Travel to Israel

From short term trips to Israel to study abroad, the IEC supports Taglit-Birthright Israel Chicago Community trips run by Shorashim and connects college students and young adults to long term opportunities in Israel through Masa Israel Journey.

Taglit-Birthright Israel

Birthright logo

In Chicago, the Jewish Federation sponsors Taglit-Birthright Israel Chicago Community trips run by Shorashim. The emphasis of these trips is on building a sense of community and an understanding of our Chicago Jewish community as well as mifgashim (in which Israelis students and young adults accompany their American counter parts on buses). The buses also visit our Partnership Together Region of Kiryat Gat, Lachish and Shafir for a volunteer activity.

Taglit-Birthright Israel provides the gift of first time, peer group, educational trips to Israel for Jewish young adults ages 18 to 26. The founders created this program to send thousands of young Jewish adults from all over the world to Israel as a gift in order to diminish the growing division between Israel and the Jewish communities around the world; to strengthen the sense of solidarity among world Jewish; and to strengthen participants' personal Jewish identity and connection to the Jewish people. This program is based upon a partnership among international philanthropists, Jewish Federations in North America and Keren Hayesod, and the government of Israel.

There are trips for graduates/professionals and college students. Contact us at birthrightisraelchicago@juf.org.

Onward Israel

Start Up Your Future with Onward Israel! Develop your professional future and build your resume through a high-level internship side by side with Israeli peers. This Tel Aviv based internship program places you in a work environment based on your skills, interests and future plans. Intern four days a week while one day a week will be devoted to learning about and experiencing contemporary Israeli society. Outside of your placement, spend quality time with Israelis and explore Tel Aviv’s exciting nightlife, beaches and culture. Features include one weekend retreat in Chicago’s partnership region Kiryat Gat-Lachish-Shafir and one with Jewish students from across North America and the world. Space is limited. Financial aid application available upon request. Rolling admission by February 10. Click Here to learn more and apply!

Kefiada

Interested in a great way to get back to Israel? Kefiada is JUF’s English-immersion, American style day camp in Kiryat Gat-Lachish-Shafir, Israel.  There is no program cost, plus free room and board and $1200 flight stipends for all counselors.  JUF has been connected to this region in Israel for over 20 years! Kefiada campers are 4th-6th graders and the counselors are college students from Chicago or go to school in Illinois.  Kefiada serves as a bridge over the summer for Israeli students to retain the English that they have learned during the school year and expand on it.  Plus, Kef means fun in Hebrew so there are theme days, color wars, arts and crafts, capture the flag and swimming…all in English. The counselors get to see Israel from a different angle, really become a part of Israeli life and help Israelis in a meaningful way.   Applications, and FAQs, can be found at  juf.org/kefiada.

MASA Israel Journey

Masa Israel Journey gives 18-to-30-year-old Jews life-changing experiences in Israel, connecting them to programs that meet their interests, offering scholarships, providing expertise, and supporting them throughout the entire process. Use the Masa Program Finder to discover the perfect program for you!

Israel Tech Challenge 

Israel Tech Challenge is an expert-driven Israel experience connecting Jewish students and young professionals with tools and networks meant to enrich or launch their careers in the computer science industry. The project gives students the ability to learn from leading Israeli industry players and academics, combining inspiration and networking with actual hands-on cooperation on research and development projects. 

Israel Experience College Student/Young Adult Scholarship Program

The Jewish United Fund/Jewish Federation's Chicago Community Israel Program (CCIP) and Joseph A. Hochberg Scholarship Fund provide need-based scholarships for college students and young adults (up to 28 years old) who participate in an approved Israel Experience program. The purpose of these scholarships is to encourage the development of Jewish identity and to nourish greater commitment to Israel and the Chicago Jewish community. 

"Every effort that is made on campus goes a long way toward winning the war of public opinion. College students are going to be leaders of tomorrow. It’s very important that they understand what’s really going on in Israel."

— Guest Lecturer

Real Stories. Changed Lives.

Highlights of personal stories and lives impacted by the opportunities offered through JUF's Israel Education Center. Read the Blog.

Ask an Israel Educator.

Got questions? Get answers here. Find out more about the IEC and ways to connect with Israel. Email IEC.

Funding Request Form

If you would like to initiate a campus program about Israel, apply for funding here.