Eligibility for Birthright Israel
Join the global community of more than 750,000 people from more than 68 countries who have experienced the adventure of Birthright Israel.
This gift is designed to offer an educational peer experience. As such, while the trip is available to young Jews all over the world & from various backgrounds, there are guidelines for eligibility.
All participants must be between 18 & 26 & have finished high school by the time their trip departs. If you are turning 27 prior to May 1st for summer trips, or December 1st for winter trips, you are only eligible for for 27-32 year olds with very limited availability. A number of our niche programs are available for participants up to age 29.
Eligible individuals are those who identify as Jewish & are recognized as such by their local community or by one of the recognized denominations of Judaism. Applicants must also have at least one Jewish birth parent, or have completed Jewish conversion through a recognized Jewish denomination.
Previous Israel Experience
If you have been to Israel before, but only with your family or on other personal business, you are still eligible.
Those who have participated in programs during high school that are a semester (four months) or shorter, are eligible to participate in the experience, including our Shorashim High School Adventure, Alexander Muss High School in Israel, NFTY-EIE, & Ramah Seminar.
You are not eligible if you were in Israel as part of a touring group, educational program, study program or an organized extended residential program that lasted for longer than seven days since turning 18 years old. If you participated in a high school program while 18, please reach out to us, as this may be an exception.
There are a few programs such as volunteering for Magen David Adom, participating in the Maccabiah games & Federation missions that do not affect your eligibility.
If you were born in Israel or are an Israeli citizen, you are only eligible if you left Israel before the age of 12. If you have served in the Israeli Army or volunteered on an Israel Army base, you are not eligible.
If you were born in Israel or have ever held Israeli citizenship or have held an Israeli passport, you are not eligible unless you prove by official documentation that you left Israel before the age of 12. If you are accepted to the program, you will need to obtain army exemption papers from your local Israeli consulate.
Jewish Studies Students
Students in exclusively Jewish Studies programs in any institute of higher learning, including Jewish teacher training programs, Jewish Studies Programs (not including Jewish Studies major or minor candidates at secular institutions), rabbinical programs, yeshivot/seminaries, Jewish communal service programs & the like are not eligible for the Birthright Israel gift while they are still in the study program.
Have more questions? Check out our FAQs.
Eligible & ready to apply? Check out our step-by-step guide for registration.
Acceptance & Dismissal
If Shorashim determines that, for any reason, an applicant is not fit to participate in the Birthright Israel program, it is at our total discretion to deny the application. If a participant is accepted & it is later determined to be necessary for that participant to be removed from the program, the participant will be required to return to North America & will be responsible for all costs involved. This decision is at our complete & ultimate discretion.