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 leading Jewish humanitarian 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. Additionally, we’ll ask a few identity based questions. We see Jewishness as expansive and seek to create Jewish space that is courageous, equitable, and inclusive. Learn more about Equity at Entwine. 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 local transportation, meals, hotel accommodations (note: double occupancy rooms are provided; participants may elect to stay in single rooms for an additional fee and subject to availability), 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, roundtrip airfare (unless otherwise stated), additional travel insurance.

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.
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.).
My trip indicates a group flight- what does this entail? Can I book my own flights?

Select trips may require a group flight for North American-based participants. If this is the case, 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. Limited trip extension may be available pending airline regulations. 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 booking their own travel to and from the trip location. Parameters will be given in your acceptance letter regarding arrival and departure times.

What accommodations are made for the security and safety of participants?

The JDC is the leading Jewish humanitarian 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 receive a formal welcome email where you will be introduced to your fellow travelers and we encourage you 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.

How do I know which vaccinations I will need?

We require proof of COVID-19 vaccination in order to participate. For any other vaccine requirements or recommendations, we recommend participants visit the CDC website and speak with a travel physician for vaccination suggestions. 

Does participation in one trip preclude my participation in future trips?

Alumni are welcome to apply to future trips with Entwine! 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.

COVID-19 FAQ

Do I need to be vaccinated for COVID-19 to travel internationally with Entwine?

No, trip participants are not required to be vaccinated to travel internationally with JDC Entwine.

What are the COVID-19 protocol and requirements for international travel?

We follow the rules and regulations set forth by the local governing body in the particular country of travel, subject to last minute adjustments and Entwine’s own requirements. While many countries have cancelled requiring proof of vaccination and/or COVID-19 testing or health screening prior to entry, these are subject to change at any moment.

Entwine requires all participants submit a negative antigen test within 48 hours of trip start time in order to participate in the trip.

Entwine will share helpful resources on the most up to date information, though participants will need to arrange for any COVID-19 related requirements for their trip and will be responsible for those associated costs.

Currently, there are no COVID-19 entry requirements to enter the United States. In case of changes to this policy or requirements to enter other countries of further travel, Entwine will help arrange any required COVID-19 testing. Participants will be responsible for the costs of testing for return to the United States/home country/next country of travel if required and assume the risk of testing positive while overseas and its associated costs.

How will the trip experience be affected by COVID-19 regulations?

The safety and well-being of our participants has always been our highest priority. Interactions with local community members, institutions and site visits will be in locations that have been approved by our global security team and local experts. Due to evolving circumstances, we may need to make necessary adjustments to program itineraries to uphold our commitment to this safety while still maintaining the high-level, “insider” immersive experience you are used to.

I’ve completed my pre-departure testing and requirements - what will the protocol be when I arrive at my destination?

Upon checking into the hotel upon arrival to the destination country, Entwine will distribute a pre-trip self-administered antigen test that participants must take and submit results to their group leader before the group gathers for the first meeting and on any other days as determined by JDC staff.

At the current time, most countries have cancelled or suspended COVID testing and quarantine requirements on arrival. Entwine closely monitors these requirements and will notify participants of any changes during the pre-departure preparation process.

What happens if a participant tests positive during an Insider Trip?

Entwine maintains a robust set of protocols if a participant tests positive during an Insider Trip, including isolating the participant and organizing room service meals and doctor appointments, notifying local community members the group interacted with and adjusting the itinerary as needed, among other steps.

Am I covered for international health insurance while on the program?

Included in your participation fee is international health and evacuation insurance. This covers any emergency doctor visits, hospital stays, and medically necessary claims related to infectious diseases and medical conditions per the terms of the health plan. Accordingly, your plan will provide coverage for the diagnosis and treatment of COVID-19 to the same extent as it would for any other unexpected medical condition, up to $500.

Does Entwine provide travel and cancellation insurance?

Travel and cancellation insurance is not included in the participation fee. Entwine requires all participants to acquire comprehensive travel insurance that will cover the cost of COVID-19-related travel extensions if a participant tests positive and has related expenses (hotel stay, food during quarantine, flight change fees, cancellation, etc.). It is required that this insurance cover up to the full cost of the trip, or $4,500 USD.

What happens if JDC Entwine cancels the trip for any reason?

We strive to be as transparent as possible in all matters related to travel adjustments. The safety and security of our participants is of the utmost importance to us and we recognize that COVID-19 outbreaks and travel restrictions are constantly in flux. Should we deem it necessary to cancel a trip due to safety or health concerns, participants will be refunded in full for their program participation fees.

Please note that any payments made to third party providers such as airlines or independent hotel stays outside of the participation fee are the sole responsibility of the participant and obtaining your own travel insurance to cover these expenses is required.

What happens if I cancel my participation?

Travel always assumes some risks and while we do our best to accommodate participants in all circumstances, should you need to cancel your participation after the refundable deposit period, you will be subject to JDC Entwine’s cancellation policy. We will do our best to reimburse any funds we are able to recoup as a result of your cancellation, which may result in partial or no refund depending on the timing of your withdrawal. Please note that any payments made to third party providers such as airlines or independent hotel stays outside of the participation fee are the sole responsibility of the participant and obtaining your own travel insurance to cover these expenses is required.

Have additional questions?

For Entwine’s full Insider Trip COVID-19 Protocol, see here.

