Frequently asked questions
Registration & Pricing
How do I register for Tzofim Chetz V’Keshet?
Our registration system is online, convenient and user friendly. Just click on the “Register Now” link on the Tzofim Chetz V’Keshet webpage and proceed to register. You can create a user name and password, allowing you to work on your application and return to it at any time.
What is included in the program cost of Tzofim Chetz V’Keshet?
The cost of $4,800 includes a $500 registration fee, accommodations, transportation, meals, entrance fees and program fees. Optional roundtrip airfare between New York City and Israel can also be purchased with the Chetz V'Keshet program for an additional cost.
Are scholarships available for Tzofim Chetz V’Keshet?
Please follow the directions on the scholarship portion of our website to apply for scholarships. Our scholarship funding is limited, however we have found Federations, Jewish Community Centers, Synagogues, and schools to be particularly supportive of teen trips to Israel. Please visit the scholarships portion of our website to find out more information.
I really need a scholarship, how much am I going to get?
The funding we give is purely case dependent and is reliant on your own financial situation and forms, including your W2s and 1040. The earlier you register, the better your chances are, as there is a limited pool of scholarship funding. In addition, if there are any extra details (many kids in college or private Jewish school, a divorce, major changes in the family, parent lost a job, etc.), attach a letter and let us know! The scholarship committee will be meeting every 4-5 weeks, and it is our goal to have decisions back to you in a timely matter.
Is there a deadline for registration?
The deadline is May 1st or when the program is fully booked. Register as soon as possible in order to secure a spot.
What happens if we need to cancel before the program?
Can I meet the group in Israel?
Absolutely! Every year we have participants who choose to meet the group in Israel, come earlier, or stay longer. For those who like to travel separately from the program, there is a land-only fee which is listed on the “Dates and Program Cost” page.
Can I stay in Israel after the program ends?
Yes. There are 2 alternate return dates available. If flights are booked through CVK, arrangements to book these flights must be made through the New York office before the summer.
Do you provide airfare from other states besides New York? What happens if I need to take a domestic flight to New York?
Airfare is only provided from New York to Israel. If you would like to meet us in JFK airport in New York, you will be required to send your domestic flight information in advance. On the day of the group flight to Israel, a staff member will be waiting at your domestic arrival gate and bring you to the rest of the group.
Chetz V'Keshet Dati
What's the difference between Chetz V'Keshet and Chetz V'Keshet Dati?
Chetz V'Keshet Dati is the religious program that will have similar activities as CVK, but with a few differences. CVK Dati members will participate in all three prayer services, as well as daily Torah classes after morning and evening services. When deemed necessary, CVK Dati will offer separate activities for boys and girls.
How many participants go on Tzofim Chetz V’Keshet? How old are they?
Where do participants from Tzofim Chetz V’Keshet come from?
Is it a requirement to be Jewish to attend CVK?
No. While we do encourage a Jewish audience because of the atmosphere of the program, non-Jewish participants with interest in Israeli and Jewish culture are welcome to join the program with the understanding that the program will be filled with a Jewish atmosphere, and observes Shabbat and kashrut (Kosher dietary laws).
Will I be OK on Tzofim Chetz V’Keshet if I don’t know anyone coming on the program?
Yes! It is our experience that participants make friends during the program. The participants in the group are from all over the world and this unique opportunity to meet new friends is only enhanced by CVK. Most of the participants come to the program alone and expect to make friends there. As such, the first week is focused on icebreakers and group-building activities.
Can I come on the program with a whole group of my friends?
Yes. Participants are guaranteed to be with at least one of their friends. We make an effort to mix large groups of teens from the same geographic areas, in order to promote team-building and meeting new friends. Even if your friends are not in your group, chances are they will be on your bus, so you will see them every day.
What makes Tzofim Chetz V’Keshet unique?
Tzofim Chetz V’Keshet is one of the only teen summer program in Israel that offers a week in the army and it also offers teens living abroad the opportunity to interact during the entire program with Israeli peers. By spending so much time together, the teens from abroad practice their Hebrew, learn more about Israeli culture, and make lifelong friends in Israel.
Who are the Israeli peers on the program?
Approximately 25% of participants on Chetz V’Keshet are Israeli. These Israeli participants are members of the Tzofim, chosen from a highly selective pool for their personality, maturity, and ability to communicate in English and Hebrew. Every year, our participants comment that their experience meeting Israeli peers is one of the highlights of the program.
Is Tzofim Chetz V’Keshet conducted in English or Hebrew?
Participants do not need to know any Hebrew to come on Tzofim Chetz V’Keshet. As part of the registration process, the participant has the option to choose whether they would like to be placed in an English speaking group or a Hebrew speaking group. No matter what track the participant chooses, he or she will be surrounded by Hebrew and English speakers and will be able to pick up some Hebrew as the summer progresses. All staff are bilingual.
Who staffs the group in Israel? What qualifications do the staff members have?
The Tzofim Chetz V’Keshet staff is completely comprised of former IDF soldiers, and some are alumni of the program. Program directors and logistics staff are CVK's year long staff. Counselors are typically recently-discharged soldiers, having finished their mandatory army service. All counselors on Tzofim Chetz V’Keshet go through a selective interview and application process and complete a month-long training and preparation course. Professional tour guides will serve as group leaders on each bus.
Is Tzofim Chetz V’Keshet a religious program?
While CVK is not affiliated with any religious movement, all meals served on our program are kosher, and during Shabbat, there are no scheduled activities that would conflict with Shabbat observance. Time will be allotted for daily prayers.
Is there a Packing List?
See Here for a suggested packing list
Can I spend time with friends and family in Israel?
Yes. The first and last weekends of the trip are “group” weekends, where family and friends can visit during visiting hours; however participants cannot leave with their family members. The middle two weekends of the program are specifically organized so that participants can visit their friends or family.
What if I don’t have any friends or family in Israel? Where do I go for the free weekends?
For participants without friends or family in Israel, we will set up weekend placements with an Israeli Tzofim member from the program.
Cell Phones and Spending Money
Should I bring a cell phone?
How much spending money do I need? How will I manage my spending in Israel?
The cost of CVK covers all of the participants' meals and activity fees. We suggest that participants bring $200-$500 for gifts and souviners, depending on your spending habits. You can bring a credit/debit card, gift card, or cash.
Health and Safety
What if I have a medical condition?
Participants with allergies, diabetes, celiac-wheat intolerances, and other common/manageable medical issues can generally join the program (depending on the severity of the issue). For more severe issues, please contact us so we can discuss accommodations on a case-by-case basis.
I take medicine every day. Do counselors monitor medications? Can I manage my own medications?
We encourage participants to monitor their own medications. If they are unable to do so, the counselors or group medic will hold on to the medications for the participant and ensure that the participant take them at the appropriate time. Regulated medications will be kept and distributed by a staff member.
I’m not in great physical shape. Can I join the program?
How does the program deal with security issues?
CVK works in tandem with the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and is consistently updated with the security status in Israel and given recommendations by the IDF as to where or where not to travel. We are able to make immediate changes in the itinerary if a situation arises.
Meals, Hotels, and Laundry
Do I need to provide any meals? What kind of food is served?
Where do the participants sleep?
Participants sleep in nice guest houses around the country. All rooms are air-conditioned. When in Gadna week, participants will sleep in tents on a raised platform, inside the army base.
What about laundry?
Participants typically do laundry during their Free Weekends, with their friends/family or Israeli peers. Participants who are being hosted by an Israeli Tzofim member are made aware of this prior to the summer. If the need arises, staff will make laundry services available.