Eligibility Rules

The following are the eligibility guidelines for the Taglit-Birthright Israel trips. Please Note: Some Rules Have Recently Changed
 
Jewish Heritage
Applicants must be Jewish to qualify for the gift. Eligible individuals are those recognized as Jewish by the Jewish community or by one of the recognized denominations of Judaism.  Applicants must also have at least one Jewish birth parent, or completed Jewish conversion through a recognized Jewish denomination, and identify as Jewish.
 
Age 18-26
Summer Trips: Applicants must be at least 18 years old at the time of the trip and must have already graduated from high school. Applicants can also be no older than 26 years old to still qualify for the program. However, anyone who is still 26 as of May 1, 2014 is eligible for ANY trip in May, June, July, or August, even if they have already turned 27 by the time of the actual trip. For example, if you turn 27 in June 2014, you are still eligible to take part in any July or August 2014 trip. Special Note: It is the policy of Israel Free Spirit to give automatic priority status to applicants who are either 25 or 26 since we know that your eligibility window is closing!!
 
Winter Trips: Applicants must be at least 18 years old at the time of the trip and must have already graduated from high school. Applicants can also be no older than 26 years old to still qualify for the program. However, anyone who is still 26 as of December 1, 2014 is eligible for ANY trip in December 2014, January, February, or March 2015, even if they have already turned 27 by the time of the actual trip. For example, if you turn 27 in January 2015, you are still eligible to take part in any February or March 2015 trip. Special Note: It is the policy of Israel Free Spirit to give automatic priority status to applicants who are either 25 or 26 since we know that your eligibility window is closing!!
 
1st Time in Israel on a Peer Program Since 18 Years Old
This must be your first time in Israel on a Jewish peer educational program since you were 18 years old. A peer educational program includes a peer touring group, educational program, study program, an organized extended residential program, or any other program organized by a Jewish organization for Jewish youth. If you have been to Israel with on an organized trip in elementary school, junior high school, high school, March of the Living, camp, etc you are most likely still eligible. If you have been to Israel with your family, personal business, on some kind of a family group trip, you are most likely still eligible for the Taglit-Birthright Israel gift. 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 must prove by official documentation that you left Israel before the age of 12 in order to be eligible for the trip. If you are accepted to the program you will need to obtain army exemption papers from your local Israeli consulate. 
 
Jewish Studies Students
Students enroleed part-time in a Jewish studies program in America or a country other than Israel are eligible for Birthright Israel. However, students enrolled full-time in a Jewish Studies programs in America or in a country OTHER THAN Israel in any institute of higher learning, including Jewish teach training programs, Jewish Studies Programs (not including Jewish Studies major or minor candidates at secular institutions), rabbincial programs, yeshivot/seminaries, Jewish communal service programs and the like are not eligible for the Taglit-Birthright Israel trip while they are still in a full-time study program.
 
IMPORTANT NOTE ABOUT THE ELIGIBILITY RULES
Israel Free Spirit takes the eligibility rules of the Taglit-Birthright Israel gift extremely seriously. We expect you to do the same. In large part, we rely on your honesty and personal integrity to ensure that you are actually eligible. Please understand that lying to get on a trip is no different than theft and will be dealt with accordingly.
 
If you have any questions about your eligibility status in this area, please contact us today by email or by phone at 845-290-9778, and we will sort it out with you!

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