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.
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.
|August 17, 2020||
Students Arrive in Israel for the 2020-21 Pioneer Israel Program
*Flights should be scheduled to land on this date between 7:00 am and 3:00 pm
|August 31, 2020||
Students Arrive in Israel for the 2020-21 Fall Semester and Year Programs
*Flights should be scheduled to land on this date between 7:00 am and 3:00 pm
|December 28, 2020||
Last day of Fall Semester
*Fall Semester Program participants – Flights should depart after in the afternoon and evening
|December 28, 2020 – January 11, 2021||
*Year Program students must return from vacation by 3:00 pm on January 11
|January 11, 2021||
Students Arrive in Israel for the 2021 Spring Semester and Plus Programs
*Flights should be scheduled to land on this date between 7:00 am and 3:00 pm.
|March 25 – April 4, 2021||Pesach Vacation|
|May 26, 2021||
Year Program and Spring Semester Concludes
*Flights should depart in the afternoon and evening
|June 7, 2021||
Pioneer Israel Program ends
|August 19, 2021||Spring Semester Plus Program Ends in America|
|December 28, 2021||Gap Year Plus Program Ends
|October 14-19, 2020||Spain|
|November 11-16, 2020||Czech Republic|
|December 6-13, 2020||China|
|February 7-12, 2021||Ethiopia|
|March 2-16, 2021||Nepal Cultural Exchange|
|April 8-13, 2021||Germany|
|May 2-7, 2021||Italy|
|May 27 – June 1, 2021||Poland|
|Fall Semester Begins||August 31,2020|
|Fall Semester Ends||December 28, 2020|
|Spring Semester Begins||January 11, 2021|
|Spring Semester Ends||May 26, 2021|
*Dates are subject to change
students must be
17-21 years old
An average of
30% of participants
have at least one
Israeli parent or
were born in
Should I bring my laptop?
Will I have to buy books for my courses?
I have additional questions, who can I speak to?
Why is the program called Aardvark?!?!
Who can apply?
How do participants travel around Israel?
How do we pay for the program?
Are there any scholarships available? Can we pay in installments?
Is there a meal plan available?
Do I need to bring my own bedding and towels with me?
How do I get a cell phone?
Who can parents contact in Israel with questions or concerns prior to or once the program has begun?
How much free time is there for participants?
When is the best time for parents to come to visit?
Can my child travel into the West Bank?
What is the drug and alcohol policy?
How do I fly to and from Israel?
How much spending money will I need?
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 www.israelmaven.com 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 http://www.israelphones.com/ 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: http://www.tellavista.com
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 http://www.egertcohen.co.il/health/