Money available now for teen Israel trips

November 2, 2017

Other News

First deadline: November 15

The newly revised Simon Family Passport to Israel program is now accepting applications through Tidewater Jewish Foundation. The program provides funds to enable and encourage Jewish students to participate in an Israel trip experience.

Trips that are funded include educational and peer group experiences of young people traveling, and/or studying together. Trips should be organized by a non-profit organization, educational, or religious institution, and should be staffed by qualified personnel with a structured itinerary. All Jewish students between the ages of 13 and 18 may apply, and those students over 18 may apply as long as they indicate why a Birthright Israel trip will not meet their current needs. Trips will be funded up to 50% of the eligible expenses.

The late Marvin Simon established the fund because he believed it was important for young people to experience Israel first hand. His daughter, Kim Simon Fink, says, “My father was a builder, and he believed in building the community through engagement. To do that, he felt students had to get involved beyond the books and beyond the weekly synagogue visits and experience Israel and worldwide Jewry first hand. He wanted to afford an opportunity for everyone to get that personal experience.”

“I think it’s important for the kids to have this experience in their early teens where they will be exposed to worldwide Jewry and connect with their people in Israel. It gives them a shared sensibility of what it means to be Jewish,” says Simon Fink.

The Simon Family Passport to Israel program has two rounds of applications. The first applications are due November 15, 2017, with decisions made by December 1; the second round are due April 15, 2018, with decisions by May 1.

For more information or to apply, visit http:// jewishva.org/tjf-passport-to-israel or contact Barb Gelb at bgelb@ujft.org or 965.6105.

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