On this page, you will find our frequently asked questions regarding the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) and general questions regarding a Hillel: Birthright Israel experience.
Will any Birthright Israel trips be affected by the Coronavirus outbreak?
We are in close contact with Israel’s Ministry of Health regarding the Coronavirus on a daily basis. Currently Israel’s Ministry of Health has implemented entry restrictions for all travelers which now includes a mandatory 14-day quarantine for all those arriving as of 7pm March 9, 2020. Birthright Israel trips scheduled for June have been postponed. All summer season trips scheduled to begin in July are continuing as planned pending the mandatory 14-day quarantine for international travelers be lifted. Should changes be necessary, we will notify the participants accordingly.
What happens if Birthright Israel decides to cancel my trip 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 the next winter or summer season or receive a refund, whichever you prefer.
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 us in writing at firstname.lastname@example.org and ask for a refund of your deposit or that it be carried over to the winter or next summer season.
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?
Due to the uncertainty of the Coronavirus, you are encouraged to purchase domestics flights with flexible cancellation policies. Birthright Israel will not compensate any domestic flight costs in the event your trip is cancelled.
Can I extend my flight?
For the summer season, flights from June until September are as scheduled, however, Birthright Israel will not be accepting flight extension requests until further notice.
Thank you for your interest in a Birthright Israel: Hillel Trip!
Q: When do you have trips departing?
A: We will have multiple trips departing almost every week during the months of May - July. Trips will depart from New York, Philadelphia, Miami, Atlanta, and Los Angeles. If you are traveling with your campus, please be in touch with them about your trip dates. If you are traveling on a national trip, please indicate your preferred trip dates in Part 1, Section 2 (trip selection).
Q: What if I am only available for a certain date?
A: In part two of the application there is a section where you can fill in with your available date options. The more dates you say you are available for, the better your chances are of getting on one of those trips.
Q: What if the flight is not departing from my hometown?
A: You are responsible for finding and paying for any domestic travel. You should NOT book any domestic travel until you are confirmed for a trip by receiving an email from us AND seeing the flight information in part 2 of your application.
Q: Questions about the deposit?
A: The refundable $250 deposit is submitted directly to Birthright Israel in the online application. The deposit can only be submitted once the online application is complete, and -Birthright Israel will refund the deposit following the trip, if you are waitlisted, or if you withdraw from the trip prior to the refund deadline for accepted participants. Additionally a, non-refundable $10 deposit fee will be charged when the deposit is submitted. Can't make it this summer but want travel with us winter/summer? You can transfer your deposit for up to TWO seasons in the future. If you are requesting a deposit refund please email email@example.com. After your refund has been requested it may take up to two weeks to be posted back on your account. For other deposit issues from the United States, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the word DEPOSIT in the subject line and explain what the issue is.
Q: How much is Birthright Israel?
A: Besides the $250 refundable deposit and $10 processing fee, the travel accommodations are free of cost thanks to generous donors. We suggest bringing about $200-$500 USD on the trip to cover the following:
- Money to cover 1 meal a day (usually around $10 USD)
- Suggested $100 tip for Tour Educator, Bus Driver and Guard
- Spending money for gifts, souvenirs and more.
Q: What if I need extra financial support?
A: Birthright Israel is now offering the 2019 Alvin Weinberg Memorial Birthright Scholarship which is is intended to aid those who cannot afford the expenses associated with a summer Birthright Israel trip. The scholarship provides $500 to recipients for travel to and from the departure point and for spending money on the trip. Each scholarship recipient is required to perform 36 hours of community service with a Jewish organization. If you have anyone you wish you extend this application. This scholarship is given based on need, the completion of this application and approval from your local Hillel Director.
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Q: I want to travel with a friend or sibling on their campus Hillel trip. What should I do?
A: You should complete the Birthright Israel application, mark Hillel as your trip organizer, and pay the deposit. Once that is completed you will be sent an automated email asking you, among other things, to fill in part 2 of the application. In Part 2 you are able to request travel buddies.
Q: I tried requesting a friend in part 2 but there name did not automatically appear when I typed it into the space?
A: If your travel buddies have registered with Hillel then their name will automatically fill in. If their name does not automatically fill in, then below that there is a space for you to provide us with your friend’s name and email so we can be in touch with them to register with Hillel and hopefully get you on a trip together.
Q: The application says that I am missing information but when I check everything is there. What’s going on?
A: There is a lag time of 24 hours between you inputting information in your online application and the missing information section being updated. Please check again in 24 hours, and if it is still not updated, please let us know by e-mailing Israel@hillel.org .
Q: I do not have a passport yet. Can I still complete the application?
A: Please complete the application, and add in your passport information as soon as you have one. Please also note: The name on your application MUST MATCH the name on your passport exactly! Please also remember that your passport must be valid for at least 6 months after your scheduled departure date from Israel. Please also remember that the passport process takes a few weeks to please make sure to renew or get a passport as soon as possible.
Q: What if I want to extend my trip?
A: Check out our "Extend" page for more information.
In case of an AFTER HOURS emergency on a Birthright Israel trip, please call (202) 656-6153.