Here are some frequently asked questions. We hope all your questions are answered, but please do not hesitate to contact us at any time.

Who comes to Chai Israel?

Students who come to Chai Israel are boys between the ages of 17 and 19 who are coming from a public school background and want to have an amazing year of touring, volunteering and learning.

How do I apply for Chai Israel?

Applying to the Chai Israel program is a simple process. The application is to be completed by the applicant here. Along with the application we require a 300 word essay describing who you are and what you hope to experience and accomplish during your year on the program. We also require two references from teachers or Rabbis that you have known on a personal level for at least two years.

Is there an application fee?

There is a $50 US application fee that must be submitted along with your application which may be paid with your credit card online or by phone.

Do I need an interview to get in?

Every student who is planning on attending Chai Israel must also have a personal interview with one of our staff members. Interviews are generally set up when a Chai Israel staff member visits your community or they may be done via webcam or telephone.

Is financial aid available for your program?

There are a number of possible sources for financial aid. MASA, NCSY and Jeff Seidel all have scholarships available for Chai Israel, among other local scholarships available. Applications for scholarships can be found at: Please apply under the name of Derech which is our partner program. Speak to your NCSY director in your community for scholarships from NCSY.

After I applied, what's the next step?

After your application has been processed by our admissions office, your application will be evaluated for acceptance to the program. Upon acceptance, within two weeks time you will receive an email welcoming you to the Chai Israel program. At that point, In order to continue with the admissions process you will need to register as a new student for the coming year.

How do I register for the program?

Registration forms: The registration form will be sent via email along with your letter of acceptance. The form needs to be printed and signed and mailed to our New York office along with a $1,500 US nonrefundable registration fee. This fee is used towards your tuition and counts as your first payment.

What should I bring?

When packing for your year in Israel it’s important to bear in mind that you have a limited amount of baggage space and weight allowed for your luggage. Before you start shopping, it’s important that you check with your airline or travel agent for the current luggage allowances of your flight. It’s also important to realize that Israel is a “real country” and almost everything that you need can also be purchased here.

How do I get to Israel?

Chai Israel will try to coordinate a flight where everyone can fly together. Although, we cannot guarantee the flight will be the lowest cost available. For your convenience we will organize a flight but it may be worth your time to research best dates a prices.

Where are you located?

Our address is 22 Shimon Hatzadik Street in Jerusalem. We are conveniently located about a 10 minute walk to Meah Shearim, 20 minute walk to Ben Yehuda, and a 35 minute walk to the Old City and the Kotel (Western Wall). All the major bus routes are right outside our main campus.

Where can I get a cell phone while in Israel?

It is mandatory for all students of Chai Israel to have a Talk n' Save cell phone. We worked out an arrangement with Talk n' Save where students receive a discount as well. Cell phones call be ordered on their website at

Who will be my roommates?

Roommates are chosen by either the participants before the program begins or by the staff who knows them. There are approximately 2 – 3 students per room.

Do I have to observe all the Jewish laws?

We expect all students to respect each other in regards to religious observance. However, on a person to person basis we encourage everyone to take things at their own pace and don’t force observance on anyone.

What are the classes like?

The classes have a high teacher to student ratio. Small class sizes allow for more one on one attention and are geared to the needs of each student. Students are able to choose their schedule as well, including optional classes, chavrusas (one on one) and lectures.

Can I get university credits from Chai Israel?

Chai Israel is affiliated with Ohr Somayach which is an accredited college in Israel. There is no formal testing like you may be used to. All credits are given in regards to attendance and participation.

Do we get vacation time?

There are normally 3 times during the year where there is vacation time. There is a 2 week break for the holiday of Succot, normally around October. A week vacation in the middle of January and the last break of the year is for the celebration of Passover, usually around the end of March to the middle of April. Students also have the ability to be on vacation at least once a month for Shabbat where they can visit friends and family

What's the daily schedule like?

Please see "A Day in the Life" section on the website.

What's the security like in and around the program?

Chai Israel maintains contact with the army and local police and keeps the program informed of the security situation. Travel limitations may be implemented if deemed necessary. One of the benefits of being on the Talk n' Save cell phone plan is the ability to send out group text messages in the event that a security issue does arise.

What do we do about laundry?

There are a number of washing machines and dryers on campus in which the students could do their laundry. One load of laundry costs approximately 25 shekels including drying. Alternatively , students can use the local cleaning service which picks up and delivers your laundry clean and folded for about 40 shekel for up to 5 kg of clothes.

What are the meals like?

We serve 3 meals a day even on days that there is no programming (vacation and holidays) with the exception of Jewish fast days. Dinner is usually a meat meal served at 7:00 pm but students will often choose to go out for dinner instead. Students will often allot a portion of their monthly spending money for extra food costs. Within a 5 minute walk there are several restaurants, supermarkets and shopping centers. Students can buy groceries at the local supermarket to keep in their apartment.

Is there ever a time the dorms are closed?

Chai Israel is open throughout the year including breaks. Meals are provided during these breaks and every Shabbat.

Is the a dorm councilor to look after the students?

Chai Israel employs a number of dorm councilors who live in the apartments with the students. They are an invaluable source of guidance and inspiration to the students and also ensure that the living facility remains a safe and comfortable environment for everyone.

Where should I keep my valuables so that they stay safe?

Students are encouraged to keep their spare money, plane tickets and passports in the safe located in the office. They have daily access to the safe.

Is there a dress code?

Although we have no specific dress code, students are expected to dress appropriately for a college environment and not wear anything offensive or immodest. Students are required to have their heads covered with a cap or Kippah during classes and all Chai Israel events and activities.


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