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DATES:
July 3 - 26, 2022
DURATION:
3 Weeks
GRADES:
Current grade 10-12 students

 

Spend three weeks building a community unlike any other as you experience the Jewish
homeland. While in Israel, you will take part in all the country has to offer—including gorgeous
hikes in the desert, meaningful Jewish learning, and eating delicious food. You’ll learn about a path
to coexistence in Jerusalem, dance the night away in Tiberias, learn about innovation in Tel Aviv,
and more.
This year, qualifying Toronto participants can pay as little as $3,269 CAD* in trip fees through
our new Toronto Affordability Package, as well as up to $2,000 in interest-free financing
options through Jewish Free Loan Toronto.

Interested in learning more about EPIC Israel and the Toronto Affordability Package? Fill out this survey to learn more:

Learn More About EPIC Israel and Other USY Trips

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Click below to register for EPIC Israel and the affordability package:
Interested in learning more about all USY Israel trips? Click below to view all our offerings:

Frequently Asked Questions

Trip Cost


How much does the trip cost?
The standard cost for EPIC Israel is $8,728 CAD*.
This year, Toronto participants can apply for our new Toronto Affordability Package and pay as little as $1,269 CAD* upfront through generous scholarship funding and interest-free financing with Jewish Free Loan Toronto.
If you are interested in learning more about the Toronto Affordability Package, click here to book a 15-minute virtual chat with a USY team member.
*Please note that all payments for this trip will be made in US dollars. Precise trip costs and funding amounts are subject
to change due to fluctuating exchange rates.


What does the price of the trip cover?
EPIC Israel trip fees include:
 Round-trip airfare from the United States (JFK Airport in New York) to Israel
 Room and board
 An approved medical plan
 Sightseeing tours with professional guides
 Admission fees and gratuities
Please note:
 Extra baggage on flights and personal expenses are not included in trip costs. Toronto families are responsible for flight expenses to JFK.
 EPIC Israel trip fees may change if the airline chooses to place a fuel surcharge on tickets.
Such charges may be passed along directly to registered participants.

 


Toronto Affordability Package


What is the Toronto Affordability Package?
The new Toronto Affordability Package provides families with a total of $5,460 CAD* in scholarship funds, reducing the cost of Epic Israel for qualifying Toronto families from $8,728 CAD* to $3,269 CAD* with up to $2,000 in interest-free financing with Jewish Free Loan Toronto.
*Please note that all payments for this trip will be made in US dollars. Precise trip costs and funding amounts are subject
to change due to fluctuating exchange rates.


Who is eligible for the Toronto Affordability Package?
Families can qualify for the Toronto Affordability Package if they have financial need, are not currently registered for another Israel summer program and are members of the following partner synagogues: Beth Sholom, Beit Rayim, Beth Emeth, Beth Tzedec, Beth David B’nai Israel Beth Am.

We will assess financial need based on a family’s stated income, assets, expenses and overall financial circumstances.


What types of scholarship options are available through the Toronto Affordability Package?
Successful applicants will receive:
 $1,633 CAD from USY, UJA and select Toronto conservative synagogues
 Up to $2,000 CAD in interest-free financing with Jewish Free Loan Toronto
o Applicants who choose to receive interest-free financing through Jewish Free Loan Toronto can pay as little as $1,269 CAD* upfront
o Families will be connected with Jewish Free Loan Toronto to set up a payment plan to cover the remaining cost of the trip
o Example interest-free payment plan: $1,269 CAD upfront and $112/month over the following 18 months

Additionally, Toronto Affordability Package applicants can apply for a $3,000 USD RootOne Voucher. The RootOne Voucher is not needs-based and is separate from the Toronto Affordability Package. The RootOne Voucher is guaranteed for all Toronto EPIC Israel participants. As soon as
you apply for the Toronto Affordability Package, you will receive information on how to apply for the RootOne Voucher.

If I am accepted for the Toronto Affordability Package, do I have to receive financing from Jewish Free Loan Toronto?
No. On your application, you will be asked to indicate whether you are interested in exploring interest-free financing for EPIC Israel. You do not need to receive interest-free financing to qualify for the Toronto Affordability Package.

 

If I am found ineligible for the Toronto Affordability Package, are there other scholarships I can apply for?
Yes! The $3,000 USD RootOne voucher is not needs-based and is available to all EPIC Israel participants. Once you apply for EPIC Israel or any other USY Israel or Europe program, you will automatically receive a form for the voucher. Other USY needs-based scholarships may also be available to participants who are ineligible for the Toronto Affordability Package. For other scholarship inquiries, please reach out to Michelle Rich, the USY Director of Teen Travel and International Engagement at rich@uscj.org.


