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USY Israel Adventure


Climb the fortress of Masada, put a note in the Kotel in Jerusalem, lay on the beaches of Tel Aviv, and drink tea in a Bedouin tent in the Negev desert as you travel across the beautiful, diverse landscape of Israel.

Highlights Include

Jerusalem’s Old City. Mount Herzl. Masada. Ein Gedi. Kayaking on the Jordan River. Tzfat. Snorkeling in the Red Sea. The Dead Sea. Visits to several Kibbutzim


What is USY Israel Pilgrimage?

For over 60 years USY has taken hundreds of teens to Israel and beyond, connecting them to the Jewish homeland. By experiencing Israel’s beauty and power alongside their peers, taking part in a variety of fun adventurous outdoor activities, and engaging in interesting educational discussions, teens will gain a new appreciation, understanding, and love for the Jewish homeland.

In addition to the basic Israel trip USY offers varying programs including authentic Israeli experiences and social-action focused trips, on which teens can meet and personally touch the lives of Israeli citizens, experiencing the country in a very unique and meaningful way.

We also offer combination trips, where teens can visit part of Europe and explore other significant sights of Jewish history before traveling to Israel. Destinations in Europe include Italy, Poland, Prague, and Germany.

What are the age requirements for this program?

USY Israel Pilgrimage programs are open to teens currently in grades 10-12.

What is the typical group size?

Each group is co-ed and will include 20-45 teens.

How is the program staffed?

Groups are led by five to seven staff members including a group leader, North American counselors, an Israeli counselor, and an Israeli medic. All staff members are qualified advisors, youth directors, teachers, and Conservative rabbis.

Additional support staff in Israel includes various knowledgeable lecturers, tour guides, and other USY personnel. All USY Summer Experience staff participates in an intensive training seminar prior to the trip.

How do teens travel on Israel Pilgrimage?

Teens travel on a fully equipped motor coach, driven by professionals. Whenever possible, we maintain the same drivers throughout the summer.

How do you approach security?

The safety and well-being of our teens has always been, and continues to be, our highest priority. Matters of security always take precedence over all other concerns.

Throughout the summer, trip itineraries are adapted as the situation dictates, in a manner to assure the safety of all participants. Changes to the trip may include travels routes, accommodations, and escalation of USY security protocols. We always scrupulously avoid “unsafe” destinations and venues. Our safety record is impeccable as we have decades of experience operating programs under all circumstances. For more information on our security protocols, please see the security Q&A.

What is the food like?

While traveling, teens will have the opportunity to taste the flavors of Israel. Three full, kosher meals and numerous snacks are provided each day. Food is provided by various caterers, hotels, and restaurants throughout Israel. Additionally, in some cities participants will be able to go out on their own for meals at select (delicious!) kosher restaurants.

Where do teens stay while traveling?

Teens stay in hotels and youth hostels, dormitory-style bases, field schools and kibbutz guesthouses. Additionally, two weeks of the trip are spent in Jerusalem, duration which time it’s our hope that the city will feel like a second home for participants.

Is there a community service component to your trips and what does it include?

During the course of the summer, teens will participate in 6 hours volunteer work with “Pioneer Of Tzedakah” Danny Siegel. Past projects include serving meals at soup kitchens, picking vegetables with Leket Yisrael for the hungry, and working with children with disabilities.

For teens who prefer more intensive service-focused travel, we offer L’Takayn Olam, which offers 35+ hours of volunteer work and the chance to experience Israel in a truly one-of-a-kind way— by meeting and helping Israel’s people through hands-on service and social action projects. Past projects include:

  • Volunteering at the RAMBAM Medical Center Children’s Hospital
  • Helping with various animal-related projects at the Haifa Zoo
  • Picking weeds, fruits & vegetables on a farm with Chava Shel Beit Zayit

What does the cost of this program include?

The cost of USY Israel Pilgrimage includes round trip flights from New York to Israel, room and board, an approved Israeli medical plan, sightseeing tours with professional guides, gratuities and admission fees. (Personal expenses and extra personal baggage are additional.)

