Onward Israel: Galilee Trek & Connect

About The Program

Livnot’s Galilee Trek & Connect is a community service program in the heart of the Galilee. You will be involved in various archaeological and volunteering activities that give you access to explore Israel’s ancient past, impact its present, and preserve its future. Connect with the diverse population of northern Israel and your own personal and Jewish identity.

Livnot U’Lehibanot means “Build and Be Built” and at Livnot, the focus is on building community, helping others, and personal growth through a Jewish lens. We combine elements of the physical and spiritual to offer you a program that is mystical, practical, unique, and relevant. Join us on this six-week program for Jewish young adults, aged 21-30.

The Galilee Trek & Connect is not an internship program, but can still build your resume. Whether or not the topics in this program are directly connected to your desired profession, they do offer development in a skill set that will impact your personal and professional life for years to come.

Explore the Past

To know where we’re going, we need to know where we come from. The history of the Jewish people in Israel spans over 3,900 years.

Livnot U’Lehibanot is partnered with the Israel Antiquities Authority, allowing us to assist archaeologists in unearthing the past of the Jewish people. Excavation sites are located in and around the ancient city of Tiberias, on the coast of the Sea of Galilee. Together we will work to bring to the public the Cardo, which is the ancient Roman market in Tiberius, as well as synagogues from that period. In addition you will have the opportunity to learn about:

  • Archaeological Site Preservation and Restoration
  • Economic Development of the site
  • Tourism and Marketing

The group will work together on a project to present to the Israel Antiquities Authority involving an aspect of site development. The scope and focus of the project will be decided by the group. You will receive a certificate from the Israel Antiquities Authority and Livnot U’Lehibanot on the hours volunteered and the subjects learned during the program.

Connect with the Present

Galilee Trek & Connect participants will also be engaged in community service within Tzfat working on such projects as Emek Techelet Nature Park, the Tzfat Home for the Aged and renovating apartments of the needy (these service projects vary according to need and availability).

Art, Music, and Creativity

In the 1950’s, Israeli artists flocked to Tzfat, transforming it into the thriving cultural center of Northern Israel that it has become. Today there is a strong artistic presence in sculpture, painting, music, jewelry, and Judaica. You will get to meet and learn from local artists and musicians and take part in the creative atmosphere.

Hike Like an Israeli

Northern Israel has some of the most beautiful natural landscapes in the country and the most fresh water. We will hike the Galilee and Golan twice weekly, take time to swim their streams and waterfalls, and learn from the nature around us. We will close the program with a three-day hike from Tzfat to the Mediterranean Sea.

Shabbat

Shabbat brings each week to a close. With it, comes the opportunity to detox a bit from the “everyday” and re-energize for the week ahead. Shabbat in Tzfat is an amazing time-out, and the magic of our traditions created here were spread to Jewish communities around the world. Kabbalat Shabbat started in Tzfat. Connect to its source and experience where and why it all began.

Build Yourself

On our programs, the mystical city of Tzfat becomes your home and the people who live here become your neighbors. We make meals together and hike the north, along rivers and through canyons – stopping for lunch and learning sessions by waterfalls and shady groves.

We delve into ancient Jewish wisdom and explore what our heritage has to say about life, intimacy, our relationship with the environment, building community and fixing the world. You may get a taste of Kabbalah and shakshuka all on the same day.   

The Livnot Galilee Trek & Connect program provides opportunities to get in touch with yourself. Being part of a community and exploring the land helps cultivate an open mind and an open heart, which are integral to how we apply ourselves in everyday life.

Living Arrangements

Participants live in the Livnot campus, located in the heart of the Old City of Tzfat. The building is 500 years old and has been rebuilt by the Livnot participants from years gone by. The facilities include: a communal kitchen and dining hall, a meditation/activity room, wi-fi, laundry, room A/C units and bathroom. Participants also have access to the Livnot balcony, which boasts one of the best views of the entire Galilee. The sunsets are breath-taking, and no two are the same.

Program Includes

  • Hikes provide a chance to challenge ourselves physically, learn from nature and strengthen our connection with our environment and Israel.
  • Jewish content including an overall perspective of Jewish texts through Chevrutot (peer-based learning sessions), workshops on spirituality, and the celebration of Shabbat.
  • Living in Israel and becoming part of the hip and artistic Tzfat community; full of galleries, local and organic food, spiritual learning, live music events, open mic nights, local wineries and craft beers made right here in Tzfat.
  • Communal living accommodations at the Livnot campus in the mystical Old City of Tzfat and two meals per day.

Livnot U’Lehibanot is a non-profit organization supported in part by alumni, private donors, and foundations.

Additional Info

Apply Now
Birthright Extension

Going on a free Taglit-Birthright Israel trip for young Jewish adults?

There are Birthright extension programs for hiking, or volunteering, or Jewish spirituality and culture…which do you choose? All of the above! When you extend your trip with Livnot’s Northern Exposure program, you get an unbeatable combination of amazing hikes, meaningful volunteer activities, experiential seminars, and learning through nature—all in just one week, and for only $195! Stay for two weeks for the super-subsidized price of $300.

If you’re interested:

  • Ask your Birthright Israel organizer for information about extending your flight.
  • Livnot accepts your Birthright Israel medical form. There is a short online application and a 15 minute phone interview to answer any questions you may have, and determine that it’s a good fit all around.
  • Applications are accepted on a rolling basis—even if you are already in Israel on your BRI trip (in which case, you should call 052-429-5377 to expedite your application)—but it’s best to apply early to ensure your spot.
  • Our one-week programs run simultaneously with our longer programs, so you can always try it out for a week before committing to a longer program.

Tuition & Scholarships

Thanks to Livnot’s generous supporters we are able to offer our one-week Northern Exposure program for as little as $195. Tuition includes accommodations, 2 meals/day, hikes, activities, and workshops.

Full price $650
Subsidies and scholarships -$455
Actual cost to you $150

Livnot U’Lehibanot works hard to acquire funding that allows us to subsidize this program. However, in cases where local Jewish Federations or other sponsoring organizations provide Livnot with a scholarship in the name of a specific participant, those funds will be used to cover the full program cost. Any additional funds after deducting the full program cost will be made available to the participant. For more information on external scholarships, click here.

Accommodations

“Where will I stay? Is there wifi and a laundry room?” These questions and more are answered here in full detail.

Sample Schedule
Suggested Packing List

You can never have too many shoes, but that doesn’t mean you need to bring all of them with you on your Israel journey.

Click here for the list and details of what to pack (and what not to…).

Health Insurance

Every participant must have emergency medical coverage for the duration of the program. If you have your own policy from abroad, please provide proof of coverage. Otherwise, you will need to fill out additional forms and pay for insurance upon arrival to Tzfat (cost is $20/week). This policy covers accidents, injuries and illnesses, but not pre-existing medical conditions. View the full terms here.

Cell Phone Rental

For your convenience, we have made arrangements with IsraelPhones to provide our participants with affordable cell phone service while in Israel. Phones are delivered free of charge to our campus on your arrival date, or for a small fee to your US address before you begin your trip.

IsraelPhones service highlights include:

  • FREE incoming calls and text messages from anywhere in the world.
  • Calls to anywhere in Israel or North America for as low as 9.9 cents per minute.
  • IsraelPhones Sim Cards for use with your unlocked GSM smartphone.
  • Discount DATA packages for unlimited use.
  • USB modem rentals for easy unlimited internet access.

Further details on pricing and special offers are available on IsraelPhones website here.