Safety and Security

The Bronfman Fellowship has a perfect 30+ year track record of keeping our Fellows safe & secure as they travel in Israel. The security of our Fellows is of utmost importance to us. It is our first and primary priority as we build our schedule.

We support the emotional well-being of our Fellows in addition to their physical well-being, and we have regular check-ins with staff members about their feelings and concerns.

We have never canceled our entire summer program in Israel, except in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic (read about our COVID safety policies here). However, we readily modify our itinerary based on the latest security information. At times, this has included moving the group to a different part of the country and cancelling outings.

Our educational curriculum is enriched by taking place in the land of Israel. However, if the security situation becomes unsafe for American groups, we are prepared to move the program to the United States in a given summer.

Staffing:

  • The Fellowship Security team is led by a licensed armed Security Director.
  • When travelling as a group, the Fellows are always accompanied by one or more staff members.
  • Fellows are allowed to walk in certain designated areas in groups of 3 based on the Security Director’s guidelines.
  • Outside these designated areas, the Fellows are in the company of one of our faculty members, counselors, or staff members.

Travel & Itinerary

  • Our Security Director regularly checks with the Israeli authorities and the US Embassy.
  • The Security Director is in touch with the appropriate authorities each morning to verify our travel plans and bus routes.
  • We modify our plans in response to ongoing events and on advice from our Israeli and/or American contacts. We also make further restrictions based on our Security Director’s experience and judgment.
  • Our group travels on private chartered buses.
  • Fellows are under no circumstances allowed on public transportation.
  • If Fellows would like to visit family or friends, the visit must be pre-approved by our staff, and the Fellow must be signed in and out by their family member or friend over the age of 21.

Geographic Restrictions

  • No travel in or near the Gaza strip.
  • No travel in the West Bank beyond Israel Defense Force security barrier except on the main road (Route 90) to the Dead Sea and Massada.
  • Travel within East Jerusalem is limited to accessing the most popular sites therein.

Homestays

  • The Fellows spend a weekend at homes of our Israeli Fellows. All of these homes are located in areas deemed safe by our Security Director and our Israeli and American security advisors.
  • The Fellows travel to and from the homes where they are staying either by chartered bus or by a private taxi.
  • While on the homestay, their local travel and activities is supervised by the Family hosting them, no public transportation is allowed, and Fellows must stay within the geographic boundaries determined in advance by our security director.

Communication

  • Our team in Israel is in daily communication with our US staff.
  • The US Staff sends updates to parents and are available for individual conversations as the need arises.
  • Fellows have access to Israeli cell phones.

COVID-19 Safety Guidelines

The health and safety of our Fellows and staff has always been our top priority. It is our hope that the 2021 Fellowship Year will proceed normally and that the Fellows will be able to meet in person and travel to Israel. If international travel is not possible, please know that we are committed to running a stellar experience in 2021 – whether that involves a domestic travel alternative or virtual programming.

  • We will always pay heed to local, national and international directives for travel and group gathering.
  • We will only convene the group in person if it is deemed safe enough to do so by health authorities, if it is possible for all Fellows to travel to and from the venue safely, and for our time together to be as natural and as minimally restrictive as possible.
  • We are committed to remaining as flexible and adaptable as possible, making our programming in-person or remote as the current health situation warrants.