Have a Question?
There are three primary qualifications to go on the trip:
– This trip is designed for people who are not highly engaged in the Jewish community or Jewish ritual observance.
– Our participants must have children at home 18 or younger.
– Participants must be physically and emotionally healthy.
We do grant occasional exceptions to our eligibility rules when applied for by a partner on behalf of the participant. Acceptance decisions are made by the individual Partner Organizations who often receive more applications than they have scholarships available.
Can I come on a different date with a different city?
The short answer is “No.” A vital part of the Momentum experience is creating community at home, with participants in your city and each Partner Organization invests in each of its participants to make this happen.
What if I have already been to Israel?
We give priority to applicants who have never been to Israel, or who visited before they turned 18, but many of our participants have visited Israel in the past. Apply and speak to your city leader for more details.
How do I find out if other people from my city are going?
To learn whether there’s a trip leaving from your city, go to our Partners page and see if there is a Partner Organization near you. Some cities have multiple Partner Organizations with Momentum experiences leaving at different times of the year.
Are there any expectations after the trip?
The Momentum experience begins with three or more Pre-Trip meetings connecting the participants to each other and to Israel before the Trip. The year-long Momentum experience is designed to activate enthusiastic engagement with the beauty of Jewish life, to build a lasting connection with Israel, and a commitment to take action in one’s community towards making a better world.
Participants attending the Momentum trips commit to attending a follow-up session once per month with the organization that accepts them. Our Partner Organizations have talented educators who lead the monthly sessions throughout the year while Momentum supports the sharing of ideas and provides continuing education to make the year-long experience memorable for our participants.
What does the trip cost?
For our participants, this is a heavily subsidized trip. Each participant on our women’s trip receives a $3,700 scholarship, 80% provided by Momentum and 20% provided by your Partner Organization. It does not include airfare, a $99 acceptance fee, a $25 Year of Growth book fee, or tips.
How strenuous is the trip?
This experience has a lot packed into it—the days are long and full of activity: We walk 35–40 miles on the trip, Explore Jerusalem and Tel Aviv on foot, and climb a lot of steps in Tsfat. All this and just being out in the heat require a fair amount of effort. It’s also important to remember that the trip is exciting and can bring up a lot of emotions, and this will affect your energy level.
If you don’t currently exercise, consider beginning a program to increase your stamina. If you have any health problems, consult your physician about the itinerary, and make sure to discuss any concerns with your Community Leader.
Is there time to shop?
Of course! There are many opportunities to shop nearly every day. Every dollar you spend infuses capital into the Israeli economy.
Do I need to purchase insurance?
Momentum purchases Israeli health insurance for all participants during the scheduled trip dates. If a participant arrives early or stays after the Trip, they are responsible for extending the health coverage at their own expense. In addition, Travelers Insurance is required for all participants in case of trip cancellation, trip interruption, lost/delayed baggage, flight delays, and more. Contact your Community Leader for details about both.
Where do I pick up my cell phone or SIM card?
If you ordered through Talk N Save and live outside the US, you will receive your phone or SIM card the first evening at the welcome dinner.
If you live in the U.S., it will be mailed to you prior to the trip.
Every participant must have data coverage while in Israel either through arrangements through their own cell phone carrier or by renting a SIM card or smartphone. Relying on WIFI will not provide enough coverage.
Where can I exchange money?
For large purchases, you can use your credit card, but in the shuks (local markets), cash is king, and will allow you to haggle for a better price—a time-honored tradition in Israel!
The easiest way to get cash is to use your bank card at an ATM. (NIS, New Israeli Shekels). The fees will vary, but not by much. If you choose to use ATMs, it’s vital that you notify your bank before the trip to avoid your card being frozen by ATM transactions in Israel.
Also, remember that fees are charged per transaction, so you should take out larger quantities less frequently. Money changers are available in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem to change cash into shekels.
How can I pack most efficiently?
Packing light is key: The airlines are very strict about the weight of bags and going over can cost you extra and, more importantly, the buses can only handle ONE large bag per person.
One strategy to save space is to coordinate with other participants from your city to share the burden of communal items—one person can bring enough first aid supplies to share, one can bring Tylenol or Ibuprofen, one can bring Handi-wipes. Pairing up with your roommate to share items like toothpaste or a hair dryer also helps. You will want to buy souvenirs, so save a little extra space, or throw in an extra, small duffle bag into your suitcase for gifts to bring back home. Please see our “What to Pack” guide for specific packing suggestions.
Where should I eat during my free time?
One of the best parts of visiting Israel is trying out the wide range of eateries and restaurants. They run the gamut from walk-up falafel and shwarma stands to fine dining. We recommend asking your Community Leaders and friends who have previously been, as well as searching on websites such as TripAdvisor.com. Our local staff will also be happy to recommend their go-to favorites.
Will I be able to do laundry on the trip?
The hotels offer laundry services. The cost is per item and you pay the hotel directly. Some participants like to bring a small bottle of detergent and a few clothespins to wash out clothing and hang overnight.
What kind of sun protection is best?
Even people with dark-toned skin will need protection in Israel’s summer sun. Hats and sunglasses are a necessity. A sunblock with an SPF of at least 25 will protect you, as long as you reapply often during the day.
Is there WiFi?
There is Wifi in the hotels and on some of the buses, however, it can be spotty and slow with so many people using it. Depending on the hotel, it may only be available in the lobby.
All participants need data coverage either through their own cell phone carrier or by renting a SIM card or smartphone. The Wifi alone does not provide enough coverage.
When do I need to dress modestly?
Some of the places we visit (such as the Kotel/Western Wall and other holy sites) require women to wear shirts with sleeves and cover knees and cleavage. While you want to always dress comfortably, it is important to be prepared to dress more modestly at times and have a pashmina or light sweater to put on.
Do I need to know Hebrew to be able to get around, shop, order food, etc.?
No, you do not. Most Israelis speak at least some English, some speak it quite well. Picking up a few phrases can make the trip more fun, though.
Where can I keep my valuables?
We recommend only bringing jewelry and other valuables that you use on a regular basis and are necessary.
Most hotels have a safe in each room. We recommend you store your passport there once you check in as well as any other valuables, such as cash, electronics, or jewelry that you will not carry with you.