Pre-Trip Details


Your E-ticket: The Birthright gift begins with your flight to Israel. You must fly with your group and may not join the group in Israel unless you have already received already explicit permission in writing. You are required to check in with the MAYANOT representative at the airport on your day of departure, who will explain about your e-ticket and boarding pass. You are NOT to escort yourself to the gate. It is your responsibility to check your e-ticket and to make sure that your return date is correct. If you notice any mistake you must notify the Mayanot ground staff immediately.

Staying in Israel longer?  Once you’ve accepted your trip you have the option to extend your stay in Israel. You could either (A) change your return ticket (for a fee), or (B) you may choose to cancel your return ticket altogether and make your own arrangements:

A) To change your return ticket you will need to request your extension, online, through Gil Travel. Please see our Flight Extension information on our Applicant’s page (  for more details, and for the link to Gil Travel’s website where you will make the request. This must be done more than 15 days before the date of departure of your trip to Israel. Make sure your extension is confirmed by email from Gil or the airline before you make any plans.

B) If you choose to cancel and forfeit your return ticket back to North America,you must do so within in a timely manner. To do this prior to your departure from the U.S. you must contact Mayanot at least 1 week before your trip by emailing However, if you were not able to cancel the flight prior to departure, you must cancel directly with the airline at least 2 days before the group’s return flight from Israel. Call them with the number listed on our website with your PNR Code (your trip staff will have this). Birthright Israel incurs fees from the airlines for any “NO SHOW”, and therefore will withhold your deposit should you not notify the airline in advance. Note: Once a return ticket is cancelled, this action is irreversible.

Whatever you choose, according to Birthright’s rules you may not leave your trip early for any reason, so make sure that any plans you make in Israel (or otherwise) begin after the scheduled departure time of your group’s flight. Birthright Israel and Mayanot bear no responsibility for any changes that are [or are not] made for your return flight. These changes are made on your own accord and are your sole responsibility.

Changing return flights with domestic connection:  For example, if your Birthright return flight is going through NY then carrying on to Texas, and you want to remain in NY then this may apply to you.  If you want to forfeit a domestic section of your return flight to the USA, and make your own arrangements it might be possible do so through Gil Travel ( This must be requested a minimum of 10 days before departure from the USA via their website. Participants must receive approval and acknowledgement from Gil Travel that their tickets have been amended according to their request and subject to applicable fees. Those who do not receive confirmation of the change and are a “no show” for their domestic flight will forfeit their deposit.

Flights with International connection: For example, if your return flight from Israel to the USA has a connection in Europe/Canada your are required to fly both flights. You are not permitted to get off and stay in the European/Canadian city with the Birthright Israel ticket as the airline has clearly specified a stopover is not permitted. If you fail to cancel your return ticket (as explained above) or are a “no show” on one of the connecting flights on the Birthright Israel scheduled return flight, you will forfeit for your deposit.

Airline Meals: Should you require a special meal on your flight(s), (aka gluten free or vegetarian) please email to make the request. Please note, if you order a special meal the airlines (aside from El Al) do NOT provide kosher meals. Should you need a special meal, that is also kosher (if available), please specify that in the email. Otherwise, all meals are kosher. This must be done no later than 10 days prior to your departure date. 

Passport: Make sure that your passport is valid at least 6 months after the date you are scheduled to return to the U.S.. We need your passport uploaded to your application 45 days before departure and no later! If you are expediting your passport, please send an email to and let us know when to expect your passport, so we can notify the airlines. Please also make sure to check your passport to make sure that all the information matches exactly what you entered in your application including your full name! Incorrect information may result in you not being allowed to board the flight, and in such a case you will be charged the full cost of the air-ticket. If you have an Israeli Passport, you must bring it with you when entering and leaving Israel and it must also have 6 months of validity from the return date of your trip. Please also make sure our offices have a copy of both your Israeli AND American passports. Please scan and send to

Domestic Flights: Domestic flights to/from the primary gateway of your flight to/from Israel are NOT Birthright Israel or Mayanot’s responsibility. If you are arranging domestic flights, we strongly suggest that you leave a minimum of 4 hours between when your flight arrives and when you are supposed to be at the airport for your Israel flight. To avoid mishaps, we highly recommend arriving in the departure city even 24 hours before the flight departures. Birthright Israel and Mayanot are NOT responsible for you missing the flight due to domestic flight cancellations, delays or weather conditions. In addition, please leave a minimum of 4 hours between when you land back in North America and the time of your departing domestic flight. Please plan responsibly and take out travel insurance to cover yourself.

Health/Travel insurance: Birthright Israel requires that all trip participants be covered with travel insurance that includes both international health insurance covering any pre-existing conditions for the duration of the trip, and travel insurance which covers common occurrences including flight delays and/or cancellations, delayed/lost luggage as well as lost or stolen items . If you do not have travel insurance you can purchase an inexpensive “Ten Day” plan for the trip– $45 with CTAS. Please see our Insurance Information tab on our Applicant’s page ( for more details and to order insurance through CTAS. Applicants, who within 5 days of departure still do not have health insurance, may lose their ticket and will forfeit their deposit. If you extended your ticket, it is your responsibility to extend your health and travel insurance.

Airport Instructions: You will receive an email with exact airport instructions for your day of departure about 1-2 weeks before your departure date. Along with the airport instructions, you will receive your tentative trip itinerary.

Baggage: Before packing, please see your airline’s carry-on and check-in baggage restrictions under the Airline Info tabon our Applicant’s page ( for more details. Note that you are generally only allowed to bring one bag up to 50 lb as check-in baggage and one carry-on item up to 20 lb. If you are taking any medication, we highly recommend you keep it with you in your carry-on baggage in case of any possible delays or issues with your check-in baggage.

Packing List: For a recommended packing list please seunder the Packing Lists tab on our Applicant’s page ( for more details.

Spending Money/Tips: In addition to spending money please bring an extra $100 which will be collected during your trip as gratuity for your Israeli guide and bus driver ($70 for 7 day trips). For more information on spending money, please see under the Packing Lists tab on our Applicant’s page ( for more details.

Post Trip Options: If you’re interested in extending your stay in Israel, check out the Birthright Israel Plus programs. or check out other post trip options HERE.

If you have any more questions, please see our FAQs page about the trip at or contact


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Related articles

Birthright Israel Packing List

Preparing for your Birthright Israel Trip with the best clothes, toiletries and supplies is a huge part of ensuring an outstanding trip experience. Here at Mayanot Israel, we’re delighted to help you with this comprehensive packing list cheat sheet to

Birthright Israel: Mayanot + Friendship Circle Trip Highlight

  Mayanot Israel is delighted to be able to offer a brand new Birthright Israel Trip Option with our partners at friendship Circle in Detroit. This special trip designed for individuals with special needs is one of our favorite offerings