Updated: March 27, 2020
The spread of the coronavirus has dramatically influenced life across the globe, including in Israel. In order to confront the virus, Israel has enacted a series of substantial restrictions. As of March 9, 2020, the Israeli Government announced that all Israeli residents returning from abroad must enter home quarantine for 14 days following their return home. Starting on March 19, 2020 foreign nationals are not allowed entrance into Israel. Furthermore, in order to limit further the spread of the virus, the Israeli Government enacted on March 14, 2020 additional restrictions on interpersonal interactions throughout the country. Public transportation has been reduced significantly and entertainment and recreational venues have been closed until further notice. All activities of the educational system have been suspended as well. These restrictions have caused a significant economic slowdown which has also clearly affected companies in all industries and sectors. Please refer to the English webpage of the Israeli Ministry of Health for updates and details – https://govextra.gov.il/ministry-of-health/corona/corona-virus-en/
Onward Israel is first and foremost committed to the safety and well-being of its participants. The restrictions described above impede in a most serious fashion on our ability to carry out Onward Israel programs as we have done in the past, and if the above mentioned policies and directives remain in effect as program start dates approach we will have to act to cancel those programs. To be able to facilitate this decision making process we will reach decisions separately about each section of our scheduled programs by the following dates according to the following timetable. Please note that the date listed here is the final date by which a decision will be reached for your program; we might make such an announcement earlier based on circumstances.
|Calendar Section||Scheduled Program Start Dates||Cancellation Decision Date|
|Cancelled||Camp Counselors, Toronto, Michigan Hillel, Vanderbilt Hillel, ISBA, Jerusalem Film Workshop, Mexico|
|#1||May 1- May 31||.
By April 1: Montreal
By April 6: Science and Health Tech, Finance and Economics, Miami
By April 19: May jInternship Programs
|#2||June 1-June 15||By May 3|
|#3||June 16-June 30||By May 17|
|#4||July 1 and later||By June 1|
In the meantime, we hope that conditions on the ground in Israel and internationally will improve and that we will be able to implement as many of our programs as possible.
As of March 22, 2020, we are waiving program deadlines regarding the finalization of travel plans. We recommend delaying, as long as possible, the purchase of flights. If you do want to go ahead with your travel plans, make sure that tickets are to the extent possible, fully refundable. Of course, if you do purchase tickets, they should cover the entire length of the scheduled program dates. Onward Israel is not responsible for your individually arranged travel to and from Israel and will not refund costs incurred for or connected with air travel to Israel. We also caution that in particular, internships in the medical field are very hard to secure for the Summer of 2020, and participants interested in such internships should shift their internship requests or make alternative plans. Also please note that, to the best of our understanding, participation in Birthright Israel is not allowed after participation in Onward Israel. Please pay attention to announcements regarding the cancellation of your Birthright Israel trip, particularly if you had been planning on participating in Birthright Israel and then taking part in your Onward Israel program.
If, and when, Onward Israel decides to cancel any or all summer 2020 programs, your organizer will fully refund the program fees which you have paid for those cancelled programs. In this case, you will receive an email notifying you how to process your refund and asking you if you’d be interested in alternative Onward Israel opportunities. If, beginning on March 15th, you choose to withdraw from your program before Onward Israel makes that decision, or after such a decision is made, your organizer will also fully refund your program fee. Please allow for a period of approximately two months from when the decision is made about your program to process your refund in either case. We thank you for your patience as we process these requests.
We will closely monitor the developing situation and inform of any additional adjustments we will make to the registration process or to the programs themselves. We understand that completing your medical forms may be challenging now, and hence here too deadlines will be flexible, although you will need a signed medical form in order to participate on the program. Please keep in mind, given the current disruptions to the workforce in Israel, your internship placement process will also likely be impacted, as many Israeli companies are unable to provide clear answers about hosting interns this summer at this time.
In the meantime, if you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to share them, either directly with Onward Israel or with your program’s local partner and/or organizer. We request your patience regarding our response time given that many of our staff members are now working remotely, both in New York and in Israel.
We will also update this website on an ongoing basis when necessary. For more information, please see https://govextra.gov.il/ministry-of-health/corona/corona-virus-en/