Israel Trip Preparations

Your Birthright Israel trip and what you need to know

General Israel trip Flight Information

Checklist for your Israel trip

Israel trip Packing Lists

The Birthright Israel trip is ten days long, and packing can be a challenge.

On the one hand, you don’t want to get bogged down by a heavy suitcase full of knickknacks. On the other hand, you want to make sure you pack enough socks to get you to closing session. Fortunately, we’ve got you covered. We’ve prepared packing lists for our Summer and Winter trips to help you get through the packing process.

You can expect the weather in Israel will vary from 30 degrees in winter to  80’s-90’s in the summer. Click here before your trip to check current weather at Ben Gurion Airport, Israel.

your Birthright Israel trip - Passport

The first rule is that if you want to go on the Birthright Israel trip, you should be in the possession of a valid passport. But that is not all. If you plan to go on let’s say a May trip, it is not enough that your passport should be valid till end May. It actually has to be valid another 6 whole months after the planned date of return.

For example, if you are scheduled for a June 15-25 trip for example, that would mean that your passport has to be valid till December 25!

Renewing a passport takes 6-8 weeks, and getting your first passport may take even longer. Therefore, everybody who plans to go on a Birthright Israel trip should not wait till the registration date. Take care of your passport now!

Your Birthright Israel Trip - Visas

If you are not (yet) an American citizen you can participate in the Birthright Israel trip, provided you are a resident of the US. In that case you can use the passport of the country you are a citizen of. All the rules mentioned above apply to foreign passports as well, including that you must spell your name the way it is written in your passport, even if you are used to Americanizing it. Likewise, the foreign passport has to be valid for 6 months after the expected date of return from Israel. American citizens do not need a visa for entry into Israel, and neither do citizens of the European Union countries, Russia, the Ukraine and numerous other countries. If you need a visa or not can be easily checked on the Internet, or you can ask us.

If you do need a visa, obtaining one is easy. After you are assigned to a group, please ask us for a “visa letter”, which we will happily make for you usually within 5-30 minutes, together with a preliminary itinerary for your trip. With that visa letter and itinerary you can go to the Israeli consulate and you will usually receive your visa within 1-2 weeks. You should also bring your passport, GreenCard or US visa, 2 passport photos (2”x2”, white background) and a credit card (the visa costs $26). Please Google “Israeli Consulate” to find the location of the Israeli consulate closest to you.

Your Birthright Israel Trip - Israelis

If you are Israeli and not also an American citizen, you can use your Israeli passport for travel. All the rules mentioned above apply to Israeli passports as well. Israelis should also take care to obtain from the Israeli consulate an army exempt letter. This letter has to come from the Israeli army in Israel, and that make take up to 2 months. Also note that the Israeli consulate will not renew any Israeli passport before it receives this letter from the Israeli army for the person seeking to renew his passport. 

 

In short, you should take care to request this letter on time!

If you have dual American and Israeli citizenship, then the above rules apply for both passports. When filling out the Birthright Israel trip registration you should spell your name according to your American passport, and you should fill out the passport information of your American passport. Likewise, the passport you should upload is the American passport.

Your Birthright Israel Trip - Insurance

Nobody plans to get sick or hurt, but accidents do happen. That’s why Birthright Israel requires all trip participants and staff to be covered by international health insurance for the entire duration of the program. We partner with Chai Travel Assistance Services (CTAS), to offer our participants a comprehensive plan, tailor-made for Birthright Israel trip participants for an affordable price. CTAS’s policy offers full medical and travel insurance and access to professional, English speaking doctors in Israel. Furthermore, holders of a CTAS policy will pay no co-pays or deductibles for treatment. Please note, the insurance fee is not refundable after the trip, or if you decide to cancel before the trip.

Your Birthright Israel Trip - SIM Card

Our lives are on our phones, more so when we travel. Make sure that you can stay connected during your trip, both with the people in Israel and with your friends and family back home.

Many phone companies offer roaming plans, but we suggest getting a local Israeli SIM card. The plans are more reliable, the reception is better and the prices tend to be cheaper. Having an Israeli SIM card is important for staying connected both for fun and for security purposes.

Your Birthright Israel Trip - the flight

Seating Arrangements

Special seating arrangements cannot be arranged in advance for your Israel trip; however, some airlines allow passengers to select their seats during check-in.

Special Meal Requests

For participants requesting special meals on the your Birthright Israel trip flight, the request must be submitted by email to [email protected] at least 3 weeks before the departure date. Birthright Israel requests kosher meals for all participant and staff.

Baggage Limits

Most airports in the world have adopted the model implemented in the United States and the European Union regarding liquids permitted aboard in hand baggage. It is recommended to follow the regulations carefully so that you do not have to dispose of prohibited items in your baggage.

Be a part of a beautiful experience

Throughout the program, you will travel the country, exploring sites of historical, cultural, and religious significance. As you hike through Israel's panoramic landscape and natural reserves, you will discover a deep connection with the land and its beauty. Your Israeli peers will join you on your journey and introduce you to Israeli pop culture, music, and food. Talk to them. Learn what it’s like to live in Israel. And maybe, make a lifelong friend.