• General
  • Onward Israel is a framework for six to ten week immersive and resume building experiences in Israel for students from throughout the Jewish world. Each Onward Israel program is specifically constructed through a partnership between the Jewish Agency for Israel and a Jewish community or organization. It is intended as a more meaningful and immersive second-time experience in Israel.

  • The actual cost of the program is much higher than the price the participant pays. Programs are subsidized up to 70% by the Jewish Agency for Israel, private donors and local Jewish communities and institutions. The price of Onward Israel has been set in order to make it a reasonable and attractive option for students and young adults.

  • The price of Onward Israel includes housing for the full duration of the program, full board (most participants receive stipends for meals and buy and prepare most of their own meals), laundry services, transportation for activities and programs, educational programming, insurance, and program staff and supervision. It does not include spending money for recreation and free time or additional travel on weekends.

  • The length of Onward Israel programs can vary from six to ten weeks, depending on program type and content. Participation in the entire program is required, unless specific permission has been granted in advance by the program organizer.

  • No, Onward Israel is not a religious program, although there are opportunities to explore your Jewish identity and your relationship to your heritage. You will need to determine your own degree of observance along with your apartment mates.
    During the Onward Israel seminar (bringing together participants from different Onward Israel programs over a weekend) the Sabbath will be observed and the food will be kosher.  

  • Each Onward Israel program is run by a licensed Israel based program organizer, who supplies a full time coordinator for every twenty participants. This coordinator is the immediate address for all questions and concerns during Onward Israel. In addition, the Onward Israel central staff is also available for any issues that might come up. Contact details for the Onward Israel central staff are available on the Onward Israel web-site.

  • The Onward Israel program model is based on two post-program activities\gatherings, organized by the local partner. Onward Israel and its constituent partners hope that you get more involved in Jewish life after your return and that your connection with Israel deepens as well. During Onward Israel  you will have a session dealing with post-program engagement and involvement.

  • Beyond the heavily subsidized price of Onward Israel, additional local scholarship sources may be available- through synagogues, local Hillels, sources at your Federation and elsewhere. Feel free to consult with Jewish campus life professionals or other entities in the community to find out about these financial possibilities. 

  • Onward Israel Program Eligibility
  • The minimum age for Onward Israel participants is 18. The maximum age is 30. The optimal ages for Onward Israel participants are from ages 20-25. Onward Israel participants must have at least one year of enrollment at an institution for higher education.

  • Each Onward Israel program is sponsored by the Jewish Agency and by a local Jewish community or organization. Acceptance into the program is determined by this local partner. In some cases your geographical location will be a critical factor (either your permanent or temporary address); in other cases your affiliation with a particular organization of framework will determine your eligibility. On the web page for each program you may find a clear definition of eligibility for that particular program.

  • Onward Israel is designed for students and young adults who have had only one previous short-term experience in Israel. In addition, you will share with them either a geographical commonality or some kind of similar affiliation to a local Jewish organization or framework.

  • Onward Israel is designed for students and young adults who have already had one short-term organized peer experience in Israel. If you have never been to Israel before, we strongly recommend birthright Israel instead.

  • Onward Israel is intended as a second-time more meaningful experience in Israel. If you have already participated in a half-year or year-long program in Israel, Onward Israel is less appropriate for you.

  • No, eligibility for Onward Israel is limited to one time only. We strongly encourage you to explore Masa program opportunities as the best way to return to Israel after Onward Israel.

  • No, participation is required for the whole duration of the program. The expectations of the placement sites, as well as the educational program, and the subsidy rate, are all based on the expectation that each participant participates in the full length of the program.

  • Since the starting and end dates of each Onward Israel program may vary, there is no one set registration deadline. Each program sets its own registration deadline, which will be clearly indicated on the program web-site. In general, placements in Israel should be confirmed at least three weeks before arrival, and approximately two months are required to arrange for placements. Given this, registration deadlines will likely be approximately three months in advance to the program opening. 

  • Housing and Logistics
  • Each Onward Israel program provides housing for the participants, based on the city or area of the country where the program takes place. Housing will be in proximity to the placements or places of activity. In most cases, Onward Israel participants live in apartments or dormitory type housing.

  • All housing provided by Onward Israel trip organizers are required to include basic furniture including beds, mattresses, pillows, blankets, linens and towels (two sets for each participant).  Each housing solution must include a lavatory, bathroom, equipped kitchen (large refrigerator, stove, oven, table and chairs, cutlery and crockery. Participants should bring spending money, personal belongings and other items as detailed by the packing list they will receive from the program organizer. Houses must be air conditioned.

  • The housing arrangements for Onward Israel are based on two residents per room and four per apartment, unless the apartment is especially large. Roommate assignments are handled by the program organizer upon arrival in Israel.

  • No, living together with other Onward Israel participants is a central  and required component of the overall experience.

  • Onward Israel participants receive a monthly food stipend, either by cash or through a program provided debit card. Participants buy and prepare their own food. These stipends are either individually based, or in some cases, given to each apartment unit. Food during seminars and overnight trips is provided directly by the program. Food that is directly provided by Onward Israel during seminars and other educational programming will be kosher. Most of the food that is bought individually in Israel is also Kosher, but each apartment will make its own decisions about the degree of Kashrut it wishes to maintain.

  • No there are not, although some programs might include a weekend in their Partnership Together communities that will include a component of lodging with a host family. The emphasis of Onward Israel is on creating connections with Israeli peers, rather than host families. 

  • General Logistics
  • Most Onward Israel programs leave flight arrangements up to the participant. Your responsibility is to arrive at the pre-arranged location for the official beginning of the program. In some cases, the local partner to Onward Israel might organize a group flight; in these instances, the price of the program includes air travel to and from Israel.

