Safety and Security - Birthright Israel: Shorashim

FAQs

We operate under extensive safety precautions. We have developed a program that is as safe, secure, meaningful and fun as possible.

Security

  • The government of Israel is devoted to the safety and security of visitors and citizens alike. Birthright Israel and Shorashim are in constant contact with the appropriate Israeli security/public safety authorities.
  • Our program is approved daily with the "situation room" administered by the Israeli Ministry of Education, Military, and Police. They issue specific guidelines as to where it is safe to travel and the best routes to use.
  • Changes in itinerary are made immediately if necessary (weather or security related).
  • Professional security escorts and a medic accompany the group at all times.
  • Birthright Israel has signed special contracts with the airlines carrying participants as part of this program to ensure a heightened level of security.
  • Airline security for international travel is stricter than for domestic flights, and has been heightened after September 11. Israeli airline security is widely considered the best in the world.
  • Public transportation is not allowed.
  • Groups travel with cellular phones and can be reached 24 hours a day.
  • A chartered bus with one bus driver remains with the group for the entire trip. Our drivers never leave their buses unattended or unlocked.
  • All students have a security orientation upon arrival in Israel, which includes extensive travel safety tips and free time guidelines.
  • Participants will have time to shop and relax, but free time will only be permitted at structured, supervised times and locations.
  • A 24-hour emergency number in Israel to use in the event of a family emergency or crisis at home will be sent to participants along with trip itineraries.
  • Parents, friends, and relatives can always contact our U.S. or Israel office for any matter.
  • Both of our offices will be in regular contact with trip staff in Israel.

Medical Issues

  • All participants are provided with medical insurance from an Israeli HMO while on the ground in Israel.
  • Participants must have or purchase existing medical coverage that provides for coverage in Israel. The insurance provided by Shorashim does not cover pre-existing conditions, follow-up treatment, psychiatric conditions or illness cause by drug or alcohol use or abuse. Participants should contact their local insurance carrier to understand their coverage overseas and to confirm reimbursement policies.
  • Participants should consult with their physician regarding any existing medical conditions.
  • Necessary medication should be brought for the entire trip, along with a copy of the prescription.
  • Participants must indicate all medication currently prescribed, ongoing treatments, and any medical issues that are relevant to a program of this nature on the medical form.
  • The following treatments are available in the event of illness or injury.
  • Basic first aid is administered by medics accompanying the group.
  • Doctors are available to those who need additional care. These doctors can prescribe additional medication as appropriate. They will also refer participants to specialists, when necessary.
  • Should urgent medical care be required, participants will immediately be taken to an authorized clinic or to an emergency room. A staff member will accompany participants on any visits to doctors, clinics or hospitals.

We ask our participants to abide by common sense travel tips so that their trip to Israel can be both safe and memorable.

Birthright Israel's free time guidelines are designed to ensure the safety of trip participants at all times during the program.

General Travel Tips:

  • Use your common sense. If something isn't appropriate at home, it probably isn't in Israel either.
  • Make a copy of your passport and keep it with you. Store your passport and important travel information in a safe place, like a safe in your hotel.
  • Wear casual clothes and don't wear a lot of jewelry. Keep cameras inside a secure bag.
  • Travel light as the groups move around a lot and you will be less likely to lose or forget something.
  • Do not leave any packages or bags unattended. In Israel, if a 'suspicious' package is found, the police are called immediately and the package is often destroyed.
  • Be attentive on the streets and particularly aware in crowded areas such as local festivals, markets, and crowded tourist sites. Avoid public demonstrations or commotion.
  • Relax and look like you belong wherever you are. Don't appear lost or vulnerable. Use common sense.
  • Don't discuss travel plans with strangers.
  • Lock your hotel room door at night. Non-participants are not allowed in your room.

Free Time Guidelines:

  • Free time will only be permitted at structured, supervised times, and locations.
  • Once the group returns to the hotel at night, you are not permitted to go out again on your own. Additional 'free time' activities have been scheduled in the hotel in the evening, and you may make full use of the hotel facilities until closing.
  • When on free time, adhere to the directions given by trip staff.
  • If you have friends or relatives in Israel, please invite them to visit you at the hotel during free time.

Additional Guidelines:

  • Anyone who leaves the group without prior approval will immediately be removed from the program and forfeit his/her deposit.
  • In the event of emergency, proceed immediately to where you were supposed to meet your group or bus. In the evenings, meet in the hotel lobby. If you are unable to return to your group, please contact the staff. Check your emergency card, which will be distributed at the beginning of the trip, for the appropriate numbers to call.
  • Public transportation is not allowed.