MEOR Israel

About Meor Israel

Spend your mornings in the serene Jerusalem mountains connecting with your Judaism through engaging and in-depth Jewish study. In a place super-charged with inspiration and stocked with the most interesting and stimulating people the Jewish People have to offer the opportunities for discovery and exploration are literally endless. Learn about the State of Israel’s unique role in the world and how to be an on campus activist. Spend your afternoons exploring the country’s rich and varied historic, geographic, recreational and cultural landscape. With our somewhat longer schedules than many other Israel trips we’re able to provide participants opportunities to discover facets of Israel they may not have been aware of or had the opportunity to enjoy. Spend your nights (most of them) exploring Israeli culture and enjoying free time to meet with family and friends…or just “chilax.” Spend your weekends celebrating Shabbat in the most powerful Jewish cities on Earth – including Jerusalem and Safed – bonding with new friends from schools around the country.

Magnifying glass over Israeli flag
Magnifying glass over Israeli flag

About Meor Israel

Spend your mornings in the serene Jerusalem mountains connecting with your Judaism through engaging and in-depth Jewish study. In a place super-charged with inspiration and stocked with the most interesting and stimulating people the Jewish People have to offer the opportunities for discovery and exploration are literally endless. Learn about the State of Israel’s unique role in the world and how to be an on campus activist. Spend your afternoons exploring the country’s rich and varied historic, geographic, recreational and cultural landscape. With our somewhat longer schedules than many other Israel trips we’re able to provide participants opportunities to discover facets of Israel they may not have been aware of or had the opportunity to enjoy. Spend your nights (most of them) exploring Israeli culture and enjoying free time to meet with family and friends…or just “chilax.” Spend your weekends celebrating Shabbat in the most powerful Jewish cities on Earth – including Jerusalem and Safed – bonding with new friends from schools around the country.

The Blend

Our trip planners and staff work hard to ensure that your MEOR Israel trip will be one of variety and balance. You’ll have opportunities to learn, to tour, to relax, and to socialize.

Whether you’ve been to Israel before, or are traveling for the first time, you’ll be sure to have an experience that is both new and welcoming. We invest in high quality education and high quality accommodations – all so that you can have an ideal stay in our Homeland.

On Your Time

One of the aspects of MEOR Israel that is highly valued by our participants is the way in which they are able enjoy Israel on their own time. Our schedule is full, but not overstuffed. You will not feel like your trip has you moving from bus, to hotel, to hike, and back to bus again.

We will be based primarily in the capital city of Jerusalem and you will have opportunities throughout the trip that will allow you to connect with Israel and your peers as you choose. MEOR Israel is your personal bridge to your country.

On Your Time

One of the aspects of MEOR Israel that is highly valued by our participants is the way in which they are able enjoy Israel on their own time. Our schedule is full, but not overstuffed. You will not feel like your trip has you moving from bus, to hotel, to hike, and back to bus again.

We will be based primarily in the capital city of Jerusalem and you will have opportunities throughout the trip that will allow you to connect with Israel and your peers as you choose. MEOR Israel is your personal bridge to your country.

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Trip Itinerary

What is the schedule of a typical MEOR Israel trip?

Sample Itinerary
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Questions

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MEOR Israel FAQ
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Sample Itinerary

 

Each MEOR Israel trip is slightly different, but all follow the same basic structure. Below is a sample itinerary of a recent MEOR Israel trip.

Thursday, May 17

3:20 PM Departure from JFK

Friday, May 18

8:50 AM Arrive in Israel

10:30 AM Breakfast & Orientation on the beach in Caesaria

12:30 PM Kfar Kedem: Pita baking & Donkey rides

3 PM Travel to Chispin, a gorgeous retreat in the Golan Heights, for Shabbat

Shabbat Meal

Saturday, May 19

Shabbat Programming & Rest

9:30 PM Night out in Tiberias

Sunday, May 20

8:45 AM Breakfast

9:30 Depart Chispin

10:30 Banyas: A pleasant hike to flowing waterfalls

12:30 Canada Center: Ice skating, Shooting range, Bowling, Basketball, & More

3:00 Hike in Nachal Ayun: A hike through the north with breathtaking views of the Israeli countryside and more waterfalls

5:15 Misgav Am: Northernmost kibbutz in Israel, discussion about national security

7 Dinner at Esh Besh, a delicious steakhouseAlex on Ira on Mitch.jpg

Monday, May 21

8:45 AM Breakfast

9:30 Class/Discussion at the hotel

10:30 Depart Chispin

11:30 Tour of Tzfat: Mystical City on a Mountaintop

2 Depart to Jeeping

3 Jeeping in the Kinneret, with a short swim to cool off in the middle

6 Head back to Jerusalem

7 Dinner

Tuesday, May 22

8:15 AM Breakfast

9 AM Maimonides Programming

1 PM Lunch

1:45 Outlook – Har Adar: with views of major Biblical sites

3:15 Bat Caves

6 Dinner at the hotel

7 Leave to the Kotel

7:30 Visit to Kotel

8:15 Kotel Tunnel Tours: a rare experience beneath the streets of Jerusalem’s old city

Wednesday, May 23

8:30 Breakfast

9:15 Leave to the South

10 Ein Gedi: Waterfalls, swimming, and rich with history

12:30 Lunch

1:45 Ancient Synagogue of Ein Gedi

2:30 Dead Sea: Relax and float with friends

6 Dinner and Bonfire at Bedouin tents

11 Return to Jerusalem

Thursday, May 24

8:15 AM Breakfast

9 AM Maimonides Programming

1 Lunch

2 Depart to Tel Aviv

3 Visit the old city of Yafo: Short tour & free time in the marketplace

5:30 Visit the Blind Museum: a unique opportunity to “see” the world in a different way

