Israel is waiting for you when you're ready!
PROGRAM FUNDS ARE AVAILABLE ON A FIRST-COME, FIRST-SERVED BASIS.
ELIGIBILTY RULES FOR ISRAEL SCHOLARSHIPS
Residency Requirement: (must meet one of the following categories)
- Be a dependent Jewish student with at least one Jewish parent and with parents or legal guardians residing in Western Pennsylvania as permanent residents of Pittsburgh and areas served by the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh, at the time of application.
- Students attending out of state colleges or boarding schools are eligible if their parents' or guardians' permanent residence is in the areas mentioned above, and they are claimed as a dependent on their parent's or guardian's tax return.
- Be a young adult, not claimed as a dependent on parental tax returns, residing in Western Pennsylvania as a permanent resident of Pittsburgh and areas served by the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh, at the time of application.
Eligibility by Age:
- Teens in 8th grade or above, and young adults through age 27, are eligible to apply for scholarships. Exceptions may be made for pre-teens on a case-by-case basis.
- Priority consideration is given to first time visitors.
- Repeat applications, up to a maximum of three trips, are considered but each trip must be for a different experience or program; scholarships will not be awarded for multiple years in the same program.
Length of Stay:
- The full non-need scholarship of $2,200 is for trips that are at least 3 weeks or 21 days long. Funding amounts for trips less than 3 weeks or 21 days will be considered on a case-by-case basis, except in specific cases outlined further below.
- Programs must be by an organization offering supervision, travel and/or study.
- Scholarship is NOT available for family trips.
- Summer and gap year programs, high school in Israel, college study abroad in Israel, and Kibbutz Ulpan are appropriate.
- University and graduate students applying for MASA scholarships will be considered for Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh Israel Scholarships, based on availability of funds.
- Consideration for special student programs not otherwise meeting the requirements herein are subject to approval of the Committee.
Scholarship Award Amounts and Stipulations:
- Scholarship amounts will vary depending on the length of a trip.
- 21 days & over 3 weeks: $2,200
- Day School Trips: $1,600
- March of the Living: $1,300
- Other trips less than 3 weeks/21 days will be decided on a case by case basis.
- If a 3-week or 21-day trip costs less than the full scholarship allotment of $2,200, the award will be determined by the committee.
- The need-based scholarship award is from $0 to $3,000 depending on demonstrated need.
- Scholarship funds are sent to the program or trip provider, not to individuals.
- Commitment to complete the program is required. If a trip is cancelled by the provider or if an applicant does not go, applicants must notify the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh of the cancellation so that the scholarship money may be refunded in full. If an applicant leaves their program before its completion, they must notify the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh so that funds can be returned to the Jewish Federation pro-rated.
- Complete the online application at grantmakingportal.smapply.org. Create an account with a log-in and password and complete the eligibility quiz in order to access the application.
- The online form requires the applicant's and one parent's or guardian's signature; contact information for two references from a Rabbi, youth advisor, teacher, or other non-related adult; and completed tax returns if applying for a need-based scholarship.
- Attendance by all applicants at an Israel Scholarship Night at the Jewish Federation is required. Prescribed dates are listed on the application; applicants must choose one date. Parents are strongly encouraged to attend with your teen applicants. Applicants will have an opportunity to meet other teens going to Israel, discuss their connections to Israel, and learn about the work of the Jewish Federation.
- Need-Based Interviews: One-on-one need-based interviews are not required but in the online form need-based applicants may request a one-on-one interview if they wish to have one.
REQUIREMENTS FOR THE NEED-BASED SCHOLARSHIP
- Completion of all non-need-based scholarship requirements as outlined above.
- Completion of the need-based portion of the online application.
- Submission of most recent tax return.
- Income must be less than $200,000 to qualify.
If you have questions, please contact Debbie Swartz, Overseas Planning Director, at email@example.com or 412-992-5207.
Additional Resources for Israel Travel Funding
- Jewish Scholarship Service of Greater Pittsburgh
For students in accredited higher education, including in Israeli institutions.
412-422-7200 | firstname.lastname@example.org
- MASA Israel Journey Grants and Scholarships
For gap-year, study abroad, post-college, and volunteer programs for adults ages 18–30.
- Zionist Organization of America
Up to 3 scholarships yearly, for high school students entering junior or senior year.
412-665-4630 | email@example.com
- Hebrew Free Loan Association
Interest-free loans, including for Israel travel.
412-422-8878 | firstname.lastname@example.org
- Passport to Israel (Existing Account-Holders Only)
Passport to Israel is a savings program that provides matching dollars from the Jewish Community Foundation for qualifying trips to Israel. Contact email@example.com to inquire about adding money to an existing account.
Find the Right Program!
Local Programs with Israel trips
- Diller Teen Fellows International Teen Leadership program
Local Contact: Rebecca Kahn, Diller Teen Fellows Coordinator
- Emma Kaufman Camp SIT program
Local Contact: Aaron Cantor, Director
Youth Movement Programs
Pluralistic Youth Movements
International / Gap Year / Semester
- MASA Israel
Israel is a funding partnership between the Jewish Federations of North America, the government of Israel, the Jewish Agency for Israel and its partners, and Keren HaYesod. Go to masaisrael.org to get information about more than 200 programs and grants.
- Alexander Muss High School in Israel
2022-23 Jewish Federation Israel Scholarship Night Dates
All scholarship applicants are required to attend a group program with other applicants. The goal of the session is for the applicants and their parents to learn about the work of the Jewish Federation, share their expectations for the trip and ask any questions. As of now all Israel Scholarship Night sessions will be held over Zoom.
ISRAEL SCHOLARSHIP NIGHT AT THE JEWISH FEDERATION
All sessions are at 7:30 pm via Zoom and will last approximately 45 minutes to an hour. A zoom link will be sent prior to the session. All scholarship applicants are required to attend the Jewish Federation Israel Scholarship Night. Parents are also strongly encouraged to attend. Applicants must choose one of these dates on the online application.
- Wednesday, January 17, 2024
- Tuesday, February 13, 2024
- Thursday, March 21, 2024
- Monday, April 15, 2024
LECH L'CHA — GET GOING!
The Israel Scholarship Program is funded by the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh’s Community Campaign, with additional funding for need-based scholarships funded by The Stanley z"l and Flo Mae 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.
The Israel Scholarship program of the Jewish Federation is part of JFunds, A NETWORK OF JEWISH FINANCIAL SUPPORT SERVICES, the goal of which is to ensure that every Jewish person knows about the financial resources available to them in the Jewish community. Learn more about JFunds at jfundspgh.org.