Birthright Israel

Birthright Israel

Explore all that Israel has to offer.

Birthright Israel powered by Federation CJA’s GenMTL offers life-changing educational trips to Israel for young Jewish adults between the ages of 18 to 26 and 27 to 32* and, in doing so, transforming the Jewish future. Birthright’s mission is to give every Jewish young adult in Montreal the opportunity to visit Israel (certain conditions do apply). Participants return motivated to continue to explore their Jewish identity and solidarity with Israel, as well as maintain long-lasting connections with new friends they met on their trip.

*Trips pending

For further information, please contact
Michelle Cooper
Operations Officer, GenMTL
[email protected]
(514) 734-1708

Participant Application

✈️ DECEMBER 2019 – SIGN UP NOW!

  • December 23 – 31: Original Experience, Seven-Day Trip (21-26) Departing from YYZ SIGN UP
  • December 22 – January 1: Original Experience (18-22) Departing from YYZ SIGN UP
  • December 18 – 29: Original Experience (27-32) Departing from YYZ SIGN UP
  • December 22 – 31: Original Experience (27-32) Departing from YYZ SIGN UP
  • December 18 – 29: Original Experience (23-26) Departing from YYZ SIGN UP
  • December 26 – January 7: Original Experience (18-22) Departing from YYZ SIGN UP
  • December 22 – January 2: Original Experience (23-26) Departing from YYZ SIGN UP
  • December 25- January 5: Original Experience (18-22) Departing from YYZ SIGN UP

✈️ JANUARY 2020 – SIGN UP NOW!

  • January 1 – 12: Original Experience (27-32) Departing from YYZ SIGN UP
  • June 12 – 22: Friends with Special Needs (21-26) Departing from YYZ SIGN UP

The Trip

Though this is an educational program, your trip will include touring, hiking, discussions, social events, camel and jeep rides and much more.

The content of the trip focuses on three main areas:

  1. Narratives of the Jewish People
    Visit key landmarks of historical, national, archeological and natural significance that reflect the Jewish people and their history.
  2. Contemporary Israel
    Explore Israel’s vibrant arts and culture, innovative science & technology, environmental initiatives and social discourse – offering an intimate experience of the country through its achievements and challenges.
  3. Ideas & Formative Values of Judaism
    Celebrate and discover core values that have been part of Jewish life throughout the ages – e.g. Experience Shabbat together, community and learning

More

Mifgashim

Mifgash, meaning "encounter" in Hebrew. As a key component of our program, young Israelis are invited to join our groups to gain the same understanding of Israel, Judaism, Jewish identity and the larger Jewish community. By engaging in creative, recreational and educational activities with Israeli peers, members of the group develop a personal peer-to-peer connection to Israel.

Safety & Security

The welfare of our participants is of utmost concern, and in an ongoing effort to secure the safety of each participant; all itineraries are planned in accordance with the security directives of the Israeli Ministry of Education, the Israeli Defense Forces, Israeli Police, and the Jewish Agency for Israel.

Our Partners

Taglit-Birthright Israel trips are conducted by multiple trip organizers. We are extremely proud of our partnership with Canada Israel Experience (CIE), our national organization under United Israel Appeal (UIA Federations Canada), with offices in Toronto and Jerusalem. As the leading Israel tour organizer in Canada, CIE is committed to ensuring that all of our programs provide GenMTL participants with a unique, unparalleled Israel experience.

For further information, please visit www.israelforfree.com

Eligibility

Age

All participants must be between 18 and 26 and 27 to 32* years of age and no longer be in high school by the time their trip departs. For our 18-26 trips, if you are turning 27 prior to May 1 for spring/summer trips, or December 1 for winter trips, you are not eligible to participate in that upcoming round of trips.

*Trips pending

For further information, please contact:
Michelle Cooper
Operations Officer, GenMTL
[email protected]
(514) 734-1708

More

Jewish Heritage

Eligible individuals are those recognized as Jewish by their local Jewish community or by one of the recognized denominations of Judaism. Applicants must also have at least one Jewish birth parent, or have completed Jewish conversion through a recognized Jewish denomination.

