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Pioneer Israel Trip

We are thrilled to offer our Pioneers the option to participate in a 2nd session educational trip to Poland and Israel designed to strengthen participants’ Jewish identities, their connections to the Land of Israel, and sense of belonging within a community of Jewish leaders. The trip begins in Poland, continues in Israel, and culminates back at camp, allowing participants to fully engage in and process their experiences before returning to camp where they’ll generalize and apply their learnings.

Dates and Schedule

What are the dates of the Israel Trip?
July 15 – July 18 in Poland
July 19 – August 7 in Israel
August 7 – August 10 at camp

What will the Pios do back at camp after the trip?
The time back at camp is designed to help participants contextualize their experiences. Through intentional programming they will process their learnings and determine what it means to bring these learnings back to their camp and home communities

What are some key dates and deadlines to remember?
December 1 – Financial Aid Application Deadline

January 2 – Deadline for committing to Pio 1st Session

January 26 – Deadline for committing to Pio Israel Trip

March 30 – Copy of passport must be submitted. Please note that passports must be renewed if they are not valid after February 7, 2019

April 1 – All payments are due

Cost and Financial Aid

How much does the Israel trip cost?
$5,600

Is financial aid available?
Yes, financial aid is available for the Israel trip and you are eligible to receive it in addition to funding you may receive for 1st session. Please contact Alex Pomerantz to discuss the financial aid application. You are also encouraged to contact your local federation and synagogue (if affiliated) as they may also have scholarships available for Israel trip participants.

Flight and Travel

What is the itinerary for the trip?
Flight reservations to/from Poland and Israel will be emailed out this Spring along with the trip itinerary. Please reference your email for this information.

Can I redeem airline rewards with this flight?
Tickets are purchased as a group so while miles cannot be used to purchase the tickets, they can be earned. When your camper checks-in at the airport s/he will need to give the ticketing agent their mileage number at that time in order to earn points.

My teen's passport expires after the trip returns, but within six months of the return date. Do I need to get her/him a new one?
Yes. Per guidelines from the US State Department, all participants will need a passport that expires on or after February 10, 2018.

Itinerary

Will the group be keeping Kosher on the trip?
All meals provided by Routes are Kosher. We also request Kosher meals for all participants on each flight. When participants are given free time to purchase their own meals, we encourage them to make conscious, intentional choices that feel right for them as to whether or not the food they buy is Kosher.

We have relatives in Israel. Will my Pio be able to see them while they are there?
We’d love for your Pio to spend time with their relatives while in Israel and have built in a homestay weekend to our itinerary, as such. The pickup and drop-off points are in Tel-Aviv and Jerusalem and all hosts must be 21 years of age or older.

Do I need to send my teen with extra spending money?
How much spending money you choose to send your teen with is up to you. They will need money to purchase food in the airports, but they are otherwise covered for all meals, accommodations, and travel expenses. $50-$75/week tends to be plenty for most participants though you may want to send more or less depending on how many gifts and souvenirs you think your Pio will want to purchase. It is also important to remember than the Pios will have a limited amount of space in their bags and will need to think about this when purchasing gifts to bring back home.

Trip Insurance

Do I need trip insurance?
Trip insurance is not required but we do recommend it. Every family has their own level of comfort with risk so we encourage you to explore your options and select the plan that makes the most sense for you.

The trip insurance companies we recommend are Program Protector and World Nomads. The enhanced option with Travmark offers the cancel anytime protection up to 2 days before the trip, which World Nomads does not offer. You’ll notice a difference in price between the companies and their policies as well which reflects the levels of coverage you’d receive in each plan.

Security

What security measure are taken to keep the group safe?
Safety and security are our top priority. Our staff in Israel are joined by a security guard who will travel with the group for the entire duration of our stay in Israel. Prior to the trip, our itinerary is also reviewed and approved by the Ministry of Education. From the time we land until the day that we leave, our trip provider is in constant contact with the Situation Room of the Ministry of Education.

Who do I contact in case of an emergency?
You can always call camp. This Spring, you will be emailed with the contact information for the trip leader in Israel as well as a staff member at camp who will be reachable 24/7 in case of emergency, while the trip is underway.