- Where can I get more information?
- How much does the trip cost?
- Do you offer scholarships?
- Are there still spots available?
- When is the last day to fundraise?
- Do you have fundraising suggestions?
- Do I get my money back if I’m not going?
- Can I go early and meet you in Israel or extend my trip? How can I extend?
- When are the flights?
- Where do the trips leave from? Do you book flights into the departing city?
- What does a typical day look like? Do we have the option to choose projects? Do you have a sample itinerary?
- What kind of volunteering will we be doing? What are the work projects?
- Will I be doing things other than volunteering?
- Will we have free time? Can I meet up with my friends/family in Israel?
- Can I sign up with a group? How do I do this? Can we fundraise together?
- What are the requirements?
- I’m not American. Can I go on the trip?
- I’m not Jewish. Can I go?
- What are the ages? Am I too old/young to go? Do you have to be in college?
- Will I be with my friends/spouse?
- How many people will be on the trip?
- Are there other dates available?
- Can I get volunteer credit for my school?
- Can I go if I’ve already done Taglit-Birthright Israel?
- Does ASB make me ineligible for Taglit-Birthright Israel?
- What are the safety precautions?
- When does registration open?
- How do I register?
- Is the trip affiliated with any movement within Judaism?
- What will Shabbat be like? Is this a religious trip?
- I registered last year. Do I have to reregister?
1. Where can I get more information?
If you can’t find the information you are looking for on our website or by looking through our FAQs for general information, you can contact us with your specific questions.
By phone: 212-879-9305 ext. 245
By email: email@example.com
2. How much does the trip cost?
This is a free trip with generous JNF donors covering the costs of the program. However, an important component of this experience is fundraising and learning about philanthropy. That means you are responsible for raising a minimum of $1100, either by donating on your own behalf and/or by asking others to donate toward your goal. The funds that you raise go directly to our Blueprint Negev Campaign or Operation Carmel Renewal. Once you reach your fundraising minimum, JNF is committed to sponsoring your trip to Israel. This includes your flights to and from Israel from our departure city/cities, housing, most meals, and transportation while abroad. It also includes medical insurance while you are with the group. It does NOT include money for souvenirs, snacks, or other extras participants may choose for him/herself, and a few independent meals.
3. Do you offer scholarships?
We do not offer scholarships for AB, since an important component of this experience is fundraising and learning about philanthropy. We are happy to assist you in finding ways to reach your goal. You can access a list of helpful fundraising tips here.
4. Are there still spots available?
Yes! We take the first 300 participants who reach the fundraising minimum. There are a limited number of tickets for each trip, and we close specific dates when they are no longer available. Once we have filled, we will post it prominently on our website and close registration so that you are not able to sign up for the trip. So as long as our homepage says Register Now, you are still able to join us.
5. When is the last day to fundraise?
Alternative Break trips are filled on a first-come first-serve basis depending on fundraising completion by participants. We suggest completing your fundraising by mid-October for Winter trips and mid-January for Spring trips. Alternatively, to secure your seat on the trip before completing your fundraising goal, you can choose to submit a fundraising guarantee form and then you will have until the week before your departure to reach your minimum goal
6. Do you have fundraising suggestions?
7. Do I get my money back if I’m not going?
The money you are raising goes directly to JNF projects, in Israel; therefore, we cannot refund any money that is donated. We strongly recommend that you explain to your donors that their donations are going to Blueprint Negev or Operation Carmel Renewal, and that because of their donations, JNF is sponsoring your trip to Israel. Your donors will receive a tax receipt for their donation to Israel through JNF. If you find that you are unable to go, even though you have raised some or all of the money, contact us, and we will discuss your options with you.
8. Can I go early and meet you in Israel or extend my trip? How can I extend?
Going early is usually not an option. As we purchase our tickets as a group; you are required to travel to Israel with us. The only exception to this is if you are studying in Israel already. You will still be required to raise the minimum of $1100 in order to go on AB. You will be required to meet us at the airport and stay with the group for the entirety of the trip. Once the group is on the way to the airport, you will be able to depart from us.
Trip extensions are allowed, but we are only able to extend a limited amount of tickets prior to the trip’s departure, based on airline restrictions. There will be an additional cost to extend your trip. Extensions are first-come, first-serve and will not be submitted until the fundraising minimum has been met. Once you have reached your fundraising minimum, you will be able to submit an extension request through the Trip Information Center.
Even if you are not able to extend through us, you may try to extend through the airline. You will only be able to do this once you are already in Israel, and there are no guarantees that you will get the dates or times you want. JNF is not involved in extensions granted through the airline upon arrival in Israel.
9. When are the flights?
Please see Trip Information.
10. Where do the trips leave from? Do you book flights into the departing city?
All of our flights leave from NY/NJ airports. You are responsible for getting yourself to the departure city airport four hours prior to departure in order to check in and make your flight to Israel. We do not book or pay for domestic flights, and we recommend that you get to your departure location well in advance of your scheduled flight to Israel, due to unforeseen airline or airport problems. If booking domestic flights, plan to arrive at the NY/NJ airport five hours prior to our Israel departure.
11. What does a typical day look like? Do we have the option to choose projects? Do you have a sample itinerary?
Each day is broken up into sections. Generally, participants all volunteer as a group in the morning, take a lunch break, and then continue working in the afternoon. Depending on the day, there may be hikes, tours, or other activities interspersed throughout your time in Israel. Alternative Break focuses on building up the Negev region of Israel or rebuilding Northern Israel. Our work projects are designed so that any able-bodied person can participate in our program.
You can view a sample itinerary here from a trip last year. Please keep in mind that this is NOT the itinerary for this year’s trip. Itineraries for winter and spring 2011/2012 will be sent out to participants closer to the trip date.