Previous Israel Experience

If you have been to Israel before, but only with your family or on other personal business for under 3 months, you are still eligible, if:

  • You participated on a peer educational trip to Israel under the age of 18.
  • You participated on the March of the Living when you were in high school. You are still eligible to participate on one of our programs if you turn 18 years old at time of departure.
  • You have served in the Israeli Army or volunteered on an Israel Army base under the age of 18.
  • You traveled to Israel since turning 18 on a family trip, a multi-generational trip, or some interfaith/secular experiences are eligible.
  • Please note: If you were born in Israel, have ever held Israeli citizenship or have held an Israeli passport you are not eligible, unless you can prove by official documentation that you left Israel before the age of 12. Documentation can be in the form of a Landed Immigrant Certificate or a report card from the school you attended in Canada at the time. If you have served in the Israeli Army or volunteered on an Israeli army base, you are not eligible.

You are not eligible to participate on one of our programs, if:

  • You traveled to Israel after turning 18 on programs designed for college students or young. Programs include: University, study abroad, gap year, yeshiva/seminary, internship and any other experience under the umbrella of Onward Israel or Masa Israel.

For confirmation of whether previous participation on a specific Israel trip will affect your eligibility, please contact us at: (800) 567-4772 | (416) 398-6931

Every applicant MUST successfully complete a mandatory interview with a GenMTL Engagement Associate as part of the application process.

Important Passport Information

A valid passport is one that expires a minimum of six months after your return date (i.e. if you return on May 15, your passport must be valid until at least November 15). This is non-negotiable and is an enforced airline policy. Please do not forget that even if your passport is valid until the return date of the group, if you choose to extend your trip by even a few days past the 6-month rule, your passport will not be valid for travel.

If you do not currently have a valid passport, please contact your local passport office to begin your application process. Obtaining a valid passport could take up to six weeks. Give yourself enough time so that a copy of your valid passport can be submitted to GenMTL’s Birthright Israel office by the deadline indicated on your application.

Please ensure that your passport is in good condition. Stained or torn pages can result in any airline refusing to accept a passport for travel.

Attention: Israeli Citizens

If you were born in Israel, have ever held Israeli citizenship (includes having one parent born in Israel) or have held an Israeli passport, you must travel with a valid Israeli passport. If you were born in Israel, have ever held Israeli citizenship or have held an Israeli passport, you MUST be able to provide a copy of your Army exemption papers if you are accepted to the program. We suggest you contact your local consulate of Israel to begin this process immediately; you will not be able to participate on our program without these documents.

Please note that these documents may take 6-8 weeks to be processed. We encourage you to begin this process immediately once you have applied for a trip. In order to expedite the documentation process, GenMTL can provide participants assigned to a trip with an official letter stating that the participant is confirmed on a trip when requested.

Please contact the Israeli Consulate nearest you as soon as possible to speak with a consular staff, if you require more information.

Do you have a question? Please do not hesitate to contact us at (514) 734-1708.

Madrichim in Training (MIT)

GenMTL Birthright’s Madrichim in Training (MIT) Program is a comprehensive leadership development initiative for young adults to enhance their community leadership skills and prepare to staff Birthright and Canada Israel Experience trips, and other travel experiences.

For more information, please contact: Michelle Cooper [email protected] 
 

FAQ

 

 

 

 

What is Birthright Israel?
Thanks to Federation CJA GenMTL’s Birthright Israel, if you are Jewish and between the ages of 18 to 26 and 27 to 32* and you have never been on a peer educational Israel Experience program, this may be your opportunity to visit Israel for free. This unique Israel experience program includes round trip travel from Montreal >to Israel, all accommodations, at least two kosher meals per day, transportation by private luxury tour bus, all entrances, basic medical insurance while in Israel, two Canadian madrichim (program leaders), an Israeli tour guide/educator, specialists and guest speakers, an armed medic and security guard, a Canadian and Israeli coordinator in Israel, communications equipment for the group and all taxes.

Birthright Israel is a unique, historic partnership between the people of Israel through their government, local Jewish communities and leading Jewish philanthropists.

*Trips pending

What is Canada Israel Experience (CIE)
CIE is Canada’s Birthright Israel trip provider. GenMTL partners with CIE as our provider for all of our Israel experience programs. For more information about CIE, please click here

How do I register for Birthright Israel?
Registration can be completed online at www.israelforfree.com. You will need your social insurance number, as well a credit card for the $300 CAD deposit that must be left. If you do not have your passport handy at the time of registration, you can enter the information later.

What happens next?
Once you have completed your application and left your deposit you will be contacted for an interview.  The interview is a mandatory part of the application process and all applicants must complete one – even if they have applied in the past.

