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Additional Information



Basic medical insurance is provided by the program.  Coverage includes doctor’s visits, medications, and emergency care for most new illnesses and incidents which may arise during the program.  Pre-existing conditions are excluded, as well as other limitations applying, therefore students are encouraged to maintain their own private health insurance from their country of origin.  Specific information detailing the medical insurance policy is made available to participants’ families once registered for the program.  Upon arrival to Israel, students will be briefed about how to use the health services and which local English-speaking doctors and pharmacies are recommended.Urgent psychological care is also provided by the program for students in crisis.  All psychological treatment is kept strictly confidential between the student and the therapist.


Safety and Security

Aardvark Israel Programs operate as a part of the Masa program of the Jewish Agency for Israel.  We receive security updates on an ongoing basis and adjust security guidelines for the students accordingly (this includes restricting their free time when necessary.)  When going out on excursions and hikes we always obtain clearance and guidance from the relevant agencies in Israel.  All students are required to have a cellular phone from a company called “Partner” which allows the program staff to utilize technology to locate all students in the event of an emergency.  Furthermore, all the phones are united in one text messaging service so we can send immediate guidelines and warnings to students if the situation warrants.



In addition to the experienced senior staff of Aardvark Israel, highly qualified counselors are assigned to each location and work with the participants for the duration of the year.  Counselors are all college graduates or have completed the Israeli army and are all fluent in English.  There are a maximum 12 students per madrich (counselor) making Aardvark one of the most customer-service friendly programs in Israel. While giving students the space to explore and learn to be more independent, the counselors are also a distinct presence in the day to day lives of participants serving as mentors and role models to the students.


Religious Perspective

Aardvark Israel Programs have a multi-denominational approach to Judaism.  Both our staff and students represent a wide range of Jewish observance and affiliation.  Students who are Reform, Conservative, Reconstructionist, Orthodox, Secular or still seeking to define themselves will all find an accommodating program with Aardvark Israel.  This approach to pluralism helps strengthen the Jewish people and expose students to new individuals and ideas.  We want to serve as a microcosm that models cohesive group living and Jewish identification across a wide spectrum.  Kosher kitchens and supplies will be provided for all participants who request them (including for students who change their mind during the year.)  At all program-sponsored activities where food is provided, kosher food will be available.  Those students who wish to observe Shabbat will find a supportive environment within the program for doing so and those who wish to explore their Judaism will have opportunities to experience the magic of Shabbat.

Program Dates


August 30, 2021

Students Arrive in Israel for the 2021-22 Fall Semester, Pioneer, and Year Programs

*Flights should be scheduled to land on this date between 7:00 am and 3:00 pm

December 27, 2021

Last day of Fall Semester

*Fall Semester Program participants – Flights should depart after in the afternoon and evening

December 27, 2021 – January 10, 2022

Winter Break

*Year Program students must return from vacation by 3:00 pm on January 11

January 10, 2022

Students Arrive in Israel for the 2022 Spring Semester and Plus Programs

*Flights should be scheduled to land on this date between 7:00 am and 3:00 pm.

April 14-23, 2022 Pesach Vacation
May 25, 2022

Year Program and Spring Semester Concludes

*Flights should depart in the afternoon and evening

June 7, 2022 Pioneer Israel Program ends
June 23, 2022 Masa year of service ends
August 19, 2022 Spring Semester Plus Program Ends in America
December 28, 2022 Gap Year Plus Program Ends

Fall Semester

October 14-19, 2021 Spain
November 11-16, 2021 Czech Republic
December 6-13, 2021 China

Spring Semester

February 7-12, 2022 Ethiopia
March 2-16, 2022 Nepal Cultural Exchange
April 8-13, 2022 Germany
May 2-7, 2022 Italy
May 27 – June 1, 2022 Poland

*Dates are subject to change

Student Profile

students must be
17-21 years old
and Jewish.

participants come
from around the
world. Click here to
see our global

An average of
30% of participants
have at least one
Israeli parent or
were born in

40% of participants
are graduates of
Jewish high schools.
Click here to see
what schools
our students
have attended


