Sure – please visit our contact page to obtain contact information for our national network of Israel Experience professionals as well as the CIE National Office staff.
This trip will be a lot of fun and we know that you will return to Canada refreshed and invigorated. In addition to the recreation, touring, and occasional free time, you will enjoy an engaging and vibrant educational program. Please be aware that the program is quite structured. In order to show the participants as much as possible, our days of touring will be long and on some evenings special events will be planned. Due to the program guidelines participants are not permitted any unauthorized absence from the group for any reason. Arrangements can be made for family members and friends to visit participants at their hotel in the evenings or on Shabbat during off-program times at the discretion of the Madrichim in charge. Participants are prohibited from leaving the group at any time without the supervision of a CIE staff, for any purpose including family visits, personal time, etc.
Thanks to Birthright Israel, if you are Jewish and between the ages of 18 and 26, this is your gift – the opportunity to visit Israel for free.
Canada Israel Experience (CIE) is proud to be the only Birthright Israel trip organizer in Canada. In June 2015, our 30,000th participant left for Israel. Now that’s an impressive number.
CIE is equally pleased to offer both National and Community-based programs, allowing participants the opportunity to tour Israel with their peers from their own home/university community. As a result, CIE participants will have the chance to meet, network, and build long-lasting relationships with other Canadian Jews residing in the same region and/or city.
CIE offers each participant a minimum of two kosher meals a day. Our participants are provided with quality accommodations in three-to-four star hotels and Kibbutzim. Birthright Israel: CIE tour educators possess the highest educational standards from some of the leading organizations in this field. We present an increasingly intimate perspective of Israel by inviting 8-10 Israelis to meet and travel with each group for a portion of the trip.
This unique Israel Experience program includes round trip travel from Toronto to Israel, all accommodation, at least two kosher meals per day, transportation by private luxury tour bus, all entrances fees, basic medical insurance while in Israel, two Canadian Madrichim (staff leaders), an Israeli tour guide/educator, specialists and guest speakers, an armed medic/security guard, a Canadian and Israeli coordinator in Israel, communications equipment for the group and all taxes.
Canada Israel Experience programs affirm and conform to the required standards and criteria set by Birthright Israel International. Please visit the official Birthright Israel International homepage for more about this historical partnership at www.birthrightisrael.com.
The gift of a Birthright Israel trip is made possible thanks to the generous support from many sources, including parents of trip participants, alumni of the program, the program’s founders and other philanthropists, the State of Israel, the Jewish Federation system and Keren Hayesod, the Jewish Agency for Israel, and thousands of individuals donors from around the world who believe in our mission.
Birthright Israel and Canada Israel Experience gratefully acknowledg the support of the Azrieli Foundation.
We get that question all the time. Birthright Israel is our “umbrella” organization which offers the gift of a free 10-day trip on a global level. We at Canada Israel Experience are proud to organize this incredible trip from Canada and offer it to eligible Canadians. Since 1996, CIE has proven to uphold a tradition of excellence in preserving the highest quality of educational, logistical, and safety standards.
In fact, we are proud to declare that in June 2015, Canada Israel Experience sent its 30,000th (!) participant to Israel.
It is Canada Israel Experience’s goal to meet the needs of the Canadian Jewish community. As the only Israel tour organizer in Canada, our organization is committed to ensuring that all of our programs provide CIE participants with a unique, unparalleled Israel Experience.
As a not-for-profit organization, CIE is funded by the Andrea and Charles Bronfman Philanthropies, the education department of the Jewish Agency for Israel, Jewish Federations of Canada – UIA and local UJA/ CJA Federations across Canada. CIE prides itself in playing an active role within the Jewish Federation system. In this regard, Canada Israel Experience is the only Canadian tour organizer that maintains a national network of local Israel Experience representatives. In every major Canadian Jewish community, CIE employs a regional Canada Israel Experience professional ready to facilitate and assist participants in preparing for their Israel Experience.
