Scholarships and Incentives
USY Summer Experience Scholarship Database
Welcome to the International USY Summer Program Scholarship Database! The International USY Summer Program Scholarship Database is a listing of available scholarships for USY Summer Programs organized region by region. The goal of the database is to provide USYers looking to participate on a USY Summer Program with information about organizations within their region that offer scholarships for summer programs.
How does the database work? Below you will find a listing of each of the USY regions. When you click on your region a drop down will appear on which you will find a listing of scholarships organized city by city. There will be a brief description of the available scholarship, a list of requirements (if necessary), and a contact in order to learn more about the scholarship.
In addition to contacting your region, there are other scholarship resources to consider. Please click here to learn about all the options available.
Know of a scholarship not listed? If you know of a scholarship not listed on the database e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org with information about the new scholarship.
Thank you for your help! See you this Summer!
Regional Scholarship Pages
Click on the regional link below to see a list of scholarship opportunities in that particular region.
- Chicago – Scholarships offered by the Federation and available for high school, college and graduate students ages 14-23. JUF also offers Gift of Israel and SKIP (Israel Savings Program).
Jewish United Fund
(312) 444-2895 or (312) 444-2904
- Milwaukee – Administered by the Federation through their passport to Israel program for teens on peer travel programs.
Milwaukee Jewish Federation
- Cleveland – Administered by the Federation and the Jewish Education Center of Cleveland and available to high school and college students.
Cleveland Israel Experience office
(216) 371-0446, x122 or (216) 566-9200, x326
- Columbus, OH – The Columbus Jewish Federation offers teen and college Israel Experience grants. Programs that qualify for Israel Experience grants are listed on www.israelexperience.org, The Ohio State Seminar in Israel and new community-sponsored or national programs a minimum of two weeks in length and organized by either qualified Jewish educators, rabbis or teachers. Teen grant amounts are $1,500. To qualify a college student must reside or have one parent who resides in the Greater Columbus area or in a location that falls within the boundaries of the Columbus Jewish Federation’s campaign. All applicants must be currently enrolled in college OR up to no more than 2 years after their graduation. College student grant amounts are $500 for two-week programs, $1,000 for one-month programs, $1,500 semester programs and $2,000 for year-long programs. All students who receive Israel Experience grants must participate in Israel Experience follow-up programs as well as participate in a short, evaluative interview upon their return. Payment of all grants are made directly to the program and not sent to the recipient of the grant. The Columbus Jewish Federation also offers need-based scholarships from the Israel Experience Discretionary Fund. The Columbus Jewish Federation uses are formula incorporating family income and cost and length of trip on a case-by-case basis not to exceed $2,000.
The Columbus Jewish Federation
1175 College Ave, Columbus, OH 43209
- Toledo – Administered by the Federation. Offers the SKIP (Send a Kid to Israel) Program. Scholarships for high schools students that are given in cooperation with local synagogues.
United Jewish Council of Greater Toledo
- Detroit – Administered by the Federation and available to all students.
Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit
Jewish Education Alliance
- The Jewish Foundation of Cincinnati:
Requirements: One parent must be Jewish; Must be enrolled in High School in Cincinnati or College (Age 16-23); Applicants are required to enroll in a Pre Trip Israel Educational program at either the Cincinnati Reform Jewish High School, Mercaz, RITTS, and the Jewish Federation of Cincinnati. (The course at the federation is only for those students not affiliated with the latter three institutions.); Post Trip: All students are required to fill out a baseline survey for the next ten years after their trip. This survey is to track the student’s involvement in Jewish Life. JESNA institute will evaluate these surveys; Post Trip students are required to volunteer at least once in the community.
Money Available – Up to $4,000
Application available online
For more information
- Montreal – Administered through the Federation and available to students studying in Israel and traveling on congregational trips.
- Toronto – Administered by the Federation and Board of Jewish Education available to teens and college students. Toronto also keeps extensive lists of additional scholarship opportunities for Israel travel.
- Denver – Administered by the Colorado Agency for Jewish Education and available to teens and college students.
Colorado Agency for Jewish Education
Daniel Bennett (Executive Director and Israel Trip Consultant)
CAJE Israel Study Tour
- Kansas City – Administered by the Central Agency for Jewish Education as well as schools and synagogues and available to students studying in Israel.
- Minneapolis/St. Paul – The Minneapolis Federation offers need-based scholarships to the community administered by the Minneapolis JCC and Federation. Most scholarships go to college students. Minneapolis also offers the Passport to Israel program for community members ages 8-21. St. Paul offers Israel Experience Scholarships through the federation for ages 13-22.
