Mitzvah Corps – the Israel Justice Trip


Registration is open!

 

Once you are enrolled in a YALLAH! israel trip,
you will receive information on how to apply for the $3,000 rootone voucher!

2022 overview

Make an Impact in Israeli Society with Teens from Across North America!

Together with friends from around the country, create and be part of an immersive traveling Jewish community. Experience Israel off-the-grid, while engaging deeply in social justice work with organizations effecting real change in Israeli society. Visit a youth village for at-risk children. Volunteer with a humanitarian aid organization helping Syrian refugees. Meet with Women of the Wall, a group of women who have fought for women’s rights to pray collectively at the Western Wall. Get your hands dirty farming the land outside of Jerusalem. Snorkel in the Red Sea. Feel the spiritual energy of Tzfat. Sleep under the desert stars. Be part of a kibbutz community and learn and practice Hebrew. Hike in the mountains and float in the Dead Sea. Support integration of Ethiopian immigrants. Find the beauty in Israel’s complexities.

*Please note, dates are subject to change based on current airline reservations. 

**Instructions on how to apply for scholarship and Vouchers will be provided after families register for a Yallah! Israel program.

Incentive grants of up to $3250 are available!

Instructions on how to apply for scholarship and vouchers* will be provided after families register for a Yallah! Israel program.

*Dependent on RootOne's eligibilty requirements.

 

Itinerary overview

Below is an outline of our itinerary. We refine the schedule as we approach each summer to respond to the evolving needs, and take advantage of the most current opportunities, in the local communities. Shabbat will be modified to match the current year’s calendar and itinerary; below are examples of the ways in which the group will celebrate.
Mitzvah Corps: Days 1-6
Day 1 – Departure for Israel The group will gather at a domestic airport for an initial orientation, and fly together to Israel.

Day 2 – Arrival into Israel Upon landing, you will be welcomed by your program staff with a brief snack and refreshments, and then board a bus to make your way north. Once there, you’ll get to know each other and your staff, and build the community that will support you through your journey.

Day 3 – Israeli Land & Borders The group will begin their first full day in Israel by exploring their physical environment, getting to know the land itself as context for upcoming meetings with the various people who inhabit it. They’ll start with the Jilaboon water hike, which ends with a beautiful waterfall and natural pools to swim in. After lunch, they’ll travel to Mount Bental in the Golan Heights, which overlooks Israel’s borders with both Syria and Lebanon. It’s a striking contrast to be in such a peaceful place, yet to visualize just how small the country is, and the real implications that these close borders have had on Israel’s history. From there, they’ll return to a Kibbutz to prepare for their first Shabbat in Israel.

Day 4 – Shabbat on a Kibbutz After a late wake up and breakfast, the group will spend Shabbat in true Israeli kibbutz style, by relaxing at the pool, meeting and engaging with their Israeli peers, and getting a feel for real communal living!

Day 5 – Broadening Coexistence The term “coexistence” in the context of Israel has come to imply peace between cultural groups; this morning, the group will explore how the term also applies to creating inclusive space for all people in the natural environment. They’ll spend time working with LOTEM, an organization that adjusts existing hiking trails to make them accessible to people with various physical impairments, as well as runs programs for at-risk youth, and women and children who have experienced abuse, to use nature as therapy. The group will then enjoy the hospitality of the minority Druze community as they welcome us to a delicious, authentic lunch. We will have a chance to learn about their faith, customs, and space in Israeli society.

Day 6 – Jewish Identity in Israel In the morning, the group will head to Tzfat, where they’ll learn about the roots of Jewish mysticism and enjoy the renowned galleries and shopping that the city offers. Travel to this mystical city, learning about the birth of Kabbalah, Jewish mysticism, and the incredible customs, traditions, and artwork that lives here. The group will then meet members from Ma’alot, a unique community in the north of Israel. We will learn about their Jewish journeys, and take a deeper look at our own Jewish identity. The group will also have a chance to volunteer in their community garden, and take part in a community art project.

