FAQ

JDC Entwine Insider Trips FAQ

What are JDC Entwine Insider Trips?
JDC Entwine Insider Trips are 7-10 day global travel experiences that offer participants the opportunity to immerse themselves in global communities and the work of JDC, the world’s largest Jewish humanitarian aid organization. On Insider Trips, participants experience diverse communities while exploring global Jewish issues and the value of global Jewish responsibility.

Insider Trips for Young Professionals are open to post-college age individuals. Participants generally range in age from early 20s through late 30s.

Insider Trips for College Students are trips in which Entwine partners with university Hillels and other campus organizations for winter, spring and summer break trips. Please contact your Hillel if you are interested in partnering on a college trip.

Am I the right fit for an Entwine Insider Trip?
Entwine Insider Trips are made up of diverse groups of young professionals or college students from across the United States, United Kingdom, and around the world. Our participants come from a wide range of diverse backgrounds and experiences.  We look for participants who are interested in learning about and taking action on global Jewish and humanitarian issues and are excited to participate in a group travel experience.
What should I expect from participating on an Entwine Insider Trip?
Participants on Insider Trips connect and build relationships with their fellow participants and peers overseas, learn about the opportunities and challenges facing global communities and the role of JDC in responding to these needs, and, upon returning home, engage in advocacy for global Jewish and humanitarian needs.

Throughout Insider Trips, there will be moments for the full group to take part in facilitated conversations around global Jewish responsibility. These conversations tend to be among the highlights of our trips!

What is involved in the application process & what information should I have handy?
The application asks for information about your activities/volunteer experience, current employment, as well as a few short essay questions. A select number of applicants will be invited for a conversation within one month following the application deadline. Trip interviews are conducted via Zoom with an Entwine staff member and last between 10 and 15 minutes.
When will I find out if I am accepted & how long do I have to confirm my participation?
All participants will be notified of acceptance within one month of the application deadline. If selected, you will have approximately one week to confirm your participation and pay the non-refundable trip deposit.
What is included in the participation fee?
Unless otherwise noted, included in the participation fee is round-trip airfare from a point of departure in the United States, local transportation, meals, hotel accommodations (note: the participation fee covers accommodations in double rooms; participants may elect to stay in a single room for an additional fee), briefings, tours, leisure activities, and medical and emergency evacuation insurance. Not included in the participation fee are items of a personal nature such as souvenirs and extra snacks and drinks.
I cannot afford the full cost of the trip. What kinds of subsidies are available? Can I fundraise from other sources to help cover the cost of my participation fee?
Insider Trips participation fees are highly subsidized in order to provide greater access and opportunity for participation (the average actual cost of an Insider Trip is estimated at $4,500/person).

If additional financial help is needed in order to participate, we provide assistance, whenever possible, by connecting participants with funding opportunities in their local communities. While we cannot guarantee that funds will be available from other funding sources, we are happy to help facilitate these connections.

Please reference the JDC Entwine Participant Fundraising Guide for useful information on raising additional funds for your trip, including recommendations on local organizations to reach out to and tips on creating a crowd-sourcing page.

How can I "Pay it Forward" and help others participate in future Insider Trips?
Thanks to the generosity of our donors, including alumni, Insider Trip participation fees are highly subsidized to provide greater access and opportunity (the average actual cost of an Insider Trip is estimated at $4,500/person).

We want to offer you the opportunity to ‘pay it forward’ should you be in the position to do so. Your 100% tax-deductible donation would enable us to continue to provide programs that are subsidized and accessible – ‘paying it forward’ to other participants down the road.

Click here to donate and ‘pay it forward’.

Is my payment refundable should I have to withdraw after confirming my participation?
A non-refundable deposit is due within one week of acceptance and is required to confirm your participation and reserve your spot on the trip. If applicable, the remainder of the participation fee is typically due two months before the trip departure date.

Cancellation after the submission of final payment may result in a loss of the entire payment. No refunds will be made within seven days of departure.

