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Welcome to the Baltimore Zionist District

2022 Israel Teen Trip!

July 6th - August 5th, 2022

Join us for a month-long trip in Israel:

the heart and soul of the Jewish people and your home. 

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Register for Israel Teen Trip 2022
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Adi Ratzon

Israel Shlicha 

Feel free to contact me, Adi,

with any and all questions!

Office: (410) 484 - 4510

Email: Adi@bzdisrael.org

Group Is Full !

Trip Deposit & Due Dates:

Application, including application fee,

is due by February 4th, 2022.

The first deposit of 20% is due by February 18th, 2022

What are we doin'? A LOT.

  • 31 days | 30 nights

  • Feel at home and soak up all that Israel has to offer from the moment you arrive.

  • Visit the Old City of Jerusalem, the Jewish Quarter: Discover 3,000 years of Jewish history and traditions.

  • Descend to the lowest place on earth to float in the Dead Sea and scale the heights of Masada.

  • Visit the Kotel: Western Wall, Hebrew Ha-Kotel Ha-Maʿaravi, also called Wailing Wall.

  • Travel to the Mediterranean coastal city of Haifa and discover the stunning Bahà’í Gardens.

  • Test your taste buds with some authentic Israeli food!

  • Experience Mahane Yehuda’s open-air market, the Nahalat Binyamin street festival, and Ben Yehuda Street.

  • Spend time on the beach in Tel Aviv. 

  • Dance or hang out on a yacht on the shores of the Eilat.  

  • Visit Beit Halochem: A unique rehabilitation, sports, and recreation center serving disabled veterans and their families.

  • Yam le Yam The Sea-to-Sea hike is walked by thousands of Israelis and tourists every year and takes between three to five days. literally crossing the country from west to east, from the Mediterranean Sea to the Sea of Galilee.

  • Rafting and kayaking – Kfar Blum: A thrilling river adventure as you raft down the exciting Hatzbani stream.

  • Participate in the Gadna Program: Gadna is a military program in Israel that trains teens worldwide for the IDF. Gadna is an abbreviation for Gdudei No’ar, which translates as “youth battalions.”

  • Visit Yad Vashem, the Central Holocaust Museum in Israel.

  • Attend the Maccabiah Opening Ceremony: Often referred to as “the Jewish Olympics,” and the world’s largest Jewish athletic competition that takes place every four years in Israel. Participants from over 80 countries will be gathered at the opening ceremony.

Highlights

Cost:

$6,699

~subsidies available up to $6,000

Contact BZD to find out if you qualify!~

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What's Included?

  • Roundtrip airfare from Newark, NJ to Tel Aviv.

  • Roundtrip bus transportation from BZD offices to Newark airport.

  • Accommodations according to the itinerary.

  • Meals according to the itinerary.

  • Travel by air-conditioned bus each day as per the itinerary.

  • One experienced, English-speaking licensed tour guide with the group.

  • Gratuities for tour guide and bus driver. 

  • A logistics coordinator (Madrich) will be available on the ground 24/7 for the entire length of the trip.

  • A medic/ guard for the entire length of the trip.

  • Entrance fees to all sites and activities as per the itinerary. Please note: all outdoor activities are weather permitting!

  • Emergency medical insurance, including corona coverage as detailed in the insurance policy.

  • Laundry services for participants twice throughout the trip.

  • Printed map of Israel.

  • One group cellular phone with international and local calls and data.

  • Personal public liability insurance of up to $90 million (the highest of its kind in the youth travel market).

  • Full coordination and live monitoring through mobile GPS with the Situation Room of the SPNI, Israeli Police, and the IDF as per their directives.

  • Luggage storage room to keep luggage during free weekends, Yam le Yam, and GADNA.

Not included:

  • The required PCR and serological tests concerning Covid-19 policies, subject to government policies. For more info on our COVID-19 protocols click here.

