Amazing Israel Birthright Israel Funding Eligibility
I see that Israel delayed entrance to Israel for individual vaccinated tourist. Does that include my upcoming trip?
No. While the entry to Israel continues to be extremely limited and individual tourist entrance is postponed, Birthright Israel trips continue as planned.
Are Birthright Israel trips resuming this summer?
Yes! While entry to Israel continues to be extremely limited, Birthright Israel participants who are fully vaccinated or recovered (with one vaccine) from COVID-19 are allowed into the country. We’re working closely with Israel’s Ministry of Health and adhering to all its guidelines. You’ll need to present a negative PCR COVID-19 test which was taken within 72 hours of departure and, upon arrival in Israel, you will need to take an additional PCR test as well as a serological (antibodies) test, which we will provide for you.
Do I need to have had a COVID-19 vaccine to participate?
Yes, the government of Israel determines which tourists can enter Israel and we follow their guidelines. Birthright Israel participants that enter Israel must be fully vaccinated with a COVID-19 FDA authorized vaccine. Travel is possible 7 days after the final vaccine has been administered. You’ll need to present a negative PCR COVID-19 test which was taken within 72 hours of departure and, upon arrival in Israel, you will need to take an additional PCR test as well as a serological (antibodies) test. We will provide for both tests for you. *Documented verification of vaccine is required. Please update your COVID-19 status in your application.
What if I recovered from COVID-19? Can I join a trip?
Yes. If you recovered from COVID-19 and received at least one FDA authorized vaccine you may join a trip starting in July. Travel is possible 7 days after the vaccine has been administered. You’ll need to present a negative PCR COVID-19 test which was taken within 72 hours of departure and, upon arrival in Israel, you will need to take an additional PCR test as well as a serological (antibodies) test. Both tests will be provided for you. Documented verification of your recovery and vaccine is required. Please update your COVID-19 status in your application.
How is Birthright Israel making its health and safety decisions?
We are working closely with Israel’s Ministry of Health and will maintain the highest level of precautions on our trips and adjust whenever necessary.
How will my trip be different from a regular trip due to COVID-19?
As it always has been for the last 21 years of operation, the safety and well-being of our participants and staff is our highest priority and foremost concern. The group will need to patiently wait for the PCR and serological test results before traveling to sites, all of the participants and staff will be fully vaccinated, most of the flights to Israel will be direct, your Birthright Israel group will have fewer participants, you will spend more time outdoors and visit sites that abide by the high standards of Israel’s Ministry of Health. Other than that, we can assure you that we will take all necessary measures to ensure a safe, fun and enjoyable Birthright Israel experience.
Are most people in Israel vaccinated?
Yes. Currently Israel is leading in vaccination rates and the majority of the population over the age of 16 are already vaccinated.
Did Israel return to normal life?
Yes. While certain precautions like wearing a mask in certain locations are still in place, restaurants, hotels, cultural events and sites are open.
Do I need to take a COVID-19 test before I travel?
Yes, you must present a negative PCR COVID-19 test which was taken within 72 hours of departure.
Will I need to take an antibodies test in Israel?
Yes. An antibodies (serological) test will be required upon your arrival in Israel and is performed using a blood sample. According to the Government of Israel guidelines, only participants whose serological test shows antibodies will be allowed on the trip. Birthright Israel will coordinate and cover the administration of the test upon arrival.
What if I arrive to Israel and don’t have antibodies?
In the unlikely event your antibodies test is negative, you will not be able to join your group for the trip. You will be placed on the next flight back home.
What is the cancelation policy?
Until you accept a trip offer you can receive the full refund of your $250 deposit. After accepting your trip offer you can receive a full refund if you cancel at least 35 days prior to your scheduled departure date.
For trips leaving from November 2021 and through March 2022, you can receive a full refund if you cancel at least 45 days prior to your scheduled departure date.
Do I need travel insurance?