Is my payment tax deductible?
No. Participation fees are payments, not donations, and therefore do not qualify as tax deductible.
Is kosher food available? What accommodations are made for Shabbat?
In general, meals are kosher-style. Should participants require strictly kosher food, they should indicate this on their participation form. When available, JDC staff will try to accommodate as best as possible. In some locations, certified kosher food may not be available, in which case, alternate arrangements can be made.

JDC Entwine Insider Trips are pluralistic and designed for all levels of Jewish observance; travel is not required on Shabbat. When possible, Shabbat is spent with the local Jewish community and local traditions/practices are observed. A variety of options are given throughout the day on Shabbat (for example, attending synagogue, free time, walking tour, etc.).

What does the group flight entail? Can I book my own flights?
If there is a group flight for the trip, North American-based participants must travel to the trip location on the group flight. Depending on airline rules, participants may receive frequent flyer miles for these flights and, if desired, may be able to upgrade their tickets for an additional cost. Participants coming from locations other than North America will book their own travel to the trip location in coordination with JDC Entwine staff.

If there is no group flight, all participants will be responsible for book their own travel to and from the trip location. Parameters will be given in your acceptance letter regarding arrival and departure times.

Can I extend my stay after the group trip? Can JDC staff assist with post-trip accommodations?
Each airline has their own parameters around flight extensions. Most airlines allow for one to two deviations per group flight. Extensions are granted on a first come first served basis from the time the participant has confirmed their participation (by submitting their deposit and participation form).

Participants extending their stay will be required to submit a $50 change fee to JDC, a $50 change fee to our travel provider, plus any difference in airfare.

JDC Entwine staff are not available to assist with any post-trip travel plans, recommendations, or accommodations. We are happy to connect you with our preferred travel agent who may be able to assist with your requests. Participants will be responsible for purchasing their own insurance after the program dates.

What accommodations are made for the security and safety of participants?
The JDC is the largest Jewish humanitarian aid organization, operating in over 70 countries, with more than 100 years of experience and longstanding relationships around the world. The organization does as much as possible to ascertain and ensure the safety of staff and participants traveling with the JDC. Locations for travel are based on an assessment that they meet high levels of safety and security. JDC’s Global Security team monitors conditions on an ongoing basis and adjusts instructions and activities as necessary. Security guidelines are shared with the group before departure and participants will receive a comprehensive security briefing by local staff upon arrival to their trip location. All participants are required to share emergency contact information with JDC Entwine. Additionally, JDC Entwine staff always travel with an international cell phone, should participants need to reach loved ones or vice versa.
Can I see a list of participants before confirming my participation? Can I be connected with past program participants to discuss the trip?
To protect the privacy of JDC Entwine’s participants, we do not share names and contact information with people who are not confirmed on the trip. Upon confirming your participation, you will be invited to join a Facebook group for the trip, where participants are encouraged to interact with one another and coordinate travel.

To protect the privacy of JDC Entwine’s alumni, we also do not connect past trip participants with applicants. We would be happy to connect you with a member of the Entwine Engagement team to discuss any questions or concerns you may have regarding the trip. The Engagement team has personal experience participating and leading Insider Trips and will be able to provide additional trip details.

Once the group is confirmed, JDC Entwine will send a formal Welcome Email to all participants. This email will have links to briefing materials, participant bios, and the Facebook group.

How do I know which vaccinations I will need?
Because JDC Entwine is not a medical institution, we are not able to provide medical advice. We recommend participants visit the CDC website and speak with a travel physician for vaccination suggestions.
What is a Trip Chair?
A Trip Chair is a trip participant who takes on certain leadership roles and responsibilities before, during, and after the trip. Trip Chairs work very closely with JDC Entwine staff throughout the program development process, and are essential members of the team who help lead the trip. Typically, there are two Chairs on every Entwine trip, in addition to one or two JDC Entwine staff members (the ‘JDC Entwine Group Leader’).
Does participation in one trip preclude my participation in future trips?
Not at all! Many alumni participate in multiple trips. Alumni are encouraged to get involved in local Entwine programming, host DIY programs, and other alumni opportunities. Check out the ways you can Take Action here.