In addition to helping orient individuals before their trip to Israel, CIE community representatives are also eager to help all interested Canada Israel Experience alumni obtain the necessary tools and knowledge needed to get involved in their home Jewish community and/or return to Israel. Canada Israel Experience boasts that our organization is properly equipped to provide each participant with a more diverse picture of Israel. At least two Canadian staff, an Israeli tour guide, and one armed personnel accompany each Canada Israel Experience trip. All Birthright Israel: CIE programs are based on departure from Pearson International Airport in Toronto.
We’re not strangers. Birthright Israel is a unique, historical partnership between the people of Israel through their government, local Jewish communities (North American Jewish Federations; Keren Hayesod; and The Jewish Agency for Israel), and leading Jewish philanthropists. Birthright Israel provides a gift of peer group, educational trips to Israel for Jewish young adults ages 18 to 26.**
Birthright Israel’s founders created this program to send young Jewish adults from all over the world to Israel as a gift in order to diminish the growing division between Israel and Jewish communities around the world; to strengthen the sense of solidarity between Israeli youth and Jewish communities throughout the world; and to promote the idea of a trip to Israel for all Diaspora Jews as a critical part of Jewish life outside of Israel.
Participants travel throughout the country, exploring sites of historic, cultural, and religious significance. They are accompanied for a significant part of the trip by Israeli peers.
CIE understands this incredible trip needs to be shared with your friends. That’s why we are happy to accept friend requests. This can be done on your account during Step Two of your application. We will do our best to accommodate all requests, but cannot guarantee that every request will be met. Participants from communities that travel to Israel during the same week will likely meet each other numerous times during their program. Participants from communities who travel during alternate weeks or trip dates will not see each other during their Israel Experience.
The itinerary is geared towards those on their first peer group, organized visit to Israel and would not be appropriate for those on a repeat trip. For this Israel Experience, we only have sufficient seats reserved for qualifying applicants.
The participant must contact the CIE National Office directly to discuss any such changes.
Please note: only the applicant can request a trip change/switch. This decision has been made due to situations where miscommunication between parents and office staff has occurred and unfortunately it was the applicant who suffered the consequences.
Any changes to a trip, including trip switch, month switch or a cancellation should be sent via email to: email@example.com.
Applicants are welcome to contact us via our toll-free number: 1-800-567-4772 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org . We will be happy to accommodate any questions from a registered applicant, and we will do our utmost to assist the applicant in any way possible.
Though we want to accept everyone who applies, unfortunately, our demand exceeds our supply.
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 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 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.
No and Yes!
You are welcome to sign up early for a winter or summer trip of your choice.
All this means is for you, is that you need to enter your preliminary contact information in order to enter into our system! This way you will receive reminders when registration day is nearing and will be given priority status in our lottery.
Once registration officially opens for the season of your choice, you will be asked to log back in, complete your application and pay your refundable $300 deposit.
You will not be able to pay your refundable deposit during the early Sign Up period.
The $300 deposit serves a few purposes. During the application process, it’s served to reflect the fact that an applicant is committed to the prospect of participating in the program. Once an applicant is accepted to the program it acts as a guarantee that he/she will not withdraw from the program, thereby forfeiting their spot and preventing another person from benefiting from the opportunity to go to Israel. Moreover, should a participant withdraw from the program after the noted cancellation deadlines in the CIE Contract, it provides the program organizers with revenue to pay the penalties that are incurred from the airlines and hotels for last minute cancellations. In Israel, it also serves as a guarantee that each individual will participate in all aspects of the program.
Deposits are paid, handled, and refunded through one of two secure online payment systems, PayPal or Payoneer Ltd. All deposits are subject to an additional $10 non-refundable handling fee
Our trips are divided into two age groups; 18-22 and 23-26.
If you are the older friend/sibling, you are welcome to apply for the younger age group. However, we will not allow a younger friend/sibling to join the older age group.
New: You are eligible to apply for a trip if you participated on a peer educational trip prior to turning 18 years of age. If you participated on the March of the Living when you were in high school you are eligible to apply when you turn 18 years of age. If you have volunteered on an Israeli Army base under the age of 18, you are eligible to apply. If you were born in Israel or are an Israeli citizen you are only eligible if you left Israel before the age of 12. If you have served in the Israeli Army you are not eligible. Please visit our Eligibility page for more information.
