Is IsraelNow right for you?

Ready to explore the vibrant culture of Tel Aviv? Trek through the Negev Desert? Dig up artifacts from the past? Or make new friends with local Israelis and other eighth graders from your city?

IsraelNow is a chance to do all that and so much more. Our week-long adventures are an immersive, educational and rewarding experience that lets you discover and build a stronger connection to Jewish life. Whether you’re from an interfaith family, have already been to Israel or are just curious, IsraelNow is a once-in-a-lifetime journey you’ll always treasure.

Still not sure if IsraelNow is right for you? Take our quiz below to find out!

Want to know more about IsraelNow? Join us for an informational session in your city or contact your local IsraelNow program!

Why IsraelNow is an experience of a lifetime

For any student, the transition from eighth grade to high school is a pivotal moment in life. It’s a foundational time when interests, activities and friendships are changing and evolving—shaping how they view the world. It’s also an important time to ensure young Jewish teens build a long-lasting connection to their heritage.

Our mission at IsraelNow is to inspire and nurture that connection for a stronger Jewish future. Whether already rooted in the Jewish community or looking to get more involved, we welcome any Jewish eighth grader on one of our week-long immersive and adventure-filled trips to Israel. But what is the real value of traveling with us? Let’s explore!

Discover the best of Israel

Visiting the Western Wall. Digging up artifacts from the past. Connecting with local Israelis. While no two IsraelNow trips are the same, each one is packed with exciting and rewarding activities that let teens see, hear, taste and experience all that Israel has to offer.

Every IsraelNow itinerary is designed with your eighth grader in mind and includes a special Track Day based on their unique personal interests. We provide different options for them to choose from so that we ensure their adventure is as meaningful as possible.

“I loved everything! The staff, the people, the food and the experiences were amazing. My favorite part was meeting the Israelis during Track Day! I’m still talking to some of them through Instagram!” – IsraelNow participant, 2019

For parents, we know it can be intimidating to send your teen abroad for a week, but our top priority is their safety and wellbeing. From extensive training for trip educators to security staff on our buses, we do everything we can to provide peace of mind.

Make new memories with new friends

Our adventures are an opportunity to broaden your teen’s mind and learn something new. From traveling with other students from their community to meeting local Israeli peers, they’ll be exposed to different backgrounds and perspectives throughout the trip. Together, they will make memories and share a special long-lasting bond as they enter high school.

“My daughter felt a strong connection to the new friendships that were formed. She feels a better connection to her new friends than her current ‘friends’ at her middle school.” – IsraelNow parent, 2019

In fact, many of our past participants are still close to the friends they made on their trip. For some, these friendships have given them a reason—and a way—to become more immersed in their local Jewish community back home.

“Going on the trip really inspired me to continue with Hebrew school and continue going to activities to meet more Jewish kids my age and make new friends.” – IsraelNow participant, 2019

Grow your Jewish identity

Traveling to Israel can be a transformative experience. The lessons they learn, stories they hear, people they meet—it’s all a part of building that connection and reinforcing the value of their Jewish identity. The deeper that connection, the stronger their desire to continue engaging in Jewish activities and being a part of their local community.

“IsraelNow really helped me feel more connected to Israel and the Jewish people. I feel like I now have a better understanding and was really able to find my Jewish identity on the trip.” – IsraelNow participant, 2019

If you’re ready for your eighth grader to join us on the experience of a lifetime, then fill out an application form to register for an upcoming trip. Still have questions or want to know more about IsraelNow? Join us for an informational session in your city or contact your local IsraelNow program!

Top 4 lessons learned on IsraelNow trips

We often say IsraelNow is a transformative and rewarding experience for Jewish eighth graders. It’s an immersive and guided journey that teaches them as much about themselves as it does about their heritage. And while a deeper bond with Israel and a stronger connection to Judaism are the ultimate goals, we want our travelers to take away so much more.

So, what are the top lessons learned on IsraelNow trips?

1. Curiosity helps us grow

Traveling to a new country can be intimidating, but it can also be an exciting opportunity to see the world and create new memories. We’ve had eighth graders join us who have never left home and others who have been to Israel many times before with their families. In each instance, they set flight with open mindseager to experience and learn new things.

“IsraelNow gave me the opportunity to experience Israel in a new light. I was never expecting to become as close as I did with the Israelis nor did I think I would feel as fulfilled as I do now. It opened me up to a whole new world.”  – IsraelNow participant, 2019

We believe that to truly understand something, we must experience it. It’s a powerful feeling to watch as rambunctious teens go silent when they see the Western Wall. How they dive into Israeli cuisine and are hungry to learn about the culture. And how they uncover artifacts from the past while discovering new pieces of their future. It’s that curiosity and desire to learn that helps them grow, both as a person and as a Jew.

2. The little things bring us together

Being able to see different lives and hear different perspectives is beyond impactful during this pivotal moment in your eighth grader’s life. What’s even more valuable is seeing how these differences can actually bring us all together and unite us.

“IsraelNow was such a wonderful experience! It helped me to understand that Jews share a connection no matter where they’re from.” – IsraelNow participant, 2019

One of our favorite parts of IsraelNow trips is Track Days, where your teen can choose from a group of activities to find what best suits their unique personal interests. Perhaps they want to engage in a social justice project? Spend more time exploring local sports? Experience local cuisine? Whatever they choose, the idea is for them to get a chance to encounter Israel in their own way. These activities also help them form stronger connections with new friends and the land.

3. Our history can strengthen our future

Every IsraelNow trip includes a mix of historical and prominent destinations with modern activities and sights. From hiking Masada to swimming in the Dead Sea to exploring Tel Aviv, each day of our week-long journey is filled with chances to strengthen the ties to your teen’s heritage—and form bonds that will last long after they return home.

In fact, many of our alumni have continued to explore their heritage and get more involved in their Jewish community back home. 9 out of 10 travelers are likely to take up Jewish activities in high school after their trip.

“[IsraelNow] made me love Israel so much more and got me interested in Hebrew, Judaism, Israeli culture, etc. I’m going to take Hebrew as a class in high school and possibly spend a semester in Israel.” – IsraelNow participant, 2019

4. Always be true to who you are

Teens can be easily influenced by their peers at this age. That is why it’s so important to give them a safe space and the independence to nurture their Jewish identity and grow their Jewish roots.

“Going to Israel made me re-think my Jewish identity. Before Israel, I was ‘unsure’ about being Jewish. I thought it meant prayers and going to a synagogue a lot. After visiting Israel, I feel a different way toward Judaism. I believe it means looking after and caring for other people. It also means being true to who you are and to fight for it.” – IsraelNow participant, 2019

If you’re ready for your eighth grader to join us on the experience of a lifetime, then fill out an application form to register for an upcoming trip. Still have questions or want to know more about IsraelNow? Join us for an informational session in your city or contact your local IsraelNow program!