The HaMerkaz trip is a 2-week coed trip to Israel where you will get a chance to both tour great parts of Israel and investigate current and pertinent aspects of Judaism together with students from all around the world. Click Here to see a FAQ List.
Click Here to see a sample HaMerkaz trip itinerary.
HaMerkaz is famous for its extensive touring program ranging from half day & full day expeditions around the best parts of Israel. Trips include 3 day tours up north to the Golan, to the Galilee and down to the Negev. Whether you’ve never been to Israel or are have visited many times before, you’ll have a chance to visit places and gain perspectives that you have NEVER seen before! You’ll visit all the essential tourist attractions as well as many places off the beaten track (i.e. places you don’t get to go while on birthright). A healthy mix of jeeping, camel rides, sunrise hikes make the touring an exciting and FUN part of the program.
Learning about Judaism: (like you never have before)
The interactive discussions, classes, and seminars help you relate to ancient Jewish wisdom and see its relevance for many areas of your life. Students are encouraged to challenge and ask questions throughout all areas of learning. You will have an opportunity to have small group discussions and one-on-one learning sessions with a mix of world-class experts and younger educators both of whom will be happy to help you discover your path in Judaism. Click Here to see a list of topics generally covered in the classes and discussions throughout a Hamerkaz trip.
Summer Trip Dates coming soon
Trip Costs are heavily discounted and subsidized. The standard trip costs $999 including airfare, but may be lower or higher based upon your college campus. Note that there is no application fee – so sign up today and see if the trip works for you.
How to Sign Up?
Click Here to go to the application and get your summer started in the right way.
Students are advised to arrive for international flights four hours prior to departure. Airlines overbook and late arrivals can not always depend on prior reservations.
Please check, ASAP, that your travel documents are accessible and have not expired. New regulations require that all passports are valid for at least six months AFTER your travel dates. Please make sure that your passport is acceptable.
In addition, please be advised that students, for whom HAMERKAZ has booked flights, will be responsible for any costs associated with late arrival at the airport departure terminal, or failure to arrive with proper travel documents, resulting in a missed flight.
WHAT TO DO WHEN YOU LAND
For the group flight, we will be meeting you right outside the arrivals hall so please look for a sign that says “Welcome HAMERKAZ Group.”
For those coming individually, please contact us so we can give you instructions on how to meet up with the group when you arrive.
Breakfast, lunch and dinner will be provided by HAMERKAZ on many days. Days that are full day trips, we will provide the meals as well as on Shabbat. Days that they aren’t provided, i.e.: a free day, students will be responsible for their own meals. Anyone wishing to purchase snacks, drinks or etc. on all days of the trip, should please bring some spending money. We try to provide 3 good meals a day so nobody should have any concerns.
You will not require any special inoculations for travel in Israel.
Mandatory Medical Insurance:
You will receive Travel Health Insurance upon your arrival. PLEASE NOTE: Our medical insurance does NOT cover pre-existing medical conditions.
If you require particular prescription medicines, bring a letter from your doctor giving the generic name of the medicine and what it is being used to treat. Please make sure to bring an ample supply of prescriptions that you require on a daily basis.
Cell Phone Service:
We require that you rent a cell phone for your stay in Israel. You will receive an email with a link to ordering from our local recommended provider, who gives you the option for an American number for incoming calls, and other benefits. Calls to other students in the group (limited to 500 minutes) are also free so you and your friends on the trip can communicate at all times. You will receive your cell# in advance of your departure so you can give it out to friends/family before hand. If you choose to get an Israeli SIM card upon arrival, please note your schedule is rather full once the trip begins and the stores which sell SIM cards are often closed by the time we finish the daily schedule. If you want to bring your own phone you may, but be advised it must be unlocked and not all phones work with Israeli SIM cards.
Regular mail to and from Israel can take up to two weeks to be delivered. Often, people returning to North America will be willing to bring mail back, i.e. for the federal postal service to deliver. So it is a good idea to bring stamps from home. The shipping of packages can take from 6 to 8 weeks. So bring along whatever you need rather than waiting for it to be shipped. Those packages, which are mailed, can also be troublesome since they have to be cleared through the Post Office and Customs.
Student Name c/o
P.O. Box 18103
Jerusalem, Israel 91180
Israel contact Phone Number: Rabbi Alter Klein 052-892-1548, from the U.S. Dial: 011-972-52-892-1548
Fax Number: 02-581-2890. From the U.S. dial: 011-972-2-581-2890
You should bring along spending money for incidental expenses and any items you may want to purchase. For the duration of the program it will be most convenient if you bring your money in the form of Traveler’s checks. They can be cashed as you need the money. They are usually replaceable if lost. We recommend that students bring $200 – $250 for personal spending money during the summer programs, less for the shorter winter program. There are several locations within Jerusalem that students can exchange foreign currency or traveler’s cheques for Israeli Shekels.
Coin-operated washing machines and dryers are available in Jerusalem and should cost approximately 3-5 dollars to do a full load of laundry. Many people choose to give their laundry to a laundry service which washes, dries and folds it for you. This service in Jerusalem costs @ $10-15.
Do not bring jewelry or other valuables that you will not use on a regular basis. This leaves open the possibility of unnecessary aggravation in case of potential loss or misplacement of property.
Important items to bring:
Personal Items/Cosmetic and Toiletries
Most of the items, which you might use, are available in Israel; but they are more expensive. We recommend that you take a reasonable supply of that which you use regularly, including: soap, shampoo, toothpaste, deodorant, suntan lotion, insect repellent etc. Pepto-Bismol tablets: A change in your diet in a new country can often put a strain on your digestive system. It’s always good insurance to have something like this with you.
The weather in Jerusalem can vary from quite mild to very cold and wet in the winter and warm to hot, but very dry, in the summer. In the winter, it is usually above freezing, but don’t rule out snow. It comes every once in a very long while. Bring a sweater, jacket or sweat-shirt for the evenings, which can be cool. An insulated winter coat and a rain-coat area very good idea for winter. You will not need a raincoat in Israel during the summer.
• A hat – to protect your head from the sun on hikes. Very important.
• Hiking shoes or sneakers (we often do hikes that involve going through some water, so make sure one pair of shoes can get wet).
• Shoes/clothes for Shabbat.
• Bathing suit
• Alarm clock
Other Items – Optional
o Musical instruments
o MP3/CD/Cassette Player
o Notepad and pen for writing down notes or questions in class
o Sports equipment
o Hangers (a few)
o Knapsack or small touring case
o Electric shaver: Israeli current is 220v A.C., single phase, 50 cycles.
o Student I.D.
General Standard of Dress:
Students are welcome to wear casual clothing during classes and throughout the week. However, you will want to have some more dressy clothes for Shabbat and special occasions. Males will want to bring a kippa (skullcap). You may want to bring a suit or sport jacket for Shabbat. Ladies are encouraged to bring modest clothing for visits to holy sights and religious neighborhoods( i.e.: calf-length skirts or dresses; tops or blouses that cover both elbow and collarbone-this, out of respect for the lifestyle of the local residents of those neighborhoods).