Are MBI participants required to have a cell phone?

We do not currently have a policy that requires MBI participants to have cell phones, though we recommend that each participant has a way to communicate with their friends and family. There will be wifi at almost every location the MBI participants sleep at throughout the program (with the exception of hiking trips). However, if you would like cell phone capabilities participants can rent a cell phone through Israelphones, who have provided phones for MBI participants successfully for many years. HDNA does not​ rent the phones directly and any questions, problems, or concerns should be made to the rental company​. MBI participants will always be with the group in the presence of their madrichimot and staff with working cell phones.

Why are there different prices for American and Canadian participants?

A few years ago, the Canadian dollar significantly dropped in value, making our programs financially inaccessible to many of our Canadian families. In order to accommodate for this decline, we consulted with financial experts and began to offer separate prices for our programs, both in USD. This change does not affect the program price for our American families; rather, it makes the sticker price value the same for our all HDNA families, regardless of nationality.

Does the MBI tuition include airfare?

Yes. We book our flights through a travel agency. There will be group flights out of Toronto for Canadians and out of either JFK or Newark Airport for Americans. Each of these group flights will have chaperones on them to accompany the MBI participants to Israel. There are also chaperones provided for some select regional flights to Toronto or New York City.

If you are not planning on taking a group flight, and you wish to purchase your flights separately, contact our office and we can give you a flight cost reimbursement.

What should I do if my passport will expire before the start of the program?

Every participant needs a valid passport. If you haven’t yet, please send in a copy of the first page of your passport immediately via e-mail or fax to the office. Please check to make sure your passport is not expired. You may experience complications if your passport expires within 6 months of return from the program - If your passport expires before February 2nd, 2020, you will need to renew your passport. If you were born in Israel or if you are an Israeli Citizen, check on potential travel taxes
with the Israeli Consulate nearest you. You should also bring your Israeli passport with you to Israel as well as any other passports you hold​.

What do I do if I am currently taking medication?

Any medication which you require should be brought with you. We must be informed about any medical situations prior to departure with full disclosure to the medication/s you intend to bring. It is recommended that participants bring an extra supply of medication to be entrusted to the care of the MBI staff in case of loss or damage. Bring enough medication for the entire summer. Participants are responsible for remembering to take their own medicine, except in cases where we have been notified otherwise. We need a count of the medication so we know how many the participant comes with – please label the bottle. In certain circumstances, the medic of MBI will distribute over-the-counter medication to participants if need be. The Rosh of MBI may also decide that certain medication needs to be retained by the madrichimot or the medic rather than the participant.

When is the best time for MBI particiants to visit friends or families?

MBI participants will have the opportunity to visit relatives in Israel during the MBI Free Weekend. Visitors, including family, are not permitted at any other time​. Private buses will travel to Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, and Haifa for drop-offs and pick-ups. Parents are responsible for getting in touch with host families about free weekend plans and details​. All free weekend information will be emailed to parents before the weekend and will be posted on the blog. Don't have friends or family in Israel? No problem! Participants who do not have family/friends to visit over the weekend will have accommodations and programming provided by the madrichimot (counselors).

All relatives/friends who plan on hosting an MBI participant over the Free Weekend must agree to the program rules. Hosts must sign an understanding of these security rules and must commit to abide by them while the participant is in their care. In addition, we need to be informed of where the participant will be staying, with whom they will be staying, and the host’s contact information. A Free Weekend form will be sent out prior to the start of the program.

How does Kupa work on MBI?

Kupa​ ​means “cash box”, but is the term used to describe the communal fund that the group will establish in order to function as a cooperative. Kupa is integral to Habonim Dror ideology and a major component of our educational programming. The group will decide how to manage their spending money and will ensure that everyone’s needs are met. The kupa will be managed by a va'ad (committee) selected by the group according to cooperative principles. Expenses covered by the kupa include snacks, entertainment, necessary toiletries, as well as special group projects and events. Remember that all of your child’s basic expenses are covered throughout the program. Kupa pays for anything extra.
The suggested amount for kupa is between $100 and $200 USD.
Kupa​ money should be sent directly to the Central Office c/o MBI in the form of a separate
check/money order made out to ‘Habonim Dror North America’ alongside your second payment. Please indicate the participant’s name on the memo line and that the check is meant for ​KUPA​. Any future questions regarding kupa or payments should be directed to Maya Paris-Saper at finance@habonimdror.org.

Are scholarships available? If so, how do I apply?

Yes, HDNA does have a scholarship fund, as well as resources for external scholarships. Visit our scholarship page.

What forms of payment do you accept?

We accept all credit cards and checks made out to Habonim Dror North America. If you have further questions about forms of payment, feel free to call our office at 718-789-1796.

What should I pack?

