Building Bridges 2020

Building Bridges 2020

Building Bridges Educational Trip to Israel

Trip dates: May 17th-27th 2020
Cost:  Free*

Applications for the 2020 trip have closed. 

Johns Hopkins Hillel is excited to announce the 2020 Building Bridges Educational Trip to Israel!  This trip is designed to bring together a diverse group of 25 Jewish and non-Jewish undergraduate student leaders. These students should be involved in diverse campus groups, most with little or no previous experience in Israel.  Building Bridges participants will interact meaningfully with Israeli society and history, exploring the many nuances and complexities of maintaining a Jewish and democratic state while developing a textured understanding of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

In order to gain better understandings of our complex world, we invite you on a once in a lifetime journey to the Holy Land. We will attempt to learn, grow, ask big questions, and deepen our understanding of modern day Israel. This journey will help us to learn not only about Israel, but also about the ways we interact with one another and engage in conversation. We will meet many different speakers and discuss topics in regards to Israel’s unique character, including: history, culture, human rights, and political issues of the country and the region.

Together, we will be traveling all around the country and visiting some of the most beautiful and interesting places including Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Haifa, Jaffa and if security allows, the West Bank and the Gaza border.

Trip Highlights

This unique Geo-Political tour of Israel and the West Bank is designed to give participants a nuanced experience, learning from a variety of Israeli and Palestinian perspectives.  Below is a SAMPLE of possible trip experiences:

  • Learn about Tel Aviv’s thriving LGBTQ* culture on an interactive walking tour
  • Experience Mediterranean beach culture in Tel Aviv
  • Experience (and taste!) the agricultural revolution taking place in Israel’s Negev Desert
  • Float in the Dead Sea
  • Tour Yad VaShem – Israel’s World Holocaust Remembrance Center
  • Taste your way through Mahane Yehuda, Israel’s largest open air market
  • Share a traditional Shabbat dinner with a local Jerusalem host family
  • Reflect at the Western Wall, Judaism’s holiest site
  • Explore Jerusalem’s Old City including the Via Dolorosa and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre
  • Eat a TON of Hummus
  • Ascend the Temple Mount – a site holy to both Jews and Muslims
  • Travel to Bethlehem in the West Bank and tour the Church of the Nativity
  • Walk through the streets of Ramallah and meet with members of the Palestinian Authority
  • Cruise the Sea of the Galilee and enjoy nightlife in Tiberias
  • Taste the beer in Tybeh one of the first Palestinian breweries
  • Go off-roading in Israel’s north to explore the history and terrain of the Golan Heights
  • Visit an absorption center for Ethiopian immigrants in Yokneam

Requirements to be a participant:

1) Be returning to the Hopkins Homewood campus as an undergraduate. student for the 2020-2021 academic year.
2) Hold a leadership role on campus.
3) Pay a $250 deposit to secure your spot. It will be refunded after the trip’s completion.
4) Be present for two pre-trip orientation sessions.
5) Be willing to share your experiences when we return to campus, including taking part in our unique follow-up programs.
6) Hold a valid passport that allows you to travel to Israel.

Important Dates

  • Applications for the 2020 trip have closed. 
  • Decisions are released- March 23-24, 2020
  • Deposits are due- March 28, 2020 at 12:00 PM
  • Pre-trip orientations- TBA
  • Flight leaves from JFK Airport – May 17, 2020 at 6:35 PM
  • Flight returns to JFK Airport – May 27, 2020 at 12:00 PM

*Trip Costs

Included: Airfare to/from Israel, 2 meals per day, 10-day guided tour of Israel, and accommodations in 4-5 star hotels, authentic Israeli Kibbutzim (communal farms), and a night in a Bedouin tent, plus travel medical insurance are fully-underwritten by Johns Hopkins Hillel and the Maccabee Task Force.

Covered by you: Transportation to/from JFK Airport, one meal per day, and spending money for snacks, souvenirs, etc. Participants are required to submit a $250 refundable trip deposit by March 28th, 2020 at 12:00 PM to reserve their spot. The deposit will be refunded so long as the individual successfully completes the trip or withdraws prior to April 3rd, 2020 at 12:00 PM. If any of these costs will prohibit you from joining, please to discuss.

For more information and questions, contact our Israel Fellow Lior Navon