Frequently Asked Questions
1. What makes this trip unique among other teen trips to Israel?
Detroit Federation has been committed to a biennial, community teen mission since 1996. The mission is in partnership with our metro Detroit Reform and Conservative congregations and Tamarack Camps. The mission is an in depth, 4 week educational, experiential itinerary with pre- and post-mission programming.
Our community clergy partner with the mission during all phases of planning. They are talented educators, devoted to our community teens, and have many years of experience in Israel travel. The mission is also staffed by the clergy members and young adults, many of whom were previous teen mission participants.
Detroit Federation has an almost 20-year relationship with the Central Galilee region, our home in Israel. Our Michigan teens travel with Israeli teens from the region for the entire mission. They will enjoy home hospitality, experience JFMD’s funded programs first hand, and create long lasting relationships.
2. How is TM20 different from Taglit – Birthright Israel and does participating in TM20 affect my eligibility?
Birthright Israel is a brief 10-day introductory trip for young adults, ages 18 – 26. Teen Mission is a 4 week, in-depth educational experience.
Birthright eligibility has changed. As long as the Teen Mission participant is under the age of 18 at the time they travel to Israel, they will still be eligible for Birthright.
3. Is it safe to travel in Israel?
Yes. Please see our Safety and Security information.
4. What if I have trouble with the online application or have other questions?
Contact the Teen Mission office at 248-952-9110 during regular business hours or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
5. What if I don’t feel comfortable paying online?
You may make payments by check or cash by mail or in person to the Teen Mission office. Checks should be made payable to Tamarack Camps.
6. What if I need financial assistance?
It is our goal that no teen is denied this Israel experience because of a lack of funding. In consideration of the subsidy from JFMD, need-based scholarship applications from Detroit Federation are available only after exhausting all other financial sources. Families are encouraged to contact their congregation, community organizations, and family members for potential resources. The Teen Mission office will advise families as to the date when applications can be received.
7. What if I don’t belong to a congregation, can I still go?
Detroit Federation’s 2020 Teen Mission is a community-based mission for Jewish teens from metropolitan Detroit. Congregation affiliation is not required.
8. Can I bring my cell phone?
Teens may not bring a cell phone or internet ready device on the Teen Mission. Teens will have access to a staff cell phone to call their family approximately once per week. The TM20 staff will monitor calls home to ensure that the teens are connecting with families. In case of emergency, parents will always be able to reach the bus clergy, onsite coordinator or local staff contact person. All emergency contact information will be provided prior to departure.
9. Can I be on the same bus as my friend?
Bus placements are made according to congregational membership and space availability. Placement may also be affected by date of completed application and up-to-date payments. Although bus placements cannot be guaranteed, all mission participants are generally together for dinner each night and reside as a group in the same accommodations. The mission is designed to experience Israel as a community. We celebrate Shabbat together and provide many group opportunities.
10. When will I know my bus assignment?
Bus assignments will be announced prior to departure and following the parent-teen packing meeting in the spring.
11. Does the mission fee include all of my food and activity?
The mission fee includes all food and activity except additional snacks and spending money.
12. Will I be able to visit my friends/family in Israel while I am on the mission?
If you would like your teen to visit with family members or friends who are in Israel, you must arrange this prior to departure with the Teen Mission Coordinator. The form for an online request will be made available prior to departure.
The visit must be on Shabbat, between 1:00-5:00 pm, and occur at the location where the mission is currently residing. Drop in guests will not be permitted. TM20 participants will not be allowed to leave the group location for visits.
13. How will I know what to pack?
A packing meeting for teens and parents will be held in the spring. A detailed packing list will be reviewed and you will have an opportunity to ask any additional questions. A parent handbook will also be posted online for your information.