12. What kind of volunteering will we be doing? What are the work projects?
The types of programming may include, but are not limited to: planting, pruning, building, painting, gardening, harvesting, and working with children.View our sample itinerary. A complete itinerary will be available for you closer to your trip date.
13. Will I be doing things other than volunteering?
Yes. We want your AB experience to be fun and rewarding, which means that we balance hard work with fun activities and some relaxation time. You can access a sample itinerary to see how we have done this in the past.
14. Will we have free time? Can I meet up with my friends/family in Israel?
There will be some free time on the trip. However, you are making a commitment to participate in a peer group experience for the duration of the program beginning with your flight to Israel. You are required to stay with the group at all times. Although there will be no free days on this program, there will be certain time blocks in which your friends and family members will be able to join up with you. Your trip leader will give you specifics about when and where as soon as your itinerary has been finalized. If you have any questions about this policy, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
15. Can I sign up with a group? How do I do this? Can we fundraise together?
To sign up with a group, follow our registration process for teams. If your team has yet to be created, you can start your own by becoming a team leader. If you want to find or join a team that has already been created, you can search by team name. If you are unsure of the team name, you can search for a team by the name of the team captain. If you and others have joined individually but want to join a team, contact us and we will help you.
While you are welcome to fundraise together, each team member will be responsible for his/her own fundraising minimum. Every person has a personal webpage, and people will be allowed to donate to individuals, not to the team as a whole.
16. What are the requirements?
To participate in Alternative Break, you must be a Jewish young adult, post-high school, between the ages of 18 and 30. Participants must raise at least $1100 for the Blueprint Negev Campaign or Operation Carmel Renewal to participate in the program, depending on whether the trip is going north or south. While it is not required that you have been to Israel before, we strongly recommend it, as this is not a touring trip. This is a volunteer based trip, and as such you must be willing and able to participate in all of our work projects in order to join us.
17. I’m not American. Can I go on the trip?
We can only take those individuals who have United States or Canadian passports. Canadians must be studying or working in the US. Contact email@example.com for details.
18. I’m not Jewish. Can I go?
Jewish National Fund’s Alternative Break program is for for Jewish young adults ages 18 to 30 who are post high school. Eligible individuals are those recognized as Jewish by the Jewish community or by one of the recognized denominations of Judaism; or if either parent is Jewish and the applicant does not actively practice another religion. At this time we do not offer post-high school programming for individuals of other faiths.
19. What are the ages? Am I too old/young to go? Do you have to be in college?
The age range is 18-30. We do not take students who are still in high school, even if they are already 18, but you do not have to be in college in order to attend. The full spectrum of ages is represented on each trip. If you are traveling alone, we will group you based on the following criteria: age, whether you are in undergraduate school, graduate school, or are a young professional. We do everything we can in order to ensure that you are comfortable with the people in your group.
20. Will I be with my friends/spouse?
You will be able to request to be on a bus with your traveling partner(s). This means that you will be in a work group, be able to dine, and spend free time together. We pick rooming assignments for the majority of the trip, unless you are married and request to room with your spouse. Unmarried couples will not be allowed to room together.
21. How many people will be on the trip?
Each bus has approximately 40 people per bus. The amount of busses per departure date depends on how many people reach their goal before the cut-off point.
22. Are there other dates available?
No. We recognize that not everyone has their Winter or Spring Break during the weeks that we plan, which is why we are offering winter and spring options.
23. Can I get volunteer credit for my school?
Absolutely. We can credit you for up to 25 volunteer hours for your time in Israel. We can either fill out your school’s provided form or write a letter outlining volunteer activities.
24. Can I go if I’ve already done Taglit-Birthright Israel?
Absolutely! In fact, we encourage it. AB is not intended as an introduction to Israel. While you may join us, even if you have not previously been to Israel, you need to be aware that this is not a typical touring trip. This allows for us to concentrate our efforts on one region in Israel and make the most of our volunteer time there.
25. Does AB make me ineligible for Taglit-Birthright Israel?
Since Alternative Break is not a tour group, it may not make you ineligible for Taglit-Birthright Israel, but this is not a certainty. We strongly suggest that you do Taglit-Birthright Israel prior to AB if you are planning on doing it at all.
26. What are the safety precautions?
We operate under extensive safety precautions and have developed a program that is as safe, secure, meaningful, and fun as possible. Click here to access our complete safety regulation information sheet.
27. When does registration open?
Registration opens in June.
28. How do I register?
Click here to register now!
29. Is the trip affiliated with any movement within Judaism?
Neither the Jewish National Fund nor our Alternative Break program is affiliated with any specific denomination of Judaism. We have had Jewish young adults from very religious to secular on our trips; we do not force any religious views or programs upon our participants at any time. We ask that our participants respect each other and not force their views on other participants during our time together. All provided meals are certified Kosher by the local Rabbinate.
30. What will Shabbat be like? Is this a religious trip?
All Jewish young adults are welcome whose Jewish practices span the options of Jewish life. We try to provide Shabbat options for everyone. There will be the option to go to services or participate in discussion/reflection for Shabbat. We will be respecting the day of rest and do not work on Shabbat. We do not work or provide group travel options on Shabbat.
31. I registered last year. Do I have to reregister?
Yes. We need you to register for this year’s program, as it is different from last year’s. However, if you registered and fundraised last year but did not join us, please contact us about crediting your funds to this year’s program.
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Now in its seventh year, AB has proven to be a truly transformative experience.
“While other kids only have sunburns to show for their break, I know that I did something worthwhile with my time over break,” Corey Jacobson ASB ’09 said, who described his time in Israel as “one of the most fulfilling experiences of my life.