Centennial Mission to Israel 2023 > Centennial Mission FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions/Concerns

See answers to common questions and important concerns about the Centennial Mission below. For specific questions, contact Heidi Kuperman, Missions Director, at [email protected] or (973) 929-3046.

I’ve been to Israel many times. Is this mission a good fit for me? Why?

No matter how many times you’ve been to Israel, you’ll experience something new on this mission. We’ll visit new, cutting-edge programs that help the most vulnerable populations, and you’ll have a chance to do hands-on community service. We’ll have encounters with Israelis from all walks of life, people you’d never have a chance to meet otherwise. When we visit traditional sites like Yad Vashem and the Old City, there will be options for veteran travelers to get in-depth, specialized tours.

And you will be privileged to witness some of your friends and acquaintances experiencing it all for the first time. Making a Shehecheyanu (blessing for a special occasion) with a first-timer and seeing Israel through their eyes is a special experience.

For everyone who participated in our 2018 commUNITY Mission, this will not be a repeat trip. We will enjoy many of the same feelings, but the experience will be different.

I have never been to Israel. Is this mission a good fit for me? Why?

Your first time in Israel is always special, no matter the circumstances. When you experience Israel surrounded by friends from your community, everyone will share in your excitement. On this mission, you’ll get to hit all the highlights that a typical Israel trip will include —but there’s so much more. You’ll get beneath the surface and really experience Israel, with off-the-beaten-track visits, unique adventures, and a chance to meet Israelis and hear about their lives.

What is it like to travel with so many people?

Traveling with a large group is a fun experience—especially when the group consists of hundreds of members of your own community. You’ll have a chance to make new friends and strengthen your relationships with people you’d like to get to know better. You will get the best of both worlds, with grand opportunities to mingle with the hundreds of participants, and also a more intimate setting as you travel with the 30+ people on your bus.

A large mission provides access to high-level speakers and amazing experiences—like a Mega Event at an IDF base or a reception at the President’s home. At the same time, the itinerary includes some intimate, customized visits as well.

Will I have any free time?

Although the mission schedule will be packed with adventures and experiences, there is ample free time built in if you need to catch your breath, do some shopping, or meet up with Israeli friends for a meal.

Why would I go on a Federation mission as opposed to another trip?

A mission is a trip with a purpose. You won’t just see Israel’s sites, you’ll get to know Israel on a deeper level. You’ll see firsthand the impact of Federation’s work abroad and meet the people whose lives have been touched by your dollars. The union of the heightened emotional state from these visits and the power of Israel creates a profound experience you will never forget. You will gain exclusive access to the people, places, and experiences that other tourists cannot.

I don’t like what the Israeli government is doing. Why should I support it?

Going to Israel is not an indication that you are in favor of government policies. In fact, one of the most compelling reasons to visit

Israel is to participate in open dialogue and hear a broad range of opinions from Israelis. Israel is a country with a free press and its citizens are comfortable disagreeing with their government and with each other.

Is it safe?

Safety is our highest priority. In addition to the strict security measures taken by the Israeli government to guard public places, we take additional precautions to ensure participant safety. Each bus is accompanied by a security guard. Our itinerary is reviewed by security personnel each day and will be changed if a location is considered unsafe.

Where is the funding for the subsidies coming from?

Our Jewish Federation is pleased to offer a subsidized rate to all interested participants as an investment in the future of our Jewish community. The Fried-Saginaw Mission Endowment Fund, committed to transforming Jewish engagement through missions, is generously offering additional subsidies for first-time GMW mission participants and participants age 45 and under at the time of the mission. Funds from the UJA Annual Campaign are not being used for the Centennial Mission.

Will I be asked for money?

Yes. Although there is no minimum gift to come on the mission, you will be presented with the opportunity to share the impact of the mission experience and make your commitment either in a one-on-one conversation or through an intimate sharing session with members of your bus. You will have the opportunity to reflect on your experience and, if so moved by the power of Israel, your commitment.

Frequently Asked Concerns 

“It’s going to be too hot!!” 

Yes, it will be hot – but, did you know that July in Israel has basically the same temperatures as here in New Jersey, with even less humidity? Our mission team is preparing for your comfort and safety, including air conditioned/indoor options for activities, cooling and hydration opportunities, and more. We would be glad to answer any questions in advance. Please contact Heidi Kuperman, Missions Director at (973) 929-3046 or [email protected].  

“It seems pretty physically demanding. I don’t think I can manage it.” 

This trip involves full days of sightseeing with significant amount of travel throughout the day. Some activities may require physical exertion including walking several city blocks and climbing stairs. If you think you may need assistance to manage the physical nature of this mission, our mission team will be glad to speak with you before you register to help with that determination and any accommodations that you might need. Please contact Heidi Kuperman, Missions Director at (973) 929-3046 or [email protected].  

“What if I need help getting around or another type of personal assistance?” 

Inclusion is a Jewish value rooted in our history and as such, building an inclusive Jewish community is a priority for Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest. Our vision of a fully inclusive community is fundamental to this once-in-a-century Centennial Mission experience. We will make every effort to meet your needs and make this mission accessible for you. Please speak with our mission team before December 1, 2022 about opportunities for accessibility including any additional costs that may apply. Please contact Heidi Kuperman, Missions Director at (973) 929-3046 or [email protected]. 

Centennial Mission Registration and Information

For more information, contact:

Heidi Kuperman
Missions Director
(973) 929-3046
[email protected]