JDC Entwine Global Jewish Service Corps FAQ

What is the JDC Entwine Global Jewish Service Corps?
The JDC Entwine Global Jewish Service Corps (JSC) provides an opportunity for young Jews to serve with the world’s largest Jewish humanitarian aid organization through year-long, paid, individual service opportunities in countries where JDC works around the world.

JSC Fellows are catalysts for change, creating and facilitating innovative programs that respond to pressing Jewish and humanitarian challenges around the world.

JSC Fellows work hands-on in a variety of communities, with varied responsibilities depending on placements.

Where do JSC Fellows serve?
JDC works in over 70 countries around the world. JSC Fellows have been placed in many of these countries and have served in global Jewish communities, Israel, and in countries where JDC has non-sectarian projects.
How many people serve in each JSC placement?
The JSC is an individual experience, but each fellow is connected to the larger cohort of JSC Fellows serving around the world throughout the year. Multiple Fellows are sometimes based in the same location, while other locations only have one Fellow each year.
How are JSC placements determined?
JDC seeks to specifically match each fellow’s skills and strengths with identified community needs. JSC placements are determined through this matchmaking process to ensure the right fit for the individual and the community.

Individuals are selected with specific placements in mind, and not as a group of Fellows whose placements are determined after acceptance.

What does the JSC year look like?
1. The JSC Year begins with an Orientation for selected JSC fellows at JDC’s Headquarters in New York. Orientation typically takes place over the course of three to four days at the beginning of fall.

2. Most JSC placements begin shortly after orientation.

3. JSC placements with our partner, the Agahozo Shalom Youth Village in Rwanda, begin in December 2018 and end in November 2019.

4. JSC Fellows gather in Israel for a Mid-Year Leadership and Training Seminar.

5. The JSC Fellowship year ends in Fall 2019 for most placements.

6. While JSC Fellows are placed around the world, the JSC program is managed by JDC Entwine. JSC Fellows receive supervision and ongoing support throughout the year from JDC Entwine staff, as well as JDC field supervisors who may be based in the fellows’ country of service or in another overseas location.

What does JDC cover as part of the JSC program?
JDC covers international travel expenses and provides Fellows with housing, modest monthly expenses, and health insurance.
What does housing look like during the JSC year?
In most locations, JSC Fellows live in an apartment or a house in the community they serve. JSC fellows may share an apartment or a room with other JSC Fellows in the same placement, depending on the placements. JSC Fellows do not live in “home hospitality” style housing within their communities.
I just submitted my JSC application online. What are the next steps?
Thank you for submitting your application! Applications are reviewed in January. JSC interviews are scheduled throughout February and March.
When will I hear if I have been accepted to the JSC?
All JSC applicants will be notified of their status by June. We will be in touch with you during this process.
What does the interview process entail? When do interviews take place?
Throughout February and March, phone or Skype interviews will be scheduled for a number of JSC applicants. Email invitations for these interviews will be sent out starting late January through February, and the phone or Skype interviews will last about 20 minutes. Interviews are conducted by two JDC staff or alumni.

Following the preliminary round of interviews, a select number of JSC applicants will be invited to participate in a JSC Group Interview Day, which they will be informed of by the end of February. Multiple interview days will take place in the U.S. and in Israel in the middle of March. JDC will cover costs associated with attending the JSC Group Interview Day.

I applied, and have a spouse and family. Can they join me if I’m accepted?
The JSC Fellowship is open to applicants with spouses/partners and children; however, JDC only covers costs associated with the individual JSC Fellow accepted to the program. The JSC Fellow is responsible for any costs (such as flights, etc.) for family members should they choose to join the JSC Fellow in their field placement location. In the past, JSC Fellows have chosen both to travel with/without spouse and/or family to placements. If you and your spouse/partner both applied, you would both have to be accepted as JSC Fellows in the same placement for JDC to cover you both.
I still have more questions. Can I speak with someone?
Of course! Contact us for more information.

