Pre-Trip Preparation

    • Travel Hebrew

      While knowing Hebrew is not a precondition for participating in the Birthright Israel Excel internship, knowing the language can be helpful. If you have an iPhone you can download Birthright Israel NEXT's Hebrew iPhone app. You'll get all the phrases you need to navigate the airport, order food, or meet the locals right at your fingertips! Nesi'a tova (bon voyage)!

      Although English is spoken by nearly everyone in Israel (it's a required subject in public schools), you may still want to experiment with the native tongue. Just don't take it personally if people answer you in English; they want to practice speaking as much as you do.

      ​English ​Transliteration
      hello / goodbye / peace ​shalom
      good morning​ ​boker tov
      good evening
      ​lyla tov
      ​see you later
      okay​ ​b'seder
      ​please / you're welcome ​b'vakashah
      ​excuse me! / sorry ​slichah
      what time is it?​ ​mah hasha'ah?
      How much is this?​ ​Kama ze oleh?
      ​coffee house ​beit kafeh
      Where are the bathrooms?​ ​eyfo ha sherutim?
      ​bus ​otoboos
      ​change ​odf
      I don't understand Hebrew​ ​Ani lo mevin (m) / mevinah( f) ivrit

    • Money

      You will need some money for commuting expenses, food, personal purchases and incidentals.

      You should budget $3/day for the commute and at least $15/day for food. Many establishments accept credit cards like Visa and Mastercard®. ATM machines and currency exchange kiosks are widely available in Tel Aviv, where you will be living. In addition, many larger businesses and individuals will accept major foreign currencies such as U.S. dollars.

    • Travel Information

      The Birthright Israel Excel internship covers the cost of the flight from New York City. Participants are responsible for arranging and paying for travel to the point of departure and for getting home after returning to New York.

      In order to travel to Israel, you must hold a U.S. Passport that is valid for a minimum of six months beyond your ticketed date of return. If you hold a valid passport from another country, check with your closest Israeli consulate to find out if you face any travel restrictions.

      Birthright Israel Excel will provide medical insurance which covers most medical concerns throughout your participation on the program. It will not cover pre-existing conditions and will only be effective with proof of coverage from your local medical insurance. In addition, you may want to purchase travel insurance that covers the following:

      • Insurance in case your connecting flight is delayed or canceled
      • Insurance in case you need to cancel the trip due to a family medical emergency
      • Insurance in case your baggage is lost, damaged, or stolen
      • Insurance in case of stolen or lost personal property, including personal computers - such insurance should cover loss that occurs on properties not rented by participant directly.

      Be at the airport for your Israel flight no later than four hours prior to the flight. People with connecting flights should consider the possibility of bad weather or delay. When arriving to the terminal of the departure city, participants should look for a Birthright Israel Excel staff member, who will be standing near the ticketing counter for check-in of the designated airline.

    • Packing List

      In the summer, the weather is in Israel without fail hot and dry during the day and cooler at night. Casual, comfortable clothes that can be layered are best for both seasons. For your internship you will expected to dress appropriately in "business casual" attire.

      • 12 button-down shirts or blouses
      • 4 pairs of pants or skirts
      • 3 long-sleeved shirts
      • A nicer outfit or two for Shabbat
      • 2 sweaters
      • 1 bathing suit
      • 1 bathing suit (2 in summer)
      • 12 pairs of underwear
      • 12 pairs of socks
      • 1 pair of water shoes
      • 1 pair of sturdy shoes for hiking / walking
      • 1 or 2 pairs of nice shoes for your internship and Shabbat
      • 1 towel
      • 1 hat
      • ‘Going out’ outfits (for city nights)
      • Passport**
      • All medications (including copies of prescriptions)
      • Prescription glasses/contact lens supplies (no liquids more than 3 oz.)
      • Cash/ATM Card/Credit Card (Visa and MasterCard are widely accepted)
      • Camera, charger/batteries
      • Journal/address book
      • Mini flashlight or penlight
      • Plastic bags for wet or dirty clothes
      • Sunglasses
      • Sunscreen
      • Toiletries
      • Kippah/head covering (men)
      • Adapter for electrical appliances*

      *Electrical equipment has to be adaptable to 220 volts and have a European adapter for the prong. Equipment on a motor (i.e., electric shaver) must be adaptable to 50 Hz (as opposed to 110 volts and 60 Hz for North America).