Israel Trip FAQs
WHO IS ELIGIBLE TO APPLY FOR THE ISRAEL TRIP?
Jewish students age 18-26 are eligible to apply for the trip. Preference is given to students currently enrolled at Georgia schools (UGA, GA Tech, GA State, KSU, Oglethorpe), but other individuals may also apply. Please contact Rabbi Shlomo Gelbtuch if you have questions regarding eligibility, on 404-917-3965.
WHAT ARE THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE TRIP?
The main requirement of the trip is full participation in the activities, classes and programs on the trip itself. Participants may also need to attend 1 - 2 information sessions/classes preceding/following the trip (details TBA).
WHO SUBSIDIZES THE TRIP?
The Israel trip is a unique opportunity offered by the ASK - The Atlanta Scholars Kollel (our parent organization) in partnership with Olami and the Israeli Government. ASK has also established partnerships with philanthropists who recognize the unique opportunities presented by our trip and are eager to support its ongoing development.
WHAT ARE THE SECURITY ARRANGEMENTS?
Olami maintains regular communication with the Israeli government. We receive the most updated information, which allows us to take the strongest relevant precautions. A group’s itinerary will be changed immediately to reflect any heightened risk or security concerns. The program does not visit areas controlled by the Palestinian Authority or any other areas deemed unsafe by the Government of Israel. Olami does not use public transportation at any time. Olami does not hold any programming or events that congregate in public areas without security. All major trips and excursions on the program are done with armed security. There is free time on the program. Students will be given detailed instructions concerning places they should not go during their free time.
WHAT WILL BE THE TYPICAL DAILY SCHEDULE?
While each day has different activities as we travel around the country, generally speaking, mornings will be spent engaged in exciting Jewish learning; afternoons touring around Israel; and the evenings are free. Special trips that require extra travel time and Shabbat will have unique schedules.
DO I NEED A PASSPORT?
Residents of North America must hold a US or Canadian passport valid for at least 6 months from your last day in Israel. If you are not an American citizen, you may need a visa and have other restrictions; please contact your closest Israeli consulate for more information.
If you do not already have a passport, you should begin obtaining a passport as soon as possible. You will be required to provide your passport number and a photocopy of your passport prior to our issuing your airline ticket. If you realize after the cancellation deadline and after being assigned a flight that you will not have a valid passport by your departure date, we may need to cancel your trip. No one can travel to Israel without a valid passport.
CAN I EXTEND MY STAY IN ISRAEL
Yes! Extending tickets will be possible once we have notified you that you have been ticketed on a specific flight. All ticket extensions will be at the expense of the participant. Students also have the option to extend their ticket once in Israel through the airline. The most important thing is to call before your flight. If you miss the flight without calling, they may cancel the ticket.
Students who decide to extend their ticket for participation in an approved Judaic Studies may be eligible for extension subsidies and other scholarships. Please ask your trip leader about this opportunity if you are interested.
Trip insurance is also available for extension through the travel agent.
WILL I HAVE TIME TO VISIT FAMILY AND FRIENDS?
Absolutely. One of the goals of the trip is to give students a taste of living in Israel and to experience Israeli society. Although the structured programming guides the majority of the day, a significant number of nights are left free for you to enjoy on your own, provided you honor the security guidelines. In addition to designated free time, you are more than welcome to extend you stay so that you can have more time to visit with family and friends in Israel.
WHAT SHOULD I PACK?
Weather in most parts of Israel is similar to Los Angeles—mild in the day and cool at night. However, because of its high altitude, Jerusalem is an exception and generally stays about 10 degrees cooler than the rest of the country and experiences more rainy/cloudy days in the winter.
WHERE WILL WE BE STAYING?
We will be staying in a variety of hotels and hostels throughout the country. Primarily, we will be based at a Jerusalem hotel (women and men housed separately) and will be bused privately to our learning and touring locations.
Applicants who are accepted will receive all necessary information about logistics, hotels, etc. via email closer to the date of the trip.
WILL I/MY CHILD HAVE A CEL PHONE WHILE IN ISRAEL?
Our staff has secured a discounted cell phone plan exclusively for those participating in our trip. WE will send out information via email closer to the date of the trip. Rates to and from America vary but are generally quite reasonable. Our staff will carry each students’ cell phone number at all times.