  • Each organizer of an Onward Israel program must insure each participant with appropriate medical insurance according to the acceptable standards of tourist insurance in Israel for the entire duration of the program, covering from the moment of departure from their home country until their return to their home country at the completion of the program. The health insurance must cover the following aspects:
    • Transportation to hospital when required
    • Hospitalization costs including payments for doctors, operations, emergency care, ambulatory care, tests, x-rays and medicine during hospitalization.
    • Non-hospitalization medical costs stipulated as necessary by authorized doctors: doctor payments, tests, x-rays, prescription medications
    • Emergency dental coverage
  • All Onward Israel housing solutions will either include laundry services or have access to laundry services within short walking distance. Laundry costs are part of the overall program cost of Onward Israel.

  • Transportation costs which are directly covered to the Onward Israel program getting to and from placements, arrival to and departure from the program and all transportation connected to mandatory educational content, are covered by the program. Additional transportation (optional weekend travel, travel for social purposes) are not covered by the program.  Onward Israel programs, where appropriate, provide the participants with monthly public transportation passes which can be used freely by the participant.

  • As  part of the registration and placement process, the program organizer will likely require a partial advance of the program fee. The required fee schedule will be clearly indicated on the program web-site. This fee is non-refundable as it covers some of the costs involved in the placement and registration process. In addition, some program organizers may require an additional security deposit to cover potential damage to the apartments and its furnishings. This deposit is fully refundable at the program's completion if no such damage has been caused.

  • Your program organizer will help arrange this for you as part of your registration process. Cell phone costs are not included in the cost of Onward Israel. 

  • Internship Programs
  • The length of Onward Israel internship programs are a minimum of eight weeks. Internships take place four days a week, with an average of thirty hours of internship a week. The beginning and end of the internship programs consist of introductory and concluding programs.

    • The process begins by applying for Onward Israel through the application form (available on the Onward Israel website or through the particular Onward Israel program in which you are interested). This form asks you  for basic information.
    •  Based on this form, the local partner to Onward Israel (the local community or organization that is a co-sponsor of this particular program) will arrange a preliminary interview with you.
    • After you complete this stage, the Israel based program organizer will contact you to begin the internship placement process. You will be asked to fill in part two of the application, and will  be interviewed by phone or skype by the placement coordinator in order to narrow down placement options.
    • Once a mutually desired placement is arranged, you will likely conduct an additional interview with your prospective employer. After this interview (at least three weeks before your arrival in Israel) a final decision about your placement will be made.
  • Onward Israel encourages the Israel program organizer to arrange for a phone or skype interview with the employer as part of the placement process.

  • There are some employers who will supply such a letter if requested. This can be asked for through your program organizer's internship coordinator or directly from the employer. It is not an obligatory part of the process.

  • After beginning your placement, your placement coordinator will be in touch to see how your experience is going. If you are not satisfied with the placement, the first response will be to try to address the issues within the context of your current placement. If the lack of satisfaction continues, it is possible to work with your placement coordinator to find a new placement, within the limits of your areas of interest, geographical location in Israel and placement opportunities.

  • No, Hebrew is not a requirement to get a good internship placement. Our assumption is that the internship will take place in your native language, and most Israelis you interact with at your placement do communicate in English.  If you do know some Hebrew that will of course add to the placement opportunities and enrich your interaction with Israelis.

  • Content of Onward Israel Programs
  • Each Onward Israel program includes at least a day of interactive, informal educational programming a week. This program will often involve travel within Israel. In addition, the Onward Israel seminar will likely take place outside of where you live for the duration of the program. Most weekends will be free, and you can travel freely in the country at that point.

  • Participation in your placement, the weekly education day and the Onward Israel seminar are all mandatory parts of the program. Additional aspects may be defined as necessary by the program organizer, and will be fully communicated to you in advance of your decision to join the program. Additional elements will be optional.

  • The amount of free time varies between the various Onward Israel programs. For the most part, placements in volunteer or internship opportunities are for four days a week, for an average of eight days a week,  and educational programming is for an additional day a week. Optional educational and cultural programming will be offered in the evenings. Each program also includes a four day Onward Israel seminar. Some programs will also include additional Shabbat programs, which will be clearly indicated in the program schedule you will receive in advance of coming to Israel. Most Fridays and Saturdays are free, and participants are encouraged to travel on their own throughout Israel.

  • Given the short duration of the program (two months or less), and the requirements of the placements, participants are not allowed to travel outside of Israel during the program. Of course, you are welcome to travel outside of Israel before or after the program. These costs are not covered by Onward Israel.

  • Hebrew language instruction is not an official part of the Onward Israel program, although participants certainly learn Hebrew as part of their immersion in Israeli society. Some Onward Israel programs do offer optional Hebrew lessons if a  large enough percentage of your Onward Israel group so requests and there might be opportunities for cross-program optional Hebrew sessions as well. Participant or local partners will need to pay an additional price for Hebrew lessons.

  • Onward Israel programs are offered to students and young adults from around the world, with each group sharing a particular geographical or organizational or affinity connection. Several programs are likely to be taking place at any given time. Onward Israel offers optional educational and cultural programing for participants from the various programs and the four day Onward Israel educational seminar is made up of several different Onward Israel groups.
  • Onward Israel participants are explicitly not allowed to travel to areas under control of the Palestinian Authority; travel to Jewish settlements in the West Bank (Judaea and Samaria) is allowed, but only  with explicit and advance approval from the program organizers, and only during daylight hours and by public bullet proof bus.