Joyce Zeff Israel Study Tour

The summer of a lifetime.

For fifty years, IST has helped young Jewish Coloradans broaden their knowledge about Israel, its neighbors, and Jewish heritage and history. ISTers have brought home souvenirs and memories. They’ve made lifelong friends and even, in some cases, met the people they would go on to marry. It’s a lifetime of learning in just five weeks.

From the Jewish quarter in Krakow to sunrise on Masada to Shabbat at the Western Wall and so much more, IST combines extraordinary adventure, exceptional leaders with years of experience, and a commitment to education and Jewish values. It’s the perfect opportunity for your teenager to become more independent, learn about themselves and Israel, and strengthen their Jewish identity.

For more information about IST, please email

We are excited to go back to Poland during IST 2023!

June 11 – July 16, 2023

Know Before You Go

What scholarships are available to everyone?

JEWISHcolorado’s Joyce Zeff Endowment Fund provides $1000 per participant. To receive this money, check the box while filling out your CampMinder application

As in years past, JEWISHcolorado is once again applying for funding from RootOne LLC., an organization aimed at helping teens travel to and experience Israel. RootOne may help offset costs for eligible trip participants only. JEWISHcolorado is actively applying for our RootOne grant, and we encourage you to take part today! Learn more at and be in touch with us (RootOne) directly with any questions. (Note, Vouchers are subject to participant eligibility and are not guaranteed. JEWISHcolorado’s prior RootOne funding is no guarantee of future funding.) 

Synagogue Scholarships. To receive this money, you will reach out directly to your Synagogue to see eligibility. The money will then be sent directly to JEWISHcolorado. Upon receipt of payment, the scholarship will be credited to your IST tuition

What additional scholarships are available?

FACTs applications can be filled out to qualify for additional funds that were generously donated to JEWISHcolorado for IST. To receive this money, fill out the FACTs application by December 1st.

FACT’s application will be open from September 15th – December 1st.

Additional scholarships are available from local Synagogues, JCC, etc. To receive this money, reach out to other local organizations and see if they have additional funds for Israel trips

**We want to make sure everyone regardless of financial ability can attend IST. Please reach out to or 303-321-1371 if you have questions about grants/scholarships**

Who is eligible to participate in IST 2023?

Jewish teens or teens who are connected to the Colorado Jewish community and who are currently juniors in high school.

What is the cost of IST 2023?

IST 2023 price is $9,950 per person for registration. Register before November 1st, 2022 to receive early bird pricing of $9,850. Outstanding balances must be paid in full on or before April 5, 2023.

A $500 non-refundable deposit is due at the time of registration to guarantee your spot.

What is included in the cost of IST 2023?
  • Flights
  • Land costs (i.e., accommodation, activities, buses)
  • Health and medical insurance while on the trip
  • Three meals per day
  • Staff, including tour guides, Israeli counselors, American counselors, bus drivers, security guards, etc.
  • A full array of daily programming and activities
How do I sign my child up for IST?

Visit, set up a CampMinder account, register, and get ready for the summer of a lifetime!

Registration, all payments, and trip documents must be made through the CampMinder Parent Portal.

How do I pay for IST?

Upon registering for IST through the CampMinder application, you will pick your payment options. All payments must be made electronically through the system.

Upon registration, you will be required to pay a $500 non-refundable deposit. All remaining payments can be made in 4 payments or 3 payments starting in January or February.

Payments can be made via credit card (3% fee), eCheck (1% fee), or debit card (0% fee).

Is there a payment plan?

Yes. The CampMinder application will offer you a choice of payment plan and type. Payments must be paid in full on or before April 5, 2023.

Payment with registration $500 non-refundable deposit
Final payment due by April 5 Must be paid in full**

**$100 fee will be incurred for past due payment

Program costs are subject to change and are not guaranteed until registration is complete and the deposit is received.

You will not be fully enrolled in IST until deposit is received by JEWISHcolorado.

What if I need to withdraw from IST?