Yes. It’s mandatory for you to have travel insurance for any domestic flight to your gateway city of departure. We also recommend adding travel insurance which can cover the cost of lost/stolen baggage, cameras, phones, and so on.
Do I need a COVID-19 test before I return to the United States?
If required, prior to your return to the United States a PCR test will be organized for you in Israel.
Can I extend my flight and stay in Israel after my trip is over?
You will probably be able to extend your flight through the airline company. Keep in mind that if you are not planning to return with your group on the same flight you must make your changes before the conclusion of the trip and before the group return date. You will be responsible for your own PCR test prior to returning to the US. Note that traveling to other countries after the trip is not permitted this season because the permit they have for entering Israel is only for one entry to Israel. Participants with Israeli passport do not need a permit, so they can travel.
Once I arrive to Israel, can I fly out of Israel and come back in time for my extended flight home?
No. Your entrance to Israel with your Birthright Israel group is a one time pass and due to COVID restrictions to enter the country, you will not be able to fly out of the country and return.
I applied for a Birthright Israel last year but trips were canceled due to COVID-19 and now I’m older than 32. Can I still go?
Yes! If you already created your account last year and are now over 32 you can still go this summer as an exception. If you are having a problem logging into your application please contact [email protected].
Do I need health insurance?
Yes. It’s mandatory for you to have health insurance that is valid in Israel for the duration of the trip and also covers COVID-19. If you already have extended health coverage, or you purchase a plan for this trip, you’ll be required to submit this information to your Trip Organizer.
If you plan to extend your trip, make sure that you’ll be covered for the whole duration of your trip. If you don’t have medical insurance and are purchasing insurance for the sole purpose of this trip, you may want to consider supplementary coverage for the continuation of treatment/care in your home country if required when you return home.
While your Trip Organizer will provide basic travelers’ health insurance while you are in Israel (which is secondary to your personal coverage), it does NOT cover:
- Medical care for preexisting conditions
- Medical evacuation
- Coverage when you return home if needed.
Before I go on my Birthright Israel trip I am planning to visit other countries. Is this ok?
Due to the increased spread of COVID-19 variants around the world, all participants who visit a destination that has a high COVID-19 risk or warning 14 days prior to their Birthright Israel departure will not be able to join a trip. This restriction does not apply to vaccinated or recovered participants who transit through these destinations and stay for 12 hours or less in the airport transit area. Please note the list of high-risk countries can change.
Amazing Israel is a pluralistic, 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!
Birthright Israel began with a bold idea—offering a free, life-changing trip to Israel. In doing so, transforming the Jewish future. Birthright’s 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.
The gift of a Birthright Israel is made possible by the State of Israel, the program’s founders, private philanthropists, the Jewish Federation, the United Israel Appeal, the Jewish Agency for Israel, parents of past participants, alumni of the program, and thousands of individual donors from around the world who believe in the mission of Birthright Israel.
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 waitlist, please know that you can ask for your deposit back at any time. Please send an email to [email protected] with the subject “Deposit”.
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.
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.
Yes. Currently Israel is leading in vaccination rate and the majority of the population over the age of 16 are already vaccinated.
Currently, no tourists can enter Israel and ultimately, the government of Israel will determine when and how it is safe to reopen its borders to tourists. While it is likely that entry to Israel will be given to those who are *vaccinated, it may also be available to others who have recovered from COVID-19 or those who can provide a negative test result within a specific time period before the trip.
*Documented verification of vaccine will be required
The Trip Registration Programs
In order to travel with a friend, you must both 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 protected].
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 protected]. Both switches and cancellations CANNOT and WILL NOT be done over the phone.
For additional information regarding extending, please click here. For additional information regarding Birthright Israel Plus, please click here. To extend your stay via Routes Travel, please 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.
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.
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. 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 be no longer be Kosher but specific to your dietary need. The airline DOES NOT supply additional meals onboard. If you have specific dietary needs, make sure you let us know as early as possible.