Israel Tour to go ahead despite Iran threat

Annual post-16 trip will include additional security measures as organisers monitor regional tensions


A previous Israel tour, organised by UJIA (Photo: UJIA)

Israel tour is going ahead this summer despite Iran’s attack against Israel over the weekend and the ongoing threat from Hamas and Hezbollah.

Additional security measures on the annual tour had been announced after October 7.

Concerns about tour were raised again after Iran’s onslaught, but organisers have confirmed that this summer’s trip and next year’s gap year programmes would go ahead as planned.

The United Jewish Israel Appeal said that gap year participants had already returned to their programmes following the Saturday night attack.

UJIA noted that Israel’s security guidelines had reverted to their status before April 14, and “the situational assessment on the ground remains unchanged from before the weekend”, but that they would “be flexible to any situation that presents itself”.

Since October 7, half as many 16-year-olds have signed up to UJIA Israel tours this summer compared with last year. 

While some youth movements will continue their regular programming, others have modified or postponed trips, offering alternative destinations.

Organisations such as FYZ, Bnei Akiva, Ezra Boys, Ezra Girls, Sinai Youth and Tribe will be going to Israel as usual. However, JLGB and BBYO are not going to Israel and are offering trips elsewhere, while Habonim-Dror and Noam have altered their Israel tour to include some time in Europe.

A spokesperson for UJIA said: “We continue to work closely with our security partners on the ground in Israel to monitor the situation and review our programming in Israel.

“At this time, security guidelines in Israel have reverted back to their pre-14th April status, and the situational assessment on the ground remains unchanged from before the weekend.

"UJIA Israel Experience together with the Jewish Agency for Israel, participating youth movements, and ground providers in Israel, including for gap year programmes, have extensive experience in operating in ever changing scenarios. We will do our utmost to be flexible to any situation that presents itself in the coming weeks and months, as we have been following the events of this weekend.

They acknowledged that while “Israel’s defensive systems operated to the highest standards, we understand this weekend may have heightened the concern some parents have in advance of programming this summer.”

The organisation said they would continue to do all we could “to limit financial risk” to parents and carers, and if UJIA needed to cancel the programme, “there would be minimal financial impact”.

UJIA added: “We continue to work towards safe, secure and meaningful Israel Experiences for summer 2024, as well as gap year programmes for 2024-25.”

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