USY Israel Pilgrimage

Spend your summer with USY for a complete introduction to the land of Israel. You’ll be exposed to the history and contemporary realities of Judaism and Israel. Climb the fortress of Masada, explore the stalactite caves of Netifim, swim in the waters of the Kinneret, pray at the Kotel, and drink tea in a Bedouin tent on the sands of the Negev desert. You’ll experience these sights and sounds with new friends who share your love of the Jewish homeland.

From north to south, east to west

Your group will travel the country in its own air-conditioned motor coach, staying in hotels and youth hostels, dormitory style bases, field schools and kibbutz guesthouses. Two weeks are spent in Jerusalem, allowing it to become your second home.

The other two weeks include travel up north and down south. You’ll have a chance to go rappelling and participate in an archaeological dig.

Each co-ed group will include 40-45 USYers, led by five to seven mature professional staff members: a group leader, North American counselors, an Israeli counselor and an Israeli medic. The group leaders and staff are qualified advisors, youth directors, teachers, and rabbis of the Conservative Movement. The support staff in Israel includes a faculty of knowledgeable lecturers, talented tour guides, and other USY personnel. The staff members participate in an intensive training seminar in the United States and are also responsible for preparing educational material that is used over the course of the summer.

USY also offers additional Israel programs. After visiting Europe, you’ll complete the summer in Israel, where you’ll have a full Israel Pilgrimage experience.

The name behind it all

United Synagogue Youth (USY), under the auspices of The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, sponsors Israel Pilgrimage in cooperation with the Jewish Agency, Youth and Hechalutz Department.

Leaving on a jetplane

The price includes round trip flights from New York to Israel, room and board, an approved Israeli medical plan, sightseeing tours with professional guides, gratuities and admission fees. (Personal expenses and extra personal baggage are additional.) Payments can be made by cash, check, MasterCard, Visa, and Discover.

Scholarships are offered by the USY regions (through the Tikun Olam Tzedakah program), local congregations and affiliated programs for deserving USYers. For further information on these and other scholarship programs, contact your synagogue or regional USY director.

What about security?

Since 1956, USY has operated Israel programs for Jewish youth from North America. Although an enriching and exciting Israel experience is certainly our mission, the safety and well being of our participants has always been, and continues to be, our highest priority. Matters of security always take precedence over all other concerns.

All of our programs are adapted as the situation requires, in a manner to assure the safety of all participants. This includes the routes, accommodations and security measures taken. We have decades of experience operating programs in normal and abnormal times and our safety record is proven. We are equipped to make any necessary changes throughout the programs. The supervision on all our programs is intense and diligent. We have always scrupulously avoided unsafe places and venues.

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What’s a summer in Israel with USY like?

Browse through the daily written and photo updates from the summer of 2013 to see what the buzz is all about!


Need scholarship help?

Browse through the Scholarship Database to see if there’s anything you can apply for.

Want more information?

    • Click here to complete the 2015 USY Summer Program Preliminary Registration (using our online application tool).
    • Click here to read Frequently Asked Questions about USY Summer Programs.
    • Request more information about USY Summer Programs, and we will send it you!