You will also receive an email asking you to log in to www.cieregistration.com to complete Step Two of the application process. Once you have logged into your www.cieregistration.com account, please complete all of the sections and download the medical form that must be completed by your doctor. You must also upload a copy of your passport and a photo of yourself to your CIE account.

What if I don’t have a family doctor? Can I fill out the medical form?
The medical form must be filled out by a doctor, even if it is not your family doctor. If you do not have a family doctor a local clinic or CLSC might be able to complete the form for you.

If I apply, am I automatically accepted into the program?
Unfortunately, a completed application does not result in an automatic acceptance. With such a large demand for this program, we choose participants based primarily on a lottery system. In order to be entered into our lottery system, you must have a completed online application (including a paid $300 CAD deposit plus $10 non-refundable handling fee) While the majority of the spaces are allocated based on the aforementioned lottery system, a certain percentage of the allocated spaces are distributed on a discretionary basis. For example, an individual who is very close to the upper age limit (26 years of age) may be given priority over younger applicants who will have other opportunities to take advantage of this program.

Will my $300 CAD deposit be refunded?
As part of your on-line application, your deposit can be paid by either Visa or Mastercard.  Approximately 2-4 days after your Birthright trip ends, you will receive an e-mail from Taglit-Birthright Israel informing you that your deposit is available to be either refunded or donated, with instructions on how to make your choice. Participants will be able to choose to donate all or a portion of their deposit. If you choose a full refund, the money will be credited to your credit card used to pay the deposit. All deposits are subject to a $10 non-refundable handling fee by Payoneer, Inc.

Participants will receive this option provided they successfully complete the Israel Experience program and have obliged by all of the terms and policies of Birthright Israel: CIE, as noted in the CIE Contract.

Note: If you are not assigned to a trip and have not requested we cancel your application and refund your deposit, your deposit will be returned through your credit card used to pay the deposit after the end of our round of trips (end of January or August).

If you do not act on your deposit refund, you will be sent an e-mail within 14, 45 and 60 days of your trip return advising you to activate the refund link and act on your deposit refund by either requesting a refund or donation or both. If, after 90 days, you have not activated the refund link, Taglit-Birthright Israel will deem the deposit as “forfeited” and it will not be returned to the participant.

Where does my trip depart from?
The majority of our trips depart from the Toronto Pearson and the Montreal Trudeau airports. It is the responsibility of the participant to ensure that they are at the airport a minimum of 6 hours prior to departure if they are flying into Toronto and 4 hours prior to departure if they are driving, taking the bus or train. Partial reimbursement for travel (flights, train and bus) is available, please log into your CIE account and download the travel reimbursement form to ensure that your travel will be eligible

Are there any hidden costs on this program?
No, there are no hidden costs on the program. The only expenses that will be incurred by the program participants are supplementary Canadian travel insurance (this is mandatory for all participants who have a confirmed departure date), the cost of getting to and from your home, to and from your assigned airport, and spending money. It is our recommendation that you bring approximately $400 CDN for your 10-day visit. Credit cards are widely accepted in stores and restaurants. We do not recommend bringing a debit card as your only source of cash flow. It is often difficult to get to an ATM since the route does not cover major urban centres. If you have State of Israel Bonds that you would like to cash, we recommend that you do so in Canada, as you will not have sufficient time to do so in Israel.

Meals
Breakfast will always be provided for you. You will be responsible for purchasing one meal per day, either lunch or dinner. Your madrichim (trip staff) will let you know which meal you will have to purchase each day. Should you follow the above guidelines of $400 CDN, you should have enough money for meals and souvenirs.

Can I travel with friends?
During step two of the application process you can request one person to travel with. If both of your names are chosen from the lottery we will do our best to place both you and your friend on the same trip, but we cannot guarantee all requests will be accommodated. 

Can I go early?
All Birthright Israel CIE participants must depart with their trip group from the point of departure. There will be no exceptions to this.

Can I extend my stay?
Birthright Israel participants leaving on Canadian departures may have the option of extending their ticket to remain in Israel beyond the program for a fee depending on the airline. Only those who have been assigned to a trip will be able to make a request for a flight extension. Please realize that extensions are not guaranteed and every airline has their own restrictions. You may have to be flexible with your dates as the airlines are very busy; this is why we urge participants to make the extension in advance of their trip departure.

