What is Birthright Israel Fellows?
Birthright Israel Fellows is a training program for exceptional Jewish leaders and aspiring educators who want to staff Birthright Israel trips.
The program includes a four-day in-person training session, online learning, workshops in experiential Jewish education, and opportunities to staff three Birthright Israel trips. In the process, you'll gain a nationwide network of skilled leaders and elite educators and increase your knowledge about Judaism, Israel, and leadership practices. All expenses for the training seminar, including travel from your home city to Chicago, are covered.
What's the application process?
Potential Fellows must complete an online application and interview. You can sign up here to be notified when applications for Cohort 11 open this Fall.
Are my application answers too redundant?
It may seem like you are saying the same thing multiple times as you are filling out the application - but this isn’t a case of less is more, rather, more is more! Tell us anything and everything that you think will be helpful for us to determine whether you make a good candidate for Birthright Israel Fellows.
I haven't been on or staffed Birthright Israel. Can I still apply?
Yes; however, you must have significant Israel travel experience either as a participant or staff leader. Only going on a Birthright Israel trip is not enough experience to qualify you.
Are there age limits?
Yes, applicants must be 22+ by the start of the in-person training to be eligible for the program.
I am a Jewish professional with significant experience already. Is this program for me?
Yes - this program is most certainly for you!
Is this program only open to Americans?
Yes and no. If you are not an American citizen but are living and working or studying in America for the next 3-5 years, you are eligible to apply for Birthright Israel Fellows. If you are a Canadian citizen, you can still apply for Birthright Israel Fellows but there are some additional requirements before staffing. Please contact Aaron Bock (firstname.lastname@example.org) to learn more.
When is the training seminar?
Cohort 11: Sunday-Wednesday, TBD Winter 2020
What will the seminar itself consist of?
The seminar will include workshops in storytelling and developing your personal narrative; in experiential education skills and practices including recognizing and using teachable moments; and in content knowledge development in Jewish and Israel studies. Check out the schedule from Cohort 1, Cohort 2, Cohort 3, Cohort 4, Cohort 5, Cohort 6, and Cohort 7.
Is there work to be done in preparation for the seminar?
Yes, you will be required to complete an assignment prior to the in-person seminar to help prepare you for the training. It will take approx. 5 hours, and you will have roughly 4-5 weeks to complete this work.
Who will I be learning from and with at the seminar?
In addition to your Birthright Israel Fellow cohort, you will have the opportunity to learn with Master Israel Educators and seasoned Israel experience staff.
What else is involved aside from the in-person seminar?
Birthright Israel Fellows will also include some online learning components before and after the seminar itself. You should think of the program as a five-month experience - with a month or two of online work prior to the seminar and a couple months of online enrichment after the seminar before you staff your first trip as a Birthright Israel Fellow.
As a Birthright Israel Fellow, how will my role differ on the bus from my co-staff?
You will board your bus with significant educational tools and resources to enrich the experience of your participants both on the ground in Israel and once they return home. The expectation is that you will work as a team with your co-staff to create a meaningful environment and implement the tools you've learned. However, these credentials don't exclude you from the supervisory, logistical, and welfare responsibilities of being a staff member!
When will I be able to staff Birthright Israel trips as a Birthright Israel Fellow?
If you are chosen to participate in Birthright Israel Fellows, you will be able to staff Birthright Israel trips as a Birthright Israel Fellow immediately after the seminar. In practice, most Fellows staff the Summer after the seminar or the following Winter.
Does being in Birthright Israel Fellows mean I automatically staff a Birthright Israel trip?
No, being in Birthright Israel Fellows does not guarantee that you will be hired by Trip Organizers to staff a trip. At the in person seminar, you will have the opportunity to meet with representatives from each Trip Organizer and develop a relationship with them to put you in the best position to staff a future Birthright Israel trip. However, you will still have to complete the traditional application process that each Trip Organizer requires. For a list of all Birthright Israel Trip Organizers, click here.
How long do I have to staff the three trips required by the program?
You have three years to staff your three Birthright Israel trips and complete the staffing requirements of the program. However, the first of these trips must take place within the first year after attending your Birthright Israel Fellows training.
What if I don't know where I'll be in three years from now?
That’s ok! Who really knows where they will be in three years anyway? Birthright Israel Fellows will work with you to be your advocate to your employer should you need it.
Is there any stipend for me as a Birthright Israel Fellow?
All expenses will be paid for the in-person training seminar, but no, there is no additional stipend included in participating in Birthright Israel Fellows.
Got more questions? Contact Aaron Bock at email@example.com.