Planning & Funding Support

In a Nutshell

How to get the help you need to plan and fund the trip: on and off-campus sources, where to look, and how to make your case.

Trip leaders are responsible for seeking the funding and planning support needed. Team leaders should use their personal connections to reach out or set up a meetings to discuss possible support, with a goal of obtaining a sustainable level of funding that sets an attainable standard that future trip leaders can meet.

Although leaders should be looking for partners, they should never forfeit their decision-making to any agenda other than their own.

Sources of planning support

  • itrek is a nonprofit that provides planning support to students leading groups of MBA, law, and public policy graduate students to Israel, including:
    • Mentoring for trip leaders
    • Connecting new trip leaders with experienced trip leaders
    • Offers an iTrek Leaders Workshop to help train and network prospective trip leaders
    • Helping set up site visits and activities in Israel
    • Connecting trip leaders with premium speakers to provide high quality content to support the specific trip narrative
    • Consulting on all aspects of the itinerary
    • Providing expert advice on Israel-related questions
    • Providing another layer of on-the-ground support in Israel in case of emergency
  • The tour company provides help with planning in these ways:
    • Consults on developing an itinerary
    • Takes care of all on the ground logistics, from hotels, to restaurants, to transportation
    • Lines up speakers in Israel, as spelled out in their contract
    • Connects trip leaders with a tour guide that matches their trip’s needs
    • Identifies and obtains any needed permits
  • The Israel Embassy or consulate can be approached for these kinds of planning support:
    • An academic liaison who can help with programming, including recommending and connecting the trek leaders with potential speakers and access to venues
    • Help bringing speakers to campus before the trip
    • Logistics support regarding visa and immigration
  • Campus-based organizations like Hillel or Chabad may be able to:
    • Provide a platform to connect with students interested in becoming future trip leaders
    • Partner with the trip to act as a fiscal agent, a “banker” to process deposits and through whom the trip accepts funding and pays expenses
    • Host a Shabbat dinner before leaving
    • Connect trip leaders with potential speakers 
  • The university community may be a source of planning support:
    • Research centers within the university with a mission aligned with student travel to Israel may be able to help identify speakers or provide access
    • Student groups with an interest in the Middle East

Sources of funding support

Trip leaders are responsible for finding the funding they need for the trip. How much funding is needed will depend on the cost of the trip and the resources of the participants taking it.

The average ground cost of a week-long trek ranges from $1500 to $2500; airfare adds another $700 to $1500 (depending on how far ahead the travel is booked and from where).  When asking for support, be specific about how much you are requesting and what you are going to do with the funds.

These are some sources of funding support.

itrek administers funds to subsidize student-led trips to Israel. Trip leaders can apply for a range of funding subsidies. Funding applications for business student trips, law student trips and policy student trips are available.

  • Public policy and law student trips may qualify for funding subsidies to cover these costs:
    • Participant travel: some or all of the ground costs
    • Trip leaders’ ground costs and airfare
    • Pre- and post-trip activities
    • Add-ons like t-shirts or books for the trip
    • A mifgash (encounter) with Israeli peers in Israel
  • Business student trips may qualify for funding to cover these costs:
    • Trip leaders’ ground costs and airfare
    • Pre- and post-trip activities
    • Add-ons like t-shirts or books for the trip
    • A mifgash (encounter) with Israeli peers in Israel

On-campus funding resources

  • Israel or Jewish study centers, clubs, or organizations
  • Any center that supports the specific themes of the trip (for example entrepreneurship, international affairs, or minority rights)
  • The Dean of Students office may have funds available to support international student-led travel
  • Israel Caucus or Middle East centers

Off-campus funding sources

  • Israel Embassy may provide financial subsidies to support a campus-based Israel club and, by extension, the trip
  • A 501(c)(3) organization with interests that align with the trip goals
  • Philanthropists and successful alums