Israel Program Scholarship (Minneapolis)
Israel Experience Scholarships (St. Paul)
- Omaha – Offers Israel Experience Grants through the Jewish Educational Library Services for students currently enrolled in Grades 9-12. Recipients are required to perform community service.
Jewish Educational Library Services
- St. Louis – Administered by the Federation and available to teens and college students.
The Jewish Federation of St. Louis
- San Diego – Administered through the United Jewish Federation of San Diego County’s Israel Center. Applicants must be full time high school or college students between the ages of 15 and 26. Applicants must have a minimum grade point average of 2.0 and commit to participation in pre and post travel activities and educational programs. Upon their return applicants are expected to participate in some type of Jewish education; share their Israel Experience through written and oral presentations; participate in Jewish communal activities, and perform community service by volunteering for a Jewish communal agency or synagogue for a minimum of 10 hours during the year following the Israel Experience. Programs must be educationally based and be a sponsored by a nationally recognized pluralistic and Zionist Jewish institution. Israel Center subsidies range from $100-$1,500 per student and all funds are distributed to the specified Israel program, not to the recipients. Application deadline is April 15th. Funding will not be provided for airfare or personal expenses. San Diego also runs the Scott Stone San Diego Israel Teen Trip. The Stone family provides a $500 subsidy per teen participating on the trip.
United Jewish Federation of San Diego County
UJF Israel Center, LLC
4950 Murphy Canyon Road, San Diego, CA 92123
- Phoenix – Administered by the Federation through the Gift of Israel program available for children in 3rd-10th grade. The participant must then used the raised funds within 1 year of 10th grade.
(480) 624-4900, x 1119
- Los Angeles Jewish Federation
Israel Connections/Experiences (IC/E) – IEP provides incentive grants of up to $500 to those young people chosen as recipients by their partner synagogue, organization, or agency. Each partner determines the qualifications for its participants under IEP guidelines. The synagogue and organization partner provides $250 or more to the amount of the IC/E grant. Click here for more information, or call Beth Singer at (323) 761-8342.
Need-Based Grants – For those students with additional financial need, IC/E centrally distributes need-based grants, determined by a lay committee, that range from $200 to $1,000 per student. All grants are a one-time only. Birthright, Diller and other programs that the Federation funds are considered one-time. If someone was on one of these programs, Federation would not be able to fund them again. Click here for more information, or call Beth Singer at (323) 761-8342.
Jewish Free Loan Association Loans – In partnership with the Jewish Free Loan Association (JFLA), IC/E helps participating families access interest-free loans. JF:A gives up to $4,000 to students going to Israel; loans require co-signers. These loans are interest-free and offer a flexible payment schedule. Click here for more information.
- Orange County – Passport to Jewish Life education grant – www.JewishOC.org/passport.aspx. This site includes the deadlines, guidelines, eligibility overview and other information they need, as well as a link to the new online form. Please note: in order to be eligible for Passport, a family must apply first for scholarship or financial assistance through the program provider.
Kathleen Mellon, Director, Community Planning & Development
Jewish Federation & Family Services of Orange County
- Atlantic County – Administered through the Federation and the Bureau of Jewish Education and available for students who travel on congregational trips.
Jewish Federation of Atlantic and Cape May County
- MetroWest – Administered by UJC MetroWest offers two types of scholarships, the Israel Experience Initiative and Financial Aid. The Israel Experience Initiative is for high school students only participating in a trip for a minimum of 4 weeks. (Concessions of trip length have been made during the matzav.) Participants must participate in pre-trip educational sessions and be a resident of MetroWest. Qualified participants receive $750 and may receive an additional $250 if their synagogue contributes. Participants may also have a separate Gift of Israel savings account. Financial aid is available to all students up to the age of 26 who are registered on approved study programs in Israel. Participants must show proof of need and write a letter about why they are going on the program. Financial aid is given based on needs and organizational budget. MetroWest currently has flexible deadlines for their scholarship deadlines. MetroWest does run its own Israel Experience Initiative trip which is called MetroWest Goes Israel.
United Jewish Communities of MetroWest
Legow Israel Family Program Center
Director of Special Projects
901 Route 10, Whippany, NJ 07981
- Philadelphia – Administered by the federation scholarships are need based. The maximum scholarship is $2,000, but no more than half of the program expense. Amounts are awarded based on financial need of the individual according to a set formula. Philadelphia offers a separate need based scholarship for students doing yeshiva and seminary programs. There are no set deadlines for scholarships, they are given out on a rolling basis. Philadelphia also offers a Passport to Israel program and participants may also apply for additional need based scholarships.
Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia
Israel and Overseas Center
2100 Arch Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103
- Southern New Jersey – Administered by the Federation and available to teens and college students. The Department of Jewish Education offers the Gift of Israel Program as well as merit based scholarships.