Ralph I. Goldman Fellowship in Global Jewish Leadership FAQ

What is the Ralph I. Goldman (RIG) Fellowship?
The Ralph I. Goldman Fellowship (RIG) in Global Jewish Leadership is JDC’s premier leadership development program, awarded to one rising young leader each year. Named after the legendary Ralph Goldman, this 12-month fellowship honors his legacy by developing future professional and lay leaders for the Jewish community who live out Ralph’s values and deeply understand and engage with global Jewish issues. Through their unique exposure to JDC’s work, the RIG Fellow developpersonal leadership capacitylearns how to navigate a complex cross-cultural landscape, and gains tools to advocate on behalf of the global Jewish community
Where do RIG fellows serve?
JDC works in over 70 countries around the world. Fellows plan their year alongside senior JDC staff, identifying and designing 2-3 unique overseas placements shaped by their skills, interests and the critical needs of communities abroad. Previously, RIG fellows have served in locations including Israel, Ukraine, Georgia, India, China, Australia, Hungary, Belarus, and more.  

Who are we looking for?
We seek passionate and rising young leaders, who have demonstrated interest or experience as Jewish communal professionals or lay leaders, and who care deeply about global Jewry, and are committed to making the world a better place. 
When does the RIG Fellowship begin?
The 2019 RIG Fellowship begins in January 2019 with an orientation period at JDC’s headquarters in New York and continues with 2-3 overseas assignments, concluding in December 2019.  

Are there required qualifications?
Candidates should be rising young leaders with demonstrated interest and or experience as a Jewish communal professional or lay leader, have professional achievement in their chosen careerexceptional leadership and communication skills, strong interest in international Jewish affairs and public service. The following are not required but a plus: masters or higher education degree, knowledge of foreign language(s), formal and/or informal Jewish education.  
What is included in the fellowship?
The Fellowship is a paid, professional opportunity. RIG Fellows receive comprehensive health insurance and a generous monthly stipend to cover their living expenses, such as rent and day-to-day needs. Travel expenses, including airfare to orientation and international placements, visas fees etc. are covered by the organization.  
What does the application consist of?
The RIG application includes a short personal essay, two letters of recommendation, and a 90-second video. 
What is the selection process and timeline?
Applications will be accepted from July 1st through August 30th 2018 on a rolling basis and will be reviewed by a selection committee. All applicants will be notified regarding the status of their application by September 15th. Exceptional candidates will be invited for a virtual interview with staff. 

The final phase of the selection process includes an in-person interview in New York City for our semi-finalists. This in-person interview will take place during the week of October 7th  (exact date to be confirmed). The 2019 RIG fellow will be announced by the end of October 2018. 

Is there an age limit?
There is no set age for the fellowship. We look for candidates that have an advanced degree or those with equivalent experience, maturity, and commitment. 

Do I have to be a US citizen in order to apply?
No. We accept applicants of all nationalities and urge everyone to apply. We have former RIG fellows from Israel, Argentina and the Former Soviet Union. 
I have a spouse and family, can I still apply?
The Fellowship is open to applicants with spouses and children; however, JDC only covers costs associated with the individual RIG fellow accepted to the program. A RIG fellow may choose to relocate with his/her spouse or family, likely two – three times throughout the year, and the RIG fellow is responsible for any costs (such as flights, etc.) for family members should they choose to join the Fellow in field placement locations. In the past, RIG fellows have chosen both to travel to their placements with and without their families. 

In what language should I fill out my application?
Your application should be filled out in English.

What if one of my recommendation letters is not in English?
All recommendations must be submitted in English. If your recommender does not speak English, it will be your responsibility to have it officially translated and submitted in English 

When is the application due?
All components of the RIG application are due by August 30, 2018.  

I still have more questions. Can I speak with someone?
We would be happy to schedule a time to speak with you further! Please contact us to coordinate. We look forward to speaking soon!