Contact the National office to discuss your specific circumstances at 1-800-567-4772/416-398-6931.
Depending on the month in which you chose, the Birthright Israel: Canada Israel Experience office will let you know by email whether you have been accepted to a trip, or whether you have been placed on a waiting list. The notices will be sent in accordance with the month in which you chose. For example, a December applicant will know their trip status by mid- October. A May applicant will know their trip status by mid-March and so on.
If you receive an initial waiting list email, don’t be discouraged. Our wait lists move quickly as changes happen very rapidly during the busy months.
Every Birthright Israel: Canada Israel Experience applicant must successfully complete a Meet & Greet (which will take place in your local community) as well as a mandatory phone One on One Conversation by one of our CIE Call centre agents in order to be considered for a Birthright Israel: Canada Israel Experience trip.
The program will be among the largest Israel Experience programs in Canadian Jewish history. In fact, we are so proud to declare that in June 2015, Canada Israel Experience sent its 30,000th participant to Israel! The program will be an exciting opportunity to travel with old and new friends alike.
Each CIE trip has 40 participants, 2 Canadian Staff (one male and one female), 1 Israeli Tour Educator and 1 Israeli Certified Medic. On the fifth day of your trip, you will be introduced to the most exciting part of your trip; the Mifgash, (encounter in English), where 8-10 Israeli soldiers will join your trip, and give you an enlightening perspective on life in Israel.
There is usually an equal amount of males and females per bus, and we do our best to honour friend and sibling requests.
Every Birthright Israel: Canada Israel Experience applicant must successfully complete a Meet & Greet (which will take place in your local community) as well as a mandatory phone One on One Conversation by one of our CIE Call agents in order to be considered for a Birthright Israel: Canada Israel Experience trip.
Each participant must pay a deposit, which can be fully refunded or donated afterwards. The deposit is $300 CAD if paying via the online payment company PayPal. If you choose to pay your deposit via the online payment company Payoneer, your deposit will be $250 USD.
Deposits are paid, handled, and refunded through one of two secure online payment systems, PayPal or Payoneer Ltd. All deposits are subject to an additional $10 non-refundable handling fee.
If you are accepted to a trip and cancel prior to 65 days before your confirmed flight departure or are not accepted to participate in a program this round, your deposit will be refunded via your original method of payment. In order to receive this refund, you must submit a written request to your Trip Organizer directly. Should you not make this request, your deposit will remain with us throughout the season and will then be refunded automatically at the conclusion of the season’s trips. After you successfully participate in a Birthright Israel trip, you may voluntarily donate all or part of your deposit in order to sponsor future Birthright Israel trips.
Approximately five days after you successfully complete your trip, you will be notified by email that your deposit is available to be refunded. That email may also contain information about how you can voluntarily donate all or part of your deposit in support of future Birthright Israel trips. Note that your deposit will be used to benefit future Birthright Israel participants if it is not retrieved within 30 days of your return.
Please note when paying via Payoneer: All deposits are charged in U.S. dollars and therefore are converted from your local currency to U.S. dollars on your credit card statements. Since they are converted using the daily U.S. dollar rate and are refunded using the daily rate on the day the refund is processed, variances often occur.
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.
If you are not assigned to a trip we will automatically refund your deposit towards our last trip date (end of January or August). Your deposit will be returned to your original method of payment.
While we will do our utmost to accommodate specific food allergies, please be aware that Israel does not have the same level of allergy awareness as is common in North America, and we cannot guarantee that your allergy can be completely accommodated. Our participants are responsible for carefully choosing their food on the trip and avoiding foods to which they are allergic. A minimum of 3 epipens are a must.
Nut/Peanut/Sesame Allergies: please note that in Israel, nut allergies are not common or well understood. There is a risk of cross contamination.
Allergic participants should understand this, and come to Israel prepared:
a) have a list of words in Hebrew that explain their allergy.
b) bring a large supply of power bars, protein bars or meal supplements from home
c) be sure to make Trip Staff aware of their allergy
d) be sure to indicate their allergy in Step 2 of their registration
Israel is 7 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time. For example, if it is 3:00pm in Toronto, it is 10:00pm in Israel. Please do not make any commitments to communicate with loved ones at set times during the trip as we are constantly on the run.