Mitzvah Corps - Days 7-12
Day 7 – Young Refugees In the morning, the group will work with Yemin Orde Youth Village, a community of at-risk refugee and immigrant youth from around the world, providing them with therapeutic care and academic support. In the afternoon, they’ll continue the coexistence theme by visiting the beautiful Bahai Gardens, and touring Wadi Nisnas, an Arab community that uses art as the foundation for partnership with their Jewish neighbors.

Day 8 – Welcoming the Stranger Today the group will visit the Western Galilee Hospital, which treats Syrian refugees, and begin to build an understanding of the stories of the different groups that make up Israeli society, and the political complexities of the ways that each are welcomed and treated. We will then travel volunteer at a preschool teaching English to the Arab students. To close out the day, we make our journey to Jerusalem for an opening ceremony. This quick mentality shift, going from Tzfat to a hospital to a preschool, is typical of the Israeli life, to find and appreciate beauty and peace, and simultaneously be seeking support for those in such close proximity that are suffering.

Day 9 – The Reform Movement in Israel The group begins the day at Hebrew Union College meeting with rabbis from the Reform movement in Israel, and taking a tour of the beautiful building as we explore together the idea of a progressive, pluralistic Jewish society. We will then spend time at the Israeli Religious Action Center (IRAC), the social justice arm of the Israel Movement for Progressive Judaism (IMPJ) before meeting with organization leaders of Women of the Wall, a  powerful and famous organization that has been at the forefront of gender equality, and the rights of women at the Kotel. They will finish the day taking a tour of the Jewish Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem to learn about the incredible and complicated history of the city. Together we visit the Western Wall, with the chance to write down a personal prayer, and then head to Ezrat Yisrael, the egalitarian prayer section of the Wall for a discussion about liberal Judaism in Israel.

Day 10 – Why Israel? Today, the group with explore the real history behind the creation of the State of Israel, beginning with a powerful visit to Yad Vashem, the Holocaust museum, and then spending time in the Knesset, the Israeli government building. From there, they’ll visit Har Herzl, the military cemetery, and discuss the impact of mandatory military service both on the national culture, veteran’s affairs, and memorializing those who sacrifice for Israel, especially in comparison to military and veteran culture in the United States. They will then head to the hotel to prepare for Shabbat.

Day 11 – Shabbat in Jerusalem The group will mark Shabbat this morning by spending time with Israel’s Channel 10 educational correspondent, Omri Maniv, for a discussion around the contemporary challenges and unique achievements in Israel’s educational system and everything you need or want to know about Jerusalem. The group will close out Shabbat together in downtown Jerusalem on Ben Yehuda Street, where we’ll watch Israel come to life as the sun sets.

Day 12 – Exploration of Bedouin Culture In the morning, the group will visit a creative workshop with the opportunity to design a t-shirt design that supports a social cause you feel passionately about. We then travel to the Negev visiting alocal Bedouin community to learn about their tradition, ability to live in the harsh climate, and their culture. We will also get to meet a Bedouin woman who started a nonprofit to empower other Bedouin women in her community, and work alongside them to make some traditional Bedouin jewelry. Finish off the day with a camel ride, the traditional mode of transportation for nomadic people.

Mitzvah Corps - Days 13-22

Day 13 – Masada and the Dead Sea

Bright and early, the group will hike up Masada just in time to see the sun rise over the hills of Jordan. After heading back down for breakfast, they’ll enjoy some time to float in the Dead Sea before heading to the solar farms at Kibbutz Yahel, where they’ll learn about the ways that Israel is on the cutting edge of environmental sustainability and alternative energy.

Day 14 – Development and Advancement We start our day at Red Mountain Riding Center (RMTRC) located at Kibbutz Grofit. RMTRC provides weekly horseback riding therapy for nearly 200 children and adults with physical and mental disabilities, as well as emotional and behavioral challenges. The RMTRC works toward the development of this unique therapy to mak it accessible to the population of a remote region that lacks many other essential medical services. We then visit a community of the Israel Movement for Progressive Judaism (IMPJ) and a member of the Global Ecovillage Network, Kibbutz Lotan.

Day 15 – The Desert Landscape First up, the group will take a breathtaking hike, climbing through rocks and valleys with amazing views. We will then spend the afternoon on the beach in Eilat, snorkeling amongst the Red Sea corals. Close the day traveling to Nachal Kasui, the famous sand dunes, where we will slide down the views and enjoy the scenery.

