SAFETY AND SECURITY
Get all of the necessary information on safety and security.
- Safety and security is our number one priority
- Choosing where not to go
- Consulting with the proper authorities
- Structure equals security
- Our safety record speaks for itself
- Putting things into their proper perspective
- Speak to people who've "been there, done that"
Your safety and security is Birthright Israel's #1 priority as well as ours. The situation in the Middle East is being monitored on a constant basis and the programs would be postponed or cancelled if we felt that we could not properly ensure your safety and well-being. Just so you know, this has never happened to date.
The majority of violent incidents that have taken place over the past few years have occurred in particular tense areas of the West Bank and in the Gaza Strip. Policy dictates that we do not go to Gaza and to restricted areas of the West Bank. We also do not travel to areas without receiving consent by the “consortium” of security agencies in Israel. We will travel in areas labeled as West Bank which are deemed safe for Tourist travel and lodging. (Ex. corridor from Jerusalem to and along Dead Sea) If a conflict occurs during the trip we will of course re route our trip to avoid these areas.
Our itineraries are submitted for review and authorization to a special committee made up of representatives from Birthright Israel, the Israel Police, the Israeli Ministry of Education and the Israel Defense Forces. Daily programs are also re-verified with the police authorities the day before as a precaution - itineraries may be modified accordingly.
Safety is enhanced by the fact that we are in a structured environment. We use our own tour buses, not public transportation. Itineraries are carefully planned out (see above). Group leaders and guides carry cell phones and can be reached at all times by our head office. In accordance with the Israeli Ministry of Education guidelines - which were originally put in place for Israeli youth and student groups decades ago - a fully-trained Israeli armed guard/medic is with the group at all times. Also, as required by Birthright Israel rules and regulations, there is strictly no unsupervised free time in public areas.
The extensive security measures taken have unquestionably proven themselves on the ground. Since its inception in 1999, the Birthright Israel initiative has sent over 500,000 young adults to Israel and in spite of intermittent violence in the area over the past few years, not a single participant was even remotely involved in a security-related incident. Not a single one.
The above measures don't turn a dangerous trip into a safe one; they take an already safe experience and make it even safer. Hundreds of thousands of tourists travel safely to Israel each year without all of Birthright Israel's extensive security measures. Also, in spite of the media's focus on violence, over six and a half million Israelis go on with their daily lives normally: going to school, to work, to the beach, eating out, going to shopping malls, traveling the roads and so on.
If you are still concerned, feel free to contact us in order to discuss this further. If you'd like, we can even put you in touch with one of our past participants so that you can hear about some of what they felt prior to their first trip to Israel (see the articles below by past Israel Experts participants). They will also confirm that the security measures take nothing away from the experience itself. Try to find someone else who has visited or lived in Israel recently - tell them about the security measures we take, and ask them what they would do. While the advice of colleagues, friends and family who have never been to Israel may be well-intentioned, they can hardly be considered well-informed sources of information on this important matter.
- No commitment - Register now, decide later
Remember that you lose nothing by registering. Your deposit is completely refundable if you cancel your participation before the cancellation deadline (ask us about exact dates) and will be returned to you in any case when you return from the program in Israel. Ask any Israel Experts past participant (contact us for names and email addresses) and you will hear the same thing: Every one of them felt perfectly secure during their 10-day experience, and the extensive (and often imperceptible) security measures did nothing to take away from their enjoyment or their ability to see the country. Israel Experts has built itself a solid reputation for being one of the most professional trip organizers running Birthright Israel trips. As we've stated previous, since our involvement with the Birthright Israel initiative, nothing is more important to applicants than accurate and honest information, and we pride ourselves on trying our best to provide it at all times. A free trip to Israel is truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and whatever decision you make, we feel that it should be, first and foremost, a well-informed one.
Birthright Israel Alcohol Policy
- Participants will be removed from the program for use or possession of alcohol against Birthright Israel regulations, for failure to abide by the terms of this policy, and also for level of inebriation that impedes participation in an activity, or results in intoxication. There will be no tolerance for drunkenness and/or drunk or disorderly conduct.
- Drinking is not permitted on the flight to Israel.
- Drinking is never permitted during program time or while on the bus.
- Drinking is not permitted in participants or any hotel/guest house bedrooms.
- Drinking is only permitted in locations that are authorized and designated for that purpose eg, pubs, hotel bar etc., with the Trip Organizers’ full knowledge and consent.
- Purchase of any form of alcohol for later use outside the designated place is not permitted.
- It is forbidden to buy (or be in possession of) bottles or multiple cans of alcoholic drinks of any kind; from supermarkets, grocery stores, kiosks, duty free, or anywhere else.
- Staff are not permitted to drink during the course of the 10 day trip.
- Staff may not purchase alcohol for participants
- Participants may purchase a closed bottle of wine as a gift to bring home when visiting a winery with their group.
- Purchasing alcohol in the hotel bar is only permitted if the Trip Organizer has personally approved such to the group’s educational staff.
- In evenings prior to strenuous activities, such as the climb up Masada (for health and safety reasons), alcohol consumption will not be allowed. Trip Organizers may add to this list at their discretion.
- Outings to pubs and bars as a group activity is not permitted.
- During ‘Leisure Nights’ participants may go to a bar and pub and drink responsibly within the parameters of the Birthright Israel regulations.
- Soldiers participating in the program as part of Mifgashim may not consume any alcoholic drinks due to general I.D.F.'s instruction
- Failure to abide by the policy will result in immediate removal from the trip.
Every participant will be required to sign the Birthright Israel Alcohol Policy Participant Agreement at the departure airport prior to boarding the flight to Israel. To read over the Participant Agreement, click here.