Jewish Federation of Southern New Jersey
Department of Jewish Education
(856) 751-9500, x 251
- Hartford – Administered by the Federation and available to teens and college students.
Greater Hartford Jewish Community Center
The Israel Program Center
- New Haven – Administered by the Bureau of Jewish Education and is available to students on summer trips.
Department of Jewish Education
- Springfield, MA – Administered by the Jewish Endowment Foundation of Western Massachusetts there are several scholarships available to students studying in Israel. The Israel Youth Scholarship Fund offers scholarships to all local youth who have completed their sophomore, junior or senior year. Applicants must be students or graduates of any of the Jewish schools. Priority consideration will be given to applicants who will be making their first trip to Israel. Awards will be based on need, qualifications, and potential for future Jewish leadership. Western Massachusetts also offers the Hebrew Education, Culture, and Israel Scholarship Fund available to students who live in Hampden county who have completed their sophomore, junior or senior year of high school. Students must participate in a summer teen study or tour program in Israel. Priority is given to students who are unaffiliated and/or have not been to Israel before.
The Jewish Endowment Foundation of Western Massachusetts
Director of Grants Administration
1160 Dickson Street, Springfield, MA 01108
- Atlanta – Administered through the federation for community members age 15-26. Both incentive and need-based scholarships available. Those that accept scholarships must perform 20 hours of community service in the community.
Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta
Israel Experience Program
- Boca Raton (So. Palm Beach County) – Administered by the Federation and available to P2K agencies, college and high school students who study in Israel and students who participate in congregational trips. Scholarships given are either $500 or $1000.
South Palm Beach Federation
Jewish Education Commission
JEC, Executive Director
9901 Donna Klein Blvd. Boca Raton, FL 33426
- Broward County, FL – Administered through the Orloff Central Agency for Jewish Education (CAJE) Israel Experience Center. Also participates in the Gift of Israel Savings program and the Gift of Israel Bar and Bat Mitzvah program.
Israel Experience Center
- Greensboro, NC – Administered through the Federation, scholarships are offered through the Gift of Israel program and the Israel Grant Program which offers scholarships to community members ages 16-23.
Greensboro Jewish Federation
- Miami – Administered through the Federation and available to high school and college students.
Greater Miami Jewish Federation
Israel Programs Department
(305) 576-4000, x 343
- Charlotte, NC – The Jewish Federation gives $500 to any Israel trip, but you are guaranteed to get it. An essay is required in order to receive the money.
- Nashville – Administered through the Central Agency for Jewish Education and available to teens and college students.
Jewish Federation of Greater Nashville
- Palm Beach – Administered by the Federation and available to teens and college students, specific scholarships for post Bar and Bat Mitzvah travel.
Jewish Federation of Palm Beach County
Israel Program Center
(561) 478-0700, x 176
- Congregation B’nai Israel of St. Petersburg – Offers scholarships to a variety of conservative youth programs. For more information, St. Pete USYers may contact Stephanie at (727) 381-4900, x 209.
- New York (New York City, Nassau, Suffolk and Westchester counties) – Administered through the Federation. Need based and merit scholarships are available for teens entering 10th-12th grade on peer-group approved Israel programs. UJA-Federation of New York offers the Robert A. Belfer Family Fellowships and Chaverim Awards in the amount of $1,250 to students with leadership potential who are nominated by a UJA-Federation agency or by a synagogue in the New York City Metropolitan area, Long Island or Westchester County. Students are required to provide Jewish community service upon returning home from Israel. UJA-Federation of New York also offers the Singer Family awards in the amount of $1,250 given to students from Westchester County who are nominated by a UJA-Federation agency or by a synagogue in the New York City Metropolitan area, Long Island or Westchester County. Students are also required to provide Jewish community service when they return. To apply for the Merit based scholarships, please e-mail UJA – this deadline is usually in March. To apply for needs based scholarship you must contact the METNY USY office directly, not UJA – this deadline is also in March.
UJA-Federation of New York
Israel Experience Center
- Boston – Administered by the Federation, scholarships are available to residents of the greater Boston community. Applicants must be enrolled in an organized Israel program, personal trips will not be funded. Once enrolled in an Israel program the program provider is asked to send a letter to the CJP Israel Experience Desk with the name of applicant, official statement of acceptance into program, name of program, dates of program, cost of program, applicant contact information, address where scholarship can be mailed, statement that the applicant is in need of financial assistance. If it is not possible to apply to a program without the assurance that scholarship money will be available, applicants should first contact the Israel Program’s Desk. Funds are sent directly to the program. Under development: Students will now be expected to commit to recruiting for their Israel Experience program several hours per month in exchange for scholarship money.