February 1, 2023 is the last day to cancel and receive a full refund, less the $500 non-refundable registration fee. From February 2 – April 5, 2023 families may cancel their registration, but will not be refunded any fees already paid for IST. Beginning April 5, 2023, all funds must be paid in full and are non-refundable. Participants are welcome to purchase a travel insurance policy. Insurance policies must be purchased prior to final payment and will be completely dealt with through the third-party insurance company.

Do I need to purchase travel insurance?

We recommend but do not require travel insurance. Your CampMinder account contains more information on the type of travel insurance recommended by our travel provider (under Forms). Travel insurance is through a third-party organizer, please see their terms and conditions for any information. If you purchase travel insurance, it must be purchased to cover the whole cost of the trip ($9850). Travel insurance is billed directly from and managed by the travel insurance provider. Travel insurance must be purchased prior to final payment.

What does an example of an IST itinerary look like?

 IST 2023 Sample Itinerary

(This itinerary is an example of what we may experience on IST 2023, it is not our actual itinerary)

Dates of Electives and Host Family Weekend are TBD, do not plan around this!


Sunday, June 11th

  • Depart Denver in early afternoon

Monday, June 12th

  • Arrive to Warsaw in late afternoon

Tuesday, June 13th

  • Day in Warsaw visiting sites

Wednesday, June 14th

  • Drive to Lublin
  • Visit Majdanek Concentration Camp

Thursday, June 15th

  • Drive to Krakow
  • Visit Auschwitz and Birkenau Concentration Camps

Friday, June 16th

  • Explore Kazimierz (Krakow Jewish Quarter)
  • Kabbalat Shabbat in Krakow

Saturday, June 17th

  • Shabbat in Krakow

Sunday, June 18th

  • Fly out early morning to Israel
  • Land in the afternoon in Israel

Monday, June 19th

  • Day exploring the Old City of Jerusalem

Tuesday, June 20th

  • Drive South to Negev
  • Dig for a Day at Beit Guvrin
  • Camp overnight in the Negev

Wednesday, June 21st

  • Ein Avdat Hike in the Negev
  • Spend day in Ramat HaNegev (our partnership region)
  • Community service project in Ramat HaNegev

Thursday, June 22nd

  • Gaza Border Art Project
  • Salad Trail
  • Spend night in Ramat HaNegev

Friday, June 23rd

  • Drive further south to Eilat
  • Banana Boating and Snorkeling in Eilat
  • Kabbalat Shabbat at Kibbutz Keturah

Saturday, June 24th

  • Kibbutz Keturah activities – learn about kibbutz life
  • Pool, Sports, and downtime
  • Night Cruise on the Red Sea + Eilat Boardwalk

Sunday, June 25th

  • Dead Sea floating
  • Camel Riding + Bedouin Experience
  • Overnight: Kfar Hanokdim (Bedouin Tent)

Monday, June 26th

  • Sunrise hike up Masada via Roman Ramp
  • Hike down Masada via Snake Path
  • Head North to Sachne for swimming

Tuesday, June 27th

  • Visit Tzfat Artist Colony & Shopping Time
  • Aqua Kef Water Park

Wednesday, June 28th

  • Banias Water Hike
  • Druze Village Experience & Lunch
  • Ben Tal
  • Jordan River Rafting & Pizza Dinner

Thursday, June 29th

  • Raft building activity
  • Kinneret Cemetery
  • Ahmadiyya Mosque Visit
  • Ethiopian Cultural Experience & Dinner

Friday, June 30th

  • Cave Repelling
  • Rosh Hanikrah
  • Kabbalat Shabbat in the North

Saturday, July 1st

  • Shabbat Programming

Sunday, July 2nd

  • Start Electives (Gadna, Sea to Sea, Volunteering)

Monday, July 3rd

  • Electives (Gadna, Sea to Sea, Volunteering)

Tuesday, July 4th

  • Electives (Gadna, Sea to Sea, Volunteering)

Wednesday, July 5th

  • End Electives after Lunch
  • Rejoin group for an afternoon in Tel Aviv

 Thursday, July 6th

  • Budakan at Wingate Institute
  • Depart for Home Hospitality Weekend

Friday, July 7th

  • Home Hospitality

Saturday, July 8th

  • Home Hospitality

Sunday, July 9th

  • Regroup from Home Hospitality in the morning
  • Jaffa Tour & Flea Market
  • Volunteer at Jaffa Institute
  • Nalagaat Theater

