Passport to Israel
A cooperative savings plan funded by the Sholom Comay Family Endowment Fund.
PASSPORT TO ISRAEL PROGRAM RULES OF PARTICIPATION
What is the Passport to Israel Program?
Pittsburgh's Passport to Israel program is funded by the Sholom Comay Family Endowment Fund of the Jewish Community Foundation of the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh. The Passport to Israel program ("Passport") helps families provide their teen or young adult with a meaningful and educational Israel experience with their peers. It is a cooperative savings plan in which families and the Sholom Comay Family Endowment Fund partner to contribute funds over time towards the cost of an educational program in Israel for participating students.
Who Administers the Program?
The Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh administers the program in partnership with the Jewish Community Foundation.
Who is Eligible to Enroll in the Program and What is the Process for Enrolling?
We are no longer accepting new enrollments to the Passport to Israel program.
Is the Passport to Israel program still happening?
The Passport to Israel program is being phased out which is why we are no longer accepting new enrollments. If you have an existing account, you can leave it open and still contribute to it. However, no deposits made after May 31, 2022 will be matched. In addition, we have removed the four-year minimum deposit requirement, so all consecutive deposits into the account prior to May 31, 2022 will be matched.
What is the Length of Participation in the Program?
Families may maintain accounts for as long as they would like until their child goes to Israel or ages out of the program (college graduation).
How do I Qualify for the Matching Funds?
If you have an existing account, your consecutive deposits made up to and including May 31, 2022, will be matched. The match is $100 per year.
Will I get to keep any interest earned on the account?
These accounts are standard money market accounts. Each account earns interest according to the prevailing bank rates. The amount of Passport funds that will be available for an approved Israel program includes the interest earned.
When can I access my matching dollars for my teen or young adult's trip to Israel?
Passport funds may be applied towards an Israel program at any time after a student has reached the 9th grade, but no later than the end of college. The 8th grade class of the local Community Day School is the only exception to this requirement. Families should contact the Passport Administrator at least two months prior to the date on which payment is due to the approved Israel program, keeping in mind that it can take at least two weeks to process the check. To request your matching dollars and close your account, please use this online form. Passport to Israel matching dollars are sent directly to the Israel program, not to an individual or a family. Account funds may be sent to the family, or to the program.
What programs are eligible for Passport to Israel matching dollars?
Passport funds can be used towards any trip that provides a significant and meaningful Jewish educational experience. Approved programs must be:
- educational in nature
- organized by an educational institution or religious institution
- staffed by qualified personnel, and
- a minimum of three weeks, with the exception of approved trips from a day school.
Birthright and family trips are not applicable. Many different types of programs meet the criteria. The Passport Administrator is available to assist families in choosing a program.
Is there a deadline by which we must use Passport funds?
Yes. Funds must be used prior to college graduation.
What happens if my family relocates?
A participant who relocates to another city is only eligible to receive the funds from Passport for the years they resided in the Pittsburgh area. As stated above, only deposits made prior to May 31, 2022 are eligible for matching dollars (if the family was still in Pittsburgh prior to 5/31/22). The family can close out the account when they leave or have it remain open but inactive. To close your account, use this form.
What if I my child does not go to Israel, or we decide to withdraw from the program?
If your child ends up not going to Israel and/or ages out of the program, you can request to close your account. All family contributions will be retained by the family with applicable interest. Removal of the funds from the family account other than for use towards an approved program will constitute withdrawal from the program. Upon withdrawal, the student forfeits all rights to the matching funds from the Jewish Community Foundation.
Neither the Jewish Community Foundation nor any agency associated with the program, nor any employee of the forgoing, shall be liable for any action taken with respect to Passport to Israel.
The Israel Scholarship Program is funded by the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh’s Annual Campaign, with additional funding for need-based scholarships funded by The Stanley (z"l) and Flo Mae (z"l) Moravitz Israel Scholarship Endowment Fund of The Jewish Community Foundation of the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh. The Passport to Israel Program is funded by the Sholom Comay Family Endowment Fund of the Jewish Community Foundation of the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh.