Give your child The Gift of Israel
Supporting teen trips to Israel, providing memories to last a lifetime
The Gift of Israel is a partnership savings program made possible by contributions from synagogues, the Jewish Community Federation, and parents to ensure that teenagers can travel to Israel.
A visit to Israel is a key stepping stone in their journey of Jewish identification, commitment, and connection. That’s why synagogues and the Federation believe that supporting this program is one of the most important contributions they can make to help ensure the future for a strong, vital Bay Area Jewish community.
How the Gift of Israel program works
Once a child is enrolled in the Gift of Israel program, each of the partners (you, your synagogue, and the Jewish Community Federation) sets aside a minimum dollar amount into a 'savings account' for a specified number of years. When your child is ready to take his or her teen trip to Israel, you will have sizable savings to help underwrite the cost of that trip.
The savings plan
There are two entry points to the Gift of Israel program: Your child’s third grade and seventh grade years in school. Once you enter the program, contributions continue through 10th grade, as described below.
* The Jewish Community Federation contribution to The Gift of Israel is funded by grants from the Janet A. Schultz Teens to Israel Endowment Fund and the Federation's
(eight year savings program)
(four year savings program)
Jewish Community Federation*
Set up your savings account (coming soon)
The Fine Print
The Gift of Israel operates on a fiscal year running from July 1 to June 30. Annual contributions can be made in installments throughout the year, but must be completed by May 31 of that same year. Each family must meet the minimum yearly contribution ($150 for third-grade enrollment, $250 for seventh-grade enrollment) to be eligible for synagogue and Federation contributions.
Matching contributions begin in the third grade and continue through tenth grade. Any child enrolled in Sunday school, Hebrew school, day school, or another approved course of Jewish studies through the 10th grade and who lives within the area covered by the JCF (San Francisco, Marin County, Sonoma County, and the Peninsula north of Sunnyvale) is eligible to participate in this program.
• Congregation B'nai Emunah • Congregation Beth Am
• Congregation Beth Ami • Congregation Beth Israel Judea
• Congregation Beth Sholom • Congregation Etz Chayim
• Congregation Emanu El • Congregation Kol Emeth
• Congregation Kol Shofar • Congregation Rodef Sholom
• Congregation Sherith Israel • Congregation Shomrei Torah
• Congregation Sha'ar Zahav • Jewish Congregation of the San Geronimo Valley
• Peninsula Sinai Congregation • Peninsula Temple Beth El
• Peninsula Temple Sholom • Temple Beth Jacob
If you do not belong to a participating synagogue but your child is enrolled in a qualified program of Jewish studies, he or she may enroll in this program. You will receive the Federation contribution, but not a synagogue contribution when you make your family contribution.
Using your savings to send your teen to Israel
Synagogue and Federation contributions may be applied towards an approved Israel Experience trip any time between your child’s sophomore year of high school and freshman year of college.
An approved Israel trip must be educational in nature and with a peer group of young people who travel, learn, and experience together. It must be staffed by qualified personnel and structured with a predetermined itinerary. When a trip is selected, please advise the Gift of Israel office at the Federation. Synagogue and Federation contributions are sent directly to the trip provider upon proof of the student’s intended participation in the trip.
List of approved Gift of Israel Trips
Let's Go Israel
BBYO Passport to Israel
NFTY in Israel
The Nesiya Institute
USY -- United Synagogue Youth
Diller Teen Fellows
Withdrawal from the program
You and your family are the exclusive owners of the funds you have deposited into your Gift of Israel Signature Bank account. If your child withdraws from the program without going on an Israel Experience trip, your contributions to that bank account will be refunded to you. You will not be eligible to receive the Gift of Israel matching funds from your synagogue and the Federation once you close your account.
To close your Gift of Israel account, please fill out the attached form and either mail it back to us at:
Gift of Israel
121 Steuart St San Francisco CA 94105
You can also email it back to us at email@example.com or fax it to 415.495.2753.
Note that once you close this account, the Gift of Israel synagogue and Federation contributions will no longer be available to you.
Once we receive your form back, allow 2-3 weeks for your account balances to be forwarded to you. Your check will be mailed to the address you provide.
Donation of Federation contribution
If you do not need the Federation’s Gift of Israel contribution in order to send your child to Israel, you may donate those funds to a special Israel Experience scholarship fund for teens who need additional assistance to make this important journey.
For more information, contact the Gift of Israel program at 415.369.2873 or firstname.lastname@example.org.