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.
Will any Birthright Israel trips be affected by the Coronavirus outbreak?
Currently only Birthright Israel trips scheduled for the remainder of March are cancelled. The safety and well-being of our Birthright Israel participants is our primary operating principle and our foremost concern and we want to take additional precaution. We are in close contact with the Ministry of Health and security authorities regarding the Coronavirus on a daily basis.
All our summer season trips scheduled to begin at the end of April are continuing as planned. Should changes be necessary, we will not hesitate to make them in the interest of safety and notify the participants accordingly.
What happens if Birthright Israel decides to cancel trips to Israel due to the Coronavirus?
In the event that your trip is cancelled due to the Coronavirus, you will be offered the opportunity to change your trip date this summer, carry over your deposit to a future season or receive a refund, whichever you prefer.
Until when can I decide to change my mind about traveling if my trip is in May?
Birthright Israel allows you to cancel off a confirmed trip at least 65 days before departure without incurring any loss of your deposit. Due to the uncertainty of the Coronavirus we have extended the cancellation deadline (until further notice) to 48 hours before your scheduled departure for all May trips. If you change your mind 48 hours or more before your scheduled flight, all you need to do is inform your Trip Organizer in writing and ask for a refund of your deposit.
Until when can I decide to change my mind about traveling if my trip is in June to September ?
Birthright Israel allows you to cancel off a confirmed trip at least 65 days before departure without incurring any loss of your deposit. Due to the uncertainty of the Coronavirus we have extended the cancellation deadline (until further notice) to 35 days before your scheduled departure for June to September trips. If you change your mind 35 days or more before your scheduled flight, all you need to do is inform your Trip Organizer in writing and ask for a refund of your deposit
What if I change my mind a few days before the trip and don’t feel it is safe to travel?
If you change your mind after the above deadline has passed (depending on your travel date) and all trips are happening as planned, your deposit will not be refunded.
What if I ordered a domestic flight?
You are required to insure your domestic flight. Birthright Israel will not compensate any domestic flight costs in the event your trip is cancelled
Can I extend my flight?
Birthright Israel will not allow any further flight extensions until we have final confirmation for your trip.
What happens if our group becomes quarantined in Israel?
Birthright Israel is in touch with Israel’s Ministry of Health and is following the development of the Coronavirus on a daily basis. If there is a need for a group to become quarantined, we will cancel the arrival of additional groups until further notice and follow the orders of the Ministry of Health to do our best to get all participants home as soon as possible.
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]el.com.
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.