Should I bring my laptop?
Yes! Students highly recommend bringing a laptop. It is also recommended to insure your laptop for the duration of the year.
Will I have to buy books for my courses?
All readings are provided to the students and there is no book fee. Notebooks and school supplies are not included and may either be brought from home or bought in Israel.
I have additional questions, who can I speak to?
Please email your questions to the staff of Aardvark at [email protected] and we will promptly provide you with answers!
Why is the program called Aardvark?!?!
We’ll tell you when you arrive! See you then!
Who can apply?
All Jewish students, ages 17-21, are encouraged to apply. Our goal is to bring as many young people to Israel as possible to give them a positive Jewish and Zionist experience.
How do participants travel around Israel?
You will receive a monthly local bus pass which will allow you to travel around the city in which you are living (Jerusalem or Tel Aviv) using the public bus system. This will enable you to get to and from your volunteer placement, classes and explore the city. Private busses will be provided by the program for all group activities outside of the city, such as hiking trips, field trips, and seminars. An extensive network of inter-city busses and trains makes travel between cities easy as well. While you are responsible for your own travel during your free time, the staff is always available to help you plan their free weekends or chofesh (vacations).
How do we pay for the program?
We accept bank wire transfers and online payments (credit card, e-check, and PayPal.) The application fee must be submitted at the time of registration. Tuition payments are made according to the payment schedule for the program you’ve registered for (see Tuition page.)
Are there any scholarships available? Can we pay in installments?
Yes, you are welcome to pay in installments provided your tuition is paid in full by the appropriate deadlines. Please see the scholarship page of our website for information regarding additional sources of funding. Those in need of assistance should also be in touch with our staff at [email protected]
Is there a meal plan available?
Students will be living in furnished apartments, including kitchen equipment and utensils. Since every persons’ eating habits are different, in our experience working with student groups, we have found it is most cost effective and therefore beneficial to everyone for each student to be responsible for his/her own needs with regards to food. It is for this reason, the cost of meals has been deducted from the price of tuition and each participant is responsible for their own food costs. However, each apartment group will be encouraged to pool some of their resources so as to most efficiently manage their funds. The counselors and staff of the program will work with each group to help them learn to budget, shop, and cook for themselves.
Do I need to bring my own bedding and towels with me?
Even though all of the apartments are furnished, personal bedding and towels are the student’s responsibility. To save room in your luggage, you may purchase these items in advance of your arrival from, a bedding company that we recommend and your things will be delivered to the Aardvark offices prior to your arrival. Or, you may send a package from home in advance of your arrival.
How do I get a cell phone?
All Aardvark Israel Program participants are required to purchase an Israeli SIM card and phone service through an exclusive arrangement we have set up with the Israeli company ‘Partner.’ Through this phone service, Partner also provides Aardvark with features that help to ensure the security of the participants including a tracking system and group SMS system. Students must bring with them an unlocked cell phone into which they will insert their Israeli SIM card. The SIM cards will be distributed to the students upon arrival. The fee for the phone service is paid directly to Aardvark and sign up forms are included in the students’ applications online.
Who can parents contact in Israel with questions or concerns prior to or once the program has begun?
The staff in Israel working with the students is also available to parents to answer any questions or concerns which may arise via email or telephone. Weekly e-newsletters will also be sent from Israel updating you on the activities and events going on within the program. We are reachable 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in case of emergencies.
How much free time is there for participants?
Many weekends are free and many optional activities are available for those who wish to participate during their free weekends. In addition, hiking and camping equipment is available to those who wish to take advantage of their weekends to explore Israel on foot. Many evenings are also free. There are optional programs offered throughout the week during the evenings for those who are interested. There is also one vacation period during the year – Pesach (Spring) Break.
When is the best time for parents to come to visit?
Parents are encouraged to visit Israel. You may come at any time but be aware that the students have class and volunteering responsibilities so missing activities should be kept at a minimum. In addition, when parents visit we encourage them to participate in some Aardvark activities so they can get a feel for the daily life of an Aardvark participant.
Can my child travel into the West Bank?
Your child may only travel on his/her free time into the West Bank with the permission of the program director, who will make a determination based on the advice of our security advisers and their current recommendations. There will be some group trips to specific sites within the West Bank, during which participants will be escorted by security personnel.
What is the drug and alcohol policy?
The use of illegal drugs or the abuse of legal drugs and alcohol is not tolerated on the program. Drinking in Israel is legal from the age of 18 and thus participants are allowed to drink as long as they do so responsibly. Drinking is a privilege and not a right and may be revoked if it is determined by the staff to be in the best interest of the participant and/or the program.
How do I fly to and from Israel?
Round trip airfare to/from Israel is not included in the program tuition. You are welcome to fly on the airline of your choice or purchase a ticket using frequent flier miles. Please be sure to book a flight that lands in Israel between 7:00 am and 3:00 pm on the date your program begins.  If you can not find an appropriate flight during these times, please consult with our staff before booking.
How much spending money will I need?
The amount of spending money you will use will depend on your personal spending habits, but you should expect to need approximately $150-200/per month for meals and additional spending money to cover the cost of entertainment, transportation and attractions in your free time.

Family Visits


Bruchim Habaim L’Yisrael! Welcome to Israel!

We look forward to visits from family and friends!

Often we’re asked for suggestions on how to find flights, hotels, tour guides, and more. We’re happy to recommend the following companies to anyone planning a trip to Israel:


Israel Maven is an Israel-based tour company that is dedicated to providing a high-quality trip to Israel for individuals, families, communities, and corporations at an affordable rate. Also a trusted partner of Aardvark Israel, they provide logistics and guides for many of the participants’ trips and excursions around Israel. Their friendly and professional staff can work with you to take care of every aspect of your Israel trip to ensure an Israel Experience that is fun, meaningful, headache-free and affordable. For more information, visit their website at or contact them at 1-866-317-9307 or [email protected] and be sure to mention you were referred by Aardvark!


IsraelPhones is one of the largest cell phone rental companies in Israel and a valued friend of Aardvark Israel. A variety of plans are available, including a special Parent Plan for the parents of current IsraelPhones student customers. Their service is excellent and rates are competitive. Check out for more information.


Tellavista Short Term Apartment Rentals allows family of participants to book a vacation apartment online, without going through numerous agencies or brokers. Tellavista has apartments in both Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. Booking through Tellavista, families will get a discount by putting in “Aardvark” in the coupon option. Check out their website:


Egert & Cohen Insurance provides Aardvark Israel with comprehensive health insurance for all our students. Their short term health insurance policies, issued by Harel Insurance Company Ltd., Israel’s largest health insurer, are an inexpensive solution for some extra peace of mind while on your trip. English-speaking doctors and clinics are available and there is no deductible or co-pay for covered services. For more details, go to


Aardvark Israel Tel Aviv:
39 Levinsky Street, 2nd Floor
Tel Aviv 6610910
Aardvark Israel Jerusalem:
3 Ezrat Yisrael Street
Jerusalem 9462503

Phone Numbers:

Statement on COVID-19

Click here for our response to COVID-19 and our extended refund policy for August 2020 Programs

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