1. Bring a light-weight sleeping bag. ​For most of your time on MBI, bedding will be provided. However, for certain occasions, a sleeping bag is required (i.e. sleeping outdoors, in tents).
2. Clothing should be informal. Tank tops are not allowed during the day as the program will be in the sun​.​ As a result, we discourage bringing tank-tops. These rules apply to all participantsregardless of gender. Additionally bring clothing that will be appropriate for religous sites (ie. knees and shoulders covered).
3. MBI participants will be taking part in a project called Rafsodia. For a night, they will be sleeping on the beach on the Kineret and will build a raft that they will then sail across the Kineret. Due to the intensity of the work that is done all participants will be required to wear sneakers or hiking boots which will get wet during the project. There will a few other times when participants will partake in water hikes. Please pack accordingly​.
4. All clothing should be clearly marked with your first and last name for easy identification and to prevent misplacement as laundry will be done communally. Laundry will be provided during the program periodically (every 12 to 14 days). Please bring enough undergarments for two and a half weeks. Habonim Dror is not responsible for any damage or lost clothing items.
5. The MBIers will be moving sleeping location several times and will spend a lot of time travelling. It is easy to lose items and valuables during these transitions. Please consider this when packing your valuables. Habonim Dror is not responsible for any lost items.
6. Since the sun is very strong during the summer, YOU MUST bring sunscreen (15 SPF minimum), 2 sun hats, and something that will hold ​3 liters​ of water (recommended: a camelback).
7. For electrical devices a converter (220 Volts) or an adapter will be needed.
8. Toiletries, camera film, and batteries are generally expensive in Israel, so please pack enough for the entire program. You should bring a total of 2 bags with you on MBI:
1. 1 small day-pack in which you can carry personal items while hiking and traveling [plane
carry-on size].
2. 1 larger bag (i.e. mid-sized frame pack, duffel bag or small suitcase (wheels are recommended) for all the remaining items you will need while traveling in Israel. Keep in mind that you will be schlepping (carrying) this bag a lot. We are not responsible for any fees incurred because of overweight bags. For your own convenience, pack lightly!

Who can parents contact in Israel with questions and concern prior to the start of Workshop, or once the program has begun?

Throughout the application process and during the program, all parent contact should go through Naomi, the Rakezet Tochniot. You can reach her at progams@habonimdror.net or by calling the office number, 718-789-1796. Naomi also has an emergency phone number that can be called at any time of the day. If there is an emergency, we will contact the Israel Experience Office and/or our Rosh MBI with whom we are in daily telephone contact. We will also be in contact with our families if there is ever an emergency situation. Please make note of the following contact information for your records: Habonim Dror North America Central Office: (718) 789-1796
Emergency Habonim Dror North America Cell Phone: (215) 595-8092 Fax: (718) 789-1799
E-mail: programs@habonimdror.net

What is the health insurance coverage?

Throughout the summer, you will be covered by Israeli health insurance. This coverage entitles you to service by a physician anywhere in Israel. The insurance does not insure you for pre-existing conditions, including allergies, back problems, dental problems, eye glasses, and other ailments. Make sure you are insured under a policy at home for these matters​.
Please Note: Any participant who is deviating from the dates of the program SHOULD ​purchase additional medical insurance as you will not be covered outside of the dates of the program. Please research travel insurance policies online or ask us for a recommendation.

How I will know what my child is doing on the program?

The Rakezet Tochniot, Naomi Tamura, will be posting daily to the MBI Blog throughout the summer to keep family and friends informed of the group’s activities. The web address will be sent out closer to the summer.

Is the food on MBI kosher?

During MBI, all food, outside of a possible visit to an Arab restaurant, will be kosher. Participants should inform their madrichimot (counselors) if they strictly observe the rules of kashrut and we will ensure they are accommodated.

What is your security policy?

While in Israel, Habonim Dror North America conducts the MBI program under the auspices of the Jewish Agency for Israel and in coordination with the Israel Experience, Ltd. The group’s safety is our top priority. Below is a description of security measures provided by the Israeli Experience Ltd. and the Jewish Agency.

The safety, security, and well being of our participants are, and always have been, our primary concern. All of our activities are carried out in compliance with the strictest possible safety requirements, in accordance with the standards set by the Ministry of Education and the Jewish Agency Security Department. These bodies coordinate directly with the IDF, the Israeli Police, and the SPNI (Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel). We believe that we can provide a meaningful experience that will serve our mutual goals of
strengthening Jewish identity among our participants, while maintaining the highest level of security and safety. Our company takes complete responsibility for the safety of all of our participants and programs. If there is any concern about the security of the group on any given day, HDNA is informed immediately and the schedule is changed accordingly. In the event of an emergency, we will ensure that the group is moved to a safe spot in Israel, such as a remote kibbutz.