There’s so much to do while you’re in Israel and also a few things you’ll need to get ready for before you go. Check out the information we’ve compiled for you below, and start getting excited (and ready) for the experience you’ve been waiting for!
DETAILED PRE-TRIP GUIDANCE WILL BE ISSUED ~60 DAYS PRIOR TO ARRIVAL. FOR NON-ISRAEL PROGRAMS, SEPARATE GUIDANCE WILL BE PROVIDED.
FLYING TO ISRAEL
Participants are responsible for making their own travel arrangements to Israel and, with the exception of Israel Teaching Fellows, the cost of your flight to Ben Gurion Airport (Tel Aviv) is not reimbursed. In the weeks leading up to your program start date, we'll notify you of an exact meeting time. Though it's not mandatory, we recommend arriving a day or two before the start of the program to acclimate. We can point you in the right direction in terms of where to stay and how to get around.
The entry rules for shorter and longer-term stays are very different. Plan ahead now to avoid complications down the line.
If you plan to be in Israel for less than three months, no visa is required to enter the country. If you are a citizen of the United States, Canada, Great Britain, a European Union country or any other country with a visa waiver, no prior arrangements need to be made. If you are not a citizen of a country with a visa waiver you will need to contact your nearest Israeli embassy or consulate to apply for a visa.
Israel requires visas for anyone staying longer than three months, regardless of your nationality. Unless you have an Israeli passport, you'll be responsible for obtaining an Israeli visa in order to participate. We encourage you to contact your nearest Israeli embassy or consulate at least 6-8 weeks before the start of your program in order to request an A2 visa, which is available to anyone confirmed on a Masa Israel-affiliated program. The A2 visa is valid for a year and allows for multiple entries to Israel.
Once you submit the forms, the consulate will contact you to conduct a video call before sending you the visa by email. The Israeli consular staff has final jurisdiction with regards to granting a visa. Should you encounter a problem obtaining a visa please contact us directly. Keep in mind that an A2 visa does not entitle you to work in Israel.
All travelers are required to have a passport valid for at least six months from their arrival date in Israel. If your passport expires in less than six months from the start of your trip, renew your passport immediately. Otherwise, you will not be allowed entry into Israel. Additionally, we require all applicants to submit a valid copy of their passports during the online application process. If you are participating in MASA Israel Teaching Fellows, please upload the passport copy to your MASA application. For all other programs, email the copy to email@example.com.
Requirements for an Israeli Citizen
If either of your parents is a citizen of Israel, or if you lived in Israel at some point in the past, it is your responsibility to make sure that your status with the Israeli Defense Forces is worked out and clear. If you hold an Israeli passport, you must enter Israel with your Israeli passport. If either of your parents is an Israeli citizen, you may still have obligations to the State of Israel that must be resolved prior to your trip even if you do not have an Israeli passport. It is important that you take care of these matters before you arrive in Israel. We recommend that you contact your nearest Israeli consular office if you have any questions.
Health insurance is provided on all NEXT programs, covering participants for most anything but pre-existing conditions or self-inflicted injuries (Summary Policy | Detailed Policy). That being said, we do require you to come to Israel with your own valid health insurance policy that includes coverage of pre-existing conditions. You will submit the policy information to us ahead of the start of your program. If you are not insured on your own or if your home medical insurance policy does not cover you abroad, then you NEED to arrange for an insurance policy that covers you for pre-existing conditions during your NEXT experience.
MEDICATION & VACCINATION
If you are taking a prescription medication, we recommend packing your medication with your carry-on luggage in case your main luggage is delayed. We also recommend bringing enough medication to last for the entire duration of your stay in Israel. It can otherwise be difficult and rather expensive to obtain a prescription for pre-existing conditions once in Israel. If you have a notable medical condition, please inform us in advance; no one likes surprises, and just remember that this is all for your safety. All medical records will be kept strictly confidential.
With the notable exception of Covid-19, no special vaccinations are required or necessary in Israel. However, we recommend that you come to Israel with an up-to-date tetanus shot.
SHABBAT & HOLIDAYS
Shabbat is the Jewish day of rest, and it is a perfect time to reflect on the experiences that you have had so far and to rest and re-charge for the experiences ahead. Many Shabbat weekends will be designated as free time. Some Shabbat weekends will be programmed. During these programmed weekends, there will be a public observance of Shabbat. What this means is that nothing in the program will force or encourage participants to violate the rules of Shabbat (or any other Jewish holidays that fall within the trip). Keep in mind that there will be participants on your trip of all Jewish backgrounds, and we only ask that each person be respectful of everyone else’s individual level of religious observance.
You have chosen a great program, and we are committed to giving you a lot of space to explore Israel on your own as an adult. That said, there are some common-sense basic rules which are followed strictly. Additional program rules and guidelines are explained in the program waiver.
- No illegal drugs or controlled substances of any kind
- No excessive/dangerous alcohol consumption
- No opting out of official group programming*
- Respect for your fellow travelers, program staff, and our partners
*Should you elect to leave a program early you may be responsible for the full tuition fee, including repaying any subsidies or scholarships received.