Are there scholarships available?

Scholarships are available through USY regions, local congregations and their affiliated groups. For further information contact your synagogue, regional USY directory, or visit our scholarship database and Ways to Save page.

Who do I contact with additional questions?

If you have any questions about this or other USY summer programs, e-mail us at [email protected].

  • June 26-July 24, 2018
  • $ 6,950
    • Registration is closed for 2018
    • 29 DAYS
    • Grades 10-12*
    • *Current grade as of 2017-2018 school year


Sample Itinerary

**Based on 2016 itinerary. All schedules and activities are subject to change.

Day 1New YorkDepart from New York airport
Day 2Yemin Moshe, JerusalemArrive in Jerusalem; Settle into hotel and bond over dinner
Day 3Tel Maresha & Beit GuvrinTake part in archaeological dig; Spelunk in ancient Tel Maresha tunnels; Swim at Kibbutz Beit Guvrin
Day 4JerusalemExplore Jerusalem from the Second Temple period; Visit the Israel Museum; Tour the Herodian Mansions; Explore the Southern part of the Western Wall (Kotel)
Day 5JerusalemExplore Jerusalem from the First Temple period; Visit The City of David; Tour Hezekiah's Tunnel; Prepare for Shabbat
Day 6JerusalemCelebrate Shabbat
Day 7Carmel & HaifaExperience Druze Hospitality; Visit the Haifa Overlook and Bahai Gardens
Day 8Acco & Western GalileeTour city of Acco; Visit Rosh Hanikrah: Ride in cable cars & tour grottos; Visit Keshet Cave
Day 9Lower GalileeHike Mount Arbel; Swim at Blue Beach; Take a donkey ride at Kfar Kedem; Visit the Kinneret cemetery
Day 10Upper GalileeVisit the Metulla overlook; Hike Nachal Snir; Kayak in the Jordan River; Visit Kibbutz Neot Mordechai; Explore Tiberias
Day 11Golan HeightsHike Majraseh Nature Reserve; Visit Mitzpe Gadot, former Syrian bunker; See the views from Mount Bental
Day 12TzfatTour city of Tzfat; Prepare for Shabbat
Day 13Degania AlefCelebrate Shabbat at Kibbutz Degania
Day 14Tel AvivVisit Independence Hall and Rabin Square; Tour the Olympic Museum
Day 15Tel AvivVisit Old Jaffa; Learn about Israel's start-up business culture; Visit Dialogue in the Dark exhibit and learn about blindness
Day 16SderotVolunteer on a tzedakah project with Mitzvah Man Danny Siegel
Day 17JerusalemVisit Ammunition Hill and Har Herzl
Day 18Jerusalem & Ben Shemen ForestVisit Yad Vashem; Compete in the USY HaEvent games
Day 19Free WeekendTeens leave for free weekend
Day 20Free WeekendCelebrate Shabbat
Day 21Latrum & Kfar HanokdimVisit Latrum hilltop; Take a camel ride; Experience life in a Bedouin Tent
Day 22Massada/ Ein GediHike Massada at sunrise; Hike Ein Gedi and Nachal David; Swim in the Dead Sea
Day 23EilatTour Coral World Underwater Observatory; Swim and go snorkeling in the Red Sea Coral Reef; Dance and tour Eilat at night on a disco boat
Day 24Sde Boker & Negev DesertVisit David Ben Gurion's hut & grave site Engage in an outdoor desert experience with navigation and survival excercises
Day 25Negev DesertComplete outdoor desert experience; Go for a hike at Ramon Crater & plant trees
Day 26AshdodRelax on the beach; Prepare for Shabbat
Day 27JerusalemCelebrate Shabbat
Day 28JerusalemVolunteer at Yad Lekashish (Lifeline for the Old); Go shopping in Jerusalem; Celebrate summer's end with final banquet
Day 29New YorkDepart from airport/Arrive in New York
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