Planning Your 2020-2021 Aardvark Israel Experience
Information regarding COVID-19 and Frequently Asked Questions
Updated February 21, 2021
COVID-19 is still having a significant impact on communities throughout the world. Here at Aardvark Israel we have adapted to the new reality to ensure the continuation of our programming in Israel. We are safely operating programs for hundreds of students in the 2020-2021 program year and we look forward to continuing to do so next year as well.
Since the start of the COVID outbreak, Aardvark Israel has continued to run our programs with appropriate modifications. Through adjustments to the daily schedule and full compliance with the health guidelines of the Israeli Government, we enabled our students to continue their activities in Israel in a meaningful and safe way. Throughout this period, we have been in constant contact with Masa, the Jewish Agency, the Ministry of Health, and the Ministry of Tourism for guidance in our continued operation and to assist us in planning for the future.
As the situation in Israel fluctuates, our programming shifts as needed. At times, this means classes online combined with in-person volunteering and small group activities, while at other times we can offer nearly all our regular programming while wearing masks and maintaining appropriate distancing.
Please follow us on Facebook and Instagram to see our program in action. We also recommend viewing this brief clip from i24News featuring one of our current students: https://youtu.be/mH6fn3kokJo Additionally, if you would like to speak to a current participant or the parent of a current participant, we will be happy to connect you!
Through our partnership with Masa Israel, program participants may obtain entry permits even as tourism is restricted.
Since the situation is constantly evolving, we want to provide you with added peace of mind in planning for the coming semester or year:
- We are offering payment plan options to assist families who have been impacted financially due to COVID-19.
- We will be requiring all participants to take a COVID test prior to arrival in Israel and submit proof of a negative result.
- All students will conduct a health self-assessment immediately prior to travel to Israel, and a subsequent health assessment will be conducted immediately upon arrival. These assessments will include reporting the participant’s temperature and answering a brief questionnaire to screen for any possible COVID-19 symptoms or recent exposure.
- Any participant exhibiting symptoms of the virus or recently exposed prior to leaving home will be required to postpone their arrival to the program until a quarantine period has been completed.
- On the first day of the program, if a participant is exhibiting symptoms of the virus or was recently exposed, they will be immediately separated from the group and required to complete a quarantine period.
- We will continue to provide families with updates and full transparency as this situation evolves.
Although some of our usual programming will inevitably be modified during your time on Aardvark Israel, coming to Israel now is no less meaningful, valuable, or exciting than in the past. Our current students and their parents will tell you that we have navigated these challenges successfully, demonstrating sensitivity and resourcefulness, and in a way that has allowed our students to be both safe and engaged in meaningful experiences. Our proven record and experience will ensure that we are offering you a positive, meaningful, and safe program in Israel! We look forward to meeting you soon!
We will continue to update this statement and the FAQs below as needed based on the continued developments of COVID-19 in Israel. Please also feel free to reach out to us at [email protected] or by phone with any questions or concerns you might have.
Frequently Asked Questions:
What preventive and protective measures have you taken to help assure that current participants remain healthy?
Will participants be required to have received the vaccination prior to coming to Israel? Will participants be able to receive the vaccine in Israel if they haven't received it prior to arrival?
How have you addressed the mental health needs of the participants who were feeling the weight of quarantine and social isolation?
If it is necessary to hold some activities online and engage in modified programming, what types of things can we expect?
What would happen if a student needed to be quarantined or got sick?
Does the health insurance included in the program tuition provide full coverage for COVID-19?
How will you keep parents informed with any developments during the program?
Are you still planning to run the International Trips?
We are continuing to plan for the best-case scenario, but we understand that these plans may need to change. If we are forced to cancel any international trip up to 30 days before the scheduled travel, we will offer participants the opportunity to substitute a different trip in its place or receive a full refund for the fees paid for the trip.
Will the Marva army experience and Mada ambulance program still be available? What about other add-on programs?
What would happen if I cannot travel to Israel at the start of my program due to border restrictions or the lack of flight availability?
What advice can you give regarding flights?
What are parents saying about their children's experience on the program during the pandemic?
We wanted to reach out to convey our gratitude as parents for all you are doing to keep our daughter Abby, and the entire group, healthy, safe, and cared for under such extraordinary circumstances.
It is difficult for us to imagine the complexity and logistics of getting everyone tested, securing vaccines, ensuring food deliveries and quarantine measures, against the backdrop of a pandemic, while trying to make the best experience for a group of young adults thousands of miles from home. We deeply appreciate you all.
Lisa and Rich Miller (parents of Abby Miller of the United States)
Thank you again to you and your team for the amazing program that you run. You have done an incredible job to have adapted to this awful and unimaginable situation.
We can’t thank you and your amazing team for giving our son a life changing experience and helping him make incredible friendships and connections.
-Daelene Kopelowitz (mother of Alon Kopelowitz of Australia)
I would like to thank you for your amazing program, hug each one of you for the dedication, caring, knowledge, creativity, availability and input you gave / give for the kids and parents at all times.
Tali Jaconts (mother of Shalev Jaconts of the United States)