The Birthright Israel registration process may seem a bit complicated. Let us walk you through it:
STEP 1: Start the process
- Pre-registration for a Birthright Israel trip is open year-round – there is no need to wait!
STEP 2: Birthright Israel Application & Refundable Deposit
- The Birthright Israel Application becomes available during registration periods (see above)
- Choose “URJ Kesher” as your official trip organizer
- Select your preferred trip type and departure date (e.g. URJ Kesher / January / Ages 18-22 or 22-26) to give us a general idea of your availability
- Submit a $250 refundable deposit.
- LEARN MORE >> Detailed Registration Steps
We highly recommend completing your entire Birthright Israel Application on the first day of registration to improve your chances of being selected.
STEP 3: Secondary Application & Dates
- The Secondary Application becomes available within a week of completing your Birthright Israel Application and selecting URJ Kesher
- Select specific trip dates and types — select as many as you’d like!
- Tag travel companions
- Note any important medical information or dietary background
- Sign Kesher’s Supplementary Waiver Form and official Birthright Israel Alcohol Guidelines
- LEARN MORE >> Detailed Registration Steps
STEP 4: Phone-Based Interview
- Kesher staff will call or email to interview you
- Don’t panic if you don’t hear from us immediately! The order in which we interview you has no relationship on how we assign trips
- The interview is also a chance for you to ask questions
- LEARN MORE >> Eligibility Rules
The interviews are just to confirm that you are eligible for the Birthright Israel gift and have no bearing on trip placement. Always answer honestly!
STEP 5: Accept Your Trip Spot
- Receive trip acceptance via email 3-5 weeks after registration closes
- Log back into your Secondary Application to accept your trip assignment
- Even after you formally accept your trip spot, you can withdraw without penalty up till the official cancellation deadline
- Get ready for a once-in-a-lifetime experience (see: Preparing for the Trip)
- LEARN MORE >> About the Deposit
Who Gets Selected for What Trips?
Kesher assigns applicants to trips according to when you complete your application. We consider your application to be complete after you have fully finished the Birthright Israel Application – including submitting the refundable trip deposit (Trip Deposit?). We recommend completing the Birthright Israel Application with Kesher on the first day of registration to give yourself the best chance of getting on the trip you want. All applications received on the first day will be treated the same no matter what time of day they are received! In addition to honoring a first-come-first-served registration policy, priority trip selection status is granted to applicants who have applied in the past as well as applicants who are about to turn 27 and age out of the program.
As part of the Birthright Israel Application, you will need to submit a $250 refundable trip deposit. All Birthright Israel applicants must submit a refundable deposit in order to be considered for a trip. The deposit can only be submitted online via the “Payoneer” payment service. You will have the option to pay the deposit via credit card or via electronic check (a $10 non-refundable processing fee applies).
Is the deposit refundable?
Yes! This really is a free trip. Your deposit will be refunded so long as you go on the trip, or so long as you withdraw before getting officially confirmed on a trip, or so long as you cancel off a confirmed trip at least 65 days before departure. You will only lose your deposit if you were confirmed on a trip and canceled after the 65-day deadline, or if you fail to abide by the basic rules of Birthright Israel.
Why is a deposit even necessary?
Birthright Israel requires all applicants to submit a refundable security deposit in order for your application to be considered complete. There is a good reason for this rule. Because the Birthright Israel organization spends a great deal of money on each participant, the refundable deposit is required to ensure that you really do intend to join the trip! Of course, since the trip is free, the deposit will be refunded within three-to-four weeks following the end of the trip.
How does the deposit payment and refund process work?
Birthright Israel has partnered with a company called “Payoneer” in order to collect and refund all trip deposits. As part of the official Birthright Israel application, you will be prompted to submit your deposit online via the Payoneer service. If you are not selected for a trip or if you cancel off a trip prior to the deadline, the $250 deposit will be refunded directly to your credit card or bank account. If you do take part in the program, you will be refunded directly to your credit card or bank account so long as you complete the program in full.
Your application will ONLY be considered complete after you have submitted the online Birthright Israel Application, including the trip Waiver & Agreement as well as the $250 refundable trip deposit. The sooner you submit the application, the better your chances of getting on the trip that you want.