On April 26, 2021, Birthright Israel announced it will resume providing the gift of an educational trip to Israel beginning in May. The decision to allow entry for tour groups was made by the government in wake of a successful nationwide vaccination campaign that has already reached more than 85% of eligible Israelis.
In order to attend a trip, participants must be fully vaccinated or recovered from COVID-19 and have received at least one FDA-authorized vaccine. Participants will also be required to provide a negative PCR test before boarding a flight to Israel as well as take an antibody test upon their arrival at Israel’s Ben-Gurion Airport. Birthright Israel will work to secure the proper testing required by the CDC for re-entry into the United States. Each group will be made up of approximately 20 participants, compared to the pre-pandemic number of 40.
Birthright Israel Foundation appreciates the ongoing support and generosity of our nearly 40,000 donors and will continue to keep them apprised of important updates as we receive them.
To find information regarding COVID‑19 and trips, please visit Birthright Israel’s COVID-19 FAQ section.
Are Birthright Israel trips resuming this summer?
Yes, while entry to Israel continues to be extremely limited, Birthright Israel participants who are fully vaccinated or recovered from COVID-19 are allowed into the country. Birthright Israel working closely with Israel’s Ministry of Health and adhering to all its guidelines. Participants will need to present a negative PCR COVID-19 test which was taken within 72 hours of departure and, upon arrival in Israel, participants will need to take an additional PCR test as well as a serological (antibodies) test which Birthright Israel will provide for all groups.
Do participants need a COVID‑19 vaccine to go?
Yes. The Government of Israel determines which tourists can enter Israel and Birthright Israel will follow their guidelines. Participants that enter Israel must be fully vaccinated with COVID-19 authorized-FDA vaccine or recovered from COVID-19. Travel is possible 14 days after the second vaccine has been administered. Participants will need to present a negative PCR COVID-19 test which was taken within 72 hours of departure and, upon arrival in Israel, participants will need to take an additional PCR test as well as a serological (antibodies) test which Birthright Israel will provide. Documented verification of vaccine is required. Participants can update their COVID-19 status on their application on Birthright Israel’s website.
What if a participant has recovered from COVID‑19 and has antibodies? Can they still join a trip?
Yes. If a participant has recovered from COVID-19 and has received at least one FDA-authorized vaccine they can join a trip starting in July. Travel is possible 14 days after the vaccine has been administered. The participant must also present a negative PCR COVID-19 test which was taken within 72 hours of departure and, upon arrival in Israel, you will need to take an additional PCR test as well as a serological (antibodies) test which Birthright Israel will provide for them. Documented verification of the person’s recovery is required. Participants can update their COVID-19 status on their application on Birthright Israel’s website
How does Birthright Israel make its health and safety decisions?
Birthright Israel is working closely with Israel’s Ministry of Health and will maintain the highest level of precautions on trips and adjust whenever necessary.
How will trips be different from regular trips due to COVID‑19?
As it has always been for the last 21 years of operation, the safety and well-being of participants and staff is our highest priority and foremost concern. All of the participants and staff will be fully vaccinated or recovered, most of the flights to Israel will be direct, groups will have fewer participants, spend more time outdoors, visit sites that abide by the highest standards of Israel’s Ministry of Health, wear a facemask in public and keep 6 feet from others outside the group when possible. Other than that, we can assure you Birthright Israel will take all necessary measures to ensure a safe, fun, and enjoyable experience for the participants.
How can I help Birthright Israel trips resume and make this gift a reality for young Jews?
Birthright Israel Foundation is grateful to all of our supporters and the generosity they showed throughout the pandemic. If you’d like to support trips resuming, you can make a tax-deductible donation today. Every dollar helps us sustain the world’s largest and most impactful Jewish educational experience.
Visit Birthright Israel’s COVID-19 FAQ section to learn more about trips resuming and all requirements.
How safe is it to travel to Israel with Birthright Israel?
In over two decades with 750,000+ participants, Birthright Israel has never had a security issue. The safety and security of the participants is of our utmost concern. Below are the measures we take to ensure the safety and security of all groups:
- A tour educator, two staff members, a medic, and at least one trained security guard to accompany all trips.
- Participants travel as a group by tour bus, never via public transportation.
- All trips, tour bus companies, and drivers are subject to strict safety standards.
- Birthright Israel only works with accredited members of the International Air Transport Association (IATA).
- Should the need arise, itineraries will be changed to ensure participant safety.
Please visit Birthright Israel’s Information Center to read more about the safety and security of trips.
This post was updated on May 12, 2021 at 10:00 AM EST.