How is the Toronto Affordability Package funded?
The new Toronto Affordability Package gives Toronto families access to multiple sources of scholarship funding under one streamlined application. The funding sources include select Toronto conservative synagogues, UJA Federation of Greater Toronto, United Synagogue Youth
and Jewish Free Loan Toronto.

 


Application Process

How do I apply for the Toronto Affordability Package?
1. Register for EPIC Israel by visiting: https://www.regpack.com/reg/templates/build/?g_id=100908262
2. Once you pay the $750 USD deposit (refundable until April 1st ), you will receive an email with the application for the EPIC Israel Toronto Affordability Package as well as the link to register for the RootOne Voucher.
3. After you have submitted your application for the Toronto Affordability Package, you will find out if you have been approved within 10 business days by email.
4. If you indicated on your scholarship form that you would like to receive interest-free financing through Jewish Free Loan Toronto (JFLT), USY will send your application to JFLT and a representative will get in touch with you to arrange financing.


Trip Itinerary and Logistics


What is EPIC Israel?
USY’s EPIC Israel trip is a unique three-week program, in which participants will build a community unlike any other and experience the Jewish homeland. While in Israel, you will take part in all the country has to offer—including gorgeous hikes in the desert, meaningful Jewish learning, and eating delicious food. You’ll learn about a path to coexistence in Jerusalem, dance the night away in Tiberias, learn about innovation in Tel Aviv, and more.


What are the EPIC Israel trip dates?
July 3-26, 2022 (3 weeks).


What age groups are eligible for EPIC Israel?
Current Grade 10-12 students are eligible for EPIC Israel.


Where does the group leave from?
The EPIC Israel trip leaves out of John F. Kennedy Airport (JFK) in New York, USA. It is the participant’s responsibility to get to JFK.


What is the typical EPIC Israel group size?
Each EPIC Israel group includes 20-45 teens.


How is EPIC Israel staffed?
Groups are led by 3-5 staff members, which include a group leader, North American counselors, an Israeli counselor and an Israeli medic. All staff members are qualified university student leaders, advisors, youth directors, teachers, and rabbinic students.
Additional support staff in Israel includes various knowledgeable lecturers, tour guides, and other USY personnel. All USY Summer Experience staff participate in an intensive training seminar prior to the trips and possess CPR/First Aid and Youth Mental Health First Aid certification.

 

How do teens travel during the EPIC Israel trip?
Teens travel on a fully equipped motor coach, with a professional driver. Whenever possible, we maintain the same drivers throughout the summer.


How do you approach security?

The safety and security of our participants and staff is our highest priority. Our programs operate under the security umbrella of the Jewish Agency and their Cheder Matzav, or “Situation Room”. Our team is consistently in touch with their team as they check and recheck our itinerary on a daily and/or hourly basis, adjusting throughout the summer to accommodate for security updates, heatwaves, etc. Changes to the trip may include travel routes, accommodations, and escalation of USY security protocols. We scrupulously avoid “unsafe” destinations and venues. Additionally, the groups travel around Israel with different security guards throughout the summer.


What meals are included in the EPIC Israel trip?
While traveling, teens will have the opportunity to taste the flavours of Israel. Every day, participants receive three full, kosher meals and numerous snacks, which are included in the cost of the trip. All meals and snacks are provided by various caterers, hotels and restaurants
throughout Israel. Additionally, in some cities, teens will be able to go out on their own for meals at select kosher restaurants.


Where do teens stay while traveling?
Teens stay in hotels, youth hostels, dormitory-style bases, and kibbutz guesthouses. Additionally, a portion of the trip is spent at the Agron Guest House in the Fuchsberg Jerusalem Center for Conservative Judaism.


Is there a community service component of the program? What does it entail?
During the course of the summer, teens participate in at least six hours of volunteer work. Past projects include serving meals at soup kitchens, picking vegetables with Leket Yisrael for the hungry, and working with children with disabilities.
For teens who prefer more intensive service-focused travel, we would recommend participating in EPIC Israel Plus*, for which one of the four-day tracks will be community service-based. During these four days, teens will have the chance to experience Israel in a truly one-of-a-kind way— by meeting and helping the people of Israel through hands-on service and social action projects.
*EPIC Israel plus participants are not eligible for the Toronto Affordability Package


I have another question I do not see listed. Where can I find the answer?
We would be happy to answer all of your questions! Please send us an email at summer@usy.org or book a meeting wiand we will get back to you shortly.