FAQ

AWB is a dynamic service-learning program that promotes social responsibility, volunteerism and the Jewish value of Tikun Olam (repairing the world). AWB takes participants to a community in need to engage in intensive volunteering. Participants can expect to spend 20-25 volunteer hours, which can vary from working at an elderly center to helping do light construction. AWB participants will also take part in an evening program each night to give a proper Jewish context to their experience or to better understand the community in which they are working, as well as have fun!

Young Judaea places great importance on offering programs that are as affordable as possible without compromising the integrity or quality of the experience. The registration fee this year is $650 for the early bird and $750 for the regular registration. You will notice that the price has dropped since last year. We have been able to do this due to a variety of reasons including costs within the city as well as some generous donations.

Please note, early bird will expire if participant does not pay at least $100 deposit within one week of registering.

The Bulk of Our Costs Consist of:

  • Room and Board (including three kosher meals a day)
  • Transportation throughout the trip (including a bus to/from the airport, as well as buses and vans for volunteer sites)
  • Providing proper staff supervision – we pride ourselves on the excellence of our staff and counselors in providing a safe and supervised trip, as well as the high quality of our staff as educators and role models as Jewish activists. Although our staff are unpaid volunteers, there are still costs associated with transportation, training etc.

Of course! This program is open to all North American Jewish 9th-12th graders. We will be taking approximately 55 teens to Charleston. Registration is on a first come, first serve basis.

Please note that the registration for Alternative Winter Break “AWB” will not be processed until all of the forms and travel arrangements have been submitted and payment has been received in full. Regardless of when you cancel, if cancellation occurs after you have purchased an airline ticket, you will be responsible for the full price of the airline ticket. No refunds will be given for participants who are dismissed and/or otherwise removed from or leave AWB for any reason (voluntary or involuntary) once the program has commenced. Young Judaea reserves the right to cancel AWB or program option, or change any of the itineraries due to low enrollment security or other reason as determined by Young Judaea’s sole and absolute discretion. Program prices are subject to change in Young Judaea’s sole and absolute discretion. Young Judaea shall not be responsible for fees or damages associated with such cancellation that participant may incur.

Due to some generous gifts toward AWB, we are able to offer more subsidies and different types of discounts than we have in the past. These may include:

  • “Bring a Chaver” – Current Young Judaeans will be able to receive $100 off the total price of AWB if they bring a brand new participant (no prior Young Judaea program or camp participant). The new “Judaean” will also receive $100. Both discounts will be applied only after the new participant fully registers and pays. These subsidies are limited so participants are encouraged to recruit new friends early in the process.
  • “Matching” – Participants can be set up with a “Friendraising Page” where they will be able to create a personalized fundraising page through the Young Judaea system. Young Judaea will match the first $100 for the first 20 individuals who raise this amount.

As we continue with our fundraising, more subsidies may be made available Participants may combine early bird and both “bring a chaver” and “matching” subsidies. For more information about fundraising and to request a fundraising packet immediately, please email winterbreak@youngjudaea.org.

There are many Jewish and non-Jewish organizations that are eager to support teens in attending service learning trips like AWB. You can go to your federation, JCC, synagogue, school or Hadassah chapter to find out more about scholarship and subsidy opportunities. If you like we can send you the Young Judaea self-fundraising kit to help. There are some additional subsidies available for certain cities (including Metrowest Federation in NJ). Those will be sent to you as we are made aware of them.

Note: Both the LA Federation and the Greater Metrowest Federation of NJ have special scholarships available for teens from their areas. For more information, email winterbreak@youngjudaea.org.

Partners and Co-Sponsors Camp Tel Yehudah (TY) – the national senior leadership camp of Young Judaea, looks to develop leadership among American Jewish teens and runs “Alternative Summer Break,” in which campers spend their time at TY volunteering in impoverished areas around camp, NYC and other areas. For more information, go to www.campty.com.