Monday, July 10th

  • Machon Ayalon
  • Save a Child’s Heart
  • Peres Innovation Center
  • Surfing & Shwarma/Falafel Dinner on Beach

Tuesday, July 11th

  • Bike tour of Tel Aviv
  • Nahalat Binyamin & Carmel Market
  • Visit Rabin Square
  • Movie Night & Dizengoff Circle

Wednesday, July 12th

  • Diaspora Museum
  • Jannana Ropes Course at Kiriyat Anavim
  • Graffiti Tour of Mahane Yehuda

Thursday, July 13th

  • Visit Mt. Herzl
  • Tour of Knesset
  • Machane Yehuda
  • Night out on Ben Yehuda Street

 Friday, July 14th

  • Roots Tent visit in Gush Etzion
  • Meet Two State Solution Peace Activist
  • Kabbalat Shabbat at the Kotel

Saturday, July 15th

  • Jerusalem walking tour
  • Trip wrap up
  • IST Talent Show & Closing Ceremony

 Sunday, July 16th

  • Early morning flight back to Denver
  • Arrive in Denver in afternoon
What are the options for elective week?

Gadna (Israeli Army Experience): A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to learn about the Israel Defense Force (IDF) and experience an Israeli army base. Wear a uniform, learn about different IDF jobs, gain experience in team building, and participate in boot camp. Are you up for the challenge? See just how many push-ups you can do and become part of a cohesive IST unit.

Volunteering: Groups volunteer in communities in the northern region of Israel. Past activities have included working at a food distribution center, interacting with adults with disabilities, creating murals for schools, building eco-friendly facilities, working on an agricultural farm, playing with animals at a shelter, and more.

Sea-to-Sea Hike: A three-and-a-half day, twenty-five-mile hike from the Mediterranean Sea to the Sea of Galilee. Explore nature, camp under the stars, get a little dirty, and create lifelong friendships and memories.

What should I pack?

We will send out a comprehensive packing list closer to departure. Click here to view previous packing list.

Is there pre-trip programming?

Yes! We host programs prior to the trip and send the dates to each participant. Pre-trip programming happens once a month prior to departure starting in October. Pre-trip programs are part of the requirement to receive your $3000 RootOne voucher.

Dates for Pre-Trip Programs for participants

October 27th, 2022

November 17th, 2022

January 19th, 2023

February 23rd, 2023

March 16th, 2023

April 18th, 2023

May 12th, 2023 – IST Family Shabbat for parents and participants

How much money should my teen take to Israel? In what form?

We advise teens to allot $75-$100 for each week of travel. We recommend teens come with $100 in US dollars for exchange and a debit or credit card for the rest of their money.

Does my teen need cell phone service?

Teens do not need cell phone service. In past years, about half of our ISTers have opted to have service; the rest rely on Wi-Fi to use their phones. We will send information on how to purchase an Israeli SIM card closer to departure. For a SIM card to work, your phone must be unlocked by your cell phone provider.

What are the accommodations like on IST?

IST teens stay in a variety of locations, including hotels, youth hostels, kibbutzim, and the wilderness (camping). Refer to the sample itinerary for previous accommodations used by IST.

What are the laundry services on IST?

We send laundry out three times during the trip. Teens receive a plastic bag for dirty laundry; clothing is returned clean and folded. Items can be shrunk or lost, so we recommend you leave your favorites at home. JEWISHcolorado and its tour provider partners are not responsible for any clothing lost or damaged by the laundry service.

What is Host Family Weekend and what if my child does not have a place to stay?

IST teens have an opportunity to stay with friends or family in Israel. Host families pick the teens up from designated locations to be determined prior to the trip. Hosts must be over the age of 21 and be able to provide a bed for any participant(s) that stay with them, as well as meals throughout the weekend.

If an IST teen does not have a place to stay, we will make arrangements to house them in JEWISHcolorado’s partner region Ramat HaNegev, where they can relax by the pool, meet Israeli teens, and enjoy life on a kibbutz.

Thank You To Our Sponsor 

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