BBYO | AZA & BBG | International Convention | Summer

Explore Israel

The People, the Nation, the State, and what it can be

Israel is the homeland of the Jewish People: historical and modern, innovative, diverse, vibrant, and complex. The Explore Israel initiative is intended to help you begin to understand your relationship with the State of Israel through programming, training, debate, immersive travel, face-to-face encounters with teens and adults representing all viewpoints and thoughtful dialogue. Alephs and BBGs have a wide array of Israel experiences, opinions and questions. We may not always agree on everything, but we're working to build a safe space that encourages curiosity, challenging each other, and personal growth. Your relationship with Israel will be lifelong. Start exploring today!

Get Started

AZA and BBG's history is closely tied to that of the State of Israel. AZA and BBG leaders signed a declaration recognizing the State of Israel before independence in 1948 and have been experiencing Israel through teen travel since 1956. As the leaders of the global Jewish community, it is our responsibility to learn about, appreciate, advocate for, challenge, and shape the future of Israel. Explore Israel has two primary objectives:

  1. Utilize programming, travel experiences, meaningful face-to-face engagements, and other platforms to explore all facets of Israel—historical, cultural, spiritual, societal, political, and more.

  2. Empower leaders, dialogue with local, national, and international government representatives, plan rallies, write petitions, create information campaigns and utilize media outlets to educate our communities and advocate for Israel—as well as use these tools to further strengthen Israel's democratic character and values.

Spotlight Moments

Alephs and BBGs are sharing unique and dynamic Israel-focused programs all across the Order. Be wow'ed and find inspiration for how you can bring the Explore Israel initiative to your community.

Israel Seminar

International Kallah

Six influential leaders joined more than 250 Alephs and BBGs for two intensive days of learning and dialogue about Israel. The speakers all represented different backgrounds and each had unique perspectives on the issues.

Speakers included:

  • Laura Ben David, Author and Director of Marketing for Shavei Israel

  • Mohammed Dajani Daoudi, Co-Founder, Wasatia Movement (Palestinian Centrist Movement)

  • Izzy Ezagui, IDF Veteran, Author and Motivational Speaker

  • Rabbi Arnie Eisen, Chancellor, Jewish Theological Seminary

  • Rabbi Susan Silverman, Founder, Anne Frank Home Sanctuary Movement

  • Dr. Einat Wilf, Diplomat and Thought Leader

Connect with Local Teens

International Leadership Seminar in Israel (ILSI)

Annually on ILSI, participants have an array of unique experiences that give them opportunities to authentically connect with the State of Israel. From meeting Israeli citizens of all backgrounds to participating in dialogues with Israeli and Palestinian teens, Alephs and BBGs on ILSI get to experience Israel first-hand.

Opportunities include:

  • An exchange with BBYO's sister movement in Israel, Maccabi Tzair

  • Programming with Kids4Peace, an interfaith youth movement bringing together Jews, Muslims, Christians, Palestinians, and Druze

  • Becoming Dream Doctors for a day, learning about the profession of medical clowning and visiting local hospitals

Los Angeles Israel Festival

Pacific Western Region

The Israel Festival is a celebration of Israeli music, culture, and food. It is the largest Jewish gathering in the city of Los Angeles and attracts over 25,000 people. Alephs and BBGs hosted a teen hangout tent at the festival with activities, giveaways, and more.

Ready to visit Israel?

Explore a wide range of trips to Israel over the summer through BBYO Passport.

Plan Ahead

There are important dates to keep in mind when prioritizing Explore Israel. These dates include hands-on training opportunities, Movement mobilization moments, registration dates, and relevant programs that tie to Israel. Check back for calls with and activities from the Israel Task Force (ITF) and more.

Fall Semester 2018

IC and Summit Registration Opens

October 4

Experience Judaism like you've never seen it before.


October 29-31

Learn about politics and current issues facing Israel.

Summer Registration Opens

November 1

Jewish enrichment is a component of all summer experiences.

Global Shabbat

December 8-9

Celebrate the magic of Shabbat alongside hundreds of communities worldwide.

Spring Semester 2019

IC and Summit

February 13-18

Experience Judaism like you've never seen it before.

AIPAC Policy Conference

March 24-26

Hear from top leaders about the issues facing Israel today.

March of the Living

April 29-May 13

A journey through Poland and Israel exploring our dark past and celebrating Jewish vitality.

Yom HaShoah

May 1-2

Holocaust Memorial Day

Yom Hazikaron

May 7-8

Israeli Memorial Day

Yom Ha'atzmaut

May 8-9

Israeli Independence Day


Want to keep learning? Find more Explore Israel tools below!

Israel In 2048

What will the State of Israel look like in 2048? Imagine it’s 100 years after the establishment of Israel, and you’re creating a poster to celebrate. Dive into topics of inclusion, religion, pluralism, and acceptance as you look at winning entries from Israel’s poster competition and have the opportunity to create your own.


Travelers' Prayer Cards

This prayer is recited when we travel, by air, sea, and even on long car trips. Print and cut out these cards to give to your board, your chapter, or any of your brothers and sisters. It's always a beautiful gift.


Values Dictionary

We do what we do because of our values—our Jewish values. Use these terms to guide conversations, create convention themes, and integrate into programming in any service moment.


You've Worked Hard. Let's Celebrate. 🎉

For participating in our Explore Israel initiative—we want to celebrate you. By starting conversations about Israel and facilitating Israel programming in your community, you may be eligible for a number of highly esteemed AZA and BBG International Awards including the Arevut Speak UP, Henry Monsky Chapter Excellence, Miriam Albert Chapter Excellence, and Maurice Bisgyer Chapter Excellence Awards. If you know an Aleph or BBG who deserves to be recognized for their work strengthening our priorities, consider nominating them for the Menorah Pledge and Cardinal Principles Awards.

Learn more about your eligibility by exploring these awards below:

Explore Awards
Explore Israel
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