We encourage you to take advantage of being in Israel and to extend your stay after the program. Please note that once the Birthright Israel program has concluded you will no longer be under our supervision or the responsibility of Birthright Israel. All returned flights must be direct from Tel Aviv; stopovers and connecting flights are not permitted on your Birthright Israel ticket.

Participants are responsible for cancelling their confirmed return flight if they will not be using the ticket (i.e. if they are travelling for longer than the 90-day maximum). If they know this prior to their departure from Montreal, they should notify our GenMTL office. Once in Israel, participants can advise the airline if they are not flying home on their return flight. If they don’t do so, their ticket will become null and void. Participants should not think their tickets are still valid if they didn’t use them on the booked date or change them; they will be left with no return flight. In addition, if they don’t advise the airline or National office of their intent to forfeit their return ticket, they will also lose their $250 US deposit.

Please make note of which airline your trip will travel with; this information can be found at www.cieregistration.com under “Bus Info”. Follow the instructions below for the specific airline.

 

 

 

 

Airline Information & Contacts

 

 

 

 

Air CanadaTo extend your stay prior to departure, the fee set by the airline will be charged and the airline will require credit card information to confirm via e-mail. Extension requests prior to departure are made through e-mail ONLY and NOT by telephone. Please complete the Request for Extension Form (TBD) and e-mail it directly to Air Canada ([email protected]).

Please remember that our agents at Air Canada are stationed in Tel Aviv, Israel and are 7 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time. Their general hours of operation are Sunday to Thursday 8:30 am – 5 pm (Israel time). Air Canada agents in Canada will not be able to assist you with a flight extension. Please allow for a minimum of 2-3 business days for a response to your email. Sending additional e-mails only delays the agents further.

Air Canada tickets permit Taglit-Birthright Israel participants to stay in Israel for a maximum of 90 days beyond your departure date from Toronto. Please note that every effort will be made to confirm one of your requested dates or the date nearest to it. If none of your requested dates are available, you will be informed by the Air Canada agent of your further options.

To extend your stay prior to departure, the fee will be determined by Air Canada subject to seat availability in the same class of service.

You will also have the option of waiting to extend your ticket once you are in Israel. The fee will be determined by Air Canada in Israel and you must contact the airline more than 72 hours before a confirmed return date to process this request. Should you need to be home on a certain date the availability may not be there. If you know you have to be back on a certain date, it is highly recommended that you make the extension prior to departure of the trip from Canada.

Once in Israel you may call the Air Canada office in Tel Aviv at 03-607-2111 for a return date change; hours of operation are Sunday through Thursday 8:30 -5:00 pm. Air Canada may require the booking reference number on the e-ticket you receive upon departure. Please note that Federation CJA’s GenMTL and Canada Israel Experience are not responsible for fees forfeited if you need to change or cancel your extension request with Air Canada. Extending your ticket will only be possible once you have been assigned on a specific flight.


EL AL Extension requests for El Al Israel Airlines prior to departure are handled through Gil Travel. You can extend your stay in Israel with Gil Travel’s Israel Trip Flight Extensions. Please review their FAQ’s as well as their policies on providing extensions to Taglit-Birthright Israel participants prior to sending your extension request.

Extension requests prior to departure are made through their website ONLY and NOT by telephone.

El Al Israel Airline’s ticket is good for a maximum stay of 90-days. All tickets become null and void after that time.

The fee prior to departure will be determined by El Al subject to seat availability in the same class of service.

Once in Israel, you can extend your ticket directly through El Al. The extension fee will be determined by El Al in Israel subject to seat availability in the same class of service. If not available, the change will result in the fee plus the difference in published airfares and upsell. Should you need to be home on a certain date the seat availability may not be there. If you know you have to be back on a certain date, it is highly recommended that you make the extension prior to departure from Canada.

The local telephone number in Israel for El Al airlines is 03-977-1111, 24 hours a day. El Al may require the booking reference number of the e-ticket you receive on departure from Toronto. Changes must be done prior to the return date of the ticket. Please note that Canada Israel Experience is not responsible for fees forfeited if you need to change or cancel your extension request with El Al.

Extending your ticket will only be possible once you have been assigned on a specific flight. 

 

 

 

 

Can I talk to a person for more information?
For further information, please contact
Michelle Cooper
Operations Officer, GenMTL
[email protected]
(514) 734-1708

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