7:30 Dinner in Tel Aviv

Friday, May 25

8:30 AM Breakfast

9 AM Guest Lecturer

11 City of David

1 PM Visit to Marketplace – Machane Yehuda

Free Time

Shabbat in the Old City, overlooking the Kotel

Saturday, May 26

Shabbat Program

Tour of the Old City

Dinner in the Old City

Sunday, May 27

Shavuot Program: Stay up all night in the Old City

Monday, May 28

Free Day

Tuesday, May 29

8:15 AM Breakfast

9 AM Maimonides Program

1 Lunch

2 Visit to Yad Vashem (Holocaust Museum)

5 Visit to Har Hertzel (Military Cemetery)

7 Dinner at the Hotel

8:30 PM Evening Program: Bowling/Miniature Golf

Wednesday, May 30

8:15 AM Breakfast

9 Maimonides Program

1 Lunch

2 Visit to One Family: An organization dedicated to helping Israel’s victims of terror

3:30: ATVing

7 PM Dinner in the hotel

8:30 PM Evening: Stew and Brew/Challah Baking

Thursday, May 31

8:15 AM Breakfast

9 AM Maimonides Program

1 Lunch

2 Gush Etzion Winery

6 MEOR Concert: All the trips come together for unforgettable evening together

Friday, June 1

5 AM Early trip to Chevron and the Cave of Machpelah (optional)

9:30 AM Breakfast

10 AM Morning Class

11:30 AM Free time for shopping

Shabbat in Har Nof

Saturday, June 2

Shabbat Program

Sunday, June 3

9 AM Breakfast

9:45 Pack out of the hotel

10:30 Visit to the Kotel

12 Final Banquet

3 Depart to airport

7:15 Depart to NY

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MEOR Israel FAQ

Q. Are there student resources online that I/my child can access?

A. Absolutely! You can download our MEOR Israel Student Guide here, which contains more complete information as well as a legal waiver that all students need to sign before they travel on the trip.

Q. Do I need a passport?

A. 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.

Q. Who subsidizes the program?

A. MEOR Israel has established partnerships with philanthropists who recognize the unique opportunities presented by our trip and are eager to support its ongoing development.

Q. Can I extend my stay in Israel?

Yes! We encourage you to take advantage of being in Israel and to extend your stay after the program and are happy to assist you with this process. Extensions on El Al flights can be made in one of two ways:

You can make an extension prior to departure from the United States directly through our travel agent. Please contact Simy Neiman of Seeme Travel at 845.426.1425 or simyn@verizon.net to make those arrangements.

You also have the option to extend your ticket at your own expense once you are in Israel. This is usually the more expensive option. However, scholarships are available for anyone who plans to enroll in a Judaic studies program. If you know you have to be back on a certain date, it is highly recommended that you extend your ticket prior to departure of the trip from the US.

Tickets are only valid for 90 days from departure and will become null and void after this time. Additionally, our tickets are a certain class of seating. In the case of making an extension before departure from the US, all efforts will be made to find a seat within the existing class of service for the date you are seeking. As a last effort, our travel agency may be able to find you a seat in a different class of service and this may require a higher fee for the extension.

Once the MEOR Israel program has concluded, you will no longer be under our supervision or covered by our insurance.

Q. Where will we be staying in Israel?

A. 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 bussed privately to our learning and touring locations.

Q. What are the security arrangements?

A. MEOR Israel 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. MEOR Israel does not use public transportation at any time. MEOR Israel 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.

Q. What will be the typical daily schedule?

A. 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.

Q. How much Jewish learning is involved in the program?

A. Mornings (3-4 hours) are dedicated to Jewish learning in a formal setting, with some time spent in lectures from top-flight Jerusalem speakers and some spent in one-on-one or small group discussion formats. See the scheduling information for more details. There will also be many informal Jewish learning opportunities throughout the trip—through the agency of Shabbat programming, daily tours and others.

Q. Will I have any free time to see family and friends?

A. 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 your stay so that you can have more time to visit with family and friends in Israel.

Q. Will there be a curfew?

A. MEOR Israel’s trip assumes a high level of student maturity and therefore treats you as an adult. Accordingly, a curfew will not be implemented. However, students must comply with security regulations at all times, maintain contact with staff members, and ensure that they are able to participate fully in all day time programming. If any of these conditions are compromised, a curfew will be imposed.

Q. How will I get local currency?

A. The simplest method to obtain local currency is to withdraw cash from an ATM using a US banking card. Most ATMs are in urban areas, so you are encouraged to use them at the airport or when you see them, which may not be daily. Additionally, most hotels offer currency exchange and many establishments accept major foreign currencies like the Euro and US dollars. This being said, you may not need much cash on hand. For incidentals and shopping, most establishments accept credit cards like Visa and MasterCard.

Q. What if I get sick in Israel? Do I need to have health insurance?

A. It would be ideal for you to travel with your own traveler’s insurance in addition to the health insurance that is provided by MEOR Israel. Health insurance will be taken out on behalf of every trip participant but it may not cover any pre-existing medical conditions. Our insurance will provide basic coverage that will suffice for routine incidents.

Q. What do I need to pack?

A. The 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. Check Yahoo! weather for accurate details.

Q. Will I have a cell phone while in Israel?

A. MEOR Israel staff has secured a discounted cell phone plan exclusively for those participating in our trip. If you would like to take advantage of this opportunity, please click here to be linked to the provider’s online application. Rates to and from America vary but are generally quite reasonable. MEOR Israel staff will carry each students’ cell phone number at all times.

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