not participated on a peer educational trip since they turned 18 nor lived in Israel past the age of 12.
*Eligible individuals are those who identify as Jewish and are recognized as such by their local community or by one of the recognized denominations of Judaism. Applicants must also have at least one Jewish birth parent or have completed their Jewish conversion through a recognized Jewish denomination.
If I apply, am I automatically accepted into the program?
Before you can be accepted to the program you must complete the following steps.
This gift sounds too good to be true. What’s the catch?
There is no catch! Participants are only responsible for submitting a $250 (US) deposit, which is fully refundable upon their return home upon successfully completing the program. Participants are under no obligation to Birthright Israel, who finances the trip, or Amazing Israel, who implements the trip, for any future activities or financial obligations.
Are there any hidden costs on this program?
There are no hidden costs. The only expenses that will be incurred are: supplementary medical insurance ($45), which is mandatory for all program participants who have a confirmed departure date, the cost of traveling to the departing airport and spending money ($300-$500). The only other cost that we will ask you to cover (aside from souvenirs) will be the cost of one (1) meal per day and tip for your tour guide and bus driver ($100). When you arrive in Israel, we will provide you with an opportunity to exchange currency with a certified money changer.
Why would a total stranger want to finance my trip to Israel?
Hi! We’re Birthright Israel Amazing Israel. Nice to meet you. See? Now we’re not strangers.
Birthright Israel is a planned partnership of philanthropists, Jewish communities through their local Jewish Federation and the State of Israel. We believe in the importance of promoting Jewish peoplehood and Jewish renaissance, and we are committed to providing access to a first peer-group program in Israel as a birthright of every Jew. This initiative is a gift from one generation to the next. The trip itself is a gift from Birthright Israel.
What if I don’t have a passport? What if I have Israeli Citizenship?
All program participants must have a passport that is valid for at least 6 months after the return date of their trip. As part of the application process, participants are required to provide a valid passport number as well as an expiration date and a country of issue. US Citizens that do not have a passport can click here to begin the process of obtaining one as it can be a lengthy process. If a participant’s passport has been issued by a country other than Canada, the United States, Great Britain or Israel, please contact Amazing Israel for details regarding obtaining a VISA to Israel. It is the participant’s responsibility to obtain a VISA, if needed, for Israel. For participant’s that hold Israeli citizenship (either by birth or via a parent with Israeli citizenship) it is very important to contact the Israeli Embassy / Consulate to obtain documents that are essential for travel to and from Israel. If a participant does not hold a valid passport prior to their departure or provide us with a copy of their passport photo, said participant will not be permitted to join our program.
Can I travel with my friends?
In order to travel with a friend, both of you must be Birthright Israel eligible, register for the same trip and submit your applications and deposits on time. You must also be sure to choose the same trips in the trip preferences portion of the secondary application. While we do our best to accommodate friend requests, there is no guarantee. If you have questions regarding friend requests, please send an email to email@example.com.
Can I talk to a person for more information?
Feel free to call us at: 1-800-606-0416 or email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Our hours of operation and further contact details are located on our Contact Us page. You can also email us to schedule a time to chat!
How do I switch or cancel my trip?
Once you, the participant, are placed on a trip and have decided that you can no longer travel, you must contact the Amazing Israel office immediately! This must be done by emailing us at: email@example.com. Both switches and cancellations CANNOT and WILL NOT be done over the phone.
Can I extend my stay in Israel?
For additional information regarding extending, please kindly click here. For additional information regarding Birthright Israel Plus, please kindly click here. To extend your stay via Routes Travel, please kindly click here. (Routes Travel is our parent company. Routes can help you with hotels for after your trip, as well as extensions to Petra, Jordan and more! Please know that once the Birthright Israel program has concluded, you will no longer be under our supervision and will therefore no longer be the responsibility of Birthright Israel or Amazing Israel.
What will accommodations and meals be like on the program?
Accommodations on all Birthright Israel Amazing Israel programs are based on triple occupancy in 3-4-star hotels, youth hostels and kibbutz guest houses. Linen service will be provided for, though participants are advised to bring towels from home. A minimum of two kosher meals will be provided for each day of the trip. The meals will range from buffet breakfasts to falafel, North American style fast-food, boxed lunches and sit-down dinners.
Provided that a participant specifies that they require vegetarian food in their online application form, a vegetarian option will always be made available. Participants with specific dietary needs and/or allergies must contact Amazing Israel to accommodate specific food allergies. Please be aware that Israel does not have the same level of allergy awareness that is common and standard in North America.
Will this be a “religious” trip?
All Jews, regardless of their background, affiliation or practice, are welcome on the program. The program will provide opportunities for participants to celebrate Jewish life together. It is designed to be completely inclusive. No participant will ever be forced to join in on any organized religious activities. At the same time, kosher food will be served, and all programming will respect the laws of the Jewish Sabbath. We welcome you as you! You don’t have to change who you are. Amazing Israel provides a trip that is pluralistic, inclusive and welcoming.
Will I have any free time? Will I be able to visit with friends and family?
Should free time be granted to the group, the location and time will be at the sole discretion of Amazing Israel. We suggest that once you have received and reviewed your itinerary, which will be sent to you prior to your departure date, you notify your family and/or friends in Israel and let them know that they can visit you on designated evenings (as outlined by your itinerary). All family/friend meetings must be first approved by your trip staff. The itinerary will include the names and addresses of your accommodations in order to facilitate such visits. Please note that your family and/or friends cannot take you away from the group and you cannot leave to see them. The best thing to do, if you specifically want to spend time with family and/or friends, is to extend your trip! For information about extending, click here.
What Will accommodations and meals be like on the program?
Accommodations on all Birthright Israel: Amazing Israel programs are based on triple occupancy in 3-4 star hotels, youth hostels and kibbutz guest houses. Linen service will be provided by the accommodations however participants are advised to bring towels from home. A minimum of two kosher meals will be provided each day while in Israel. The meals will range from buffet breakfasts, to falafel, to North American style fast-food, to boxed lunches, to sit-down dinners. Provided that a participant specifies that they require vegetarian food in their online application form, a vegetarian option will always be made available. Participants with specific dietary needs and/or allergies must contact Amazing Israel to accommodate specific food allergies. Please be aware that Israel does not have the same level of allergy awareness that is common and standard in North America.
Birthright Israel requests and pays for Kosher meals. If you have specific dietary needs or meal requests and your flight is not with EL AL the meal will no longer be Kosher. The airline DOES NOT supply additional meals onboard so if you have specific dietary needs make sure you let us know as early as possible.