Day 16 – Energy in the Desert The group will spend the first part of the day visiting Ketura, an off-the-grid village, learning how engineers have brought alternative energy to remote places, like the desert of Israel. From there, they’ll travel to Sde Boker and visit the grave of David Ben Gurion, while reflecting on the ways that visions come to life, and how to ensure that our actions as individuals, and organizations, are aligned with our values.

Day 17 – Farming the Desert Today we will learn about what it means to be a farmer in the middle of the desert by visiting Yossi on his KashKash Farm. We will have a chance to help him with his crops, and hear the story of his family’s connection to the region and of their ways of turning the harsh sands into fertile soil. After visiting Ramon Crater, we return to the hotel where we celebrate our third and final Shabbat in Israel.

Day 18 – Shabbat in the Desert Following a relaxing Shabbat morning, we will explore the rich history of Ethiopian tradition, the challenges that faced the community during and after their aliyah, mass immigration to Israel, and about the next generation of Ethiopian-Israeli identity. Naftali Aklum, an educator and activist in the Ethiopian community, will share his family story about his brother’s role in Operation Moses and their leadership in bringing Ethiopians to Be’er Sheva. We will then celebrate our last Havdallah in Israel around the bonfire.

Day 19 – Arrive in Tel Aviv Finishing our time in the desert, we will take an interactive walking tour of the Dalet neighborhood in nearby Be’er Sheva, the biggest city in the Negev. We will learn about urban social change, and the power of community, as you enter into the heart of a historically neglected neighborhood that today serves as a meeting point for social activism and urban renewal. The group will the travel to Tel Aviv where we will meet the Palestinian and Jewish activists that run Sadaka-Reut, an organization that works to build bi-national partisanship in the society they live in.

Day 20 – Experience Israel through Children’s Eyes Begin with an introduction to BINA, a secular yeshiva (school for religious studies), which creates opportunities for students to connect with Judaism through social justice and community engagement. After learning about their work, the group will volunteer in one of the community gardens that serves a non-Israeli population, and get to meet and spend time with members of the asylum seeking community. After seeing South Tel Aviv, the group will visit Save a Child’s Heart, a nonprofit that has saved the lives of thousands of children from around the world. The group will have the opportunity to meet the team that works hard to make it happen, the doctors who do it, and volunteer to lead a science experiment with the kids who are in Israel for their life-saving surgery.

Day 21 – Progressive Social Issues For our final day in Israel, the group will visit Independence Hall, discussing the various ways that the Israel they’ve gotten to know thus far is aligned with, or disconnected from, the original vision for the State. We will then go to The LGBTQ Community Center in Tel Aviv. The Center’s mission is to ensure that every person, regardless of age, race, or gender, has the right to live freely. We will enjoy lunch and an afternoon of shopping at Shuk Ha’Carmel and the Carmel Market on the famous Nahalat Binaymin before closing out the trip, and heading to the airport.

Day 22 – Return to the United States The group lands bright and early into their domestic airport. Thank you for joining us!

LEARN MORE ABOUT OUR UNIQUE TRIPS:

All rates include roundtrip international airfare from our group departure airport.

URJ Heller High is a meaningful academic program designed especially for highly motivated teens looking for deeper insight into Israel, Jewish Identity and themselves.

Heller High is based on Kibbutz Tzuba, nestled in the Judean Hills, approximately fifteen minutes outside of Jerusalem, where the students live in dorm style housing. While at Heller High, our students become immersed in the study of the history, culture and Land of Israel.

This summer we look forward to welcoming hundreds of teens to Israel on our programs and to providing them with a wonderful summer adventure full of fun, friendship and personal discovery.

 

This summer in Jerusalem!

Financial
Assistance

Yallah! Israel believes the opportunity to travel to Israel is one that cannot be missed. Many organizations support our mission of sending teens to Israel for a fun, educational and meaningful journey. To help offset the cost of a summer on Yallah! Israel, local communities, such as synagogues and federations, provide scholarship and financial aid to families.

GET READY FOR TAKE OFF!

INCENTIVE GRANTS OF UP TO $3250 AVAILABLE!