Invest in your child’s Jewish future with a Trip to Israel
The goal of the Congregation B’nai Tikvah Passport to Israel Program (PIP) is to help students enrolled in B’nai Tikvah Religious School and/or other Hebrew Day/High School have an Israel experience as part of their Jewish education.
PIP provides a way for families in good standing to deposit money annually that can be used along with matching funds to pay for an educational program in Israel for their children. These funds are intended to cover a portion of the cost. Consequently, the amount of money deposited in PIP may not be enough to cover the cost of the entire trip.
Any student attending B’nai Tikvah Religious School (Kindergarten through Chai School) or any child of a B’nai Tikvah congregant in good standing who attends another Hebrew school, such as Solomon Schechter, or participates in an approved equivalent program as designated by the PIP Committee is eligible to register. To remain eligible, students must continue to be enrolled in and successfully complete B’nai Tikvah Religious/Chai School or another Hebrew Day/High School or complete 25 hours annually of non-compensated activities as outlined in Equivalent Activities section.
Fund Replenishing Fee
Eligible students enroll in PIP when their families pay a one-time nonrefundable $25.00 fund replenishing fee.
The family of each participant can make annual deposits into the student’s account. You can either set up an account outside of B’nai Tikvah or open an account through B’nai Tikvah.
For all eligible students who meet the requirements and are enrolled in PIP, Congregation B’nai Tikvah will match funds contributed by the participant’s family up to $1,000. B’nai Tikvah’s matching funds remain available from the summer immediately following completion of junior year of secular high school through the end of the summer two years hence. For example, if the student completes junior year in June 2014, matching funds remain available until August 31, 2016.
The PIP Committee will help the family secure additional matching funds from organizations, such as the Jewish Federation of Middlesex County, by writing a letter acknowledging the student’s eligibility to receive matching funds.
After a student has successfully completed B’nai Tikvah Religious/Chai School or a Hebrew Day/High School or an approved equivalent program, the money that is in the student’s account can be applied toward the cost of an Approved Israel Program [see below]. The student must request in writing to the PIP administrator at least sixty (60) days before payment is due that B’nai Tikvah forward the matching funds to the family for the program that he/she will be attending. With this letter, the student must also include a copy of the written notification of acceptance from the Israel Program. The family is responsible for making payment directly to the Israel Program
If the student leaves PIP and enrolls in another synagogue with a PIP, the accumulated family contribution plus interest can be transferred to the receiving synagogue upon written request of the family
A participating family may withdraw from PIP at any time on 60 days written notice to B’nai Tikvah’s PIP Administrator. If the family withdraws, the child’s account is closed and their contributions and accrued interest are sent to the family; however, they forfeit any rights to matching funds from B’nai Tikvah.
The PIP Committee administers the program. It will prepare registration forms, formulate rules and regulations for PIP, register students, open accounts for each participant if requested by the family, define “successful completion” of Hebrew High School or of an approved equivalent program, appoint a PIP administrator, and disburse funds as outlined in Funds Distribution.
Approved Israel Programs
Information about approved Israel Programs is available by calling United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism at 732-925-3114. Other programs, including student-designed programs, may also be approved. Contact the PIP Committee. The Rabbi is the final arbiter of whether an Israel Program is approved.
Equivalent Activities may be used to substitute eligibility requirements listed in the Eligibility section. Students in grades 9, 10, and 11 must perform 25 hours of non-compensated “community service” activities in B’nai Tikvah, the Religious School, the Nursery School, any arm of the synagogue, United Synagogue, Jewish Federation or propose an activity to the Committee. A supervising adult is required to verify all activities by briefly describing the activity, stating the dates and number of hours of participation, and signing his/her name. Such activities may include:
- Participate in USY Chapter & Regional activities [Chapter/Regional Advisor]
- B’nai Mitzvah tutoring [Cantor]
- Become one of the Toranim in the Religious School [School Director]
- Assist in Junior Congregation [JC Facilitator]
- Speak about your Israel Experience during a High Holiday service or during Shabbat [Rabbi and Religious Activities Chair]
- Speak about your Israel Experience to a Hei Class [School Director/Teacher]
- Assist Jewish Federation with support activities during Super Sunday [Federation Liaison]
You may choose any or all of these examples, or you may propose other activities to the PIP Committee that interest you.
Unused contributions made by participating students will be returned to them with a written request from the family, or they may be donated to PIP. Only those funds contributed by the family and accumulated interest will be refunded.
Cancellation of PIP
If the program is terminated, each participant will be notified in writing and money contributed by the family plus interest will be returned to the family within 60 days.
Neither Congregation B’nai Tikvah, its Employees, Officers, Trustees, nor Committee Members shall be liable for any action taken with respect to PIP or its assets. Furthermore, Congregation B’nai Tikvah, its Employees, Officers, Trustees, or Committee Members are not responsible for activities related to the Approved Israel Trip selected by the family nor for any activities immediately before, during, or after the Trip.
Rules and Policies
All rules and policies formulated with regard to PIP are an integral part of the program. The PIP committee will review the program annually and revise this document, as needed. If revised, the updated version will be distributed to participants and their families.
To start your child’s participation in the Passport to Israel Program, submit the Registration Form below.
The information on this page reflects the official brochure containing the rules and regulations prepared by the PIP committee. The content has been modified to accommodate the “look and feel” of our website while retaining the intent of the revised official document.
If you have questions about the brochure, you can pick one up at the synagogue office, download the PDF version, or contact the PIP administrator, Keith Zimmerman. Any text which may be misleading or not in accordance with the approved document should be brought to the attention of the PIP committee and the webmaster. All other disclaimers apply.