Don’t worry – you’re not alone. Most of our participants on this Israel Experience program do not speak Hebrew. The majority of Israelis speak English, so you will be able to get by in any situation. Our Israeli Staff in Israel are fluent in English, and you will never feel alienated due to language.
Accommodations on all Birthright Israel: Canada Israel Experience programs are based on triple occupancy in 3-4 star hotels and Kibbutzim. Linen service will be provided by the accommodations and participants are advised to bring towels from home.
A minimum of two kosher meals will be provided each day while in Israel. The meals will range from buffet breakfasts, to falafel, to North American style fast-food, to boxed lunches, to sit-down dinners. Provided that a participant specifies that they require vegetarian food on their Step 2 application form, a vegetarian option will always be made available. Participants with specific dietary needs and/or allergies (i.e. vegetarian, lactose, peanuts, celiac, etc) must contact the National office in advance in order to ensure that they can be accommodated.
While we will do our utmost to accommodate specific food allergies, please be aware that Israel does not have the same level of allergy awareness as is common in North America, and we cannot guarantee that your allergy can be completely accommodated. Our participants are responsible for carefully choosing their food on the trip and avoiding foods to which they are allergic.
Nut/Peanut/Sesame Allergies: please note that in Israel, nut allergies are not as common or well understood.
Allergic participants should understand this, and come to Israel prepared:
a) have a list of words in Hebrew that explain their allergy.
b) bring a large supply of power bars, protein bars, etc from home
c) be sure to make Trip Staff aware of their allergy.
Canada Israel Experience (CIE) trips are staffed by dynamic volunteer community leaders as well as Jewish community professionals from across Canada. Since the inception of Birthright Israel in 1999, Canada Israel Experience has been consistently recognized as leading the industry in the realm of leadership training. CIE trip staff will make sure your trip to Israel is filled with lifelong memories, friendships and inspiring programming that will connect you to your Jewish roots, peoplehood and identity.
Birthright Israel is a trip with no strings attached – there are no obligations or requirements involved in participating. However, we do hope that this experience will inspire you to get involved in your Jewish community upon your return. Israel Experience professionals across the country are ready and willing to assist you in connecting to your local community through a variety of different events, programs and activities. How you choose to involve yourself is entirely up to you – we just provide the resources and opportunities for you to do so.
Although there will be no free days on this program, there will be certain evenings that are designated as supervised structured free time. Should free time be granted to the group, the location and time will be at the sole discretion of the CIE Israel staff. Participants will receive their specific itinerary in the weeks prior to departure. Canada Israel Experience requests that once you have reviewed your itinerary, you speak with your Madrichim about an appropriate time that your family and/or friends may visit you during your free time. All family/friend meetings must first be approved by your trip staff. Once approved, you may notify your family and/or friends in Israel and let them know when they can visit you. The itinerary will include the names and addresses of your accommodations in order to facilitate such visits.
Participants on a Canada Israel Experience program will have the opportunity to celebrate Jewish life together, in a welcoming, inclusive and non judgmental way. The food served on a CIE program will be Kosher. You will have the opportunity to experience the wonderful tradition of Shabbat. Participants will be asked to be respectful to others around them when visiting various sites of a more religious nature.
Birthright Israel participants leaving on Canadian departures 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, and this is why we urge participants to make the extension in advance of their trip departure.
Keep your Israel adventure going for an additional 4 or 5 days with one of Birthright Israel’s brand new extension program, BIRTHRIGHT ISRAEL PLUS. You’ll have more free time as well as the opportunity to meet and connect with participants from different Birthright Israel groups from around the world!
CLICK HERE TO LEARN ABOUT HOW YOU CAN EXTEND YOUR TRIP http://www.israelforfree.com/about-the-trip/extend-your-trip/
Unfortunately, no. All Birthright Israel: CIE participants must depart with their trip group from Lester Pearson International Airport in Toronto. There will be no exceptions to this.
