Federation’s strategic plan identified Israel as a high priority. Specifically, the plan states, “Increase fiscal incentives for travel to Israel.”
We assist with travel to Israel in a variety of ways:We work with people to find the right Israel program.
- There are hundreds of summer trips, gap-year trips, and other study opportunities for students. There are many programs for adults as well, including locally sponsored by Federation or a synagogue as well as national programs. If we can’t find a trip, we’ll help design a unique trip for you. Whatever trip you take, we will, of course, get you to Eshkol, our partnership region.
- Federation offers need-based scholarships and a few merit-based scholarships. Right now, we have 13 students in Israel receiving scholarships for summer programs, gap-year programs, or study programs. In addition to our scholarship recipients, we have dozens of other students enjoying their summer in Israel.
- Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA) partners with mega-donors to fund Birthright for thousands of young Jewish adults. Participation by individual Federations, like ours, is voluntary through this effort. Our Federation fully supports and funds Birthright.
- Our Federation offers an Israel savings program with a very significant annual match to help parents save for Israel programs. If started when children are young enough, many organized trips will be fully funded by the time the children reach high school age. Please read more about our Israel Experience
- In 2014 we ran a very special program for 29 high school students to visit Israel, at a greatly reduced price. Our next Teen Mission is scheduled for the February 2017 break. Brochures and applications will be available soon.
- In conjunction with our Teen Mission (February 2017 break), we are currently planning a community trip to Israel with our Board of Rabbis. We plan to offer two tracts for our community–tract #1 for first-time visitors and tract #2 for veterans or those looking for a new and different Israel experience. A highlight will be when both tracts, together with our teen participants, come together to spend Shabbat in Jerusalem. Hopefully, we will have several of our community rabbis, as well as our own Albany native-Jerusalem resident Rabbi Sam Shor as our scholar-in-residence. A second highlight will be when we all come together to spend time in Eshkol. This is really breaking news, with much more to follow in the weeks ahead.