Back in the late 1990s, I learned about an amazing Federation-sponsored opportunity to save money for my children’s future trips to Israel. To be fully transparent, I had two young children at the time and a high-school trip to Israel for them was the furthest thing on my mind. Fortunately, my wife remembered her own summer Israel program and recognized that the opportunity was too good to pass up.
So, we started to invest $175/year into an Israel Experience account at Federation for our children, while Federation matched $100/year and added bonuses. All five of our children now have had the blessing of a transformative summer in Israel thanks to Federation’s visionaries who founded this program.
Dov, our youngest, is in Israel now. In addition to the funds in his Israel Experience Savings account, he was able to take advantage of a newer program through RootOne, which offered a $3,000 subsidy after completing some high-quality pre-trip education. In the end, my net out-of-pocket costs this summer were an Israeli SIM card and a few shawarmas.
If you have small children, I encourage you to get started saving now. If you have teenagers—every little bit helps. If your kids are adults, open accounts for the grandchildren, even if they live out of town. My grandson already has more than $500 in his account, and he isn’t even two years old yet.