Participants must upload their valid passport to our secondary database by the deadline indicated on the application. A valid passport is one that expires a minimum of six months after your return date (i.e. if you return to Canada on January 15 2016, your passport must be valid until at least July 15, 2016) This is a non negotiable airline policy, not a Canada Israel Experience policy. You will be turned away at check-in, should your passport not meet the required dates.
If you do not already have a valid passport, please apply for a passport as soon as possible. If your passport has been issued from countries OTHER than Canada, United States, Great Britain or Israel, please contact the CIE National office for details regarding obtaining a visa to Israel.
Please ensure that your passport is in good condition. Worn or torn pages can result in any airline refusing to accept a passport for travel.
PLEASE NOTE: if you do not upload your valid passport in our office prior to your departure, you will not be permitted to join the CIE program.
3-4 weeks prior to your departure, your Madrichim (trip leaders) will contact you about an orientation in your city where they will go over the itinerary, what to pack, and answer all logistical questions pertaining to your particular trip.
If you are not extending your trip, and you would like to arrange your own travel plans back to Toronto, please email our office indicating that you would like to cancel your return flight. This only applies to participants who are purchasing their one-way travel from Tel Aviv back to Toronto/Montreal.
The airlines require this notice at least 72 hours before your last day of the trip. For example, if your last day of the CIE trip is May 10th, you must notify our office by May 7th. If you fail to notify us within 72 hours of your last day, you run the risk of losing your $300 deposit.
The following expenses will be incurred by the participant: supplementary Canadian travel insurance (mandatory for all participants who have a confirmed departure date), the cost of getting to and from your home and Pearson International Airport in Toronto, and spending money (this should include 1 meal per day which is usually lunch).
We strongly suggest bringing $70US in tip money. It is our recommendation that you bring approximately CDN $450 for your 10-day trip. 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 our routes do not cover major urban centres.
Breakfast will always be provided for you. You will be responsible for purchasing one meal per day. Your Madrichim (trip staff) will let you know which meal you will have to purchase each day. Should you follow the above guidelines of $450CDN, you should have enough money for meals and souvenirs.
The gift of a Birthright Israel: Canada Israel Experience trip begins at Lester B. Pearson Airport, in Toronto.
In the unlikely event that a participant misses their Toronto-Tel Aviv flight, Canada Israel Experience will do its utmost to accommodate the participant on the next available flight to Tel Aviv, should the new flight arrive in Israel within 24 hours of the original trip. Rebooking a flight is based on airline availability and departure schedule and cannot be guaranteed.
If your plans change after you receive your acceptance to the program, please send us the cancellation via email to email@example.com. The $300 deposit, as well as the $10 handling fee, are non-refundable should you withdraw after the cancellation deadline as noted in the CIE Contract, regardless of whether we are able to find a replacement. This will provide CIE with revenue to pay the penalties that are incurred from the airlines and hotels for cancellations and replacements.
Canada Israel Experience is committed to the emotional and physical well-being of all participants on all programs it operates. As part of the program, Canada Israel Experience will provide Israeli-based emergency medical insurance for the duration of the program in Israel. While CIE will provide basic traveler’s health insurance while you are on your trip it does NOT cover medical care for pre-existing conditions, medical evacuation, coverage when you return home if needed, travel to and from Israel, lost or stolen items, trip cancellation on your part due to emergency, etc.
It is mandatory that all Canada Israel Experience participants have Overseas Medical health insurance coverage for the duration of the trip. PLEASE NOTE: Provincial health coverage (i.e. OHIP) will not be accepted as travel insurance. If you already have extended health coverage, or you purchase one for this trip, you will be required to upload this information on your Step 2 application.
The Canada Israel Experience Israeli-based medical coverage will provide the following levels of treatment in the event of illness or injury. Basic first aid is administered by a medic accompanying the group, such as dispensing band-aids, medicine for headaches, etc. Their role is similar to that of a camp nurse. Should the medic and the program’s staff decide that a doctor needs to be consulted; the participant will be seen during pre-arranged doctor’s hours. These doctors maintain a supply of common medications and, when necessary, prescribe additional medication. Moreover, when necessary, they will refer participants to a specialist. Should urgent medical care be required, participants will immediately be taken to an authorized clinic or to a hospital emergency room. Participants will be accompanied by a staff member on any visit to doctors, clinics or hospitals.
