Our Approach to Safety and Security
Birthright Israel: Canada Israel Experience (CIE) understands that questions regarding safety and security are of critical importance to potential participants and their families.
CIE has proven to uphold a tradition of excellence in preserving the highest quality of educational, logistical, and safety standards. While an enriching and exciting Israel experience program is certainly our mission, the security and well-being of our participants has always been and continues to be our highest priority.
All CIE itineraries are approved daily with the “Situation Monitoring Room,” administered by the Israel Ministry of Education, and coordinated with the I.D.F., Israel Police and other security authorities. Routes and itineraries are reviewed on a daily basis by both our staff and the security office. We do not hesitate to make any and all changes to our itineraries as needed.
Safety and the CIE Response
Should a security situation arise in Israel, it’s imperative that participants on the Birthright Israel: Canada Israel Experience program comply with all necessary safety and security precautions which include but are not limited to) a prohibition from leaving the group at any time without the supervision of a CIE staff.
What is the free time policy?
Should free time be granted to the group, the location and time will be at the sole discretion of the CIE Israel staff.
A Proactive Response
Birthright Israel: Canada Israel Experience Staff are trained to deal with any security situation that may arise. If a group is in a city or region where a ‘security situation’ has occurred, they will immediately return to their bus and drive to their hotel where they will be met by a senior CIE staff in Israel and given instructions on how to proceed. All buses have at least three cellular phones and two-way closed-circuit radios that may be used in times of emergency. For your peace of mind, CIE operates a 24-hour toll-free telephone number where family members can contact a CIE staff member in the event of an emergency. Itineraries will be changed if security situations warrant.
While trips are running, CIE operates a 24-hour emergency answering service to provide peace of mind to our families and participants. Our toll-free number is: 1-800-567-ISRAEL (4772)
An alumni testimonial from a July 2014 participant: “I did not know whether or not the situation was as dangerous and volcanic as the media made it seem. I did not know whether I would get to enjoy the trip or if I would be scared… But fortunately, all these worries ceased to exist the moment our amazing Birthright Israel leader said the words “welcome to Israel”. Suddenly everything made sense, and all of us ‘birthright’ participants were embraced by the warmth of Israel.”
CLICK HERE to view more FAQ’s regarding Birthright Israel safety and security.
Armed Escorts and Bus Drivers
The regulations stipulated by the Ministry of Education have always required Canada Israel Experience to have one armed escort throughout the trip in Israel. In compliance with these requirements, CIE does its best to guarantee that these escorts be of the highest quality and have a solid background in security knowledge and training. All bus drivers are subject to Birthright Israel International approval. As a means for precaution, bus drivers are instructed to never leave the bus unattended or unlocked.
Routes and Roads
Groups will not be permitted to travel within the areas of the West Bank, Gaza, or East Jerusalem (except for the Jewish Quarter of the Old City).
Group travel will be according to the directives of Birthright Israel and the Israel Ministry of Education Situation Monitoring Room.
Should you have any questions or concerns regarding Canada Israel Experience safety and security guidelines, please feel free to contact our office at (416) 398-6931 or 1-800-567-4772.