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, entrepreneurial, 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.

Be In the Know About Israel

Before we run programs, educate, advocate, or challenge Israel, it's our job to do our homework so that we are as educated as possible. There are hundreds of news sources where you can stay up to date with what's happening in Israel. Israel news is often world news. The events that happen in Israel affect all of us.

Check out the links below to explore different sources of news about Israel—we even encourage you to subscribe to a few of their newsletters. Each site has a different approach and a different political orientation. A wide range of opinions and perspectives will help deepen your understanding about all things Israel.

Visit Israel

There's nothing like being in Israel. The beautiful landscapes, the rich history and culture, the people, the delicious Israeli food, and more always make each visit unique, powerful, and enriching. Traveling to Israel is one of the best ways to deepen your understanding of the political landscape and connect with the culture in ways you will never be able to online or through events. BBYO has a number of trips you can take advantage of this summer through BBYO Passport. Explore different journeys focused on adventure, leadership, history, and more below.

Explore Trips

Partner Experiences

To get involved or learn more about Israel, you don't need to travel far.
BBYO works with a number of Israel-focused organizations to provide special engagement opportunities for Alephs and B'nai B'rith Girls.

Opportunities to attend conferences or serve in special Israel leadership roles through our partners will be posted in the Lead Hub.

  • American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC): AIPAC is one of the United States' most influential lobbies. BBYO is proud to be one of AIPAC’s youth partners. Annually, look out for opportunities to attend AIPAC events like Schusterman Advocacy Institute High School Summit, Saban Conference, and AIPAC Policy Conference.

  • J Street: J Street unites pro-Israel, pro-peace Americans who want Israel to be the secure, democratic national home of the Jewish people. Through American politics and the Jewish community, J Street advocates for policies that advance shared US and Israeli interests as well as Jewish and democratic values, leading to a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Keep your eyes open for upcoming opportunities to attend J Street events.
  • Maccabi Tzair Israel: Maccabi Tzair is our sister Movement in Israel. There are 25 chapters across the country that meet and educate youth about Zionism, play sports, serve the community, and more. On BBYO International leadership experiences throughout the year, you will have an opportunity to connect with various Maccabi Tzair members from across Israel.
  • StandWithUs: StandWithUs is a global organization dedicated to educating youth of all ages and backgrounds around the world about Israel. Through speakers, programs, conferences, missions to Israel, social media, educational videos, and other online resources, StandWithUs helps to tell the story of Israel's inspiring achievements and ongoing challenges. Each year, Alephs and B'nai B'rith Girls are nominated to apply for a full-year high school internship with StandWithUs.

Ask Nitzan

Have questions about Israel? Need help planning your next big Explore Israel program? Reach out to BBYO's Central Sh'licha, Nitzan Ben Shaya. Be sure to also follow her Instagram account for special Israel updates.

Explore Israel Interactive Map

Whether you're planning a trip to or program about Israel, we've got you covered. On the interactive map below, you can explore and learn about Israel's historical sites, major cities, favorite activities, best hikes, beaches, places to eat, and more. This map will be updated regularly so you know all of the best things to do all the time.

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.

AIPAC HS Summit

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.

Israel National Elections

April 9

Israel is going into an election this Spring. Any citizen older than 18 can vote.

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

Eurovision 2019

May 19

For the first time in 20 years, Israel will host the biggest singing competition in the world.

Yom Yerushalayim

June 1-2

Jerusalem Day commemorates the reunification of Jerusalem after the June 1967 Six-Day War. The day is marked by state ceremonies and memorial services.

Toolbox

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.

Explore

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.

Explore

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.

Explore

Zikaron BaSalon

Zikaron BaSalon (Hebrew for "Living Room Memories") is an innovative, meaningful, and personal way to commemorate Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day) at home with family and friends. Zikaron BaSalon gathers people together to bear witness to the testimonies of survivors, and to think, sing, talk, and most importantly, listen together.

Explore

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
Get Started
Plan Ahead
Live It
Toolbox
Celebrate