If you plan on calling home during the trip, you can either rent a cell phone (see below), or purchase a calling card in the U.S. or once you arrive in Israel. For parents and friends who wish to contact a participant in Israel during the trip, keep in mind that Israel is seven hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time (EST). Since our groups usually return to the hotels around 8:00pm each evening, the best time to call a participant is between 1:00pm-5:00pm EST.
Cell phone rentals
Renting a cell phone is the easiest way to keep in touch with your friends and family while you are in Israel. We highly recommend it. Many of the accommodations we will be using do not have direct dial extensions. If you plan on being reachable in Israel, renting a cell phone is the only way to go.
We have negotiated a discount with a local Israeli cell phone provider called “IsraelPhones”. It is FREE to rent the phone (as long as it is reserved at least 5 days before departure), delivery is FREE upon arrival in Israel, and all incoming calls are completely FREE. It does cost to make outgoing calls and texts. The phones can be rented for the duration of the 10-day trip and can be extended for as long as you stay in Israel.
You can purchase a calling card when you land at the airport, or you can order a calling card before the trip through any number of providers. Parents and friends who wish to call a participant in Israel may also want to purchase a calling card. There are many choices available.
Staff phone numbers
As your trip approaches, we will provide you with the cell phone and office phone numbers of key staff in Israel. Calls to these cell phones will be answered 24 hours a day, seven days a week. However, please ask your parents, family and friends to use these numbers ONLY in cases of emergency. Any less urgent matters should be handled using the office phone numbers that we distribute as part of the itinerary before the trip.