Your health/medical insurance must be valid in Israel throughout the duration of your trip. If you plan to extend your trip you will want to ensure that you are covered for that time period as well. If you do not have medical insurance and are purchasing travel/medical insurance for the sole purpose of this trip, you may want to consider supplementary coverage for the continuation of treatment/care in your home country if required when you return home.
Most applicants are aware of the benefits of health insurance; however you may also want to consider travel insurance. This can cover the cost of lost/stolen baggage, cameras, phones, etc. In addition, if you are purchasing a connecting domestic flight, this may cover your costs should your flight be cancelled or delayed.
If you do not have an existing policy, you have complete freedom of choice as to where you purchase this insurance but you MUST ensure that you have coverage otherwise you will not be permitted to join the program.
All Birthright Israel: CIE programs are based on departure from Pearson International Airport in Toronto. El Al departs from and returns to TERMINAL 3. Air Canada departs from and returns to TERMINAL 1. Austrian Airlines departs from and returns to TERMINAL 1
If you’re flying to Toronto from another city: You must arrive 6 hours prior to your scheduled departure.
If you’re driving/taking the bus/taking the train to the airport: You must arrive to the airport 4 hours prior to your scheduled departure. The train and bus station in Toronto are one hour away from Lester Pearson International Airport. Please consider that when booking train and bus plans.
If you’re flying back to your home city on the same day as you land: please book your flight at minimum 3 hours after you land in Toronto, delays do happen. (i.e. if you land at 6:35 am ET, your flight back home should be no earlier than 9:35 am ET)
Birthright Israel: Canada Israel Experience respectfully acknowledges The Asper Foundation for generously offering to reimburse participants who are arriving to Toronto or Montreal from another Canadian city, via air, or train or bus. Below are the rates:
- up to $100 from Ottawa and Windsor
- up to $175 from Quebec
up to $250 from Atlantic Canada
- up to $300 from Manitoba
up to $350 from Alberta and Saskatchewan
- Up to $400 from BC
Please note: To be eligible for this reimbursement, participants must submit the “Travel Reimbursement Form” along with proof of round trip flight, train ride or bus ride.
Travel Reimbursement Form – This Form should only be completed if you’re accepted to a trip, and you arriving to Toronto from a Canadian city, via air, or train or bus.
Please note: if for any reason, your $300 deposit was confiscated during the trip, you will not be eligible to apply for a Travel Reimbursement.
If you were born in Israel, or have/ever had an Israeli passport (i.e. you lived there for an extended period of time, or your parents are Israeli citizens and they applied for you to have one etc.), you will be required to email us a copy of your valid Israeli passport along with your army exemption papers. If you have any questions regarding your Israeli documentation, or you are not sure what you need, please call the national office for further information. 1-800-567-4772.
Obtaining your Israeli Passport and Army Exemption papers can take up to 9 weeks. We strongly encourage you to begin processing your documents as soon as you apply, and not wait until you hear whether or not you have been accepted to our program. You will not be able to travel to Israel if these papers are not in order prior to your departure.
Below are the contact details for the offices of Israeli Consulate:
Ottawa: (613) 567-6450
Toronto: (416) 640-8500
Montreal: (514) 940-8500
Online: Israeli Consulate in Toronto
All of our applicants will get a sim card once they land at the airport in Israel with a small amount of data (100mb). YOU MUST UNLOCK YOUR PHONE FOR THE SIM CARD TO WORK. Once you use the sim card you will receive a text asking if you to sign up to a $29 USD package. This includes Data, Calls to USA and Israel and messaging.
The plan includes
14 days plan:
- Unlimited Talk & Text within Israel
- Unlimited International calls to landlines and mobile within the U.S and Canada
- Unlimited calls to additional 40 other Countries – landlines only
- Data, with up to 6 GB at 4G LTE speed
- Free SIM card for your unlocked phone