Before You Go | Masa Israel

Before You Go

Overlooking an Israeli valley
Trip Logistics
Am I accepted? When should I depart for Israel? When can my relatives visit? Where will I be staying? Can I extend my stay in Israel?
All of these questions, and more, should be directed to the program organizer for which you have signed up. Masa Israel Journey is the umbrella organization of over 200 different programs, operated by a variety of program organizers. Masa Israel provides funding and support for these programs.
Do I need to speak Hebrew to participate on a Masa Israel program?
No. With very few exceptions, you are not required to speak Hebrew to participate in a Masa Israel program. In fact, Hebrew language study – or Ulpan – is considered part of the Masa Israel program DNA and is required for all participants of Masa Israel programs. For more information about the amount of hours and level of Hebrew study offered by your program of choice, contact your program organizer directly.
Are there special requirements for entering/exiting Israel?
In order to enter Israel, your passport must be valid for six months after the date of entry and throughout your stay. 
Every Masa Israel participant can (and is strongly advised to) approach his/her local Consulate General of Israel or Embassy of Israel prior to beginning a Masa Israel program to request a Masa Israel visa. The Masa Israel visa is an A2 visa – a multiple-entry student visa (making it possible to leave Israel for a vacation and return without requiring a new visa).
To obtain a Masa Israel visa, you must visit a consulate or embassy with the following:
  1. The form you received from Masa Israel (PDF file) confirming your grant and/or scholarship amount
  2. A letter from your program organizer validating your acceptance to the program
  3. A valid passport
The consulate or embassy has final jurisdiction with granting a visa, pending prior intelligence or concerns about a participant.
Should you encounter a problem when requesting the visa, the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs can be provide an internal letter to clarify the procedures. If there is still a problem, please contact
Please note: The Masa Israel visa does not entitle you to work in Israel and is only valid for a maximum stay of one year in Israel.
Which airport should I fly into?
Israel has only one international airport – Ben-Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv. "TLV" is the airport code.
What kind of currency do I need in Israel?
Israeli currency is the New Israeli Shekel (NIS). To acquire shekels prior to your arrival in Israel, ask your bank if they can order some for you.  ATM machines are widely available at the airport and throughout Israel. The best option is to change your money at one of the many exchange shops located in major cities - they do not charge a fee for exchange.
Safety and Security
The safety and security of participants are top priorities of Masa Israel Journey. As a project of the Government of Israel and the Jewish Agency for Israel, program organizers receive regularly updated information regarding safety and security and adapt to official recommendations.
Masa Israel Journey maintains strict standards for safety and security in all program-sponsored housing facilities and on all program-sponsored activities.
What are Israel’s medical facilities like?
Some of the world’s best medical care and medicines are available and made in Israel. Visitors are required to have health insurance, which – in most cases – is included in the cost of your program. You can find information in English about emergency medical facilities and after-hours pharmacies in the Jerusalem Post and the English-language edition of Ha'aretz newspapers.  
If you take any medications regularly, be sure to know the generic name, active ingredient, and a copy of the prescription with you, as brand names will be different.
If you have specific questions concerning grants, the Masa Israel Community, or other Masa Israel-related issues, please contact