Gabriel Project Mumbai Experience FAQ

What is the JDC Entwine’s Gabriel Project Mumbai Experience?
JDC Entwine’s Gabriel Project Mumbai (GPM) Experience is an immersive 3-week overseas learning experience for young adults looking to connect to the global Jewish world in Mumbai through a partnership with Gabriel Project Mumbai. Participants will also explore local sights, sounds, and flavors, and connect with fellow cohort members to discuss themes of Jewish identity and build leadership skills. Entwine fellows will learn about sustainable agriculture and meet with the local youth of Ashte, a rural village north of Mumbai.
I can’t join for the entire duration of the program dates. Can I still participate?
We require participants to commit to the entire length of the program.
What are the application requirements?
The application includes an online form with a few short answer question, resume and personal information.
What does the interview process entail? When do interviews take place?
Interviews are virtual and are typically 20-30 minutes. The interview is an opportunity to bring your application to life and see where you could fit into our different opportunities. Applicants will be notified of their status within 20 days of submitting their application.
Is there a cost to participate?
We are excited to offer Gabriel Project Mumbai Experience as a subsidized leadership opportunity. There is a cost to participate and participation fees for each session are listed on our website. Unless otherwise noted, participation fees include housing, formal group activities, travel health and emergency evacuation insurance, some meals, and on-the-ground staff support. Participation Fees do not include international airfare, most meals, visa, local transportation, and other personal expenses. Still have concerns about cost? Contact us for more information.
What type of medical coverage or insurance will we have during our time in India?
JDC provides medical benefits abroad through Cigna Care and International SOS. In case of an emergency, if you need medical or security assistance, they are available 24 hours, 7 days a week. You will have a staff member to help you and have access to large hospitals in Mumbai. In Ashte, there is a doctor on staff and small village clinics near your accommodations.
Can you please elaborate on JDC’s security and safety protocols?
JDC Entwine’s primary priority is the safety and well-being of our participants. JDC’s Global Security team monitors conditions on an ongoing basis and adjusts instructions and activities as necessary. Security guidelines are shared with the group before departure and participants will receive a comprehensive security briefing by local staff upon arrival to the field to make sure participants feel prepared. All participants are required to share emergency contact information with JDC Entwine staff. Additionally, a security guard will accompany the group at all times while in India.
What will the living accommodations be in the rural village of Ashte?
We have a house for the volunteers with running water and spring/filtered drinking water. Showers are bucket showers at the moment, but that may change in the future (bucket showers are how they wash in the villages and is a great experience). There is a large kitchen that is kosher/vegetarian.
In Mumbai, participants often like to explore new restaurants. Is that an option in Ashte?
We have very nice, nutritious meals prepared for us by our staff in our kitchen. There is a residential kitchen in the house with cooking facilities for breakfast, a fridge and a gas burner. If the volunteers want to make their own dinner meals we can arrange that too.
What do participants eat/drink? Where do they get food and bottled water?
We stock up on bottled water and we have daily deliveries of chilled spring/filtered water. We provide two meals a day (lunch and dinner) as well as kosher/vegetarian meals.
What kind of staff support will the participants have in the village?
Throughout the entire program, participants will be supported by several JDC Entwine staff, local staff in India, and a JSC fellow currently serving in India. There will also be check-ins from JDC Entwine’s NY staff.
Is there any funding for applicants outside of the UK and North America?
The Marion Lemesh Fellowship is a unique, first-of-its-kind Fellowship designed to encourage and develop an interest in global affairs, local Jewish communities, and a passion for helping others. The fellowship prioritizes enhancing connections and links between Jewish communities around the world and focusing on supporting young, Jewish adults from countries outside of North America and the UK. We have limited spots available for applicants outside of North America and the UK. This fellowship enables highly qualified, passionate, motivated international applicants to participate in this experience. Candidates must express a strong desire to help others, be a dedicated member of their local Jewish community, be proficient in English, be an international applicant (from outside of North America and the UK), return home with the responsibility to educate their local community.
I still have more questions. Can I speak with someone?
Of course! Contact us for more information.