Updated NOVEMBER 30, 2021

Information regarding COVID-19

Although COVID-19 is still having an impact on the lives of individuals and communities throughout the world, at Aardvark Israel, we have successfully continued operating our programs in Israel.  With adapted programming when necessary and continuously updated protocols to minimize health risks to our participants and staff, we provided safe and meaningful programming for over 550 students from around the world since the start of the pandemic, and in January 2022 we look forward to welcoming more than 100 more to Israel!

As we look towards the Spring of 2022 and beyond, we are preparing for more exciting and wonderful Israel experiences with our students! While we anticipate a “normal” semester/year of programming, we are also prepared for modifications should any be required.

Throughout the pandemic, Aardvark Israel has operated in full compliance with the health guidelines of the Israeli Government while also enabling our students to immerse themselves in Israel. During this period, we were, and continue to be, 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.

Through our partnership with Masa Israel, we have the assurance of the Israeli government that our participants will continue to be offered entry permits for travel to Israel even if tourism continues to be restricted.

For the safety of all our participants, staff, and the community at large, all participants and staff of the program must be vaccinated for covid. The Israeli government currently requires all Masa participants to have received their vaccination or booster within 180 days of arrival to Israel.  Those who have exceeded 180 days but are ineligible for a booster in their home country will be permitted to travel to Israel provided they receive their booster in Israel upon arrival.  During the program, a student who becomes eligible for a booster as determined by the Israeli Ministry of Health will be required to receive it.  Additionally, the following arrival protocols are currently in place (subject to change as determined by the government of Israel):

  • Within 72 hours of departure, a PCR test must be done, and negative results presented to the airline before boarding. Alternatively, an antigen test may be done by an authorized provider within 24 hours of departure (home tests are not accepted.)
  • Upon landing in Israel, a PCR test will be done at the airport.
  • Those vaccinated within 180 days of arrival to Israel must quarantine for three days. Those who were vaccinated more than 180 days prior to arrival must quarantine for seven days.  A PCR test done on the last day of quarantine must be negative in order to be released from quarantine.
  • Students may not arrive directly from a “red country”. They must first spend 14 days in a country which is not classified as red prior to arrival. The list of red countries is updated periodically by the Israeli government and may be found online by clicking here.
  • Any student who has recently been exposed or has any known symptoms of Covid will be required to postpone their arrival to Israel according to the Israeli regulations.
Navigating the pandemic has been complicated, but our 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 you too will have 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

Students are briefed frequently so that they understand the regulations in place and their obligation to abide by them. We operate in full compliance with the Ministry of Health’s regulations and guidance. Through educating and encouraging our students to practice good hygiene and adherence to the rules, we created a safe and healthy community within the program.

We acknowledge the anxiety this past year has created, and we address it head on. The staff of the program are very present and involved with the students to provide individual and group support.  Participating in a full program of activities benefits the participants by creating routine, engagement and positive experiences which bolster their emotional health.  Additionally, clinical social workers are available to students who need additional support.  

The students will be cared for and taken care of!  If an individual participant needs to be quarantined or is sick, we have provisions for separating them from the group and providing them with the care they would need. Clear protocols are in place for each of these scenarios and we are prepared to deal with this type of situation. Students will also be briefed upon arrival so that they understand clearly what to do if they do not feel well or believe that they may have been exposed.

Yes, provided the illness is first diagnosed in Israel during the term of coverage. 

Our staff sends out weekly updates to parents about the day to day activities on the program. We also send out additional updates with timely, relevant information that parents need to or would want to know. In the case of any urgent or serious situation with an individual student, their parents will be called immediately.

We are planning 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.

As of now, the Mada ambulance program is operating but it is unclear whether the Marva army experience will be available.  If you are enrolled in an add-on program and it is cancelled prior to its commencement, a full refund of the add-on fees will be provided.

If a student must arrive late to the program due to travel restrictions, we will be happy to accommodate them as needed.

We recommend that you begin looking for flights now that offer flexible cancellation and date change options. Some airlines may be waiving their change or cancellation fees due to COVID-19 and offering reduced fares at this time.