FAQs

Introduction

Choosing to come to Israel is a big decision, and we are sure you have big questions. We are here to help!

For fast answers, read below our frequently asked questions. Of course, the ITF Israel Experience team is here to personally answer any questions or concerns you have. Feel free to contact us or e-mail ITF@Israelexperience.org.

Living in Israel

Where exactly are the accommodations and what type of accommodation is it?

ITF Israel Experience operates ITF in Haifa, the cultural capital of the north coast of  Israel, and two central cities – Bat Yam, just south of Tel Aviv, and Rishon LeZion, just south-east of Bat Yam. In all cities, we have housing in apartment buildings in the center of town, close to shops, cafes, bars, and public transportation. The apartments are 3-6 bedroom apartments, furnished and basically equipped, with 6-8 participants living in each apartment (depending on the number of rooms). There are multiple bathrooms in each apartment, and the communal spaces include a kitchen and a living room. Most participants will be sharing a room with one roommate, with a limited option to have a single room at an additional cost. All apartments have Wi-Fi.

Are we assigned a roommate?

During the opening seminar, you get to know your fellow participants and decide who you want to live with for your time in Israel. MITF staff will make the final decisions about housing, taking into account everyone’s needs and preferences as well as the physical space of each apartment.

What happens during the high holidays, like Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur? And Shabbat?

Most of Israel goes on vacation during the high holidays, so you can either take the chance to explore Israel on your own or we could connect you with a host family to spend the holidays and Shabbats during the year.

What is a typical week like for fellows?

The Israeli school week is Sunday to Friday (with Fridays being a half-day). All Sundays are reserved for group activities (for example, teaching workshops, educational seminars on Israeli society, group bonding, etc.). Every fellow will get one other day off a week, depending on their host teacher’s schedule.

Each participant is required to complete 20-25 working hours a week at her/his assigned school. In addition, participants are expected to take on an additional volunteer project in the community for at least 4 weekly hours as well as participate in Ulpan Hebrew classes twice a week in the afternoon.

As you can see there is quite a lot going on in the program, but at the same time there is plenty of free time – during most of the afternoons, on the weekends and during the Jewish holidays, when Israeli schools are on break – participants are free to enjoy their time by joining a gym, go hiking, take classes, etc. – it is up to you!

As someone who doesn’t speak Hebrew, will I be able to do valuable work?

The language barrier is a challenge on the program, as the students’ level of English in the school may vary greatly, but this challenge is definitely manageable! Your Hebrew will certainly improve after your Ulpan lessons, but even more vital to your success in school is your general level of communication skills—learning to speak slowly, use your hands and your tone to help kids understand you, etc.

Remember, the purpose of the program is to enhance Israeli students’ English skills – which can only be achieved by communicating in ENGLISH. The staff from the schools you will be working with understand they are bringing English speakers on board, which means that your tasks will be conducted in English. More importantly—they’re looking for native English speakers! You bring your skill set and motivation and they, along with your staff, work with you from there.

What is the exact cost of the program and what does this cover?

With the generous scholarship given by Masa and the Israeli Ministry of Education, the program cost for the participant is $1,000 for the year, including: housing, a monthly stipend to help cover groceries and everyday shopping, health insurance, Hebrew Ulpan, a public transportation pass for the metro area you live in, trips and seminars across the country, staff support, airfare reimbursement upon successful completion of the program.

How does the flight reimbursement work?

As part of the subsidy ITF participants get, your airfare will be reimbursed by Masa. The condition for flight reimbursement is successful completion of the full 10-month program, up to the equivalent of 5,000 shekels (~$1,300).

What is the application process?

Once you start your online application and leave your information (make sure to choose Haifa, Bat Yam, or Rishon LeZion as your city of choice), you will be able to set up a call with an Israel Experience representative to receive more information.  Shortly after your Skype interview, you will be asked to upload the following supplementary documentation to your application:

Once all your application materials are reviewed by Israel Experience and Masa, you will be notified about acceptance to the program.  Good luck!

What is the payment process? Must I pay a deposit to secure my place?

Payment for ITF is as follows:

  1. Upon acceptance to the program, you will need to pay a nonrefundable $300 deposit to reserve your spot. This payment must be made within 2 weeks from the date of initial acceptance.
  2. Payment of the remaining $700 program cost is due no later than July 1st.

How much spending money will I need to cover my day-to-day living expenses?

We recommend bringing $100-200 per month to help cover living expenses. Although it is possible to live solely off the stipend, you’ll be able to take advantage of more opportunities and live more comfortably if you have some savings to supplement the stipend.

Do I organize my own medical coverage before arriving in Israel, or do you organize a group coverage?

We provide your insurance during the program. Note our insurance does not cover preexisting conditions. Please reach out to us if you have any questions about accommodating your particular medical needs.

Fees and Expenses

 

What is the exact cost of the program and what does this cover?

With the generous scholarship given by Masa and the Israeli Ministry of Education, the program cost for the participant is $1000 for the year, including: housing, a monthly stipend of 1000 shekels to help cover groceries and everyday shopping, health insurance, Hebrew Ulpan, transportation in center of Israel (Tel Aviv area), over 60 hours of ITF teacher training, trips and seminars across the country, staff support, airfare reimbursement upon successful completion of the program.

How does the flight reimbursement work?

As part of the subsidy ITF participants get, your airfare will be reimbursed by Masa. The condition for flight reimbursement is successful completion of the full 10 month program, up to the equivalent of 5000 shekels (~$1300).

What is the application process?

Once you start your online application and leave your  information (make sure to choose Rishon LeZion or Petach Tikva as your city of choice), an Israel Experience representative will contact you to set up a Skype interview with an ITF Israel Experience staff member in order to get to know you better.  Shortly after your Skype interview you will be asked to upload the following supplementary documentation to your application:

Once all your application materials are reviewed by Israel Experience and Masa, you will be notified about acceptance to the program.  Good luck!

 

What is the payment process? Must I pay a deposit to secure my place?

Payment for ITF is as follows:

1. Upon acceptance to program, you will need to pay a nonrefundable $300 deposit to reserve your spot. This payment must be made within 2 weeks from the date of initial acceptance.

Note! You may also defer your acceptance to the next admission date (December 15th, 2014 and later March 1st, May 1st, or June 15th, 2015), in which case a spot will not be reserved for you, but should you decided to join the program later on and there are still open spots – you will not be required to reapply or conduct any additional interviews.

2. Payment of the remaining $700 program cost is due no later than July 1st, 2015.

How much spending money will I need to cover my day-to-day living expenses?

We recommend bringing $300-$400 a month for your personal expenses such as food and cell phone plan. It is not recommended to rely on the monthly 1000 shekels stipend as your single source of income for the year.

Do I organize my own medical coverage before arriving in Israel, or do you organize a group coverage?

We provide your insurance during the program.

Program Details

What are the requirements for my application to the program?

The ITF Israel Experience program is open to college graduates aged 21-35 that are recognized as Jewish by the local Jewish community or by one of the recognized denominations of Judaism.

Due to the sensitivity of working with young children, applicants will need to present a Letter of Good Standing/Background Check from the police and a signed health declaration/medical form prior to program acceptance.

How many people usually participate in the program and where are they from?

Each cohort includes 30-40 participants from English speaking countries around the world, mainly the USA.