Scholarships and Incentives
Israel & Europe
Convincing Your Parents
Make sure you want to go!
Hundreds of people have gone to Israel with Pilgrimage in the last couple summers. Get in contact with one. They’ll be glad to share their feelings about the summer and the amazing, one of a kind experiences they’ve had. Let them reaffirm your desire to go before you begin to convince your parents. If you are even the least bit “shaky” about going it will be all the more difficult to convince your parents. You need to be 110% sure before taking on your parents.
Let them talk to someone who has gone
There’s nothing like hearing it from the source and no better way to convince parents them by having them talk to the people who have already gone. Contact a Pilgrim. Explain to them your situation. Ask them to prepare some pointers for themselves. Then let them talk to you parents. Have someone who’s been there tell them everything about the program. Have them emphasize the life changing effects, the educational part of the program, the lifelong friendships they’ve made and most of all how going to the Jewish Homeland made them feeling a stronger connection to Judaism.
Contact a Pilgrim’s parent
If hearing it from a kid wasn’t enough let them talk to an adult. Contact a pilgrim and ask their parents to talk to your parents about their decision making process. Have them explain why they finally decided to send their child and if they think that anything has changed since they made their decision. Also have them talk about the rewards their child had from going to Israel (such as the friends across the US and Canada, what they learned and their stronger connection to Judaism).
Contact a staff member or someone who works on the program
Contacting Pilgrim’s parents is one thing but people who work for the program know even more then the parents. Ask a friend to get a staff member to call your parents. They have been on the trip and know all the behind the scenes action. They are responsible for the Pilgrim’s day and night. They are with them 24/7. Have them talk about the Pilgrimage experience and how important it is for Jewish teens to go to Israel. After having your parents talk to a staff member have them talk to the Program director. The people in the central office are responsible for making sure the program runs smoothly. They can answer every one of your parent’s questions and ease their stress about sending their child away for the summer. (Contact the program director.)
Give them the facts
Explain to them that it’s safe to go. Explain to them that if it were unsafe to go then the thousands of people who have gone the last couple years are crazy. Tell them that the risk of driving on an interstate in the US is more dangerous than going to Israel. Make sure they contact they contact the office for all the facts on security on USY Israel programs.
Ain Li Eretz Acheret- I have no other land
Israel’s our homeland. Make sure they know that. How can you call it your homeland if you don’t go there? Tell them that this trip isn’t just any trip. This is the trip that will fortify your belief in Judaism and make you feel a stronger connection to Judaism. After all, this is the land that Judaism came from. Tell them about all the history there and how just being there for a minute is living the history. Tell them you want to make what you have learned all these years in Day school or Hebrew school come alive. Tell them that this is your land and that you have no other land.
Never let money be an issue!
There are hundreds of people who want you to have the time of your life in Israel this summer. If you’re afraid that you wont have enough money to get to Israel, fear no longer! Do a little research. Contact your regional office for scholarship forms. Contact your Rabbi and youth director and tell them how much you want to go. Contact local Jewish Federations and ask for Israel Scholarship forms. Never let money be an issue. The money is there, just go out and find it.
Tell them that this trip is not just Israel!
Remember, USY runs many different Israel trips. Connect with Israel by helping repair and replenish the land on L’Takayn Olam. Make sure to connect to your roots. If you come from a Sephardic family, choose italy/Israel Pilgrimage. Tell them that this is a way to learn about where you came from. If your family was from Eastern Europe and you were affected by the Holocaust, chose Eastern Europe or Poland Seminar/Israel Pilgrimage. Tell them that the best way to never forget the events of the Holocaust is to see the places yourself. Tell them that this is a way of connecting to your roots.
Fun ways to try to convince your parents
- Speak to your parents only in Hebrew until they relent!
- Make them an Israeli dinner – falafel, hummous, Israeli salad…
- Explain to them how it will get you into college. Tell them that you can take any one of the great experiences you have this summer and turn it into a college essay.
- Promise to bring them home a present
- If #4 doesn’t work tell them you’ll bring them home more than one present.
- “Knock knock”… “Who’s there?”… “NOT ME I’M GOING TO ISRAEL!”