5 MONTH PROGRAM
ISRAEL BY CHOICE
During the first five months of the program (February to June) there are four different phases. Participants are offered four tracks (Volunteering, Israel Advocacy, Midrasha/Yeshiva, Hadracha) to choose from. These options denote where the participant will go in their option time during the week. All participants on the program live together during this time regardless of their track choice. All participants will get the opportunity to volunteer regardless of their track choice.
The first phase of this block is spent in Jerusalem, the second phase in Tel Aviv for a month, the third phase in Eilat and the final phase, before the closing week of the program is spent volunteering with refugees in Greece. Fot the entirety of the program, participants are encouraged to lead an independent lifestyle. They live in apartments and are required to shop, cook, clean and budget for themselves.
The group lives together and also participates in many group activities/trips/learning seminars/free weekends and more during this period.
The four track options that the participants have to choose from include:
Tel Aviv and Eilat:
Jewish Identity Track- Midrasha/Yeshiva
Our purpose is to strengthen the participants connection to Judaism and create a deep personal understanding of what it means to be a Jew and how the Jewish philosophy and traditions can be relevant in modern life and Western society. Participants engage in ongoing conversation and discussion regarding their Jewish identities and relevant modern day questions and dilemmas. This track will be operated in partnership with well-established and highly-esteemed Yeshivot and Midrashot.
Israel Advocacy Track
Our purpose is to educate IBC participants about the Israel-Palestinian conflict and the complicated political issues in the Middle East, in order to create the next generation of young ambassadors for Israel. This track is operated in partnership with “Stand With Us” – an international organization dedicated to education about Israel and correcting the misinformation that often surrounds the Middle East conflict.
Hikes are an incredible opportunity to see the country and explore the nature and enviornment which Israel is famous for. We use professional guides and follow some of the most beautiful trails including trails in the desert, Golan Heights, surrounding Jerusalem and more. Hikes are also a great means for relationship building and bonding with our peers.
- Some notable hikes include:
– Yam le Yam (Sea to Sea – from the Mediterranean Sea to the Sea of Gallilee)
– Parts of Shvil Yisrael
– Northern hikes including hikes through water and forrests.
– Ein Gedi
Chagim (Jewish Holidays and Festivals)
Over the course of the year, and while participants are living according to the beat of the Jewish drum in Israel, they are exposed to and are fortunate enough to engage with all the chagim in a rich and meaningful sense.
We have chofesh (break) over Pesach and Succot. However, Purim, Shavuot, Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur are all part of the program and explored and experienced amongst the group and with strong guidance from staff and external providers.
Israeli holidays are also within our programming and not only will participants celebrate or commemorate, they will be active in learning why they are taking part in and organising programming for these special days.
Participants are given the option to take part in a five-day trip
to Poland. This trip is a meaningful and powerful experience allows
participants to view their Jewish identity and heritage from a different
perspective. The trip includes aspects that may be particularly
meaningful to individual participants. The trip is always extremely
significant and is often crafted around participants’ family histories and
testimonies. It is important to note that this Poland trip is different
from March of the Living (MOTL), and so should not be disregarded if
participants have previously participated on MOTL. Prior to the Poland
trip, the entire group is involved in a Poland preparation seminar,
regardless of whether or not they are going to Poland.