JDC Entwine Jewish Service Corps Fellowship FAQ

What is the JDC Entwine Global Jewish Service Corps Fellowship?

The JDC Entwine Global Jewish Service Corps Fellowship (JSC) offers young adults with an interest in service and humanitarian aid, the opportunity to directly engage with JDC’s global mission while actively fulfilling the value of global Jewish responsibility. Launched in 1987, the JSC Fellowship places recent college graduates and young professionals in year-long service opportunities in global communities served by JDC. Today, the JSC Fellowship is internationally recognized for providing leadership development through global service through a Jewish values lens.

Who is an ideal candidate for the JSC Fellowship?

JSC Fellows are emerging and rising young leaders in their 20s and 30s who have demonstrated interest in public service or humanitarian work and global Jewish causes. Successful candidates are independent, mature, and flexible. They have a sense of adventure, balance humility with curiosity and exhibit strong interpersonal skills. They have some work experience and a college degree or equivalent. Knowledge of foreign language(s), such as Russian or Hebrew, and Jewish education is a plus, but not a requirement.

Qualifications for the JSC Fellowship include:

  • College degree or equivalent and proven academic achievement. 
  • Strong leadership, communication skills, adaptability, flexibility, and capacity to work independently.
  • Knowledge of other languages is valuable in many placements. 
What does the JSC application and selection process entail?

The JSC selection process is rigorous and designed to identify the top candidates depending on the number of placements available. A complex matching process encompassing several interviews ensures that each placement is filled by a candidate with the necessary qualities, skills, and talent to have a successful JSC experience.

After reviewing applications, a select number of applicants will be invited for initial online interviews in mid-January 2024. Applicants will be notified of their initial status by February 7, 2024.

Following the preliminary round of interviews, a select number of applicants will be invited to participate in online group interviews, which will occur on February 26 & February 27, 2024. Applicants will be notified of their status post group interviews by March 1, 2024.

The final interview stage is a matching process with potential placements in JDC global locations.

All applicants will be notified of their final status by April 2024.

What does the Fellowship include?

The JSC Fellowship is a paid opportunity. Fellows receive a monthly stipend to offset the cost of living in their placement location; these stipends vary based on the cost of living in each location, as follows:

$450-600 for placements in India and Rwanda (as well as fully subsidized housing)
$550-800 for placements in Europe (as well as fully subsidized housing)
$1600-3300 for placements in Israel, Australia, and UAE (where a housing allowance is included in the stipend)

Medical and emergency evacuation insurance is provided, as well as any international travel to and from the field and other items related to visas and vaccination requirements depending on the placement country. The fellowship also includes paid time off (vacation and sick time) in accordance with the employment regulations in each placement location. In general, fellows receive 10 vacation days per 6-month period and 10 sick days to be used during the year. Included in the program are also three in-person seminars and a stipend for professional development.

What does the JSC year look like?

1. The JSC Fellowship begins with an Orientation for selected JSC Fellows at JDC’s Headquarters in New York. Orientation typically takes place over the course of four days at the beginning of fall.

2. Most JSC placements begin shortly after orientation.

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

5. The JSC Fellowship year ends with a Closing Seminar in July and placements end shortly after.

6. While JSC Fellows are placed around the world, the JSC Fellowship 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.

Where do JSC Fellows serve?

JDC works in over 70 countries around the world. In recent years, Fellows have served in locations like Hungary, Israel, Poland, Rwanda, Budapest, and more!.

Past JSC placements include:

  • Facilitating leadership training and program implementation for teen and young adult programs in Europe and the Former Soviet Union.
  • Providing strategic support in a variety of JDC offices in Europe and Asia.
  • Working with Israel’s most vulnerable populations including unemployed, youth-at-risk, elderly, and the disabled.
  • Running programs to enable orphaned youth to realize their maximum potential at the Agahozo Shalom Youth Village in Rwanda. Developing Jewish enrichment programs for children and families across the globe.
  •  Assisting JDC offices with the development of social media content and communications materials.

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 I. 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 develops personal leadership capacity, learns 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. RIG placements are based on an individual fellow’s strengths, background and preferences. Previously, RIG Fellows have served in locations including Georgia, Ethiopia, India, Israel, Hungary, Nepal and Ukraine. Typically, RIG Fellows will serve in two or three different country assignments during the fellowship year.

Who are we looking for?

We seek passionate and rising young leaders, who have demonstrated interest or experience as professionals or lay leaders, in the Jewish community and who care deeply about global Jewry, and are committed to making the world a better place. 

When does the RIG Fellowship begin?

The 2025 RIG Fellowship begins in January 2025 with an orientation and 2-3 placements with JDC Departments. The Fellowship will conclude in December 2025. 

Are there required qualifications?

Candidates should be rising young leaders with demonstrated interest and or experience as professionals or lay leaders in the Jewish community, 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. Candidates must also be able to travel full time throughout the year, often with short notice.  

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 educational  and Jewish community involvement, short personal essay, and 90-second video.
If you advance to the semi-finalist interview round, you’ll also need to submit two letters of recommendation from references.

What is the selection process and timeline?
  • May 30Application Opens 
  • July 7 – Application Closes 
  • July 22 – Notification of Application Status 
  • July 29 to August 2 – Virtual Interviews  
  • August 7 – Notification of Application Status 
  • September 9 to 12– Semi-Finalist & Finalist Interviews held virtually 
  • September 12 – RIG Fellow Announced
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 July 7, 2024.

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!