Sorkin Youth Trip FAQs
- How many adult leaders will be on the trip?
In addition to the guide, there will be one Beth El Clergy member, plus one male and one female adult chaperone. They will be partners with the guide in decision-making during the trip. The chaperones will remain in touch with parents, and there will be frequent check-ins. Modifications to the itinerary can be made as necessary.
- Will there be an in-home Shabbat hospitality for the participants?
The possibility for this would be for the one Shabbat in Jerusalem. If we can coordinate with someone from Beth El who is now in Jerusalem, it could possibly work. It is important for the participants to be together during the last Shabbat in Israel, which will be in Jerusalem. We want to cultivate a feeling of family among the group. One possible activity is for the participants to develop a Shabbat service with the accompanying clergy member ahead of time.
- How does travel insurance work?
Each family is responsible for deciding whether to purchase travel insurance that addresses their needs. It is done separately from the cost of the trip.
- Is the deposit refundable?
Yes, up to a point. The specific dates when the deposit or portions of the deposit are no longer refundable (because funds must be committed to reserve places and activities) will be provided as soon as possible.
- How much spending money should participants bring?
Between $100 – $300
- Is it possible to modify the itinerary to add particular activities, like adding the Tunnels, or a visit to the Tel Aviv museum that gives visitors a sense of being blind?
Yes! The basic itinerary provides a framework, but we will work with the students, parents and guide to customize the trip especially for the students who are going. We will look into various suggestions as we develop the final itinerary, including the Tel Aviv museum and the tunnels (i.e., Hezzekiah and Western Wall).
- Is it possible to do a food tour?
Yes, although probably not an expensive restaurant tour. There are a variety of food tours, and it’s also possible to do a game of sorts. One idea being discussed is to give the kids a fixed amount of money, and send them into the shuk to buy 3 things they have never had before; they then bring it back to the group, talk about what it is, who eats it, when it’s eaten, and try it together.
There will be a security guard/medic with them at all times. Free time will be agreed upon according to what is happening in Israel at the time, with guidance from chaperones and the guide. Free time would occur only in designated places, and the chaperones, clergy and guide will either accompany small groups or, if appropriate, wait in a meeting spot that the kids know in advance. Kids will have phone numbers for chaperones and the guide.
- Will kids have opportunity to see friends/family living in Israel?
Yes, if at all possible. We plan to work out details depending on how many kids have connections there, where they are, and timing.
- How will political conversations be handled?
The purpose of this trip is to connect personally with each other, learn what Israel means for each individual on the trip, and inspire the kids to learn more and develop their relationship with Israel. Politics is hard to ignore in Israel, and students will be free to engage in political discussions on their own, but this trip will not focus on or present particular political viewpoints or positions.
- Does the cost include airfare?
- Does the cost include meals?
Yes, except snacks and incidental food.
- What are the accommodations for the trip?
Participants will be in hotels 1 or 2 nights of the trip, but mostly the group will be staying in youth hostels, camp grounds, and kibbutzim. There will typically be 2 to 4 students per room in hostels.
- Will the students engage in any preparatory activities before the trip?
Yes. The group will have the opportunity to talk with Erez prior to the trip and to meet as a group a few times before they leave. We hope and expect them to get invested in their own experience and to exercise some leadership in developing the itinerary and other planning.
- Will the students be asked to do any post-trip activities?
Yes. We will engage the students in a variety of ways to share their experience with younger students in the Religious School, as well as with the broader Beth El community. This may include a Scroll article, posting on the Beth El website, writing a blogpost, leading discussion groups at the shul (perhaps showing pictures from their trip), and other activities.