(1) Where will the Participant’s lodge during their stay?
Kibbutz Shluchot, located in the Beit Sh’ean Valley at the foothills of the Gilboa Mountains in Northeast Israel, will host Kulanu Ba’aretz. The Kibbutz offers Participants modern housing equipped with semi-private bedrooms and bathrooms, as well as a shared kitchen and family room. When traveling throughout Israel, Participants will stay in clean safe hotels, motels or hostels.
(2) What is life like on Kibbutz Shluchot?
Founded in 1948, Shluchot is 1 of 16 kibbutzim of the Religious Kibbutz movement (B'nei Akiva). Shluchot’s beautiful landscape offers an agricultural communal economy to more than 115 families, and produces dates and corn. The grounds boast a state-of-the-art milk dairy, a carrot-processing factory, poultry coops and fish ponds.
(3) Will the Participant be supervised?
While on the Kibbutz, Participant supervision will vary depending on individual needs, and is provided by Kulanu Ba’aretz staff and partners, Kenny Goldman and Dvora Liss who live on the Kibbutz year round. In addition to running a summer camp on the Kibbutz, Kenny and Dvora coordinate all activities throughout the program.
(4) Does the Participant need to speak Hebrew?
Before traveling to Israel, Participants will be introduced to basic Hebrew, such as the alphabet, numbers, common words and phrases and learn which cities will be visited while abroad. While most residents of Shluchot speak Hebrew and English, our participants are encouraged to keep a notebook of Hebrew words phrase and practice regularly.
(5) What food is available to the Participant during their trip? Special diets or allergies?
Three nutritious meals and healthy snacks are provided daily and consist of the following choices: fresh fruits and vegetables, chicken, beef, fish, pasta, rice, potatoes, and homemade soups. While on the Kibbutz, Participants have the option of dining in the main hall or preparing their own meals in their home. When traveling outside the Kibbutz, staff members will carefully select kosher restaurants that comply with dietary needs and any Participant’s restrictions.
(6) What does the Participant need to pack?
A detailed packing list is provided in advance of the trip, and each Participant will be assigned their own three-digit laundry identification number. This number must be handwritten or sewn into all clothing. We recommend including the Participant in all planning/packing to enhance the learning experience.
(7) Does the Participant need to bring a computer or cell phone?
The Kibbutz is equipped with several computers connected to high-speed internet and Wi-Fi, which are available to Participants. All staff have cell phones which are available to Participants should the need arise, and Facetime is available throughout the trip. Traditionally, we reserve enough time Erev Shabbat for Participants to call home each week. If a Participant chooses to bring a computer or cell phone, they will be solely responsible to ensure the device is not lost or stolen. For these reasons, and to help the Participant acclimate to their new environment, we prefer Participants NOTbring any electronic devices.
(8) Will the Participant daven daily?
In the Shluchot community shul, Participants daven Shacarit and Mincha/Maarev daily. They also attend Friday night and Saturday morning davening and learn Parashat Hashavua weekly.
(9) What recreational activities will the Participant enjoy?
Participants can choose to participate in the following activities: Arts & Crafts (specifically using metal, wood and paint); Swimming; GAGA; Basketball; Soccer; Bike Riding; Hiking; Cooking (meals, making pita bread, baking challah and cake, and making homemade pizza).
(10) Will the Participant have an opportunity to be independent?
A Participant’s independence begins at home by sharing in the planning process. Upon arrival, each Participant will independently unpack and organize their room and establish a daily routine, consisting of: showering, grooming, choosing appropriate clothing for the day's activities, planning meals, making purchases at the Kol-bo (general store), and navigating the Kibbutz grounds on foot or bicycle. Additionally, each Participant will sort their clothes for laundry service, monitor their Kol-bo expense account and schedule study and free time. It may take days or even weeks for a Participant to fully adjust to this newfound independence, but please know we support and encourage them.
(11) Will the Participant have any vocational opportunities?
While on the Kibbutz, Kulanu Ba’aretz provides a range of vocational opportunities to all Participants. A Participant’s hobbies, interests and skills are considered when paired with a specific vocational site. The Kibbutz offers the following vocational options: laundry, dining room, petting zoo, general store, fish ponds, landscaping, kitchen, as well as assisting in many great projects throughout the Kibbutz.
(12) Will the Participant attend academic classes?
All Participants attend academic classes on Kibbutz, four or five days each week. Each Participant has a customized curriculum to achieve their specific academic goals. A customized schedule is designed for any Participant not currently enrolled in an academic program, which incorporates personal goals, life skills and vocational training.
(13) Where in Israel does the Participant tour?
While touring throughout Israel, some of the following destinations visited are Jerusalem, Tel-Aviv, Masada, the Dead Sea, the Golan Heights, the Galil, the Negev, Acre and Tiberius. We offer day trips and overnight tours, all of which are guided, supervised and escorted by Kulanu Ba’aretz staff.
(14) Will the Participant have an opportunity to interact with other teenagers/young adults?
Participants have many opportunities to socialize with the high school and college students living on Kibbutz during Shabbat and through planned events, such as bowling, basketball games, parties, barbecues, movie nights and nature hikes.
(15) What is the protocol for a Participant who becomes sick or injured?
All Participants (and staff) are required to purchase an Israeli medical insurance policy that covers their stay. This policy is available for a minimal fee of $3.00 per day and covers all medical costs, including doctor/hospital visits and any new medications prescribed by an Israeli doctor during the trip. There is an infirmary on Kibbutz grounds that can treat minor health issues, and the local hospital is only a few miles away from the Kibbutz, should a more serious issue arise.
(16) What is the protocol for a Participant who takes prescribed medication(s)?
All Participants are required to provide a detailed list of any/all prescribed medications AND have a current medical form on file. To avoid any issue with refilling prescriptions in Israel, we strongly recommend the Participant travel with a sufficient supply of prescribed medication to cover the length of their stay, especially since shipping medication to Israel is not a viable option. Support is provided to any Participant that requires assistance with their medication routine.
(17) Can family members visit a Participant during their stay?
Visitors are welcome to experience Kibbutz life by spending a night in Shluchot’s very own Guest House. Visitors have the option of joining the program at any destination such as Tel-Aviv or Jerusalem for the day’s activities or take the Participant to spend the day away from the program. Please remember this program is intended to foster Participant independence, therefore, we ask all visits be limited to two days.