Frequently Asked Questions 

What is Birthright Israel?

Birthright Israel is a unique, historical partnership between the people of Israel through their government, local Jewish communities (North American Jewish Federations, Keren Hayesod, and The Jewish Agency for Israel), and leading Jewish philanthropists. Birthright Israel provides a gift of peer-group, educational trips to Israel for Jewish young adults ages 18 to 26. (Those applying from the UK must be between 19 and 26 years of age.) We now also offer the trip 27-32 year olds with very limited availability.

Birthright Israel's founders created this program to send young Jewish adults from all over the world to Israel as a gift in order to diminish the growing division between Israel and Jewish communities around the world, to strengthen the sense of solidarity between Israeli youth and Jewish communities throughout the world, and to promote the idea of a trip to Israel for all Diaspora Jews as a critical part of Jewish life outside of Israel.

As a participant, you will travel throughout the country, exploring sites of historic, cultural, and religious significance, hiking and taking in Israel’s varied landscape and nature. Additionally, Israeli peers will join you for a significant part of the trip, introducing you to popular culture, music, and food and what it’s like to live in Israel—and maybe even becoming lifelong friends.

Is the trip free?

The Birthright Israel gift covers round trip airfare (from designated cities), hotel accommodations, transportation, at least two meals per day, and other associated land costs (such as admission to sites) for 10-day trips to Israel offered by approved Trip Organizers. Gratuities, personal purchases, and travel/medical insurance are not included.

Am I eligible for a free Israel trip?

The Birthright Israel gift is open to all Jewish* young adults, ages 18 to 26 who have not participated on an educational trip since they turned 18 nor lived in Israel past the age of Birthright Israel now also offers the gift to 27-32 year olds with very limited availability. *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 Jewish conversion through a recognized Jewish denomination.

How do I apply for an Israel trip?

You can register your interest here. If registration isn't yet open, it is important to still pre-register so that when the time comes, you can be one of the first to secure your trip. If registration is open, you can start your Birthright Israel application NOW!

Is it safe to travel Israel?

Absolutely! Our trip is committed to providing our groups with the highest standards of security and safety. As Israelis, we are aware of and sensitive to the need for safe and secure arrangements in our daily lives. We provide this same standard of safety to our trips and those who join us.

What is the deposit for?

All participant must pay the deposit, which can be fully refunded or donated afterwards. The deposit is US$250. This deposit serves a few purposes. During the application process, it lets us know that you are serious about participating in the program. Once you are accepted, it serves as a guarantee that you will not cancel at the last minute, which would prevent another person from benefiting from the opportunity to go to Israel. Moreover, the deposit helps cover any fees and penalties that may be incurred by the airlines if you cancel your trip late. The deposit also helps guarantee that you follow Birthright Israel safety and behavior standards. You can withdraw your application and have your deposit returned as long as you cancel before the cancellation deadline.

When and how will I get the deposit back?

If you are accepted to a trip and cancel prior to 65 days before your confirmed flight departure or are not accepted to participate in a program this round, your deposit will be refunded via your original method of payment. In order to receive this refund, you must submit a written request to Should you not make this request, your deposit will remain with us throughout the season and will then be available for you to use for the next round of Birthright Israel trips. After you successfully participate in a Birthright Israel trip, you may voluntarily donate all or part of your deposit in order to sponsor future Birthright Israel trips.

Otherwise, approximately five days after you successfully complete your trip, you will be notified via email that your deposit is available to be refunded.

Is it safe for me to enter my credit card number and pay my deposit online?

Absolutely. All deposits are paid, handled, and refunded through one of two online payment systems, PayPal or Payoneer Ltd., which are completely secure.Is it safe for me to enter my credit card number and pay my deposit online?

Who will I travel with?

You will be part of a group of 40 participants, two local staff members, who fly with the group to Israel, one Israeli tour guide, 8 Israeli participants/soldiersw and an Israeli medic/security guard. The bus driver is part of the team, too!

What sort of physical activity does a Birthright Israel trip entail?

Participants will be expected to participate in extensive tours of the country, which may include walking long distances, climbing, hiking, swimming, and other strenuous activities. The program in Israel is very demanding, requiring participation in an average of 15 hours of programming daily, often including physically strenuous activities. All participants should be able to fully participate in the demanding itinerary including early wake-ups and late nights.

Can I extend my Israel trip?

