You might be apprehensive about traveling to Israel, so we want to let you know that your safety and security are our #1 priority, and in accordance with Birthright Israel’s policies, we do our utmost to ensure both. Updated 5.21.2021
Our summer trips continue as planned and are available from late May through August. The safety and well-being of participants is our primary concern and the ongoing priority across our organization, both in terms of COVID-19 and security concerns. We will not hesitate to revisit our daily itineraries in accordance with our security guidelines without compromising the educational caliber and overall trip experience. In the twenty years of our program we have earned a well-deserved reputation for being cautious and conservative while hosting over 750,000 participants with no security issues.
While trips are running, Birthright Israel operates an Information Line that is available 9 am – 5 pm EST . Always available via e-mail at information@
How is the trip structured to maximize security?
- The Situation Monitoring Room: careful itinerary planning and ongoing communication with the Israeli security authorities
Here’s how it works: in accordance with Birthright Israel’s policy, we have a special committee with representatives from Birthright Israel, the Israel Defense Forces, the Israel Police, and the Israeli Ministry of Education, called the “Situation Monitoring Room.” The committee reassesses our itinerary each day. Each group is equipped with a GPS tracking device, and the committee uses this and constant contact with our staff to keep tabs on us. If any change to our itinerary is recommended at any point in time due to security concerns, we implement it right away.
- Safe travel, highly trained staff, and supervised free time
We use our own private secured tour buses, and our bus companies, drivers, and all other staff are subject to Birthright Israel’s strict standards. Each group is accompanied by a highly trained security guard. We adhere to Birthright Israel’s strict policies and so while we make every effort to allow students the time and space to explore on their own, they are never allowed to leave the group without authorized supervision. Our guides and group leaders carry cell phones and can be reached by our head office at all times.
Have you ever had a security incident?
No. Not a single one. And Birthright Israel has brought more than 750,000 participants to Israel over the last 20 years, including during the height of conflicts that have taken place over that time.
How do you know it’s safe?
First and foremost, it’s important to know that despite what it may sometimes looks like on the news, Israel is generally a safe country. Millions of tourists visit Israel safely every year and 8 million Israelis live their everyday lives. So, in general, our usual security measures make a pretty safe trip even safer.
You should know that even at the height of the conflicts we had groups in Israel that have a great time and stay perfectly safe thanks to our security policies.
Doesn’t all this stuff take away from the experience?
Nope! Most of it is going on behind the scenes, and we do our utmost to give you as much freedom as possible to explore while looking out for your safety.
Will staff members accompany us throughout the trip?
Absolutely, Birthright Israel is a supervised program where you travel in a group setting. Each group is led by a Tour Educator and accompanied by two staff members from the group’s country of origin. Additionally, the group is accompanied by a security guard (who is also a medic) and a bus driver.
Once we’re in Israel, will we have to travel or get around on our own?
Throughout the trip, you will be traveling in a group setting. At times, groups are provided with independent time to explore the area on their own. This usually takes place during scheduled lunch times, scheduled self exploration segments (exploring a central area within city limits on own) and scheduled night outs. All scheduled independent times are set to take place on foot. During scheduled night out, you will also be invited to use taxis if needed within predetermined city limits.
Will a security guard or other security personnel travel with us?
Yes. You will be accompanied by a trained security guard (who is also a medic). If needed, additional security will be provided.
How will we get around Israel?
You will travel together as a group by bus. All trips, tour bus companies, and drivers are subject to Birthright Israel’s strict standards.
Will we have to take public transportation in Israel?
Generally no. You will have a bus dedicated for your group’s travel. At times, during scheduled night outs, you will be invited to use taxis if needed within predetermined city limits. Throughout the trip, you will be traveling in a group setting.
Are the flights to Israel safe?
Yes! Birthright Israel works with several international airlines in order to safely bring you to Israel. The airlines we work with are all accredited members of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and operate within the guidelines of their Operational Safety Audit.
Has Birthright Israel ever had any security issues?
No. The safety and well-being of our Birthright Israel participants is our primary operating principle and our foremost concern. We provide for over 50,000 participants annually and have a well-deserved reputation for being exceedingly cautious and conservative. While operating for over 20 years, we have brought over 750,000 participants to Israel with no security issues.
My parents are worried about me traveling to Israel. Will they be able to reach me during the trip if there’s an emergency?
Yes. While trips are running, Birthright Israel operates an information line that is available weekdays, 9am to 5 pm EST. After office hours, we have an emergency answering service to ensure that you can be reached if needed.
What if my parents can’t reach me on my phone?
While trips are running, Birthright Israel operates an information line that is available weekdays, 9 am to 5 pm EST. After office hours, we have an emergency answering service to ensure that you can be reached if needed.
What if there is a security situation during the trip? Will you change our itinerary?
Yes. Trip itineraries are approved daily with the “Situation Monitoring Room” administered by the Society for the Protection of Nature. The Situation Monitoring Room works closely with Israel’s security forces including the IDF, Israel Policy, and local security and reservation authorities.
I’m a little nervous about traveling to Israel. Should I bring pepper spray, or something else, to protect myself?
No. The best way to be safe while on your Birthright Israel trip is to stay with your group and follow directions at all times. Birthright Israel and your Trip Organizer have vast experience running trips, keeping participants safe, and making changes to the itinerary if necessary.
What other safety policies does Birthright Israel implement?
Birthright Israel has an alcohol policy to help ensure the safety of its participants. Every participant must sign and agree to the policy form before the trip. To read the alcohol policy, click here.
Contact us with any questions or concerns, and if you’d like, we can put you in touch with past participants who can confirm the above: that they felt safe and secure while on the trip and that they had lots of fun.
For more information on safety and security guidelines directly from Birthright Israel, click here.