Combined Jewish Philanthropies
Israel Programs Desk
126 High Street, Boston, MA 02110
- Northshore, MA – Administered by the Federation, Y2I, available to high school sophomores or juniors, is a year-long educational & community service program which is highlighted by a fully funded community trip (either the Y2I European Adventure with Israeli teens or the Next Stop Israel Program in Israel. Students can choose to use the $4650 subsidy towards travel on another approved Israel program, typically a youth movement or camp trip. Application deadline for Y2I is December. There is no deadline for these scholarships. North Shore High School students are eligible for a $1,000 subsidy when they travel on an approved program.
Jewish Federation of the North Shore
Director, Israel Programs and Teen Programs
21 Front Street, Salem, MA 01970
www.jewishnorthshore.org (community programs)
- East Bay, CA – The Israel Center of the Jewish Community Federation of the Greater East Bay has a single ongoing (no deadline) scholarship process for high school and college students. Eligible applicants must be under 30 years of age and live in Alameda or Contra Costa counties. Awards are need based. Funds are applicable to study in Israel only and are payable to the specific, recognized program and never to the applicant.
Jewish Community Federation of the East Bay
(510) 839-2900, x 256
Summer Israel Trip Coordinator
(510) 839-2900, x 255
- San Francisco – The Jewish Community Federation and Endowment Fund of San Francisco, the Peninsula, Marin and Sonoma Counties offers an Israel Experience scholarship for teens in grades 8-12 who are going to Israel on their first organized trip. Please email Lisa Pavlovsky, Scholarship Program Manager, with any further questions. Families may also fund a USY trip with their Gift of Israel savings account.
Please contact Danit Trau with any questions. You may also call her directly at 415.369.2873.
- Seattle – Administered through the Jewish Education Council. Offers scholarships to students in high school that are traveling to Israel on a financial need basis.
Jewish Education Council
- Baltimore – Established by the ASSOCIATED Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore and administered through the Center for Jewish Education’s Community Fund for Israel Experiences. Baltimore area Jewish teens in grades eight through twelve whose legal guardian resides in the greater Baltimore area qualify to receive CFIE stipends if they are traveling to Israel on an educationally validated program, as determined by CJE at least 2 weeks in duration. CFIE stipends may be used for school break, summer, semester or year-long travel to Israel. Students are limited to one CFIE stipend per year. CFIE stipends may not exceed 50% of the total cost of any Israel experience. Beginning in 2003-2004 a student may receive a lifetime maximum of $1800. The average stipend amount is $500. An extra bonus of $500 is given to high school students and graduating seniors who are traveling to Israel for over four weeks and have demonstrated a commitment to continued Jewish education or to students who spend a semester or a year in Israel. Students are also eligible for up to $1,000 from the Hebrew Free Loan Association of Baltimore. Applications are due by February 2 and are funded on a first come, first served basis. CFIE stipends are sent directly to the Israel trip providers when proof of registration and trip cost is received. CFIE recipients attend a pre-trip and post-trip programming and complete 10 hours of community service upon return. CFIE applicants are invited to apply for the Kuntz and Kaplan Israel Experience Scholarships. Applications are available in February and due in April. Qualified applicants must submit a nomination, 3 letters of recommendation, an essay and fill out an application that details the family’s financial need. Once student is chosen to receive the Kuntz Israel Experience Scholarship in the amount of $1000 and one student is chosen to receive the Kaplan Israel Experience Scholarship in the amount of $800.
Center for Jewish Education
Community Fund for Israel Experiences
5708 Park Heights Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21215
- Washington D.C. – Administered by the Federation and available to students studying in Israel and traveling on congregational trips.
Jewish Federation of Greater Washington
6101 Montrose Road
Rockville, MD 20852
- Dallas – Administered through the Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas scholarship money is allocated every year from the annual campaign as well as endowment. All scholarships are need based and need is determined by the S.S.S. a private scholarship service also used by the local day schools. To be eligible students must be between the ages of 16-26, from Dallas and participating in a trip of at least 10 days that includes some education and some touring of Israel. There is no deadline for application.
Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas
- Houston – Administered by the Bureau of Jewish Education and available to all teens and college students. BJE also runs the Gift of Israel program.
BJE Executive Director
(713) 729-7000, x 310
- New Orleans – Administered by the Federation and available for community members ages 16-26 through the Gift of Israel program.
Jewish Federation of Greater New Orleans
- Albany (Northeast New York) – Administered by the Federation.
Jewish Federation of Northeast New York
- Rochester – Administered by the Jewish Federation of Greater Rochester’s Coordinator of Teen Education and Israel Trips.
Jewish Federation of Greater Rochester
or go to www.jewishrochester.org and click on “Teens” for more information