The program designed in cooperation with the Levin family, was established to encourage teens to visit Israel by providing them with a $700 subsidy towards an accredited travel program including youth group trips, trips arranged by such organizations as Hadassah/Young Judea and Birthright Israel, Federation Family Missions, official synagogue missions and many more.



About the Program


  • The Gift of Israel is a program in which children upon becoming a Bar/Bat Mitzvah are presented with a certificate voucher to help subsidize organized trips to Israel.


  • Trips are self-selective.


  • Launched in the fall of 1994, the program has helped over 500 participants experience Israel.


  • The program is funded by the Jewish Federation & Foundation of Northeast Florida's annual campaign.


  • Children are automatically enrolled and will receive a voucher from the Federation on or immediately following their Bar/Bat Mitzvah.



  • The voucher is worth up to $700.


  • The voucher has a SIX YEAR window, beginning at age 16 and ending at 22, which is to be redeemed for funds to travel to Israel.


  • Funds to be distributed must be used towards a recognized program or Federation mission, and are subject to Federation & Foundation approval.


  • It is the participant’s responsibility to contact Federation & Foundation about the use or redemption of the Gift of Israel voucher.


  • Payment is made directly to the organization running the program, unless the trip has been paid in full and the payee can provide a statement from the program proving there is no outstanding balance.


  • Receipts must be submitted to the Federation & Foundation in order to obtain reimbursement.


  • FOR BIRTHRIGHT ISRAEL PARTICIPANTS ONLY - Voucher may be used toward air travel to and from the domestic departure city and a one-night hotel stay (if necessary).  Any additional expenses incurred are the responsibility of the trip participant.  Meals are not reimbursable. ALL REIMBURSEMENT REQUESTS ARE AT THE DISCRETION OF THE JEWISH FEDERATION AND FOUNDATION OF NORTHEAST FLORIDA.


Additional Information

Students who attend school or college outside of Jacksonville are still able to use their voucher as long as their family remains in Jacksonville.


We ask all participants returning from a trip to:

  • Write an article for the Northeast Florida Jewish Life Magazine
  • Speak at a synagogue about the program
  • Write a Thank You note to Joan Levin



For questions or to redeem your voucher, please contact:

Jennifer Rensch, Foundation Manager

904-224-1401 | jenniferr@jewishjacksonville.org