Israel Scholarships

NEW! Federation Israel Experience Scholarship Awards for 2016

The Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle has awarded nearly $83,000 in Israel Experience scholarships for the 2016 season, helping 20 teens to participate in organized trips to Israel this year.


The Jewish Federation Israel Scholarship Program enables teens to participate in an Israel Experience to develop and enrich their Jewish education and reinforce Jewish identity. The Federation supports need-based scholarships.

For a summary of Israel experience programs, please click here.

Israel scholarships are made possible by the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle, the Samis Foundation and other donors. Applications are reviewed by the Israel Scholarship Committee.

About Israel Need-Based Scholarships

The Israel Need-Based Scholarship is based solely on demonstrated financial need. In order to be considered for a need-based scholarship, applicants must provide all requested financial information.

Please note the following:

  • Scholarships are for teen experiences only. Gap year experiences are not eligible for scholarship funding through this program.
  • Scholarships cannot be awarded retroactively.
  • Scholarship recipients are required to complete volunteer service at the Jewish Federation upon the conclusion of their Israel program (see application packet for details).
  • Scholarship recipients must write one blog post and send at least five pictures for every three weeks of their program.

To be eligible for a Teen Israel Scholarship, you must:

  • Be a permanent resident of Washington State.
  • Participate in an Israel program that starts from the summer after ninth grade through high school graduation.
  • Select an Israel program that is an educational youth/peer program (adventure travel, community service, volunteer work, study).
  • Seek additional sources of scholarship funding from your synagogue (if you are affiliated) and your Israel program/sponsoring organization.

Funding Your Israel Experience

Few experiences are as transformative and fulfilling as a teen's first trip to Israel. However, such trips are expensive, and advance planning is advised in order to be able to pay for them. Here are some ideas:

  • Start saving now! Plan to pay for at least half of the cost of an Israel program. To help this cost, open a special Israel savings account and put in a few hundred dollars each year, as today a summer program costs $7,000. Ask your child to put a portion of their birthday or bar/bat mitzvah money into this account each year. These few extra thousand dollars will make the trip much more affordable.
  • Plan realistically. Choose a program within your financial reach. Federation scholarships average between $1,000 and $3,000 and may go slightly higher in exceptional circumstances.
  • Apply for a scholarship from the Jewish Federation. Please ask only for what you truly need in order to make your trip to Israel possible. This helps us to bring as many teens to Israel as we can.

FYI: For Gap Year Experiences

While gap year experiences are not eligible for funding from the Jewish Federation Israel scholarships program, young people interested in a gap year experience can seek funding through MASA, a project of the Jewish Agency for Israel. MASA gives grants to every post-high school student who participates in an approved, long-term program in Israel for the first time! Some programs are 100 percent free. Find out more.

Questions about the Jewish Federation's Israel scholarships program should be directed to Taryn Omran at taryno@jewishinseattle.org or 206.774.2217.