Valuable Information for your Trip

On this page: preparing for your trip and the participant manual.

Trip Preparation

The information that follows will provide you with all of the information you will need for an amazing Israel experience. Read it thoroughly and refer to it as often as you’d like. Careful advance planning will help make this a wonderful trip. So, sit back, get comfortable and begin to prepare for the greatest experience of your life!

Packing List

The weather in Israel varies. The temperature can vary from the 30s (F) in the winter to as high as the 90s (F) and above in the summer. Utilize the internet to keep updated with the weather in Israel. Please bring enough clothes for a couple of weeks since laundry is available once during the program.
Although we will be traveling with a paramedic and will have opportunities to purchase all the necessary supplies for the trip, sometimes the small comforts of home can make all the difference when traveling.

View sample packing list

Weather

The average temperature varies from city to city throughout the summer as we move through the north and south. Below are the average temperatures in the major Israeli cities:

June July August
Jerusalem 63-81 °F 66-84 °F 66-86 °F
Tiberias & Karmiel 68-95 °F 73-98 °F 72-99 °F
Tel Aviv & Netanya 67-83 °F 70-86 °F 72-86 °F
Eilat & Dead Sea 75-99 °F 77-103 °F 79-104 °F

To get the weather forecast, head to the Israeli weather site.

Spending Money in Israel

Exchange Rate
The exchange rate as of May 20th, 2013:
$1 USD = 3.66 NIS (New Israeli Shekels)
$1 Canadian Dollar = 3.56 NIS (New Israeli Shekels)

Find out your exchange rate with this handy widget:
Currency Converter

To get the most current exchange rate, visit the Bank of Israel website.

Cash v. Prepaid Card
You may wish to budget between $200-$500 for spending money for buying drinks throughout the day, snacks, and small gifts. Buying jewelry and other such larger gifts will require a larger budget.

One great option is to purchase a pre-paid debit/cash card. This card works the same as a credit card and ATM card. One of its many benefits is that parents can control their child’s spending money by simply loading funds onto the card, thus omitting the need for their child to carry around cash.

Travelers checks or traveling with large amounts of cash are not recommended.

As part of the preparation process of sending your teenager to Israel, we are happy to share a solution with you to arrange your teen’s spending money here in Israel. The Payoneer pre-paid card is accepted in stores and online wherever Debit MasterCard® is accepted, and can be used at any ATM to withdraw cash in the local currency.

No confusing international credit card bills – easy to use online transactions reports with only one charge of how much you spent.

It is safe (if the card is lost, Payoneer can replace it within 24 hours with your money transferred to the new card). The staff will have replacement cards in advance and will be able to issue a card immediately. It is not linked to any of your accounts at home so you don’t have to worry about contacting your bank or credit card company back home in the event that you lose the card.

You, or other family members or friends, can load additional funds onto the card via the internet at any time using your checking account or a credit card.

We feel that the Payoneer Prepaid MasterCard® card is the ideal solution for students coming to Israel for the year and we strongly recommend the Payoneer card to the parents and participants of our programs. The Payoneer card is the easiest way for our participants to handle their money in Israel.

To read more about the Payoneer card, click here.
If you would like to know more about our partnership with Payoneer, please contact Nicole Bernard via email or phone (212-786-5093).

Renting a Cell Phone

We are excited to be able to offer all JCC members FREE cell phone rentals and special low calling rates for your visit to Israel.

Talk’N’Save is offering:

  • FREE cell rentals
  • FREE group to group calls
  • FREE incoming calls from anywhere in the world
  • As low as 9.9 cents a minute to call U.S.A, Canada and the U.K.
  • Local U.S.A/Canada/U.K. phone #’s that rings on your Talk’n’Save cell phone here in Israel
  • USB wireless modems and GPS navigation kit rentals

To see rates and sign up, visit Talk’N’Save’s website or call them: 1866-TALKNSAVE (825-5672). Mention the JCC Association to hear about the special rates.

Travel Insurance

JMI provides health insurance for the duration of your program, but not travel insurance. We recommend you purchase travel insurance in the event you need to cancel the trip for some reason. We recommend using Travel Insurance Israel. You can contact them at 1-888-747-3773 or by e-mail at: info@travelinsuranceisrael.com.

Participant Manual

View a copy of our 2011 JMI participants’ manual. In it you will find very useful information about your trip to Israel, such as; packing list, health insurance information, spending money in Israel, exchange rate, weather averages, cell phoen rental and much much more! Read this booklet carefully and keep it as a reference for later. Sit back and get ready for the greatest experience of your life!

Download it here