Israel Quest

Israel Quest

Visit www.Jconnect.org for additional teen travel opportunities.

Israel Quest (IQ) is rooted in the guiding principle that participation in a substantive peer-based Israel experience during a teen’s formative years can build a strong and lasting Jewish identity in the hearts and minds of our youth. The IQ grant program is funded and administered by the United Jewish Endowment Fund and The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington. IQ is not a trip provider.

Funding Guidelines for
2016-17 Israel Quest (IQ) Grants:

To be eligible to apply, teens must meet the following criteria:

  1. Are Jewish, reside in the Greater Washington area, and want to travel to Israel during 9th -12th grades or summers immediately thereafter (post-high school year course programs are ineligible.).
  2. As IQ funds are limited, we ask that the parents/guardians of a teen choosing to apply indicate that an IQ grant is financially required and would have a significant impact on their ability and decision to send their teen on the selected trip.
  3. Are officially registered for an Israel trip which is a teen, peer, substantive educational program that has been approved or qualifies for approval under current IQ guidelines. (Family, day school and congregational family trips are ineligible.)

 IQ will award grants for 2016-17 as follows:

  • $750 for teens enrolled in approved trips of 3 weeks in Israel.
  • $1,750 for teens enrolled in approved trips of 4 to 5 weeks in Israel.
  • $2,000 for teens enrolled in approved trips of 6-13 weeks in Israel.
  • $2,500 for teens enrolled in approved trips of 14 weeks or longer in Israel.

The amount of the IQ grant may not exceed 30% of the total trip price. Weeks are defined as 7 days in Israel, not the full length of a trip for those that include other destinations. Teen trips are eligible if they offer a minimum of 21 days in Israel and are for high school students only.

Applicants are encouraged to contact other organizations (e.g. congregations, youth groups, trip providers and camps) to inquire about available financial assistance. Israel Quest grant funding will not exceed the cost of an Israel trip.

There is a limited amount of Israel Quest funding available.
We encourage you to submit the Israel Quest Grant application online as soon as possible to secure your grant and at least a month before the trip provider requires final payment. The final date to submit an application is April 30.

Submit applications to israelquest@shalomdc.org or call the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington at 301-230-7200.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What is Israel Quest?
A. Israel Quest is a need-based grant program that strives to enhance a teen’s connection to the Jewish community, Israel and other Jewish teens. Israel Quest encourages teens to stay engaged through Jewish education and social programming to build this connection. Israel Quest provides funding to teens who meet the required criteria and guidelines set by Israel Quest (at the time of the trip). Israel Quest is not a trip provider.

Q. What is an Israel Quest Grant?
A. An Israel Quest grant provides need-based funding to Jewish teens to help offset the cost of an approved Israel trip. The grant reflects Israel Quest’s funding guidelines at the time when a teen is ready to travel to Israel.

Q. Is there a deadline for applying for Israel Quest funding?
A. Yes, this year the deadline is April 30. However, there is a finite amount of Israel Quest funding available. We encourage you to submit the Israel Quest grant application as soon as possible to secure your grant before all funds are awarded and at least a month before the trip provider requires final payment.

Q. Do all Israel Quest applicants receive funding?
A. Teens can apply for funding under the Israel Quest grant eligibility guidelines for that program year. However, after all the funding has been awarded additional Israel Quest grant applicants will not be able to receive funding. Therefore, it is strongly suggested to submit Israel Quest grant applications as soon as possible.

Q. What is an approved Israel trip?
A. Approved Israel trips are those that meet the current guidelines for Israel Quest at the time a teen is ready to travel to Israel. Teen trips must provide a formative Jewish identity educational experience with significant travel throughout the country. The itinerary and activities of qualifying programs must offer participants a well-rounded exposure to the land, its cities, history and historic sites, society and culture. A trip may include other destinations in addition to spending specified time in Israel, however only days spent in Israel qualify for funding. Family, day school and congregational family trips are not approved trips.

Q. How does a teen (and his/her parent/guardian) apply for an Israel Quest Grant?
A. The Israel Quest Grant application can be found on our website, www.shalomdc.org/IQgrantapplication or by contacting The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington at (301) 230-7200 or IsraelQuest@shalomdc.org.

Q. When can teens travel to Israel using Israel Quest funding?
A. Israel Quest funding can be used during high school or the summer thereafter. Year-course programs after high school graduation and programs beginning in the fall following 12th grade are ineligible.

Q. If I have been to Israel before, can I still receive Israel Quest funding?
A. Yes, Israel Quest funding may be available to local Jewish teens regardless of prior travel to Israel. However, a teen can only use Israel Quest funding one time. Funding is once per teen, not once per family.

Q. How can Jewish day school students receive Israel Quest funding?
A. Israel Quest funding does not apply to Israel programs that are part of the academic curriculum of a day school (e.g. CESJDS’s semester trip.) The grant may be used for a different peer Israel trip.

(as of September 2016)