  • Any added costs that may be incurred in the case of positive Covid-19 PCR test results for one or more group members, thereby resulting in mandatory quarantine. Such fees may include, but are not limited to, cancellation fees at hotels, restaurants, transportation, and activities, as well as the costs of accommodations and meals needed while in quarantine.  

  • Gratuities for hotel staff, at parents’ discretion.

  • Transportation for surplus luggage should the luggage exceed the amount carried on the bus. 

  • Cellular phones or other means of cellular communication for the participants, at parents’ discretion.

Brain break! Play "Tudo Bom" and get into an
Israeli-good mood!

 

FAQs

What are the dates of the trip?

July 6th- Aug 5th, 2022

 

What does the trip cost?

Trip cost- $6,699

Application fee (non-refundable)- $250

BZD subsidy for Maryland teens- $3,000

BZD subsidy for teens outside of Maryland- $1,000

RootOne grant for teens entering 10th -12th grade- $3,000

* BZD subsidy is available to teens who have previously not been on an organized teen mission to Israel.
 

BZD is thrilled to announce we have been accepted as a RootOne grantee for the summer 2022 season!

RootOne is new initiative that helps connect thousands of Jewish teens to Israel by lowering the financial barrier to participation in immersive summer trips to Israel and by investing in the educational quality of those experiences.

A seamless partner for BZD with shared values, mission and vision, we can’t wait to work with RootOne to not only grow the number of teens we send to Israel, but to enhance the depth of their experiences as well.

 

Who is eligible for this trip?

Jewish teens entering high school (9th-12th grade).

Are there additional scholarship funds available?

  • Explore JNF's Plant Your Way to Israel Program. Sell trees to be planted in Israel for the Jewish National Fund to friends and family and earn money for the trip.

  • If you belong to a synagogue, Men’s Club and/or Sisterhood may have funds available; also your Rabbi, through a Discretionary Fund might be able to help.

  • If you’re a Baltimore teen you can apply for a needs-based CFIE scholarship through the Center for Jewish Education

  • Contact your local Jewish Federation to inquire about Israel trip scholarships. 

  • Hebrew Free Loan Association offers interest-free loans instead of scholarships.

 

Do I need a passport?

To travel to and from Israel, you need a passport valid for an additional six months after your date of return to the US.  Be sure that your passport does not expire before February 5, 2023, otherwise, you will NOT be allowed to board the plane. You are responsible for getting or renewing your passport.

Passport applications can be found at the following locations:

1.) any regional office of the U.S. State Department’s Passport Division;

2.) your local U.S. Post Office;

3.) any U.S. District or State Court having naturalization authority.

 

Do I need a visa?

Passports of US citizens will be stamped with a permit upon arrival in Israel.

 

Who will be staffing the trip?

BZD's Israel Shlicha, Adi Ratzon, will lead the trip and join other American and Israeli counselors. In addition, our BZD team includes a licensed Israeli tour guide and a certified security guard/medic. The staff understands their responsibility for the well-being of the teenagers in their care and are knowledgeable about adolescent issues and needs.


For the safety, well-being, and enjoyment of all, BZD provides full-time professional supervision and leadership from the time of departure from Baltimore to return.


Maccabi World Union is the BZD trip provider. Its Education Department trip coordinators are personally involved in every aspect of the program. They spend quality time with the group and are on call for any problems or emergencies that may arise.

 

What are the rooming arrangements?

Accommodations and rooming are usually based on three participants per room, and occasionally, four per room. There is an opportunity to rotate room assignments at each new overnight location, which allows trip participants to get to know one another and promotes group bonding.

 

How will we get to the flight?

BZD organizes group transportation from our offices. Additionally, parents will have the opportunity to meet the BZD staff with their teen at Newark, NJ airport on the day of departure. 

 

Can my special dietary needs be accommodated?

All program-related meals in Israel, including those aboard the flights to and from Israel, are certified kosher by Israel’s official local rabbinical authorities. If you have special dietary situations (i.e. lactose intolerance, vegetarian, etc.), be sure to note this in advance on the application so we can make proper arrangements for the flight and during the trip.

