Flights and Requirements
Do not book your flights until you have been approved for a VFI program, unless you plan to be in Israel anyway.
Consider this information before you make your flight plans.
After you are accepted to the program, you are responsible for booking your flight to Israel and filling out the Travel Form that is part of your Application package. If you want to compare airline prices, we recommend that you consult with a local travel agent or check online for a complete list of the airlines that fly into Ben-Gurion Airport.
If you are leaving Israel the day the program ends, make sure your flight is scheduled to depart Israel at 10 PM or later, to allow time to reach the airport, go through screening, get VAT refunds, etc.
- Volunteers for Israel offers 1- 2- and 3-week IDF Base Programs throughout the year. Volunteers wishing to arrange longer service should inquire in advance.
- All VFI programs begin on Sunday and end on a Thursday afternoon.
- On the Sunday program start date, SAR-EL meets volunteers at Ben-Gurion Airport and transports volunteers to their bases.
- SAR-EL requires ALL volunteers on ALL programs to arrive at the Meeting Place * in Ben-Gurion Airport no later than 12 noon on their Sunday program start date. If you arrive late, you might miss your bus. *See p. 14 of your June 2020 Program Handbook for Meeting Place Directions.
IMPORTANT: TO AVOID ARRIVING LATE AT THE MEETING PLACE, VFI STRONGLY ADVISES YOU TO PLAN TO ARRIVE IN ISRAEL BEFORE THE SUNDAY START DATE.
If you miss your flight or it is delayed for any reason, call or email SAR-EL for instructions* ASAP and provide your new flight and arrival times. Depending on when you arrive, you might need to stay overnight at your own expense. Bases do not accept arrivals after 6pm. *SAR-EL contact details are on the inside back page of the Program Handbook.
- Organized groups of 10 or more may start any Sunday and do a 1-, 2- or 3- week program.
- Birthright extensions may start any Sunday immediately after the end of the Birthright trip.
Passport and Visas
If possible, you should renew your passport approximately nine (9) months before it expires. To enter Israel, you must have a passport valid for at least six months after your departure date. Therefore, for a typical 3-week program you should have 7+ months remaining on your passport. Some airlines will not allow you to board if you do not meet this requirement. For most U.S. citizens, a tourist visa is not required unless you plan to stay in Israel longer than 90 days.