Cold Outside?

Maggie Yastrow

So you're in high school, college, or a 20-something and thinking about traveling to Israel? Great idea. Schools encourage it, employers value it, and you get the opportunity to do something outrageous and fulfilling while exploring your roots. The good news: there are so many Israel experience programs available; one is bound to match your needs, whether it's a summer trip, an academic program, volunteering, or an internship. The hard part: how do you even know where to begin your search? Find your match, explore scholarship and incentive programs, and take the next step to making your dream come true at 

While the price tag for an Israel Experience might seem high at first, take a deep breath. There are many resources out there. The Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago offers a variety of Israel Experience savings and incentive programs, including SKIP (The Send-a-Kid-to-Israel Partnership), Gift of Israel, Bar/Bat Mitzvah Israel Experience Certificates, and Walk with Israel Vouchers. We work with congregations and families around the Chicago area to encourage everyone to start saving for their child's Israel Experience as early as third grade. Additionally, if you are in need of further assistance, the Jewish Federation offers need-based (for high school, college students and young adults up to age 28) and merit-based (grade 10-age 23) Israel Experience scholarships. Merit scholarship recipients are selected based on involvement in multiple activities (Jewish and secular), leadership roles, and the ability to be role models for their peers.

A parent of one of the fall 2013 Israel experience scholarship recipients wrote, "I would like to express my deepest appreciation for your scholarship for my [daughter]. This semester in Israel [on the NFTY-EIE program] has been a dream of hers for over a year. She truly loves Judaism and there isn't a better place for her to live and experience her religion. Without your generosity this dream wouldn't be happening… [We] thank you from the bottom of our hearts."  

The JUF scholarship this young woman received is instrumental in making this experience a reality-and a semester of memories and friends she will have forever.  For more information about all of the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago Israel Experience savings and incentives programs and scholarships, visit our website at

Want to help a young person in the Chicago area afford his/her Israel Experience?  Your financial support matters now more than ever. Through a special match program, you can dramatically increase Federation's financial need-based Israel Experience Scholarships and make a dream into a reality for a high school student, college student or young adult just like this one!  This is the last chance to take advantage of this special opportunity! Call (312) 444-2895 or send an email to for more information on howyou can make a difference.

Posted: 1/2/2014 12:13:51 PM
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