In a nutshell, you're eligible for a Birthright Israel trip if you are: (1) age 18-26, and (2) meet Birthright Israel's Jewish background criteria. Additionally, you must have already graduated high school by the time of the trip, and cannot be attending a full-time Jewish studies program. Finally, this must be your first Jewish peer trip to Israel since turning 18.

Read on for more detailed information regarding eligibility:

Ages 18-26

Applicants must be between ages 18-26 at the time of the trip and must have already graduated from high school. Anyone who is still age 26 as of May 1st is eligible for a trip in the upcoming summer season (May, June, July, or August). For winter trips (November, December, January, February, or March), anyone who is still age 26 as of December 1st is eligible for the winter season of trips. Contact us for additional details.

Jewish Background

Applicants must meet one of the following requirements: (1) have at least one Jewish birth parent, or (2) have converted to Judaism. That's it! You don't need to be religious to qualify or to 'fit in' on our trips. In fact, many of our participants have more of a cultural connection to Judaism than a traditional one.

NOTE: We strongly believe there is no "right way" to be Jewish, and you will never need to worry about being "Jewish enough" on any of our trips. Our groups are comprised of people of diverse backgrounds and our approach is entirely welcoming.

Prior Israel Experience

You ARE likely eligible for a trip if:

You traveled to Israel on a peer program designed for high school teens that was less than three months in length and before your 18th birthday (if you were age 18 at the time of the trip, you're still eligible, as long as the trip was designed for high school students).

You traveled to Israel on a family trip, multi-generational trip, or some interfaith/secular experience since you turned 18.

In general, you're still eligible for a trip if you participated in a 'high school in Israel program' for up to four (4) months. Check with Israel Outdoors to find out about your program.

You ARE NOT eligible for a trip if:

You traveled to Israel after your 18th birthday on a program for college students or young adults. Examples include university, study abroad, gap year, yeshiva/seminary, internship, or any other experience affiliated with Onward Israel or Masa Israel.

Additional Criteria

Graduated high school by the time of the trip

Have not lived in Israel for more than three (3) months since the age of 12

Have not served in the Israeli Army

Have not served in the Israeli Army

Not currently enrolled in a Jewish Studies program at any institute of higher learning. This includes Jewish Teacher Training programs, Jewish Studies programs, Rabbinic programs, Yeshiva/Seminary, Jewish Communal Service programs, etc.

Have a current USA address, which includes being a resident, citizen, or full-time student in the USA. Applicants living in Canada are eligible to take part in most of our Specialty Trips departing from the United States.

Unsure about your eligibility?

Many prospective travelers wonder if they are "Jewish enough" to be eligible for this trip. If you are curious, we encourage you to contact us by email or by phone at (202) 537-0006 to talk it out. We are happy to clarify your status and help get your application underway.

Honoring the eligibility rules

The Birthright Israel eligibility rules are a serious matter. Your honesty and integrity is expected to ensure your eligibility for this gift. Any falsification or misrepresentation regarding your background in order to get on a trip is no different morally or legally than stealing approximately $4,500 USD, and it will be treated accordingly.