Yes, you can extend your stay in Israel for a fee determined by the airline you are flying with. You must, however, travel to Israel with your group—you cannot travel prior and meet up with the group in Israel. You may request an extension once you have confirmed your acceptance to a Birthright Israel trip and assigned you a flight. Change your return flight via Gil Travel to stay in Israel up to 90-days after your original return flight date! Continue to tour and experience Israel on your own. *Changing your return flight will cost an airline fee that you are responsible for paying.* If you decide to rearrange your return flight you while in Israel you will need to contact your airline directly.

How do I contact my airline once I am in Israel?

Air Canada: In Tel Aviv: 03-6072111. Hours of operation Sun-Thu 8:30AM-5PM Israel time
Austrian: In Tel Aviv: 03-9058049 Sun-Thu 9AM-5PM Israel time.

Brussels Airline: Email or call 03 5185262 Sun-Thu 10AM-1PM Israel time, ask for Assaf or Tanya.

Delta: In Tel Aviv 03 5138000 ext 3. Hours of operation Sun-Thu 9AM-5PM Israel time.

EL AL Israel Airlines: In Tel Aviv 03 977 1111, 24 hours.

Iberia: Email request more than 3 business days before confirmed group departure or contact in Tel Aviv 1-809-344-538 9AM-5PM Sun-Thu.

Lufthansa: In Tel Aviv: 03-9058049 Sun-Thu 9AM-5PM Israel time.

Swissair: In Tel Aviv: 03 5139000 Sun-Thu 9AM -5PM Israel time.

United Airlines: In Tel Aviv 03-5116777. Hours of operation Sun-Thu 8:30AM-5PM Israel time.

What is the policy regarding sexual conduct on Birthright Israel?

Birthright Israel has a zero-tolerance policy towards harassment of any kind and promotes a communal space of physical and emotional safety.

What if the name I entered when I applied has changed or is spelled wrong?

Airline tickets are issued based on the first, middle, and last name with which you registered. Your FULL name with which you registered must be identical to that on your passport. Should there be any discrepancy, the airline has the right to deny you passage or charge for reissuance of your ticket. In either case, you may forfeit your deposit. If you entered your name incorrectly or incompletely, please send us an email at

What if I am unable to go at the last minute?

If you cancel your trip within 65 days of your confirmed flight departure, you will forfeit the security deposit.

Do I need a passport?

Yes! No one can travel to Israel without a valid passport. If you do not hold a U.S. or Canadian passport, you may need a visa or face other restrictions. Please contact your closest Israeli consulate for more information. If you do not already have a passport, you should begin the process to obtain a passport as soon as possible. You will be required to provide your passport number and a photocopy of your passport prior to Birthright Israel issuing your flight ticket. Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months from your last day in Israel. If you realize after the cancellation deadline and after being assigned to a flight that this is not the case, we may cancel your trip without refunding your deposit if you are unable to obtain a new passport in a designated amount of time before the trip.

Do I need to have health insurance? What about travel insurance?

Yes. It is mandatory for all Birthright Israel participants to have health insurance that is valid in Israel for the duration of the trip. If you already have extended health coverage, or you purchase a plan for this trip, you will be required to submit this information to This will include the name of the insurance company, policy number, and the company’s contact information. If you plan to extend your trip, you will want to ensure that it is covered for that time period as well. If you are not covered by your American insurance company, Yael Adventures highly recommends CTAS Travel Insurance by Harel, Israel’s largest travel insurance provider. CTAS Travel Insurance has specialized in student travel coverage for over 22 years. They offer low rates for participants on Taglit-Birthright Israel trips as well as provide efficient customer service with a 24-hour help-line center.

You can purchase an inexpensive plan with CTAS Travel Insurance by clicking here. We recommend purchasing this insurance as soon as you receive your trip information packet from us by email, which includes more information about purchasing this policy.

Do I need an Israeli SIM for my phone?

We HIGHLY recommend participants purchase a SIM card. There is WiFi in most places, however, not everywhere and certainly not on the bus. We recommened using Phone Away From Home. Phone Away From Home is a cellular provider for Birthright Israel. They will provide you with either a SIM card to use in your smartphone or a phone rental. Phone Away From Home and Yael Adventures will keep you connected and will help you share your experiences with your loved ones back home.
Why Rent A Cell Phone/SIM?
4G Internet, unlimited calling and texting in Israel, receive the SIM at the airport, easily extendable plans, and easy to Install.

Order SIM card or phone rental here Please make sure to choose your correct three digit bus code. (For example, if your bus code is YA-41-600 then your three digit code would be 600.)