Centennial Mission to Israel 2023 > Centennial Mission FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

See answers to common questions about the Centennial Mission below. For specific questions, contact Heidi Kuperman, Missions Director, at hkuperman@jfedgmw.org 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.

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.

Centennial Mission Registration and Information

For more information, contact:

Heidi Kuperman
Missions Director
(973) 929-3046
hkuperman@jfedgmw.org