 

Are cell phones available?

You can bring your personal cell phone's. Note that international phone and data rates for home cell phones can be very expensive. Please note, BZD is not responsible for damage or lost devices; we ask for a record of your personal phone number in advance. At most hostels, hotels, and sometimes on the bus, the teens will have access to free Wi-Fi. Please note, some sites that the teens will visit may not have a strong cell phone connection, particularly during hikes or desert activities. 

 

How is the family updated during the trip?

Since staying in touch is critical, BZD maintains a sophisticated system of communicating with the group and their families. Our group leader carries a cell phone at all times. BZD’s Executive Director stays in touch with the group on a regular basis. Verification of the group’s arrival is sent by email from the BZD office which also provides regular email updates of the group’s progress along with pictures.

 

How much spending money should I bring?

From our experience, participants spend an average of $150/week for gifts, snacks, and drinks, etc.

If using a debit/credit card be sure your card is accepted at international bank machines.

Prepaid cards, such as AMEX – Pass can be used like a credit card and an ATM card.

The shekel (NIS - New Israeli Shekel) is Israel’s legal tender. Staff assists participants in money exchanges at the airport and official currency exchange offices around Israel.

 

What are the luggage restrictions and recommended luggage types?

Packing can be a challenge. Since the teens will be carrying their own luggage in/out of hotels, and on/off the bus throughout the program, be sure their duffel or suitcase is made of lightweight but durable material. 

Teens may only bring 1 piece of checked luggage (duffel bags and rolling suitcases work best), and one backpack for daily travel on the road.

The airline allows only 1 checked bag weighing no more than 50 pounds: It can be no more than a total of 62 inches (length + width + height).

One carry-on size bag + one personal hand-held item are also allowed.

Before packing, please review the updated restrictions for checked and carry-on luggage listed on the TSA website.

 

What shall I pack?

As we get closer to our trip, BZD will send you a Participants’ Packet with a suggested packing list of clothes to bring with you.

 

How do I reserve a spot and pay for my trip?

Begin by downloading the trip application form, fill it out,

and submit with a $250 non-refundable application fee.

Payments can be mailed to the BZD office:

Baltimore Zionist District

104 Church Lane, Suite 130, Baltimore, MD 21208.

Or payments can be made online above, by clicking the "Buy Now" button. 

 

What if I need to cancel?

The $250 application fee is non-refundable but, other payments may be returned to you in the event you need to cancel by April 7th, 2022.

Other cancelations are subject to change and can be discussed with a BZD staff representative.

For COVID-19 related cancelations, please visit our Covid-19 informational page, linked above. 

 

Can I visit with Israeli family and friends when I am in Israel?

  • On our optional Family and Friends Weekend, you will be permitted to spend time with friends and/or relatives. We require that you let us know the name(s), address, and phone number of those with whom you are planning to spend the weekend.

  • The release form in the participant packet must be submitted by parent/s no later than May 30, 2022

  • The host family is responsible for pick-up and drop-off at an arranged location with BZD staff. The person picking up must be at least 21 years of age and must carry a form of identification. 

Do I need medical and travel insurance?

  • BZD’s Israeli supplementary medical insurance program covers all participants for almost everything. The exceptions are pre-existing conditions, mental health problems, eyeglasses, and dental work.

  • If you become ill, you will receive free medical assistance, free medication, and any additional needed care. Hospitalization is included. The plan provides coverage anywhere in Israel and operates 24 hours a day.

  • You must bring a copy of your family’s insurance card, including the plan name and policy number. Please also include a copy of your application.

  • In the event you must return home due to a medical problem or accident, the staff will send you home, and your family is responsible for the cost. Should a chaperone be needed to accompany you, your family is similarly responsible for the chaperone’s costs (if the insurance does not cover the cost).

  • While BZD does not provide travelers insurance, you might want to consider buying it.