*The program will include work at shelters, soup kitchens, elderly homes, building projects and more. Participants will meet community activities working in social service and social change organizations. We will update as we move forward with our planning.

*Program is subject to change, these options are tentative.

Young Judaea is a religiously pluralist movement that welcomes those of all streams of Judaism. Jewish tradition is an important element in all of Young Judaea’s programs and we strive to make each participant comfortable regardless of his or her background. You will have t’fillot (prayer services) every morning. Young Judaea is not affiliated with any single religious movement, and all of these activities are conducted in a religiously pluralist environment. The services are often alternative, using song, readings, meditation and other activities. However, space and opportunity will be given to any participant who needs a more traditional method of prayer. On many occasions, participants will help conduct the services.

All participants will have access to fully Kosher meals throughout AWB and therefore teens do not need to make other arrangements for the purposes of kashrut. Breakfast will be served from the hotel with Kosher, dairy and parve options. For any participant whose needs exceed this option, options will be available. We ask that participants do not bring non-kosher items on the trip.

There will be at least one Young Judaea staff member to every 8-10 participants.

Here’s a sample itinerary of what a day could look like:

  • 7:30am Boker Tov (Wake up)
  • 8:00am Aruchat Boker (Breakfast)
  • 8:30am Depart for work site
  • 9:30am – 12:30pm Work project
  • 12:30pm – 1:30pm Aruchat Tsoharayim (Lunch) at the work site
  • 1:30pm – 5:00pm Work Project
  • 6:00pm Chofesh (free time)
  • 7:00pm Aruchat Erev (Dinner)
  • 8:00pm – 10:00pm Evening Group Activity (speaker, discussion, night out, games, bonding)
  • 10:00pm – 11:30pm Chofesh (free time)
  • 11:30pm Lailah Tov (Lights out)

Participants will be staying at the Fairfield Inn and Suites near the Charleston Airport. Rooms will accommodate 4 participants, with two full-sized beds, so participants should expect to share beds with one other participant. The hotel offers complimentary Wi-Fi in each room, as well as bedding and towels.

Participants on AWB will constantly be taking part in structured programs. In order not to disrupt these programs, they will not be allowed to receive or make calls during programmed hours. In the event of family emergency or other issues, we ask that you contact the Young Judaea staff emergency cell phone number that will be provided in a future communication. Additionally, we plan to have a daily blog and pictures posted of the past days events to showcase and inform what we are doing on the actual program.

Before AWB, we will send an information guide to all participants and their parents via e-mail. Among more details regarding the programming for the week, it contains the following relevant information:

  • A complete packing list
  • Information on volunteer sites
  • An itinerary for the week
  • Consent and Release Forms
  • Other procedural explanations

Also, in the fall we will be sending out a weekly email with supplementary readings, articles, and videos about the community we are working with.

We suggest that participants bring a limited amount of money to cover travel related expenses to and from AWB. Participants may also want to bring some money for souvenirs or other tourist purchases.

AWB recommends bringing only one bag/suitcase. Please make sure all baggage is clearly labeled with the participant’s name and destination address.

Please note: AWB bears no responsibility for baggage loss or baggage left at AWB.

The packing list will be sent one month prior. There might be additional items that we will add based on work assignments.

Flights and/or travel to and from the destination city are the responsibility of the participant. More information about the travel guidelines for transportation to and from the destination city will be posted in the coming months.

If you so choose, you are welcome to drive to the destination city airport with those friends or family that are 18 years of age and older and meet the group at the airport.

Please make sure to check with your airline provider what their specific rules and regulations are for flying as an unaccompanied minor. Each airline has a different procedure and some charge fees for this service. Once you check these rules with your airline, please contact us at winterbreak@youngjudaea.org so we can provide you with the information needed for the airline of our staff member who will be escorting you from the gate to baggage claim. To be considered an unaccompanied minor, your airline must have on record our staff member’s information.

Don’t hesitate to email us at winterbreak@youngjudaea.org or call us at (917) 595-2100 x209!